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Tolls Remain Divisive, As Connecticut Budget Deadline Nears

Susan Haigh
Joanne Baker of Woodstock carries two signs showing her opposition to proposed tolls on Connecticut highways outside the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford in March.

Connecticut lawmakers have less than three weeks to go until the end of the legislative session, and Governor Lamont still wants them to take up his highway toll proposal.

Bringing back tolls to Connecticut highways to help pay for transportation infrastructure improvements is a priority for Lamont.

He tried to emphasis this last week by making public appearances at a couple of events by anti-toll protestors. Lamont also gave a pep talk to the House Democratic caucus. He acknowledged he was asking them to take a tough vote.

“It’s going to be one of the most important votes you can cast when it comes to getting the state moving again, adding good jobs and fixing our transportation system, and doing it in a real and honest way."

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz won’t say if the Democrats have the votes to pass the bill.

“Up until the last moment when the bill is finalized we won’t be able to do a hard vote count.”

Republicans oppose tolls. They’ve doubled down on their alternative – a plan to prioritize borrowing to pay for transportation infrastructure.

Democrats don’t like it, and compromise seems out of the question.

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.