HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- Will Connecticut bring back tolls?
Governor Ned Lamont and other lawmakers talked tolls on Sunday morning’s live episode of Face the State with Dennis House.
Lawmakers told Channel 3 that a tolls bill could be up for a vote in the upcoming week, but the recent, final version of the tolls bill has not yet been made public.
Nevertheless, State Senator Cathy Osten (D-19) told Channel 3 the vote is upcoming.
The divisive issue split state Republicans and Democrats as Governor Lamont backtracked on a campaign promise to toll only tractor trailers.
On Sunday morning’s live episode of “Face the State,” Lamont said tolls everyone would bring in $800 million annually.
“Connecticut will only move in a forward direction if we end the gridlock on 95, fix all those broken bridges that are 90 years old, plus, speed up Metro North,” said Governor Lamont.
However, state Republicans oppose tolls.
State Senator Paul Formica (R-20) told Channel 3 the GOP Plan, with federal help, borrows tens of millions of dollars and would begin immediate repair of five critical bridges.
“If we institute tolls in this state, no bridges get fixed for another five years. If tolls get started in five years because the program wouldn’t kick in until 2023,” said Sen. Formica.
To ease the burden of the estimated 50 tolls along Interstates 84, 91, 95 and the Merritt Parkway, Democrats offered concessions in which out-of-state drivers would pay 40% of the overall costs.
While local Connecticut commuters, especially frequent commuters going through the tolls more than 40 times a month, would get discounts.
Democrats said the gas tax would also decrease by 5 cents.
However, many Connecticut disapprove, and voiced their opinions on the steps of the Capitol on Saturday afternoon in Hartford. Between 1,500 and 2,000 people rallied against tolls.
No Tolls CT Founder, Patrick Sasser addressed the crowd.
“People are aggravated, people are fed up with this issue, and this is just our way of letting them know that we’re here,” said Sasser.
Republican Minority Leader Themis Klarides told the crowd she thinks stopping tolls is a long shot.
“It is not looking good, but there’s always a chance. You have to make sure that you are in there (points to Capitol), in their faces, in their offices, every single day because that is the only way they’re going to change their mind,” said Klarides.
A final bill is expected this week, and with that, a vote.
Stay with Channel 3 for updates as this story is developing.