Speaker Considers Special Session for Tolls

Democrats have been pushing the issue of tolls, while Republicans have said they will not vote for any toll proposal under any conditions

Connecticut’s Speaker of the House is close to waving the white flag on the issue of tolls or the regular session, shifting the focus to a possible Special Session devoted to the issue of infrastructure investment this summer.

"This is the type of issue that I would like to get done before we adjourn but I wouldn't be opposed to coming back in special session to,” said Rep. Joe Aresimowicz, (D – Berlin), the speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives. “It's that important to the state."

Aresimowicz and Majority Leader Rep. Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) said the state is still waiting on guidance from the Federal Highway Administration on what a toll framework has to look like in order to pass federal muster, and to maximize the amount of matching funds the state would receive from Washington.

Republicans reiterated that they would not vote for any toll proposal under any circumstance or condition, including limiting the bill to trucks only, which is what Gov. Ned Lamont campaigned on, and later abandoned in favor of tolling all cars from Connecticut and elsewhere.

"We stand 100 percent against tolls in the State of Connecticut,” said Rep. Themis Klarides, (R – Derby), the House minority leader.

Republicans rolled out their latest proposal last week, which included the analysis of the five bridges and crossings in the worst condition, and a slightly scaled back borrowing proposal to cover transportation projects in the coming years.

Democrats have said there is no support in their caucus for the GOP ideas.

Ritter said, "We have to do something. We all agree on that. Whether it happens in the next two weeks. At some point there will be a vote on making our Special Transportation Fund solvent.”

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