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Connecticut Lawmakers Scuttle Freeway Camera Plan
Connecticut lawmakers vote to dump freeway speed camera proposal offered by the governor.

Jodi Rell
Connecticut lawmakers wasted no time in giving the thumbs down to the freeway speed camera plan proposed by Governor Jodi Rell (R) as a means of shoring up the state budget. Yesterday the legislature's Public Safety and Security Joint Committee voted 13-9 to drop Senate Bill 41 which would have authorized automated ticketing machines on the Old Lyme portion of Interstate 95. The plan had been on the table for less than a month.

With a $165 million budget deficit, Rell saw the cameras as an effective way to boost state spending in the name of improving highway safety. Although the bill is essentially dead for the session, the ticketing concept could still be brought back to life with the support of powerful members, including state Representative Stephen D. Dargan (D-West Haven), the committee's co-chairman. Ticketing authorization language could be inserted into other measures making their way to the governor's desk.

Rell had recently joined fellow Governors Janet Napolitano (D) of Arizona and Christine Gregoire (D) of Washington state in pushing for the cameras. Napolitano expects to generate more than $165 million in annual revenue from her newly expanded highway photo enforcement program.

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