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Connecticut Lawmakers Delay Vote On Transportation Plan

Petty Officer 2nd Class Cory J. Mendenhall
U.S. Coast Guard
The Gold Star Memorial Bridge in southeastern Connecticut

Governor Ned Lamont says legislators have put off until January taking action on his revised trucks-only tolling plan to fund transportation infrastructure.

Lamont says he’s disappointed lawmakers won’t move on the plan in next week’s special session, but he will live with the delay.

“I wanted to do it in the last session; we put it off. Then we were going to do it in the fall; we put it off. I wanted to do it the 16th and 19th of December. To your point, if we do it in January it’s not the end of the world. But I do want to move forward.”

Lamont says he is confident that the plan will be approved despite pushback from the trucking industry.

“The truckers would put up every roadblock they possibly can. But we have a plan that they are going to pay a little bit more to help keep up our roads and bridges. And in other states across the Northeast, there’s also types of tollings. So I think this is something we are going to get done.”

A federal legal challenge in Rhode Island brought by the trucking industry calls trucks-only tolling illegal.

In Connecticut, Republicans are concerned about the legal consequences for the state. Lamont says he is not deterred.

Lamont’s revised CT2030 transportation infrastructure plan would cost $19.4 billion. It’s funded in part by low-interest borrowing as well as a truck-only toll on a dozen highway bridges. The average toll rate would be $8 for heavy trucks.

Legislators and lawyers are still crafting the final details of the bill, and there’s a plan for a public hearing.

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.