Markley: Bond Commission Must Reject Malloy’s $10 Million Toll Study

Contact: Sen. Joe Markley (860-681-4675)

State Sen. Joe Markley, R-Southington, said the State Bond Commission should dismiss “out of hand” a proposed $10 million bond issue that Gov. Dannel Malloy called for today to once again study highway tolling in Connecticut.

Malloy’s Executive Order 67 directs the state Department of Transportation to study the installation of electronic tolls on Connecticut highways, to “include strategies to maximize revenue” from the levies.

“In yet another callous, slap to the face of Connecticut taxpayers and motorists, our lame duck governor ignores the fact that three studies of tolls in Connecticut have already been completed since 2015,” Markley said. “That’s almost 1,000 pages of study already. How is it that we now need another study of this incredibly bad idea?”

The state Bond Commission has been directed by the governor to vote on July 25 to allocate $10 million to pay for the study. “Members of the Bond Commission must exercise their oversight authority and reject this absurd study out of hand,” Markley said. He noted that the governor’s order itself notes that DOT’s “research and analysis” has already shown the agency supports the widespread use of tolls.

“A new state administration will be elected in November, and the issue of tolls will be front and center,” Markley said. “Under no circumstances should this issue be ‘studied’ yet again at a time when our state is broke, and the people of Connecticut have not had the opportunity to weigh in on this policy on Election Day.

“Nor should the legislature allow this latest $10 million down payment on tolls, timed purposefully for when lawmakers are out of session, to move forward.” Markley said. “This is an outrageous use of bonding that we don’t need, don’t want, and can’t afford at a time our state and citizens are already struggling due to excessive taxes and fees.”