Connecticut’s plan to reduce the pain at the gas pump for its residents took effect Friday.
HB 5501 passed the state legislature last week. It, like laws in many other states, provides for a gas tax holiday as prices at the pump continue to hover at near-record levels.
“With this bipartisan action, we are taking steps to provide some relief to consumers as they face rising prices due to a number of international dynamics and market instability that go far beyond our state,” Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said when signing the legislation last Friday “Connecticut is in a stronger fiscal position than ever before, and I am determined to use every tool available to provide relief for our residents.”
The law eliminates the state’s gas tax until June 30, saving drivers 25 cents per gallon over the next three months.
It also eliminates bus fares during that time, and “creates a one-week sales tax holiday on clothing and footwear under $100 from April 10, 2022, to April 16, 2022.”
Democrats in the state are still having a difficult time figuring out who to blame for the massive spike in gas prices.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) in early March blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the rise in prices at the pump.
“Banning Russian oil is absolutely the right step, as I’ve repeatedly said. But let’s be clear about who’s to blame for spiraling gas prices — Putin,” he said. “His craven, barbaric invasion is a war of choice, unprovoked & unnecessary, that has disrupted world markets.”
Thursday, he decided that high gas prices were the fault of price gouging by oil companies, despite the fact that there is no evidence to support that claim.
“Oil companies are exploiting Russia’s war in Ukraine to drive up gas prices to obscene levels. It’s time to end this corporate profiteering,” he said Thursday. “We need a Big Oil Windfall Profits tax to take excess profits & deliver them to Americans getting stuck with the bill.”
In reality, gas prices have been steadily on the rise since 2021, when President Joe Biden took office.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Connecticut Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].