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State Republicans, who have been rebuffed in their requests for specific details, are dissatisfied. "If Gov. Lamont is confident in his plan, why won't he share it with the public, or at the very least the lawmakers who he is asking to vote on it?" says Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano. "What doesn’t he want us to know?"
"Connecticut can no longer afford to kick the can down the potholed road,” said Gov. Ned Lamont. “Over the coming days, I look forward to continuing these discussions so we can adopt a plan to finally fix our transportation system and get our state’s economy moving again, in short order.”
According to the latest version of Gov. Ned Lamont's CT2030 transportation plan, the average one-way toll for a truck in Connecticut with an EZ Pass transponder would be $8. Regional rates range from $4.18 in Massachusetts to $25.49 in New York.
"The public still has not been shown any details about the new House Democrat/Gov. Lamont combined tolling proposal," the Senate Minority Leader says.
"The time to move is now," according to Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney, who expressed hopes that a special legislative session will be called to vote on the plan. Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano said the proposal demonstrates Democrats' "insatiable desire to tax people more."
Treasurer Shawn Wooden says that the Republicans' proposal "especially in the event of a possible future recession, creates serious liquidity, market and credit risks for the state.”
House Democratic leaders have proposed a new plan that would install highway tolls for trucks only on 12 bridges across the state, as opposed to Gov. Ned Lamont’s CT2030 initiative, which would have included tolls on 14 bridges for all vehicles.
“While I appreciate Sen. Fasano’s proposal to partially fund much-needed infrastructure investments, taking money out of the Rainy Day Fund is a risky proposition that requires serious evaluation," says Gov. Ned Lamont.
“We developed FASTR CT to show there is another way to invest in transportation and grow jobs in a manner that is sustainable and accountable to taxpayers — all without tolls," said Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano.
The future of the governos’s ambitious 10-year, $21 billion CT2030 plan is very much in doubt, with state Republicans remaining skeptical and several of his fellow Democratic lawmakers hedging their bets as next year’s election looms.
The plan is receiving positive reviews from Lamont's fellow Democrats, the Connecticut AFL-CIO, and the Business Council of Fairfield County -- and opposition from state Republicans, the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, and Westchester County politicians.
CT 2030 includes tolls on 14 highway bridges, instead of the 50 toll gantries on four major highways -- the Merritt Parkway and Interstates 84, 91 and 95 -- that the governor had originally proposed.
Although the governor's new transportation plan includes fewer tolls, the state's Republican leaders are still against them.
The DRS now says that the new 7.35% sales tax rate on prepared foods, due to go into effect Oct. 1, should be applied only to items already subjected to the sales tax, such as prepared foods served as part of a supermarket catering service.
Gov. Ned Lamont said his administration is working with Revenue Services to eliminate some of the items included in the tax.