Connecticut governor vetoes effort to boost DMV fees

| 9/28/2009

An effort to increase more than 70 motor vehicle fees in Connecticut has been shot down by the governor.

Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell has vetoed a bill approved by the Democratic-controlled legislature to boost fees by $60 million during the next two years. But after $10 million in reductions to other licenses and fees, the net increase would have been $50 million.

Rell said she is opposed to the DMV increases, which would have affected everything from driver’s licenses to hearse registrations. They were set to increase Jan. 1.

The governor also was unhappy that the General Assembly chose to pursue the fee increases less than a month after they approved a two-year, $37.6 billion budget that included $1 billion in tax and fee increases. The budget took effect Sept. 6 without Rell’s signature.

Democrats were critical of the governor’s decision only months after she proposed raising the same DMV fees. Rell said they should have found other cuts in the budget to make up for the fee increases.

Democrats also say the fee increases would have assured that statewide bus and rail fees would not rise.

The tax bill – HB7002 – was one of the final pieces of legislation needed to implement the budget. Lawmakers now must go back to the drawing board to come up with a possible solution.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor

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