Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
AP

Extended gas tax holiday, pandemic pay on lawmakers' agenda

  • Updated
  • 0

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut state legislators will return to the Capitol on Monday to consider extending the soon-to-expire gas tax holiday and increase funding for state pandemic payments to essential workers, as well as vote on several other initiatives aimed at helping residents cope with rising costs.

Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, fresh off his reelection victory, issued the first executive order of his second term on Wednesday and called the lame duck General Assembly into special session.

“These actions can help provide more immediate relief for Connecticut residents as consumers across the country are facing rising prices due to a number of international dynamics and market instability that go far beyond our state,” Lamont said in a written statement.

Connecticut's 25-cent-per-gallon excise tax on gas has been suspended since April 1 and is currently scheduled to resume on Nov. 30. Lamont wants legislators to continue the suspension of the full 25 cents through Dec. 31 before incrementally scaling back the tax relief at five cents per month, beginning Jan. 1.

Connecticut is one of three states with a gas tax suspension still in effect.

Lamont also wants the Democratic controlled General Assembly to extend free public bus fares, first implemented on April 1, through March 30.

Other actions Lamont wants state lawmakers to take include:

PANDEMIC PAY

Lamont has proposed increasing funding from $30 million to $90 million for the state's Premium Pay Program for private-sector essential workers who were employed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was initially expected to provide up to $1,000 to eligible workers. But given the large number of applicants, there's been concern that workers would end up receiving up to $233.

ENERGY ASSISTANCE

The governor is also asking state legislators to allocate an unspecified amount of additional funding to the state's heat and utility assistance program for eligible households given anticipated higher energy costs. Lamont's order calls on the General Assembly to pass a bill that directs state energy regulators to earmark “a portion of certain fines” to a nonprofit agency engaged in energy assistance programs.

RETURNABLE BOTTLES

Lawmakers are also being asked to change the Jan. 1 effective date for planned updates to the state's so-called “Bottle Bill." Lamont's proposal would allow retailers to sell off their existing inventory without being in violation of a portion of the new law which expands the types of covered beverage containers. Bottle deposits, meanwhile, are scheduled to increase from $0.05 to $0.10 beginning January 1, 2024.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

0 Comments
* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

China’s strategy of controlling the coronavirus with lockdowns, mass testing and quarantines has provoked the greatest show of public dissent against the ruling Communist Party in decades. Most protesters on the mainland and in Hong Kong have focused their anger on restrictions that confine families to their homes for months. Global health experts say the “zero-COVID” policies saved lives at first. But now China’s population has very little exposure to the virus. And China is using only domestically developed vaccines that are less effective than those widely used elsewhere. Experts agree that finding a path forward will be difficult without surges in cases and deaths.

Barely a month after granting himself a third five-year term as China's leader, Xi Jinping is facing a wave of public anger over his “zero COVID" policy. Demonstrators poured into the streets over the weekend in cities including Shanghai and Beijing, in protests unprecedented since the 1989 student-led pro-democracy movement centered on Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Most protesters focused their anger on restrictions that confine families to their homes for months and have been criticized as neither scientific or effective. But some also shouted for Xi and the Communist Party that has ruled China for 73 years to give up power.

TUESDAY, Nov. 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- People with long COVID deal with months or years of punishing fatigue, mind-numbing brain fog or a frightening fight to take each and every breath.

The omicron variant is driving U.S. COVID-19 case counts higher in many places just in time for the holiday season. The ever-morphing mutant began its assault on humanity a year ago. Experts soon expect a wave to wash over the U.S. Cases nationally now average around 39,300 a day, though that's believed to be an undercount. Hospitalizations are at about 28,000 a day and deaths about 340 a day. Yet a fifth of the population hasn’t been vaccinated. Most eligible Americans haven’t gotten the latest boosters. And many have stopped wearing masks. Meanwhile, the mutating virus keeps finding ways to avoid defeat.

The bodies of more than 80 Native American children are buried at the former Genoa Indian Industrial School in central Nebraska. But for decades, the location of the student cemetery has been a mystery, lost over time after the school closed in 1931 and memories faded of the once-busy campus that sprawled over 640 acres in the tiny community of Genoa. That mystery may soon be solved thanks to efforts by researchers who pored over century-old documents and maps, examined land with specially trained dogs and made use of ground-penetrating radar in search of the lost graves.

The Biden administration is designating the northern long-eared bat as an endangered species. Officials say that the bat's situation has worsened since it was classified as threatened in 2015. The species is among a dozen U.S. bats suffering from white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that causes bats to emerge early during hibernation, sometimes burn up winter fat reserves and starve. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it will work with timber companies and landowners to protect trees where bats nest. The agency will also seek cooperation from the wind energy industry to reduce the likelihood that bats will strike turbines. The bat is found in 37 eastern and north-central states, plus Washington, D.C., and much of Canada.

Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS Feed | Omny Studio

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alert

Breaking News