Sen. Kane: “Gov. Malloy has not met a tax he does not like.” (Hartford Courant)

April 10, 2015

Article as it appeared in the Hartford Courant

At a rally to support boosting federal funding for transportation projects Thursday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy declined to say whether he was in favor of raising the federal gasoline tax to pay for transportation.

Three different reporters asked Malloy essentially the same question about boosting the gasoline tax.

When a veteran television reporter eventually asked Malloy if he would use the “T” word for taxes, Malloy responded, “We need a funding source – so I’m going to use the F word.”

Some members of the crowd at the cavernous Great Hall at the Union Station railroad depot in Hartford burst out laughing and started clapping.

As the back and forth continued, a veteran Waterbury newspaper reporter said he was still not clear on Malloy’s position on the issue. Malloy responded the matter was up to the members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation and their fellow colleagues in Washington, D.C.

“I support an increase in funding, and how that gets done is up to the Congress of the United States,” Malloy told reporters. “I don’t get a vote on whether the Senate or the House are going to increase the gas tax.”

Sen. Rob Kane, the ranking Republican senator on the budget-writing appropriations committee, said he thought that Malloy would have taken a stance on the federal gasoline tax.

“I’m surprised by his non-answer,” Kane said. “In my mind, Governor Malloy has not met a tax he does not like. For him not to take a position on it is surprising to me.’’

Kane said the legislature has plenty of work to do if it can pass a two-year, $40 billion budget and a massive transportation plan before the General Assembly adjourns on June 3.

“We, as a caucus, offered a transportation plan that required no new taxes, no new tolls and would have bonded it,” Kane said. “The governor dismissed it almost immediately because it wasn’t his idea. I think we can find a solution to the transportation problem.’’