Republicans Stand Strong Against Tolls, Offer Alternative Transportation Plan

Republicans have been united against proposals to add tolls in the state

Republican lawmakers announced a five-step transportation plan Thursday, an alternative to the toll proposal supported by the governor and top Democrats.

Republicans have been united against proposals to add tolls in the state and argued that their plan is a “more layered solution” to the transportation problem.

Their plan has five key elements – to immediately invest in transportation over the next five years, to identify the state’s long-term transportation needs and have DOT submit specific plans, to develop a long-term strategy with the reestablishment of the Transportation Strategy and Advisory Board, to explore public private partnerships, and to address the five worst bridges in the state.

Lawmakers want to dedicate $375 million in General Obligation funding to transportation annually for the next five years. Combined with federal funding, that would mean a total of $1.9 billion for transportation annually.

Republicans said revenue for tolls wouldn't be a reality fo several years and that infrastruture investment needs to happen now.

"You are not taking money out of people's pockets and you are able to fund and invest in transportation immediately. we don't have to wait four or five years for toll money to come in or doesn't come in," Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) a top Republican in the House, said.

The governor was critical of the Republican plan.

"They're saying let's do what we've been doing for 10 years only let's borrow another $375 million, put that on the credit card and let your kids pay for it because we can't figure out how we want to pay for it," Lamont said.

Democratic leadership says they're reviewing the details of the plan and that they prefer a bipartisan solution, but they continue to move forward on tolls.

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