House rejects Lamont’s push for tolls debate in regular session
HARTFORD — The House will not call toll legislation for a vote before the legislature adjourns next week, forcing the issue into a special session despite Gov. Ned Lamont’s request for a final tolls push.
“If there was a bill out there that would pass the Senate and receive the governor’s signature, I would get it passed in the House,” said Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin.
Despite an announcement from Lamont and legislative leaders last week that tolls would likely wait for a special session while the budget was negotiated, Lamont asked Democrats in a closed-door meeting Tuesday to put tolls to a vote before midnight on June 5, when the legislature gavels out.
While declining Lamont’s request, House leadership defended the governor against claims that he did not understand the legislative process and volume of work to finish before Wednesday.
“He completely understands it,” said House Majority Leader Matt Ritter, D-Hartford. “It’s not unusual that a governor would come out and say, ‘Give it a go, give it another try.’ We do our best to accommodate but time is a difficult crunch.”
Some lawmakers were concerned about the bills that would die if a lengthy tolls debate was started this week, said Aresimowicz.
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, left, and House Majority Leader Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, talk to the media Wednesday at the Capitol in Hartford.