By Mark Pazniokaswww.ctmirror.org
With passage far from certain, the House of Representatives postponed a debate promised for tonight on a bill authorizing the state Department of Transportation to install a system of electronic tolls on major highways in Connecticut.
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, said Democrats were considering changes that would give the legislature more control over the final process, a change that might pick up votes in the closely divided House.
Planning and installation of overhead toll gantries, which would record either the signal of an EZ Pass transponder or photograph a license plate, could take two years — meaning no revenue that could help balance next year’s budget.
But Aresimowciz said the passage of a law authorizing tolls would establish a reliable revenue stream in future years, allowing the state to reduce payments now into the Special Transportation Fund — essentially a temporary loan from that fund’s shrinking reserves.