HARTFORD, CT – Democratic legislative leaders canceled the Feb. 3 special session on truck-only tolls.
The public hearing will still be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31.
There was no immediate reason given for the cancellation. However, sources said Republican lawmakers planned to talk the bill overnight until the regular session is scheduled to start Wednesday, Feb. 5.
Larry Perosino, a spokesman for House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, said they still expect to vote on the legislation within the first week of the regular session.
Some speculated that the cancellation of the special session means the Democrat-controlled House and Senate don’t have the votes to approve truck-only tolls.
House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, said the old adage is, “‘When you have the votes, you vote.’ They don’t have the votes for a draft bill we are going to air tomorrow, which could change radically by the time the Democrats decide, if they ever can, to ram through this legislation and shatter the recognized legislative process at a later date.”
She added that “Democrats are desperate to avoid public scrutiny at all levels, and that has been made clear by them pulling the plug on this process, at this point. We are prepared to debate this issue until the good, hardworking people of Connecticut are satisfied we have represented their interests. They don’t want tolls.’‘
Max Reiss, a spokesman for Gov. Ned Lamont, said that’s not true.
“Senate Democratic leaders have confirmed they have the 18 votes needed to move our state’s economy forward, reduce the state’s carbon footprint and finally make a long-overdue investment in transportation. Additionally, House Democratic leaders confirmed they, too, have the votes to improve the state’s infrastructure,” Reiss said. “Democratic legislators have presented the only responsible bill to impose tolls on trucks-only, combined with historically low federal financing – which we support and look forward to its eventual passage. The alternatives are unacceptable: doing nothing, or raising taxes on the middle class and dipping into our state’s budget reserves, two things Republicans support.”