Gov. Lamont, Democrats agree to trucks-only tolls; Republicans still say no deal
Gov. Ned Lamont and top Democrats decided Tuesday they are universally backing tolls for only heavy trucks -- not passenger cars.
They estimate that would raise about $180 million a year to fixed clogged roads. Democrats even suggested a state Constitutional amendment banning car tolls to prove they'd only be for trucks.
"We believe that there's a better plan that does not involve using the rainy day fund," said State Sen. Bob Duff, a Democrat. "I mean, let's just be clear that the door on tolls for cars is closed. And so we're talking about trucks only right now."
After Tuesday's two-hour meeting, Republicans said they will not support any plan that includes tolls.
"I think it's very difficult for Republicans to support a toll plan, given the fact that there's a 'no toll' plan on the table," said State Sen. Len Fasano, a Republican.
Republicans are pitching a no tolls plan that spends two-thirds of the state's emergency rainy day fund to pay off pensions, freeing up cash for transportation. Tuesday, Democrats said they're willing to spend some of the fund, but not enough to avoid trucks-only tolls.
It is now up to Lamont to convince enough of his fellow Democrats to back a trucks-only plan.