Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, hours after winning a second term, said Wednesday that he is considering additional measures to help make life more affordable for residents, including extending the state’s gas tax exemption. beyond the imminent December 1. Date of Expiry.
The Democrat said he has asked his budget director to review state gas tax revenue and budget reserves to see what can be done before the General Assembly meets in January.
“I have to see what we can afford and we are going to model this,” he said, noting that he wants to make sure there is still enough revenue to repair roads and bridges. “Right now, I think we’re in pretty good shape, but I’d like to sit down and talk to the legislature about how we can continue to cut the gas tax beyond Dec. 1.”
Inflation and affordability were key issues in the gubernatorial race. Lamont often noted the wide democrat tax cut package that he enacted earlier this year that included cuts of about $600 million, including continuing a 25-cent-a-gallon tax cut on gasoline through Dec. 1. His Republican rival Bob Stefanowski argued that more needed to be done, proposing a $2 billion tax relief package.
During a morning radio show Wednesday, shortly after conceding the race to Lamont, Stefanowski said he urged the governor during a phone call to “watch both sides of the aisle” and try to help everyone struggling with high inflation.
“I think he’s a good guy. He will probably try to do the right thing. But, you know, we’re headed for a 40% increase in utility costs and rolling blackouts. I just hope he puts people first. I am sure that he will do his best.” Stefanowski said.
Lamont, who appeared with other Democrats outside the state Capitol for a news conference on the victory, insisted he understands residents face financial pressures. In addition to pledging to enact some kind of immediate relief before the regular legislative session, something Democratic legislative leaders have also discussed, Lamont said he plans to work with lawmakers after January to find other ways to make the state more affordable. .
“I will make sure to do everything I can to help the middle class during this incredibly difficult time,” he said.
Lamont also emphasized Wednesday that he plans to introduce legislation to extend spending caps included in a bipartisan state budget agreement reached five years ago and set to expire in 2025. Some lawmakers have suggested some to reduce it and divert money to other initiatives.
“I think it served us very well, and I’m going to ask the legislature to continue that in the future,” Lamont said. “It gives us a clear sense of direction and how we are getting our fiscal house in order.”