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CT legislators to vote on new regulations for state’s vehicle sales

A Tesla vehicle receives a charge at a charging station.
Mike Stewart
A Tesla vehicle receives a charge at a charging station.

A group of Connecticut legislators are set to vote on new regulations for the state’s vehicle sales on Tuesday.

The state agreed to adopt California's car emission standards in 2004. Last year, those standards were amended to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035.

Tuesday’s vote in the legislature’s Regulation Review Committee will decide whether those standards are adopted. The measure is before the committee instead of the entire legislature because the state already agreed to the standards.

The committee is made up of six senators and eight representatives with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats.

Republicans have said they will vote not to adopt the standards. In addition to concerns about how the ban would be implemented, they want the entire legislature to vote on the measure — not just the committee.

“The people of Connecticut should have the choice, and have their representatives take the stand and vote yes or no, whether or not this is a good policy for Connecticut,” Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) said.

Gov. Ned Lamont said everyone should just vote to approve the regulations on Tuesday.

“The Republicans are pulling back a bit on their environmental commitments,” Lamont said. “And so it's easy to see this go the other way, then it goes back to the legislature. And if they want to take a second look at it, they just voted for it two years ago on a bipartisan basis, I don't know what changed their mind now.”

Democrats have not said which way they’ll vote. If the vote is tied, the standards will be adopted.

If the standards are adopted, the state will begin to phase out the use of gas-powered vehicles.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.