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Malloy Gets His $10 Million Tolls Study

Gov. Dannel Malloy’s $10 million bond for a new study on tolls sailed through rough waters during the Bond Commission meeting today, but ultimately the governor had his way.

The tolling study was wrapped into a $255 million bond, which included money for highway and bridge repairs, and aid to towns for road work. The measure passed 6-3, with State Treasurer Denise Nappier abstaining.

Rep. Chris Davis, put forward a motion to remove the tolling study from the transportation bond, sparking off a lengthy discussion between the governor, Sen. L. Scott Frantz, R-Greenwich, and Davis, with further comments from Attorney General George Jepsen, and Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker.

Frantz said the tolling study “failed in the legislature and failed miserably.”

“What we have heard time and time again from our constituents,” Davis said, “is they have no desire to have a tolling study.”

Davis questioned whether the governor had the authority to issue the executive order, but Attorney General Jepsen confirmed Malloy’s legal standing.

The legislature considered a number of tolling bills throughout the 2018 session, including a bill for another tolling study, but ultimately a vote was never taken.

Malloy — a long time supporter of tolls — picked up where the legislature left off by forcing the study through executive order.

In his comments, Malloy said he worried “some in modern-day Connecticut are subscribing to their own know-nothing movement.”

“They’re choosing to reject new information, to decide proactively to know less, to limit the scope of their options before even fully understanding what those options truly are,” Malloy said.

In a rare break from the governor, State Comptroller Kevin Lembo voted against the measure, Lembo previously stated the issue should be resolved in the legislature, rather than done through executive decision.

Ultimately, however, the motion the attempt to removed the tolling study failed.

This is not the first study on tolls in Connecticut. In 2015, CDM Smith published a study which included estimates and recommendations for the number of tolls, prices, and locations on Connecticut’s highways.

Malloy has said the new study will provide information so lawmakers can make informed decisions, but the primary complaint during the 2018 session was that some lawmakers wanted to authorize tolls — or in some cases a transportation authority with the power to install tolls — without a specific plan to be voted on.

Other critics have noted the governor is borrowing $10 million to study tolls while some social service programs face cuts due to Connecticut’s ongoing budget crisis.

But the $10 million tolling study is sure to please some supporters in the construction industries, who have been pushing for more state infrastructure spending.

Don Shubert, head of the Connecticut Construction Industries Association, has testified in support of tolls and encouraged members to attend the Bond Commission meeting to support the governor’s study.

Gov. Malloy is not running for reelection. The results of the study will be left to a future governor and legislature.

This article was amended to add further comment from Gov. Malloy

Marc E. Fitch

Marc E. Fitch is the author of several books and novels including Shmexperts: How Power Politics and Ideology are Disguised as Science and Paranormal Nation: Why America Needs Ghosts, UFOs and Bigfoot. Marc was a 2014 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow and his work has appeared in The Federalist, American Thinker, The Skeptical Inquirer, World Net Daily and Real Clear Policy. Marc has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Western Connecticut State University. Marc can be reached at [email protected]


  1. Melissa Everett
    July 25, 2018 @ 4:28 pm

    Studying how to implement tolls seems wise. $10M seems awfully pricy. I am inclined to support tolls as a way to encourage reduced driving and fossil fuel use, and to raise revenues for the state safety net; but proponents first should show frugality, and this doesn’t do it!


  2. Richard Wezowicz
    July 25, 2018 @ 5:42 pm

    It would be important to know, specifically, who voted for and against this $10,000,000 bond. Also, has anyone researched the rules regarding bonding, to determine if this toll study fits the criteria for bonding. It seems to me that this type of expenditure should be made part of the budget.
    By the way, are there any other approved bonded items that fit this category? I have read and heard that this administration has used bonding in place of budgeted items in the past, in order to hide additional deficits beyond the 3 billion in taxes and the witholding of grants to cities and towns.


  3. Margaret Scivoletti
    July 25, 2018 @ 6:50 pm

    This is total BULLSHIT! CT will now become a SHITHOLE! Thanks to OBAMA #2.. Now taxes will go way up and people will leave this once nice state! Let’s see how much more damage I can do before I leave office!! DIRTBAG!!!Who ever votes DUMocrat in November deserves to live here and be subjected to socialism..


  4. F McManus
    July 25, 2018 @ 9:05 pm

    Who voted? And how?
    Thank you!


  5. Mike
    July 26, 2018 @ 1:09 pm

    This is absurd and ridiculous! Who in their right mind would spend $10M on a toll study? This is the same governor that said he wouldn’t raise our taxes which was & is a lie!! This governor needs to resign ASAP, he’s an embarrassment to our state!!


  6. Rod
    July 26, 2018 @ 1:47 pm

    They say that tolls will raise $1 billion in revenue, what they don’t tell you is that $500 million of that will be from Ct residents. Thanks Mr. Malloy for raising our taxes as a middle finger as you leave office. Good riddance to the worst governor ever in history.


  7. Mike
    July 27, 2018 @ 12:33 am

    Agree on worst governor in the history of CT. Taxing your way out of a deficit is always a death spiral. Biggest tax increase in state history. Biggest exodus of businesses.Tax the wealthy he said! Then he was surprised when the wealthy left the state. Now…surprise…tolls, aka more taxes. What do you think the effect will be?


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