Connecticut Senate Republicans release 'no toll' transportation savings plan

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Connecticut Senate Republicans Thursday unveiled their plan for transportation reform in the state, which excludes the use of tolls.

The plan is being called FASTR CT, Fiscal Accountability & Sustainable Transportation Reform CT.

Republican state Sen. Len Fasano, of North Haven, made the announcement in Hartford.

It includes most of the road projects Gov. Ned Lamont wants, including widening or re-aligning bottlenecks along I-95. It also promises to shave 20 minutes off the I-95 commute.

“We simply cannot support tolls,” Fasano says. “We can’t do it.”

Fasano says the plan involves using two-thirds of Connecticut's “Rainy Day” fund in order to pay off pensions and produce an annual savings for transportation.

"Whether it was 82 gantries, 53 gantries, or currently the 14 gantries that are being proposed, it was very clear -- the people do not want tolls because they are taxed enough," said Sen. Henri Martin, of Bristol.

The Republicans' plan seeks to use the state’s budget reserves to pay down pension liabilities, which would produce an annual savings of $130 million that could be spent on transportation.

"This is not a raid on the emergency fund,” Fasano says. “This is a great investment in ourselves. We've taxed people to the point where we have extra money.”

Gov. Lamont's office has not responded to the plan, but he may have to compromise as his own party told him Wednesday that tolls are dead on arrival.

MORELamont gets pushback on tolls from Senate Democrats 

Sen. Will Haskell, of Westport, who supports tolls, is entertaining the latest plan.

"My first choice for funding would be tolls," he said, "but if we have to fund it another way, let's get creative."

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