HARTFORD- Preferring to delay a bill that supports law enforcement officials in the discharge of their duties, majority Democrats engaged in procedural cowardice to escape a vote on an amendment by House Republicans to suspend the state’s 25 cent gas tax from Memorial Day, May 28th, until Labor Day, September 3rd, 2007, creating a one-time gas tax holiday according to Representative Vincent Candelora (R-North Branford). The measure would have saved Connecticut motorists $120 million.
“House Democrats are basically telling Connecticut motorists that they don’t believe they deserve to save between $3 and $5 per fill up during the busiest driving season, despite the fact that Connecticut’s gas tax burden is the third-highest in the nation, and despite having nearly $900 million in surplus funds this year,” said Candelora.
When the GOP amendment was brought out, Democratic Majority Leader Chris Donovan immediately moved to pass the bill temporarily or “PT” it. This procedure temporarily skips an item on the agenda, and it can be brought up again at a later time.
“The Democrats demonstrated poor leadership by refusing to allow a vote on this issue,” said Candelora. “The people of Connecticut deserve an answer from the Democrats as to why they believe we shouldn’t get this relief at the pumps.”
No transportation programs would be affected under the proposal and the lost revenue that is used to back highway construction bonds would simply be replaced by the surplus money.
Governor M. Jodi Rell has gone on the record in support of the idea. She has repeatedly said that if the legislature does not go along, she and her fellow Republicans will attempt to make the gas tax proposal a part of the budget negotiations that have just begun.
This session of the Connecticut General Assembly adjourns at midnight June 6th, 2007.