Gov. Dannel Malloy ordered a $10 million study on the issue of tolls in Connecticut Tuesday, and reaction to the move on an already heated topic is mixed.
“It's a shameful proposal by the governor in my opinion,” said State Sen. Joe Markley (R-Dist. 16).
The study calls for the Department of Transportation and their environmental impact on several highways, including, but not limited to I-95, I-91 I-84, the Wilbur Cross Parkway, and the Merritt Parkway.
The study would also look at reducing or eliminating the gas tax and possibly giving state residents a discount or tax credit.
“Bond to do a study and you've got something that's of no value a year after it's written,” Markley said. “I can't think of anything more ridiculous to do through bonding than a study.”
Markley, who’s running for lieutenant governor, is against tolls and the $10 million study, saying ti should be up to the next administration to decide if they even want it.
“There's really not sufficient legislative support I don't believe to pass,” Markley said.
Meanwhile, Democratic State Rep. Tony Guerrera (D - Dist. 29) told NBC Connecticut that he sees value in the study and hopes for multiple proposals from the DOT.
“This doesn't mean tolls are going to happen. All this is is just a plan and whether the general assembly would like to implement the plan or not,” Guerrera said.
Guerrera also pointed out that money collected from out-of-state drivers could help those in-state.
If we are making a substantial amount of money on electronic tolling, then maybe we should look at getting rid of the car tax,” he said.
The state Bond Commission is expected to vote on the $10 million allocation on July 25.