Good news for Connecticut residents: state legislators have voted to extend the state's gas tax holiday through the end of the year and increase funding for the Hero Pay Program.
Several initiatives were considered under bill HB 6001. It's described as "an act concerning the suspension of certain gas taxes, the expansion of free bus service, bottle deposit labels and funding for the Connecticut Premium Pay program and energy."
“I think at the end of the day, the relief we are delivering, people may not like every aspect of the bill or every detail of the bill, but I suspect you will see bipartisan support,” said Speaker of the House Rep. Matt Ritter.
Part of the bill includes extending the 25-cent-per-gallon gas tax holiday through the end of the year, and then starting to add five cents back in per month at the beginning of 2023.
“Come January, there will be a nickel on a gallon, February another nickel, so it will be a dime, March will be another nickel so it will be 15 cents, April will be another one so we will be back to where we are,” Republican Minority Leader Sen. Kevin Kelly said.
Free bus rides have also been extended through April.
Governor Ned Lamont asked the Democrat-led assembly to put more money into Connecticut’s heat and utility assistance program. Ritter said $35 million would be provided in additional aid this winter.
“I think we are trying to help middle class families. And we see the reality of it out there in the world. We are doing it in a sustainable way,” Ritter said.
Lamont also wants to increase funding for the Hero Pay program. Lawmakers did side with the governor and say $105 million would go out to 135,000 people.