HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Connecticut Legislature is set to vote on a hotly debated measure that would mean the return of tolls in the state.

The General Assembly’s Transportation Committee voted 18-13 on Wednesday in favor of a bill that would require the Department of Transportation commissioner to develop a program for tolling.

The proposal would also allow tolls to be placed anywhere on Connecticut highways, not just along the state’s borders, WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported.

State Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton, said there’s heated passion from lawmakers on both sides over the issue.

“It couldn’t even pass out of committee barely without twisting arms, making at least five people change their vote,” Boucher said.

The senator said that in Hartford tolls have taken on the unsavory demeanor of a four-letter word.

One major concern, Boucher said, is that motorists ducking tolls will detour, clogging traffic along local streets.

Under the legislation, the commissioner would be required to report back to lawmakers with details of the plan no later than Jan. 1, 2016.

Lawmakers amended the bill to ensure toll revenue would only be spent on transportation. More changes are expected.

Sen. Scott Frantz,R-Greenwich, opposed the measure, saying tolls are just another tax and wouldn’t raise enough revenue to deal with the state’s massive transportation infrastructure needs.

Even family members of the seven people who were killed in a fiery accident at a Stratford toll booth in 1983 came to testify in opposition.

Rep. Tony Guerrera, D-Rocky Hill, the committee’s co-chairman, challenged the tolling opponents to come up with alternatives for generating revenue.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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