House re­jects La­mont’s push for tolls de­bate in reg­u­lar ses­sion

The News-Times - - OBITUARIES - By Em­i­lie Mun­son

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.

Em­i­lie Mun­son / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

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.

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