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Tolls to be “Deemed Approved” After 15 Days Without Vote By Legislature in Latest Bill

A tolling bill crafted by the Connecticut Transportation Committee contains a provision which allows a tolling proposal by the Connecticut Department of Transportation to pass without a vote by the legislature.

According to Raised Bill 7280, the General Assembly will have only 15 days to vote on tolling recommendations from the Connecticut Department of Transportation after an informational hearing, otherwise the tolling proposal will pass and be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration.

The DOT may then begin construction of the tolling gantries on the proposed roads and enter into agreements with toll operators, according to the language in the bill.

Although the bill specifies DOT shall make recommendations for tolls on I-84, I-95, I-91 and the Merritt Parkway – similar to the governor’s bill – it also leaves open the possibility for tolls on other highways as well.

The tolling proposal “may include implementing electronic tolling systems on other limited access highways, or portions thereof, if the commissioner determines such implementation is necessary and provides the rationale for such implementation.”

The DOT’s latest tolling study called for 82 tolling gantries on all highways throughout the state to raise $1 billion in yearly revenue. Gov. Lamont has proposed tolling only the interstates and the Merritt Parkway, but reversed his campaign pledge to only toll trucks.

Although this is not first time the legislature will have ceded its authority through a deemed approved clause, the fifteen-day limit is short. Until 2017, union contracts were deemed approved after 30 days, resulting in 124 contracts being passed without a vote in either chamber between 1991 and 2017. 

Despite the bill’s language allowing the state to immediately begin construction of the toll gantries, the state would still need the approval of the Federal Highway Administration, which has already said Connecticut is in “new territory,” because no other state has undertaken tolling existing highways – and certainly not all the existing highways.

But time may be of the essence for the state’s Special Transportation Fund. Gov. In his budget proposal, Gov. Ned Lamont balances the state budget, in part, by withholding sales tax revenue from the STF, leaving the fund bankrupt within two years and depriving the transportation fund by over $729 million by 2024.

Unless the tolls are up and running by that point, the state’s ability to borrow and spend money on fixing roads and bridges could be in serious jeopardy.

Lamont hopes the tolls will be installed and collecting revenue by 2023.

The bill would also create the Connecticut Transportation Finance Authority, made up of thirteen members including three senators, three representatives, gubernatorial appointees and commissioners of various state departments, including DOT.

The Transportation Authority will be able to set toll rates, approve capital plans, establish an “infrastructure bank” and issue bonds.

The bill crafted by the Transportation Committee constitutes a wish-list for Democratic leadership, which has pushed separate bills in the past for tolls or a transportation authority with the ability to implement tolls and an infrastructure bank. 

The bill is one of several which will receive a public hearing before the Transportation Committee on Wednesday March 6, but the anti-toll movement in Connecticut has been gaining steam over recent weeks.

No Tolls CT has held a series of rallies across the state, prompting some local transportation committees to recommend passing town resolutions against tolls in Trumbull and Stamford. The Town of Enfield passed a resolution opposing tolls.

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Marc E. Fitch

(21) Comments

  1. Ben Fletcher

    March 25, 2019 9:56 am

    Years back they removed the tolls I believe primarily do to several horrific accidents at the tolls. At that time they instituted a gas tax to replace the to1l funds and which were designated specifically and only for our roadway repairs and upgrades. Nothing else!!!
    Since then, our F’ing liberals in office who sadly we elected for some reason cannot get their heads out of each others asses and cannot understand the concept that the rest of us have to live by……….. you cannot spend more money than you earn or you end up BROKE. It’s a very simple concept but our elected officials seem to always rely on earning more money so they can spend more instead of cutting spending like most of us have to. WTF.
    They raided these highway funds to create more government jobs and re-allocated the funds for their special interest needs. Have you ever watched how quickly the employees within our government agencies function ?? These people could never work in the private sector where you actually have to produce at a significant pace in order to keep your job. Because the businesses need to be profitable !! But noooooo, not these people and it’s extremely hard for them to lose their job. Yes, I believe there are some who actually do accomplish quite a bit each day. Thank God for them. Government employees have to do something almost criminal to be considered for termination while the rest of us live in a state where employers can terminate at will.
    Our elected officials also raided the Casino funds that were specifically earmarked for “Education” and one of the reasons the casinos were even allowed. Yes, for years they have redirected these funds to their special projects and again they look for ways to replace those funds by taxing individuals and businesses who create legitimate jobs for us who work outside the government. Yes we need government employees but not to the extent these liberal officials have created. If they allowed businesses to be profitable within this state those government jobs would end up in the private sector and we all benefit. Instead they are driving out MAJOR employers within the state due to their need to spend MORE not LESS.
    So, my suggestion is not to implement any of these tolls. First of all…… the quantity is absurd. I mean……….Really are you kidding me ??
    Again, the cost to construct this mass quantity of tolls and monitor is a huge expense for guess who…… Hello ??
    I believe we should just increase the existing gas tax (No expense to accomplish) to address some of the current needs which are now significant (Bridges for one) but this needs to be a temporary fix and progressively lowered while at the same time we break out the carving knife and reduce expensed that desperately needs to be done to salvage this state. Stop the Bleeding……….Now or we will just bleed out.

  2. John Thomas

    March 21, 2019 6:23 pm

    Before Malloy left office, he arranged with the unions no CT workers could be layed off. These are the back room deals that are killing the state. CT residents are becoming the new slaves to corrupt politicians who only care about selling out the hardworking citizens to illegals and low income with the logic these are the people who will help them keep their jobs. CT residents are the biggest cowards that let these politicians walk all over them. Look at Lamont – the guy lies to get into office on no tolls and a few weeks after getting in office he said we are getting tolls. This was all figured out ahead of time as they set up a new Toll organization in CT hiring their buddies for big paying jobs. The control you by calling you a racist, a instill fear to speak up. There has got to be a hero to come into this state and clean up. Did you know most of the people getting state and city pensions have left the state? They took their money and ran leaving the slaves of taxes behind. This trend will continue and the result will be illegals, low income, minorities and old people left and when that happens, the state will naturally collapse. When Medicare for all hits, even doctors will have to take pay cuts as it seems medical and hospitals support this state. Toll money can only be used on roads and the state has not been spending money on roads, which means tolls will not solve the states debt problem unless they illegally shift money from tolls to other areas. From what I have seen, this is what the crooks will do.

  3. Peter V.

    March 21, 2019 9:57 am

    To contrive a bill that triggers automatic passage after 15 days is abhorrent! Members of the state house and senate are doing it because they think that you won’t be able to point your finger at anyone specifically. What a bunch of cowards! For doing this evil deed they may very well be cursed!

  4. Steven Lockhart

    March 20, 2019 7:56 pm

    government lamont is an ass hole liar let him pay the tolls gor everyone we don’t need tolls tax id to high on every thing enough is enough he should be kicked out pf office for lying

  5. Rick Rasemus

    March 7, 2019 3:44 pm

    Know who your state representatives are, then…… use your VOTE next time to vote them OUT!!!

  6. john q public

    March 7, 2019 1:37 pm

    you idiots wanted a democrat in office,open up your wallets asswipes,be careful what you wish for,the smart people will leave connecticut,we,ll make room for all the illegal immigrants you idiots voted to keep here,start learning your new language amigos,good luck with your imploding state….

  7. Vincent Turcio

    March 6, 2019 6:04 pm

    When will the tax assault stop in this state. The sanctuary state that gives the poor and illegals everything and kills the middle class. There is legislation also for low income not to pay tolls. This is why the state is always broke. You can only take so much before the people rebel!

  8. Kim

    March 6, 2019 12:02 am

    There is not only no attempt by Dems to make cuts, but tolls will ensure that they get whatever they want in the future, paid for by toll revenue. I got ‘surveyed’ by the office of my new State Senator, Norm Needleman’s office last night. They wanted to know if I approved of a proposed bill to give everyone 12 weeks of paid sick leave. When I asked how this would be paid for, I was told that we would only need a ‘small tax’ of 1 percent of payroll tax. No end in sight of what we can do to help the State of CT carry out it’s agenda.

  9. John L Fritz

    March 5, 2019 8:55 pm

    I want to grab the nearest legislature member by the collar (figuratively) and scream “WHERE THE EFF HAS ALL THE DAMN MONEY GONE!!”. We have the highest goddamn taxes in the universe and the lawmakers still cry “OH GEE WE’RE JUST BARELY SQUEAKING BY HERE!!! GIVE US MORE!!!”

  10. Annmarie Altieri

    March 5, 2019 4:37 pm

    No tolls for CT residents we pay enough.! And get nothing. I drive the highways every day and those that cause the most expense are the out of staters who use CT as a cut through to their vacation homes in ME, MA RI, wherever, cause accidents, creating expenses for our the state via emergency services, and the extra traffic tears up the roads by simple utilization. Each day driving on the roads no exaggeration the ratio is 1 CT plate to 5 out of state plates. Charge them not us.

  11. T.T

    March 4, 2019 6:09 pm

    Tax when you buy any vehicle , property tax on the vehicle , tax on repairing vehicle , tax on the parts to repair vehicle , separate taxes reserved just for tires ONTOP of tax , tax on every gallon of fuel for the vehicle , taxes on registration, taxes on insurance …. soon tolls. Taxation without representation (read i.e sanctuary state , excessive ridiculous feel good legislation) coupled with double dipping. #notmystate….formuchlonger

  12. Carol Reynolds

    March 3, 2019 8:07 pm

    Why don’t they let the people vote on the tolls? IT should not be passed unless the legislature approves.

  13. Mark

    March 3, 2019 4:12 am

    This is a study to get tacit permissions for the federal DOT to study whether or not the sites for tolls on CT highways fit national guidelines.

    THIS DOES NOT ENACT TOLLS. Tolls, once approved as to highways and locations by the federal DOT would still have to be enacted by the CT legislature and signed into law by the governor.

  14. Anselmo

    March 2, 2019 10:19 pm

    NO TOLLS!

  15. Richard J. Klauser

    March 2, 2019 9:02 pm

    I have several issues with this proposal on the installation of tolls on Connecticut highways.
    The first being that Governor Lamont, was very coy in regard to tolls in Connecticut. That’s alright fool me once, I am sorry, fool me again, you very sorry. One Term Lamont.
    I don’t believe the Governor has any concerns about the residual impact of the tolls on goods, services, transportation and infrastructure of the surrounding towns along the toll roads. He has a cavalier attitude about the whole process.
    Last but not least, there seems to be ambiguous information about the implementation of the tolls, and the governing body that decides location and rates. Governor Lamont at this time doesn’t have the approval of the Federal Highway Administration. The magnitude of this proposal is way out of line. I see it as a money grab, with no controls as to accountability.
    The states has a spending problem, cut back on entitlements stop enticing people to come to Connecticut who expand our welfare, we have to take care of the people of Connecticut first.

  16. Michael Bachand

    March 2, 2019 5:53 pm

    I can hardly afford to put gas in my car to go to the places I have to go ,now this lying IDIOT Governor wants to put these tolls all over the highways so I won’t be able to go anywhere ! this is why so many people are leaving this state . This state is going down hill fast and there is no end in site ! Their Tax & Spend will never end !

  17. Gregg Livesay

    March 2, 2019 9:23 am

    Personal property taxes on our vehicles. Number 6 on the list of the 10 states with the highest gas tax above the 18.1% Federal rate. Rising property taxes. WHAT THE HELL HAVE THEY DONE WITH ALL OF THIS MONEY!!!! WHY IS NO ONE DEMANDING ANSWERS!!!

    • So Depressed with this Blue State

      March 5, 2019 2:50 pm

      Ask the unions.

    • Vincent Turcio

      March 6, 2019 6:06 pm

      When will the tax assault stop in this state. The sanctuary state that gives the poor and illegals everything and kills the middle class. There is legislation also for low income not to pay tolls. This is why the state is always broke. You can only take so much before the people rebel!

  18. Barb B

    March 2, 2019 3:50 am

    Our forefathers wanted this country to be free. Liberty Justice and equality. For the people and by the people. I don’t see us being included in these actions. It is becoming like Russia. You do what we say or you’re in prison forever. I’m so tired of living here.

    • Ivan

      March 4, 2019 8:17 pm

      Why Russia? Why is Russia, which has only 13% federal income flat tax rate for all her citizens even mentiomed here? Have you ever been to Mother Russia to speak about her this way or you take all your info from the Russophobic MSM?

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