Lamont talks State Pier deal, emergency powers

Gov. Ned Lamont said Tuesday — a day when the state’s COVID-19 test positivity rate hit 10.72%, the highest in a while — that he thinks he will ask the legislature to extend his emergency authority, currently set to expire Feb. 9. “If I just get another two-plus months, I think sometime in April we’ll be in a really strong position to say, ‘This is back to normal’ or ‘Let’s give the governor 30 days,'” rather than another two months, Lamont said. The Connecticut Port Authority board last February agreed to a $157 million plan, with utilities Ørsted and Eversource, to redevelop State Pier as a staging area for offshore wind projects. Passero said the project is great but there shouldn’t be a broad tax exemption; his sticking point is getting payment in lieu of taxes. Lamont said he’ll guarantee PILOT funds for as long as he’s governor but couldn’t guarantee them for future governors, calling that “bad practice.” In terms of generating revenue, Lamont said he’s hesitant to raise taxes on the wealthy, saying he thinks the state can balance the budget other ways.

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