A group of Republicans in the Connecticut House who call themselves the Conservative Caucus have drawn a line in the sand when it comes to highway tolls. The reintroduction of highway tolls is expected to be a flashpoint in the state’s legislative session that begins this week.
The Conservative Caucus is made up of 10 Republican members in a closely divided Connecticut House of Representatives. They say they oppose electronic tolls on highways because it would jeopardize millions of dollars in federal highway funds for Connecticut. They also say it would cost millions of dollars to install, and raise serious privacy concerns about the electronic monitoring of travel.
The group says they are also against increasing the state’s gasoline tax. They say Connecticut already has one of the highest gasoline taxes in the country.
Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy is proposing tolls and a 7 cent increase in the gasoline tax as ways to raise money for the state’s Special Transportation Fund, which is running out of money. Malloy says without additional revenue the state will have to reduce public transportation services, increase fares, and put off highway repairs and maintenance.