Yesterday Connecticut governor Ned Lamont said that he was abandoning his controversial truck-only toll plan after legislative leaders failed to schedule a vote on the bill.
On Wednesday, Lamont held a press conference during which he said that he would abandon his plan for truck-only tolls this year after lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly failed on multiple occasions to schedule a vote on the proposal.
Lamont told reporters, “If these guys aren’t willing to vote and step up, I’m going to solve this problem. Right now, we’re going to go back to the way we’ve done it for years in this state when we kept kicking the can down the road.”
Lamont had planned to place toll gantries at 12 locations throughout Connecticut to collect tolls from commercial vehicles only. When this version of the plan debuted late last year, House Democrats estimated that it could generate $150 million in revenue per year — in large part from out of state truckers.
Lamont said that instead of tolling trucks to pay for infrastructure, Connecticut would instead borrow $200 million to pay for an infrastructure/transportation improvement plan dubbed “CT2030.”
Lamont has abandoned and revived the truck-only toll plan before. On the campaign trail in 2018, Lamont told voters that he believed he could generate anywhere from $100 million to $200 million from truck-only tolling. After he was elected and in the face of harsh criticism from trucking groups and anti-tolling groups, Lamont backed off from the plan, admitting in an op-ed that “the truck-only option provides too little revenue, too slowly and too piecemeal to make a meaningful difference.”
After Lamont took office in 2019, he announced a new plan to toll both cars and trucks, then succumbed to pressure from House Democrats to drop cars from the proposal and revive the truck-only toll plan.
Though Lamont has pulled the plug on plans for truck-only tolls for this year, there is no reason to believe that the plan is totally defeated. Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano told NBC New York, “Nothing’s dead in this building. Back up again this session? I might be a little bit surprised. Back up again in 2021, I think you could probably bank on it.”