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Lamont Hopes Transportation Climate Initiative Will Be Considered In Special Legislative Session

Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont
Jessica Hill
Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont

Connecticut Democrats and Republicans said they are pleased with the just-concluded General Assembly session. Democrats got most of their agenda through, while Republicans successfully blocked most new taxes that were proposed.

Democratic Governor Ned Lamont said the greatest achievement of the session was that Connecticut lawmakers passed a $46 billion state budget on time, in balance and without any major new taxes.

“With strong, strong bipartisan support. Just to show that in the normal course of business what we are able to accomplish. And for that a big thanks to all the members of the Legislature,” Lamont said.

Lamont said lawmakers passed a climate change adaptation bill that would help cities and towns harden infrastructure to create resiliency to major storms. But they blocked his bid to have Connecticut join a multi-state Transportation and Climate Initiative.

Lamont said he would support considering TCI during a special session to deal with unfinished business including the legalization of pot that was also blocked.

“Really it’s up to the legislative leadership. But I heard Matt Ritter say the other day, the Speaker of the House, we have a little more time. And when you have a little more time, maybe it’s an opportunity to take a second look at some bills that didn’t get the attention they deserved during the regular session. And I’d put TCI right in that list,” Lamont said.

Vincent Candelora is the Republican House Minority leader. His caucus opposes TCI and does not support its resurrection.

“As we go into the special session we’ll continue to hold that line,” Candelora said.

Candelora said members of his GOP caucus supported the budget because most of the new taxes proposed by Democrats were dropped. He said they were successful in saving businesses money by increasing state funding to the unemployment compensation fund.

“When I first announced that we needed to put money into that fund, the governor called it a dumb idea. Well that dumb idea translated into $150 million being put into the unemployment compensations fund,” Candelora said.

Legislative leaders said they might call lawmakers back for the special session next week.

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.