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Bond Commission to vote on funding controversial tolls study

The state Bond Commission is set to vote on a controversial tolls study proposed by Gov. Dannel Malloy.Its mee...

Posted: Jul 25, 2018 12:33 PM
Updated: Jul 25, 2018 12:33 PM

The state Bond Commission is set to vote on a controversial tolls study proposed by Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Its meeting began at 10:30 a.m. in Hartford.

Stream the proceedings here.

Malloy wants to spend $10 million to study electronic highway tolls across Connecticut. He said it wasn't a vote for tolls, but rather a means to look at options.

Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker called the current Republican transportation plan "inadequate."

The DOT said tolls could generate $1 billion a year at 3.5 cents per mile. Forty percent would be paid by out of state drivers.

The study calls for state agencies to look at tolling on major highways including interstates 95, 91, 84 and Route 15.

Some Republicans warned that if it passes through the bond commission, they'll try to go into a special session to block it.

They are not the only group opposed to it.

The Connecticut American Civil Liberties Union is now raising privacy concerns about whether it makes sense to allow the government to track people's driving habits.

The ACLU said electronic tolling uses automatic license plate readers which can tag the time, date and GPS location. The ACLU wants specific privacy protections put in place.

Republican state legislators called the study a waste of taxpayer money.

However, Malloy said it makes sense to look at all the state's options to make sure Connecticut's roads and bridges can be fixed in the future as traditional revenue for transportation declines.

"Those systems will not be sustained for another 50 years," Malloy said. "That's quite clear, so how do you pay to replace those very expensive projects?"

The commission is scheduled to vote on the funding on Wednesday.

Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage of the story.

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