CT moving forward with highway toll study

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FAIRFIELD -

Connecticut is moving forward on a controversial, multimillion-dollar highway toll study.

The State Bond Commission approved the $10 million study Wednesday after more than an hour of debate in front of a packed room. The study will look at where toll readers would go, how much drivers could potentially pay and what kind of discounts in-state drivers would get.

"On many occasions, members of the legislature claimed that they didn't know enough about this issue to take it up," says Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat. "I heard that; you reported that, by the way."

READ MORE: Malloy's remarks at Bond Commission meeting

Republicans say the study is a waste of $10 million. They say the next governor and the next legislature should take out the measure. Even some Democrats, like gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont, called it a waste. State Comptroller Kevin Lembo, also a Democrat, voted against borrowing for the study.

"At this point, with four months left to go in a term, it's probably time to wait -- let the new governor and the new legislature decide," Lembo said.

It's expected to take at least nine months to pick someone to conduct the study. After that, it could take another year or two for federal approvals. So it could be 2022 or later before tolls happen in Connecticut -- and only if lawmakers approve them.

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