House Republican Leader Themis Klarides Blasts Malloy, Democrats for Wasting $10 Million on Toll Study

Posted on July 25, 2018


HARTFORD – Gov. Malloy and the Democrats on the State Bond Commission who voted to spend $10 million on a dubious toll study thwarted the will of the legislature and people of the state in approving the expenditure, House Republican Leader Themis Klarides said today.

Klarides said Republican lawmakers are gathering signatures for a petition drive to call the legislature back into session and halt the expenditure. Republicans on the commission voted against the $10 million expenditure.

“The legislature purposefully rejected any effort to advance tolls during the regular session. Now a lame duck governor goes around the legislature and against the will of the people of the state in the last months that he is in office,’’ Klarides said. “And Democrats on the Bond Commission did not have the backbone to stop it.’’ She added that the dispute over tolls underscores a lack of leadership on the part of Democrats, from the governor’s office to the legislature.

Republicans need just a few Democrats to join the petition effort to force the special session. A majority of both chambers of the legislature is required to have lawmakers return to Hartford this summer.

Klarides said the public does not support the tolls or the study and when they learn that one previous toll report called for as many as 78 tolling areas in Connecticut support will plummet even more. She pointed out that when tolls were removed from state roads and highways in 1985, there were just 14 tolls.

Republicans have proposed spending $63 billion on road and bridge projects in their Prioritize Progress transportation plan over the next 30 years without raising gas taxes or implementing tolls. Republicans propose dedicating gas taxes for transportation projects only and not raiding the Special Transportation Fund.

Click below to listen to comments from Rep. Chris Davis, Ranking Member on Finance, Revenue and Bonding, during the Bond Commission meeting.