Details remain fuzzy as state Finance Committee OK's highway toll plan

Posted: Updated:
HARTFORD -

Democrats admitted on Wednesday that they have been vague about their final toll plan on purpose. They say there is a lot of misinformation circulating, so they are keeping some details under wraps as negotiations continue with federal highway officials.

“I’ve actually advised and begged Roland to be very vague with the details until the plan’s finalized, because the problem is, is if you say it once and it changes, next thing you know, you’re lying to the public,” says State Representative Joe Aresimowicz, the Democratic house speaker.

Democrats say that some key details, like exact locations for toll readers and exact revenue targets, won’t be known until after lawmakers approve the tolls and a consultant does a detailed analysis.

“The numbers that you’ve associated with prior plans were never actually plans, they were studies about what different types of tolling operations could generate,” says State Rep. Roland Lemar.

It is known at this point that tolls would be placed on all three interstates and the Merritt Parkway if the plan were to go through. Though not guaranteed in the legislation, Gov. Lamont says the rates would be about 4 cents per mile with deep discounts for in-state drivers. The governor has also offered to freeze rates for three years.

Last week, 100,000 people signed a petition against implementing the tolls.

Aresimowicz said If there are enough Democratic votes for tolls, his chamber could hold a vote as early as next week.

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