CT Sens. Kelly & Harding Express Disappointment Over Dems’ Passage of “TCI on Steroids”

March 24, 2023

For Immediate Release

Kelly, Harding Express Disappointment
Over Passage Of Plan to Make Home Heating Oil and Gasoline More Expensive

Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) and Sen. Stephen Harding (R-Brookfield) today expressed disappointment after Democrats in the legislature’s Environment Committee advanced the Governor’s bill which will make home heating oil and gasoline more expensive and resembles “TCI on steroids.”  All Republicans on the committee voted no on the bill after making several unsuccessful attempts to amend it in order to better protect Connecticut farmers and consumers.

“Majority Democrats think middle class families do not pay enough for home heating oil and gas and groceries,” said Sen. Kelly.  “They think middle class families haven’t sacrificed enough, and they want to put their hands in our pockets again.  That’s the only explanation for the advancement of this bill.  Connecticut families deserve better, yet every year the Majority has a bullseye on their wallets. Connecticut residents didn’t want this misguided proposal two years ago, but Democrats clearly think middle class families want more of it today. We urge residents to continue calling Democrat lawmakers to urge them to stop advancing Bill 1145.”

“Republicans want clean air and clean water,” Sen. Kelly added. “That’s why we recently proposed ‘A Better Way for an Accountable Connecticut’ which seeks to inject transparency into the billions of dollars of federal funds coming to our state.  Connecticut’s government is awash in money, from the overcollection of middle class taxes in the billions to the historic amount of Covid relief and transportation infrastructure dollars we are  receiving.  Republicans want to make sure this money makes a transformational impact by addressing air pollution, helping in the fight to combat asthma, and boosting green initiatives particularly in our urban areas.  But the Majority doesn’t want to hear our ideas.  Instead, they are supporting Bill 1145, which delegates the legislature’s decision-making authority to a bureaucrat who will implement new taxes in the form of ‘market-based compliance mechanisms’ without legislative approval.  The Majority’s inconsistency on the issue of greenhouse gases and improving our environment is apparent, and we will continue to point that out to the public.”

House Democrats can be reached at 860 240-8500.  Senate Democrats can be reached at 860 240-8600.

“This bill is undoubtedly going to raise costs for Connecticut families,” said Sen. Harding. “I voted ‘no’ because this bill represents new taxes on everyone while ceding the legislature’s authority to an unelected state bureaucrat. We all want cleaner air, but this is the wrong way to go about it.  This bill would effectively tax everything from Connecticut cow flatulence to residential chimney emissions. Connecticut’s most vulnerable families will be forced to pay more.  The burden of environmental policy must not fall on those who are least able to pay. This is Big Government run amok, and Republicans will continue to speak out against this bad bill until we stop its progress.”

The last time the legislature considered this type of legislation, polling showed that 82% of Connecticut residents felt that the additional fees and costs would place an unfair burden on low- and middle-income residents.

Republicans had warned about the bill’s negative impacts earlier this week.