Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy pitches highway tolls, gas tax increase

HARTFORD, Connecticut (WABC) -- Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has proposed reinstating highway tolls and increasing the state gas tax by 7 cents to help pay for improvements and maintenance to roads and bridges.

"Investment in transportation is investment in Connecticut's economic future," Malloy said. "But for decades, our state has chronically underfunded our roads, bridges, tunnels, and rails, and as a result our infrastructure consistently ranks among the worst in the nation. Without new revenues this year, we face a transportation cliff."

The Democratic governor announced his transportation plan Wednesday, saying it would prevent fare increases and service reductions on rail lines and bus routes.

Malloy is calling for statewide electronic tolling beginning in July 2022. He also wants a $3 per tire fee on tire purchases.

The governor said the money is needed because the state's transportation fund is expected to go into deficit this year, which has forced officials to suspend more than $4 billion in transportation projects.

"We will be forced to make draconian cutbacks, affecting even routine maintenance," he said. "If we want to revitalize our urban centers and attract the jobs of tomorrow, we absolutely must ensure the solvency of the Special Transportation Fund, and we must do it early in this legislative session. We can no longer afford to wait. It's time for action."

Tolls were eliminated in Connecticut following a crash at an Interstate 95 tollbooth in Stratford in 1983 that killed seven people.

The Special Transportation Fund finances the state's entire transportation system, including the operating costs of the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) and all of the services it provides.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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