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Legislative committee votes to send bills on tolls to the House and Senate

HARTFORD  — The Transportation Committee has voted to send three bills to the legislature, that would bring tolls to the state.

The bill, HB 7202, An act concerning the sustainability of Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure, is the governor’s bill on tolls. Now that the bill has passed committee, it will still need to be voted on by House and Senate, and where there could be amendments and changes. The three toll bills were all 23-13 final votes, all along party lines.

SB 423, is a bill from transportation committee that also sets up tolls and would authorize the Commissioner of Transportation to construct, maintain and operate electronic tolling systems on Interstate 84, Interstate 91, Interstate 95 and portions of Connecticut Route 15 to fund transportation projects. That bill also was passed out of committee.

Another  measure, HB 7280, would require the Commissioner of Transportation to submit a tolling proposal to the General Assembly; and create the Connecticut Transportation Finance Authority. It passed as well.

Opponents of tolls on Connecticut highways have made their opinions known before lawmakers.

The politically conservative Yankee Institute for Public Policy set up a large inflatable “Toll Troll” on Tuesday on the front lawn of the state Capitol, surrounded by dozens of signs marking proposed tolling gantries.

Organization President Carol Platt Liebau says lawmakers are “very determined” to pass a tolling bill this year. But she says her organization has heard an outcry from angry taxpayers, both Republicans and Democrats.

Neil Tolhurst, of New Hartford, stood outside the Capitol holding a sign that read “Democrats against tolls.” He says “no state has 53 or 83 tolls,” referring to the various recommendations.

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