No Consensus Yet On Paid Family Leave Or Highway Tolls In Connecticut

May 23, 2019

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont says he does not support the paid family and medical leave bill drafted by Democratic lawmakers and that he’ll veto the bill if it’s passed.

Lamont says he supports paid family and medical leave, but not the bill drafted by Democratic legislative leaders. He says it creates a burdensome, top heavy bureaucracy that discourages private sector participation.

“I want to make sure it’s a process where we invite the best and the brightest to bid on this. Folks who have done this before, be they out of the private sector, public sector, DOL. Let’s have a fair process. Let’s take a look and let’s give the taxpayers a great deal of confidence that this brand new $400 million program is operating the way it’s supposed to operate.”

The Republican minority have an alternative plan that would make it optional to join the state family and medical leave program.

Lamont says lawmakers should take time to negotiate a revised bill that he would support. He wants them to take up the paid family and medical bill during a possible special session for highway tolls.

The governor recently released a working draft of a highway toll bill he did negotiate with Democratic lawmakers.

It calls for 50 gantries on the state’s four major highways.

Tolls would be 4.4 cents a mile at peak hours and 3.5 cents per mile off peak, with discounts for motorists who purchase a Connecticut E-Z Pass.

Lamont says lawmakers now have the information they need to vote on tolls before the June deadline.

“I hope they decide to give us the best opportunity to get this state moving again…which is a reliable predictable revenue stream to do it. If they want to come back, do a little borrowing, some tolling or gas, something that gets this thing going, but it’s got to be real.  I haven’t heard anybody come up with a real alternative to what I have proposed.”

Republicans vow to vote no on tolls.