Toll protesters hit Stamford; call it ‘another tax,’ criticize Lamont
Several rallies against Gov. Ned Lamont’s changing stance on tolls were held this week, including one Saturday at the Stamford Government Center.
Speaking in Hartford last week, the governor proposed tolls as a way of fixing roads, bridges and Metro-North.
"Tolls are another tax. People in Connecticut are already struggling to live here, so putting tolls on our roads is not a way to help the people in Connecticut," says Patrick Sasser, an organizer behind the group No Tolls CT.
Former Republican candidate for governor, Bob Stefanowski, says this is a spending issue and the money should come from budget cuts, specifically from departments in Hartford.
"They should look at cutting costs first,” says the former gubernatorial candidate. “If you look at the budget that was rolled out this week, there's very little cost cuts. In fact, the expenses are going up. So before you come at the hardworking taxpayers of Connecticut for even more money, cut some costs up in Hartford."
Gov. Lamont argues that tolls would create revenue to bring the state’s transportation into the 21st century.
"If we're really going to try to accelerate fixing our roads and bridges, accelerating Metro-North…we need a broader tolling system. We ought to get started on that now,” he says.
Gov. Lamont changed his stance on tolls to be much broader after he learned the money from just tractor-trailers would not be enough to fix the state's transportation issues.
No Tolls CT hopes its voice can still be heard before the budget is finalized.
“We want our lawmakers to make sure that they understand there is a huge movement and a huge group of people in our state that oppose tolls," says Sasser.