Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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Connecticut GOP tries to harness toll opposition for fundraising

Lamont, a Democrat, has since said that the only way to raise enough money for overdue transportation improvements is to toll all vehicles on 91, 84, 95 and Route 15. Romano’s letter says Connecticut Republicans need to raise $40,000 over the next 21 days and asks supporters to chip-in $500, $250 or $100. “Acting like arrogant kings and queens in a monarchy, the regal Connecticut Democrats love to tell you what to do and take your money and make it their money,” the letter reads. Lamont senior adviser Colleen Flanagan Johnson said the only transportation funding alternative offered by Republicans, a plan known as Prioritize Progress, would take on long-term debt for the state and runs counter to the “debt diet” plan of the governor. “Instead of exploiting the state’s crumbling infrastructure for campaign contributions, we suggest donations to offset the $65 billion loan the Republicans want to saddle the tax payers with to pay for it." Romano said Democrats are creating a false narrative that they have sworn-off bonding. He pointed out the state, under Lamont’s Democratic predecessor, Dannel P. Malloy, and Democratic majorities in the legislature, has bonded for discretionary projects such as playground splash pads. “Bridges and roads is actually what bonding is supposed to be for.” Drivers with Connecticut-issued E-ZPass transponders would pay an average of 4.4 cents per mile during off-peak travel periods, which DOT officials have said is a 30 percent discount off the 6.3-cent-per-mile price for out-of-state vehicles. "Ned Lamont was elected governor last November and he’s doing his job; maybe the Republicans should focus on creative solutions and not schoolyard taunts.” A number of cities and towns have adopted anti-tolling resolutions that are mostly symbolic in nature, but are intended to put pressure on lawmakers to reject Lamont’s plan. There is another one scheduled for May 18 at the Capitol that’s being organized by NoTollsCT.org, which has said it has collected more than 95,000 signatures as part of a petition drive against tolls.