CT GOP Lawmakers Urge Lamont To Pump Brakes On Border Toll Talk

May 24, 2024

State GOP Lawmakers Urge Lamont To Pump Brakes On Border Toll Talk

A Massachusetts DOT official said she favors highway tolls on the state’s border. The pushback has been pretty robust…

CONNECTICUT — Republican lawmakers in Hartford are calling upon Gov. Ned Lamont to put the skids on any discussion regarding new tolls at the Connecticut/Massachusetts border.

The notion has gained some traction following a suggestion last month from Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary Monica Tibbits-Nutt that drivers coming into her state from New Hampshire and Rhode Island should pay tolls to use Interstates 93 and 95.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healy was quick to clarify that the MassDOT chief’s toll opinions “do not represent the views of this administration.”

On Wednesday, Sen. Republican Leader Stephen Harding, Sen. Henri Martin, Ranking Senator on the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, Sen. John A. Kissel (R-Enfield), Sen. Lisa Seminara (R-Avon) and Sen. Jeff Gordon (R-Woodstock) issued a statement urging Lamont to “tell Massachusetts to forget this bad border tolls idea. It will serve as a tax on Connecticut residents, especially on those who live near the Massachusetts border and who work in Massachusetts. Things are expensive enough for hard-working people and their families. They do not want tolls.”

Pressed during a news conference at Milford’s Silver Sands State Park on Wednesday, Lamont weighed in that border tolls in Massachusetts are “obviously” not a “great idea.” Massachusetts is “trying to pay for their roads and bridges,” Lamont explained, and noted that border tolls hinder tourism and are costly to implement.

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In a second statement issued Thursday, Harding said he appreciated the governor’s sentiment.

“Republicans agree wholeheartedly with the governor: Border tolls are obviously not a great idea,” Harding said. “However, Republicans would go further and say that border tolls are in fact a terrible idea which will kill jobs and tax Connecticut residents. People do not want tolls. They don’t want new taxes. They do not want increases in their cost of living. We know the governor speaks frequently with his counterpart in Massachusetts, and we urge him to convey that simple and blunt message in their next conversation.”