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Truck Toll Special Session Stalls Out

Frankie Graziano
Connecticut Public Radio

It now appears there will be no special session on truck tolls ahead of the regular General Assembly session that starts Wednesday.  

Democrats had been planning for a truck tolls vote Monday or Tuesday.

General Assembly leaders today informed the governor that a special session would not be held.  

Governor Ned Lamont had been pushing for a special session vote.  

His spokesman Max Reiss said Democrats have the votes to approve the transportation funding bill.  

"Senate Democratic leaders have confirmed they have the 18 votes needed to move our state’s economy forward, reduce the state’s carbon footprint and finally make a long overdue investment in transportation. Additionally, House Democratic leaders confirmed they, too, have the votes to improve the state’s infrastructure," Reiss wrote in a statement.

Lamont says tolls are the best way to generate money needed to fix and improve the state’s highway system.  

But Republican House Minority Leader Themis Klarides said the plans for a special session have been postponed because the support is insufficient to approve the measure.  

"Every day that a toll bill is not called, it is a victory for the state of Connecticut," Klarides said.

The Connecticut Mirror reports that neither the house nor the senate wanted to vote first, possibly indicating that Democratic leaders were uncertain if the vote would prevail. 

It can be difficult to get all the lawmakers to attend a special session, especially so close to the start of a regular session.  

On a close vote like this, a majority may need all of its yes votes present.  

The current bill includes fewer toll locations than originally proposed. The tolls would only apply  to large trucks, at a dozen bridges on highways around the state.   

A public hearing on truck tolls scheduled for Friday afternoon is expected to go forward.

Copyright 2020 Connecticut Public Radio

Matt Dwyer produces The Wheelhouse, WNPR's journalist round table and news analysis show. He also and reports for the station. Counting his time in college, Matt has been doing news on the radio in Connecticut since 1996, at stations including WTIC AM, WILI AM/FM, and WHUS FM. He has won regional Murrow Awards and Connecticut AP Awards.
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