Posted on July 25, 2018 by rjoslyn
HARTFORD – State Representative Gail Lavielle (R-143) signed a legislators’ petition this week to request a special session for the purpose of prohibiting the expenditure of taxpayer funds to study and evaluate the establishment of tolls in Connecticut.
Last week, Governor Dan Malloy issued an Executive Order directing the state Department of Transportation to prepare a plan implementing tolls and study its impacts. On Wednesday, the Bond Commission, which he chairs, approved his request to borrow $10 million for the study.
The study would explore tolls on all major Connecticut highways, including Interstates 95, 91, and 84, along with the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways.
“The governor’s demand for $10 million in bonding to study tolls this summer was surprising, particularly because the legislature just recently twice considered and failed to pass bills that included toll studies: HB 5391 in 2018, and an amendment to HB 6058 in 2017. The Executive Order therefore directly circumvents the clearly expressed will of the legislature,” said Rep. Lavielle. “For that reason, I am joining the members of my caucus in submitting a petition to convene a special session so that the legislature can exercise its authority to direct how taxpayer money is spent and stop a project that we, as well as many of our constituents, feel to be inappropriate.”
Rep. Lavielle expressed her agreement with State Comptroller Kevin Lembo (D-CT), who sits on the Bond Commission and voted to oppose bonding $10 million for a toll study, saying “The Bond Commission should not act as a replacement for legislative action.”
“I hope my colleagues from both parties will recognize their responsibility to defend taxpayers from this attempt to collect more revenue from them and to make them fund yet more borrowing, and sign the petition for a special session,” added Rep. Lavielle.
Legislators have until Thursday, July 27 at noon to submit enough signatures to convene a special session of the General Assembly.