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WASHINGTON - Connecticut Democrats on Capitol Hill for the most part walk a fine line on proposed highway tolls, calling for more robust federal infrastructure spending but sidestepping clear support for Gov. Ned Lamont’s controversial measure.
“Once the General Assembly and the Governor come to an agreement on how best to fund state transportation projects moving forward, I will work with state leaders in any manner necessary to further the goal of improving Connecticut’s infrastructure,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee.
Lamont - Supporter - Washington - Sen - Chris
Lamont’s strongest supporter in Washington by far is Sen. Chris Murphy, who says the lack of any sound alternative idea is proving to be the best argument for tolls.
“Governor [Ned] Lamont is right to be advocating for using tolls as a stable, responsible source of funding to pay for transportation upgrades,” Murphy said. “If someone has a better idea to fix this problem for good, I'm all ears. But so far the governor's idea seems to be the only serious one on the table.”
January - Lamont - Legislation - Priority - Capital
Inaugurated in January, Lamont has made passing toll legislation his top priority, expending immense political capital to push many reluctant Democrats toward yes votes and battling Republicans who have promised to vote no as a bloc.
Lamont and Democratic allies stress that with discounts for Connecticut residents and commuters, tolls would mostly affect out-of-state drivers and truckers. He predicts tolls on I-95, 91, 84 and the Merritt Parkway would generate $700 million a year in revenue.
Voice - Opposition - Tolls - Monster - State
A leading voice in opposition to the “tolls monster,” state Sen. Len Fasano, R-North Haven, argues tolls are a new tax and authorizing them only opens the door for further Democratic revenue grabs. Republicans dismiss tolls as it as “bad policy” for a high-cost, high-tax state trying to put its financial house in order. They support...
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