Tolls Public Hearing | Wednesday, March 14th


Given the amount of interest that has been displayed by our community over the potential of tolls being installed in our state, I wanted to ensure that you were informed that the Legislative Transportation Committee will be holding a public hearing this Wednesday, March 14th to discuss several pieces of legislation relating to tolls.


House Bill (H.B.) 5393, An Act Establishing the Connecticut Transportation Finance Authority to Maintain Major State Highways, and Senate Bill (S.B.) 389, An Act Establishing the Connecticut Transportation Authority, would create these authorities upon the authorization of electronic tolling systems for major state highways.


H.B. 5046, An Act Concerning the Sustainability of Transportation Projects, would implement Governor Malloy’s budget recommendations – including the construction, maintenance, and operation of electronic tolling systems.


H.B. 5391, An Act Concerning Transportation Infrastructure, would require the Commissioner of Transportation to conduct studies and satisfy other requirements pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act for the purposes of developing electronic tolling systems on the highways of this state.


Click here to view a full list of the bills being considered on Wednesday.


The Transportation Committee will be receiving public comment on these bills starting at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building (LOB) located at 300 Capitol Avenue in Hartford.


Public speaker order will be determined by a lottery system. Lottery numbers will be drawn from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in Room 2401 of the LOB. Speakers arriving after the completion of the lottery will have their names placed at the end of the speaker list. The Committee asks that you please submit 55 copies of written testimony when you sign up for the lottery in Room 2401. While your written testimony may be as brief or lengthy as you like, oral testimony will be limited to three minutes. 


If you are unable to attend the hearing, you may also email your written testimony in Word or PDF format to Please clearly state your name and the bill number in your email. Please know that all public hearing testimony, written and spoken, is public information. As such, it will be made available on the CGA website and indexed by internet search engines.


Testimony Guidelines are available on the General Assembly’s website.


Please know that as your State Representative,  I will always keep you informed on issues that impact our community.

Rep. Tweedie Reads at Highland Park and Martin Schools


MANCHESTER – On Friday, students and teachers across the state were celebrating both Dr. Seuss’ birthday and Read Across America Day with special activities – including a reading by local legislators! State Representative Mark Tweedie (R-13), member of the Legislative Higher Education  & Employment Advancement Committee, read to classes at Highland Park Elementary School and Martin Elementary School for a fourth year in a row.

“This is one of my favorite days of the year as a legislator,” said Rep. Tweedie. “I have so much fun interacting with the kids and answering their thoughtful questions. I thank both schools for having me and am happy to have had the opportunity to participate in this great effort to get our youth excited about reading.”

Rep. Tweedie read stories selected by students to Mr. Rizzo’s fourth grade class at Highland Park Elementary, Mrs. Giantonio’s first grade class at Martin Elementary and Mrs. King’s fourth grade class also at Martin Elementary.

Highland Park Elementary School.

Martin Elementary School – First Grade.

Martin Elementary School – Fourth Grade.

The National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day is a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually on March 2. Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books.

Toll Myths Debunked


Tolls are a big issue this year. Governor Malloy and majority party leaders have made proposals for tolls to be installed on Connecticut’s highways and earn more revenue for the State of Connecticut. It is now our job to determine whether this is the best way to fund necessary road and bridge repairs and other transportation-related improvements.


I would like to share with you some information (shared by the Yankee Institute) regarding the reality of having tolls installed in our state.


Many Connecticut residents believe that tolls would be limited to our borders, only charging motorists entering and leaving the State of Connecticut. Unfortunately, this is not the whole plan.


Connecticut would install congestion tolls — also known as value pricing tolls — electronic tolling stations that charge variable rates depending on the time of day and traffic congestion. On top of installing them along major highways such as I‑95, I-91, I-84, I-395, I-691, these tolls would be placed along highways within the state as well, including Routes 2, 6, 7, 8 and 15. During times of heavy traffic (i.e. rush hour), toll fees will rise. This type of tolling is therefore meant to reduce congestion by either incentivizing commuters to use highways at off-peak times or carpool. But it can get very expensive; an I-95 congestion tolling study recently conducted by the Department of Transportation shows that a full-length, one-way trip between New Haven and New York during peak hours would cost a commuter $6, while the same trip on the Merritt Parkway would be $5. This January in Washington, D.C. an interstate congestion toll once cost $47.25 during the morning rush hour.


In addition, Connecticut’s Transportation Finance Panel report shows that the state would have to spend $373 million just to set up the proposed tolling systems. According to the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut (MTAC), this number does not even include the millions of dollars that will need to be spent on Environmental Impact studies, studies on traffic diversion, local road congestion and economic impacts.


Because of the costly installation fees, Connecticut will not benefit from increased revenue generated by tolls for two to three years. Meanwhile, Connecticut residents will be paying 70 percent of that revenue given the proposed toll locations.


Finally, federal law unfortunately allows toll revenue to be used for “unrelated transportation projects.” This means that though toll revenue must be spent on transportation-related projects, it does not necessarily have to be used to improve the actual roads that are being tolled. 


I will continue to update you as the debate on tolls develops in Hartford.

TOMORROW: Tell Majority Leaders to Oppose Governor Malloy’s Taxes!


I am sure that you are not surprised, but rather frustrated, to learn that Governor Malloy’s solution for fixing Connecticut’s staggering budget deficit this year is to propose more tax hikes. After the two record-setting, job-killing tax hikes that he has already approved as governor, he is again proposing several more tax hikes.

In Senate Bill Number 10 (S.B. 10), Governor Malloy proposes new or increased taxes and fees on the following:

  • Nonprescription drugs and medicines
  • Gas ($0.07 increase over four years)
  • Hotels
  • Real Estate Conveyances
  • Tires ($3 per tire)
  • Wine and liquor ($0.25 deposit fee per bottle), tea and fruit, sports, and energy drinks ($0.05 deposit fee)
  • College Graduates (via elimination of the $500 income tax credit for science, technology, engineering and math degrees)
  • Businesses (via an extension of surcharges on the corporation tax)
  • Low-income working families and the elderly (via elimination of the $200 property tax credit)

Higher taxes and new fees have failed before and are not the answer to our fiscal problems. Tell the majority party leaders and Governor Malloy what you think tomorrow, March 2, at 12:00 p.m. in Room 2E of the Legislative Office Building. The Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee will be holding a public hearing to discuss S.B. 10.

Here’s how you can make sure that your opinion on this tax bill counts, even if you can’t make it to the hearing:

You can submit written testimony to (please be sure to copy me, Your testimony can be as brief or lengthy as you would like, but please just make sure that you include your name and town, and refer to “S.B. 10” in the subject line and body of your email/testimony.

If you are able to make it tomorrow’s hearing to testify in person, please find this Guide to Testifying on the Connecticut General Assembly’s website.

I encourage you to share this information with friends, family, neighbors, and other fed-up taxpayers and let them know that they can do the same.

Public Hearing on DOT Fare Increases


The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) recently announced that they will be holding a public hearing regarding a proposed $1 increase in the car fare for the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry. The DOT feels that this action is necessary due to an estimated $60 million budget shortfall for transit accounts.


At this hearing, the DOT will provide more information and accept public comments.


When: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Where: Rocky Hill Town Hall

761 Old Main Street, Rocky Hill
Snow date: Wednesday, March 7, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Though this public hearing will focus primarily on the ferry, there are also proposed bus and rail fare increases and service reductions that you may submit written comments about. For more information, please click here.


You may submit written comments by March 9, 2018 to:


Connecticut Department of Transportation

P.O. Box 317546

Newington, CT 06131-7546



The DOT will review and consider all comments received during the public comment period  when approving the final service and fare proposal. The implementation of any service and fare changes is contingent on action by the General Assembly.


The hearing facility is fully accessible to persons with disabilities. Free Language assistance may be requested by contacting the DOT at (203) 497-3374 at least 5 business days prior to the hearing. Persons having a hearing and/or speech disability may dial 711 for Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS).