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Vote on tolls expected to happen before session ends

Tolls are expected to be heavily debated at the state capitol this week.

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Jennifer Lee
MERIDIAN, CT — Tolls are expected to be heavily debated at the state capitol this week.

It's a topic that's divided lawmakers and drivers in our state.

Lawmakers say tolls are likely going to be debated and voted on first in the House and potentially make its way to the Senate.

While many disagree on the topic of tolls, many do agree this will be a very close vote.

Connecticut drivers haven't seen tolls on state roads since the 1980s.

Now, some lawmakers in office want the state Department of Transportation to come up with a plan to put them back in action.

Supporters say it'll generate revenue for the state's special transportation fund that's expected to run dry by next year.

This will make drivers pay who aren't from Connecticut.

Senator Len Suzio says that's only a fraction of the money tolls will generate.

"It's Connecticut citizens that will bear the brunt of the burden of tolls if they become installed in Connecticut," Suzio said.

Suzio is the vice chair of the Transportation Committee and against installing tolls, but says his colleagues in office have strong opinions on both sides.

"I think it's going to be an extremely close vote. I do believe it can go either way as things stand right now," said Suzio.

Drivers around the state are also split on the topic.

"If it benefits us I don't see why not. If it helps out every citizen with taxes and everything like that. I don't see why it would be a bad idea. Especially since this is considered the highway state. Everybody comes through Connecticut so why not," said Ivan Cumba of Meriden.

"I mean I think we've gone long enough without them that things are fine the way they are. So, no I don't think we should implement them at all," said Shana Knowlton of Meriden.

The end of the legislative session is on May 9.

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