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Connecticut Legislature To Vote On Long-Awaited Municipal Aid

John Phelan
/
Wikimedia Commons
The Connecticut Capitol Building in Hartford

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont says cities and towns will soon receive state money to maintain local roads and bridges. The money has been held up since last July. 

Lamont created the delay. He held up a municipal bond package hoping that lawmakers would take action on his 10-year transportation infrastructure proposal that included highway tolls. That’s now off the table. So Lamont has sent his bond package to the legislature. He’s asked them to take action before the end of next week.

“So as soon as the legislature votes on this – and the legislature loves to vote on borrowing so that won’t be a big problem – we’ll have our bond commission and get the money out the door.”

Connecticut’s Council of Small Towns is absolutely thrilled with the move. It says the delay forced many towns to stall critical projects. Cities and towns are responsible for maintaining 17,000 miles of road in Connecticut, four times more miles than the state.

At the same time, Lamont says pulling the plug on highway tolls has not derailed his $19 billion transportation infrastructure plan.

Truck-only highway tolls were to have generated about $200 million a year to pay for the plan. Lamont says he’ll now borrow the money. He says it will be less than Senate Republicans had proposed borrowing in their alternative transportation funding proposal.

“They wanted to borrow an additional $700 million, and that would have pushed out schools and affordable housing and clean water. We’re only doing an additional $200 million, but we are going to have to make some choices. We are going to run lean.”

Lamont says this means school construction and other capital projects that need funding might have to be delayed. He says he wants to maintain his debt diet and avoid drawing down the state’s rainy day fund.

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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.
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