Rep. O’Dea Talks Tolls On-Air with Todd Feinberg – March 26, 2019

Posted on March 29, 2019 by admin


On March 26, CT State Rep. Tom O’Dea (R-New Canaan, Wilton), a member of the Transportation Committee, joined WTIC News Talk host Todd Feinberg to discuss three tolls proposals recently approved by the committee – S.B. 423, H.B. 7202 and H.B. 7280. Rep. O’Dea and fellow Republican members voted against the bills citing multiple concerns:

  • The cost to install and operate tolls

  • The cost to bill individuals who do not have EZ passes or those with unreadable license plates

  • A provision deeming the final tolls plan (drafted by an independent commission) automatically approved within 15 day if the legislature fails to take action – a concern also shared by some Democrats

  • The burden placed on commuters, especially those in areas of Fairfield County where highways like I-95 and the Merritt Parkway are used as local roads

  • The increased operation costs to small businesses, which will ultimately be passed onto consumer who will be higher prices for goods and services

  • A lack of details about the specific tolling locations, rates, and the state’s actual revenue needs

Rep. O’Dea also noted that Gov. Lamont’s proposal deliberately circumvents a Constitutional lockbox approved by Connecticut voters in November, 2018. Once money is in the Special Transportation Fund (STF) the lockbox protects those dollars from potential raids, but the administration’s plan would divert revenue (namely the new car tax) to the General Fund before it even reaches the STF, rending it insolvent in just a few years.