The legislature adjourned without approving the Transportation Climate Initiative, but a special legislative session is giving proponents like Gov. Ned Lamont a second chance.
“Maybe it’s an opportunity to take a second look at some bills that didn’t get the attention that they deserved during the regular session. I’d put TCI right on that list,” Lamont says.
Lamont says he plans on pushing the legislature to include the Transportation Climate Initiative in the special session.
“I remember that the transportation climate initiative is still something that’s important if you care about climate. If you care about the environment and you want to discourage big tractor trailer trucks and cars from doing more and more driving on our roads,” Lamont says.
The legislation, which according to Republican lawmakers would increase the cost of gas by about 5 cents per gallon, died because it wasn’t popular. It would create a carbon cap on transportation emissions in the state, but opponents pushed back, calling it another tax.
“Well I think it’s a double-cross and I think the message has gotten through,” Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly says.
Kelly says taxpayers didn’t have one day of relief from tax increases because the legislature passed a truck mileage tax.
“Connecticut middle-class families need a break,” Kelly says.
Kelly says the budget is balanced without tax hikes so he believes the mileage tax and Transportation Climate Initiative are just a money grab.
“We fanned out across the state of Connecticut and took this issue to the people and I think the people have spoken loud and clear that they don’t more gas taxes,” Kelly says.
Kelly says only three states have joined the regional initiative.
“Until the wind coming from Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York and New Jersey does the same as we are, it really doesn’t benefit our people,” Kelly says.
“It’s a small fee on petroleum wholesalers. I think it makes sense,” he says.
He added: “If the legislature doesn’t want to take it up that’s their call but I’m pushing.”