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As Connecticut Dems Prepare To Revive TCI, GOP Plans Rallies In Opposition

Jason DeCrow

Connecticut GOP lawmakers plan to rally public support to stop Democrats from resurrecting a multi-state transportation climate initiative (TCI). The initiative championed by Governor Ned Lamont died during the regular legislative session. Some Democrats want to reconsider it in a special session later this month.

State Senator Will Haskell is one of those Democrats. He co-chairs the Transportation Committee.

“This has been a summer filled with catastrophic weather events," Haskell said.

Haskell said that's why TCI is needed. He said it would cap carbon emissions from gasoline, and require gas suppliers to buy carbon credits. That would help combat climate change and generate money for the state’s anemic Special Transportation Fund.

“Right now with the depleted state of the Special Transportation Fund we are not going to be poised to compete with other nearby state’s to get our fair share of federal dollars,” Haskell said.

Kevin Kelly is the Senate Republican Minority leader. He said the TCI would mean a five-cent-per-gallon gas tax that the state’s middle class cannot afford.

“We are not going to give in. We are going to continue to speak up for those hard working middle class and low income families whose budgets are really going to be hit hard with the gas tax,” Kelly said.

The Republicans first rally is scheduled for Stratford on Wednesday. The next one will be in East Haven the following Wednesday.

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.