Fasano, Klarides: Transportation, Bonding Votes Should Not be Delayed

December 11, 2019

Democrats’ Delay Shows Municipal Aid Remains a Hostage for Toll Votes


Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) today responded to Gov. Lamont and Democrat legislative leaders’ announcement that they are delaying a vote until January on a transportation plan and bonding package, including needed municipal aid that helps pay for snow clean up. The Republican leaders issued the following joint statement:


“Why are we delaying a vote on improving transportation, something the governor has said is so important it cannot wait any longer? If Democrats want tolls so badly, they should have a vote now and let the public see where they stand.  If Democrats don’t have the votes, they need to be honest with the public. Republicans are more than willing to vote on our no-tolls transportation plan.


“If Democrats really had enough votes to pass tolls, they’d be acting now, holding a public hearing early next week and voting before Christmas. Instead, the Governor is delaying transportation votes again, and delaying a vote on a bonding package. It shows that the votes do not exist today for tolls and municipal aid remains a hostage. Democrats continue to fail to deliver on the promises they have made to the public to deliver solutions.


“Let’s schedule a public informational hearing and debate both the Republican and Democrat transportation proposals in a special session next week. They can put their toll proposal up for a vote, and Republicans will put our no-tolls plan on the board too. House and Senate Republicans will vote for the Republican no-tolls plan, and Democrats will have to make a choice between tolls or no-tolls. The Republican transportation plan legislation is substantially drafted. Knowing the governor wanted to pass tolls before Thanksgiving, we assume the governor is equally, if not further along, in writing his toll legislation, making a public informational hearing and vote entirely feasible for next week.


“Cities and towns are being used as pawns by the governor who is tying a vote on the bonding package to a vote on tolls. The only transportation plans on the table, the Republican plan and the Democrats’ varying plans, all rely on the same amount of General Obligation bonding: $100 million annually. So there’s absolutely no need to delay voting on a bonding package, because we all agree on how much GO bonding should go toward transportation.


“While a bonding meeting will happen next week, it won’t advance Town Aid Road funding and it leaves significant uncertainty about whether or not the governor really will stick with a ‘debt diet’ and what that means for cities and towns. Instead it will start the slow drip of political handouts while the entirety of bonding for the next year remains unknown. Snow removal funds our towns count on will remain a bargaining chip to hold over lawmakers’ heads. It’s politics at its worst.”