HARTFORD, CT — In addition to attempting to override one of Gov. Ned Lamont’s vetoes Monday, the General Assembly is expected to approve school construction funds for eight schools in seven towns.
Schools in Bridgeport, Enfield, Norwalk, Simsbury, Fairfield, Middletown, and Newington will receive funding under the legislation, according to a draft copy of the language.
However, negotiations on the annual bond package, which is the amount of money Connecticut borrows for infrastructure improvements, have hit a wall.
Lamont’s offer to use $100 million a year in general obligation bonding on transportation created a new wrinkle for lawmakers who don’t know why they need to cut bond authorizations that may or may not get approved by the governor.
The additional bonding for transportation would be in lieu of a more robust tolling proposal. Lamont initially proposed putting up more than 50 tolling gantries along four highways, but that proposal went nowhere during the regular legislative session.
The suggestion that lawmakers would have to reduce the amount of bonding they authorize in order to dedicate more money to transportation has them scratching their heads.
The governor controls the Bond Commission agenda and can decide how much bonding to allocate in any given year.
Senate President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, said last week that cutting the bond authorizations and earmarking money for transportation is largely “symbolic.”
Looney said the governor has yet to flesh out exactly what the reduced tolling proposal would look like.
It could be limited to tolls on cars and trucks as they pass over 10 or more bridges.
“None of it has been pinned down with any precision,” Looney said.
Administration sources say truck-only tolling not being considered since the federal government won’t allow congestion pricing only on trucks.
Looney and House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, said they are awaiting more details from the administration and that lack of detail has slowed negotiations.
On Friday, Aresimowicz and House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, both said negotiations on the annual bond package are ongoing.
“We’re still working on it,” Aresimowicz said.
Klarides called it a “work in progress.”
She said there have been no conversations between the leaders on the bond package. It’s happening at the staff level with the co-chairs of the bonding subcommittee, but it has not risen to the level of leadership negotiations with the governor.
The General Assembly will convene at 10 a.m. Monday. They also are expected to pass some land conveyance bills that never made it through the state Senate.