Gov. Malloy takes the wheel for road toll study

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FAIRFIELD -

Gov. Dannel Malloy's ordering of a $10 million study on electronic tolls in Connecticut revved up mixed reactions Wednesday.

Toll discussions among state lawmakers stalled a few months ago, so the governor has decided to change lanes and explore the idea on his own.

State Sen. Tony Hwang says Malloy, who is on his way out of office, should leave the matter for the next governor. 

"To issue an executive order that defies the legislative intent for the entire body that represented our communities is arrogant and an overreach," he says.

Jim Cameron, the founder of the Community Action Group, says he's not crazy about the governor resorting to an executive order -- but it's a necessity to get the state revenue.

"The critics of tolls can't have it both ways," he says. "We can't say we don't know what tolling is going to be about if they're not willing to support a study."

The study would assess the impact of tolls on highways including Interstates 95, 91 and 84 as well as the Wilbur Cross and Merritt parkways. It would also explore giving discounts and tax credits to Connecticut residents, reducing the gas tax and the environmental impact of tolls.

The State Bond Commission plans to consider the funding next week.

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