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Connecticut Republican lawmakers call for gas tax relief

Gas prices are displayed at a filling station in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 10, 2022.
Matt Rourke
Associated Press
Gas prices are displayed at a filling station in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 10, 2022.

GOP lawmakers in Connecticut want to provide drivers relief at the gas pump. They are calling for an immediate suspension of the state’s wholesale gasoline tax. And they demand that the state’s Congressional delegation also push for a federal gas tax cut.

Both moves would immediately save drivers about 45 cents per gallon, said Senate Republican Minority leader Kevin Kelly.

“Families need relief at the pump today. They don’t need it next year. They need it now,” he said.

The GOP lawmakers propose to use $180 million from the state ‘s budget surplus to pay for the gas tax suspension which would last until July, said House minority leader Vincent Candelora.

“We have surplus after surplus, we have federal money that’s come in,” he said.

Democratic Governor Ned Lamont has said he’s already negotiating gas pump relief with Democrats who control the Legislature.

“Some have talked about a gas tax holiday. Some have talked about a rebate, so it goes right to people, it doesn’t go to the middleman. And we’ll be able to figure that out with the Legislature over the next week or so,” said Lamont.

In the meantime, the state has enough COVID-19 relief funding to ensure that no homes are without heat because of the increasing energy prices.

“What we do have as part of our rent relief is a lot of utility relief coming out of COVID. So we are able to make sure that nobody's light turns off or heating goes off as a result of the COVID funding we got. That made a big difference in people’s lives,” said the governor.

Republicans urge that legislative action be taken to suspend the state gas tax as soon as next Wednesday.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.