Fasano Demands Lamont Call Off Trucks-Only Toll Plan; Republicans Have Only Viable Transportation Plan

December 6, 2019

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) is demanding Gov. Lamont call off his proposal to toll trucks in Connecticut set to be released today following a federal appeals court decision issued late yesterday. The decision advances the trucking industry’s lawsuit challenging Rhode Island’s truck-only tolls as a violation of the U.S. Constitution, which contends that Rhode Island’s tolling program is unconstitutionally discriminatory against out-of-state entities under the dormant Commerce Clause. Fasano released the following statement.

“Gov. Lamont said he would be releasing a new proposal to toll trucks by the end of this week. In light of yesterday’s federal appeals court decision advancing the lawsuit in Rhode Island over truck tolls, Gov. Lamont needs to call off his trucks-only tolling plan. Today it is clear that Republicans have the only viable transportation plan.

“The court’s decision gives credence to the trucking industry’s challenge. It ties up this issue in litigation for years to come, leaves doubt and uncertainty in the ability to toll only trucks, and creates significant economic risk for taxpayers. The only transportation plan that is viable today is the Senate Republican no-tolls, no-tax-increase plan FASTR CT. If Gov. Lamont is serious about transportation infrastructure and moving Connecticut forward, let’s get together now and advance the Republican plan through the legislature.

“Tolling trucks sets us up for failure and leads us down a path to car tolls. A lawsuit creates serious financial risk for taxpayers and the governor’s plan could leave Connecticut with little choice but to expand tolls to cars to avoid legal jeopardy. Yesterday’s federal appeals court decision affirmed the fact that there is a viable claim that tolling only trucks violates the U.S. constitution. Tolling trucks puts Connecticut taxpayers at risk of a lawsuit, damages, and money to be paid back to truckers. Once gantries are built it also leaves us vulnerable for lawmakers to push for car tolls with the argument that it’s the only way to avoid a legal challenge. It sets up Connecticut residents for car tolls.

“We are not even finished settling one massive lawsuit with the state’s hospitals, and Democrats want to lead us into another. The hospital lawsuit, the result of Gov. Malloy and legislative Democrats’ broken promises and irresponsible budgeting, is going to cost state taxpayers at the very least $900 million, just to settle. Taxpayers cannot afford to walk into another lawsuit, which puts us at risk for not only more financial burdens like paying back truckers and paying back the $75 million needed to build the toll gantries, it also puts us all at risk for having to pay car tolls to make ends meet.”