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EV study bill stalls in the CT legislature as end-of-session draws closer

House Speaker Matt Ritter and House Majority Leader Jason Rojas (L-R) talk with reporters Friday May 3, 2024 at the Connecticut Capitol as a bill to create a roadmap for EV's appeared stalled. “I think our state was shocked at how much pushback there was and how woefully unprepared we were for that transition,” Ritter said. “I don't see it getting better by doing nothing. But some people think the commission is not worth it.” (Michayla Savitt/Connecticut Public)
Michayla Savitt
/
Connecticut Public
House Speaker Matt Ritter and House Majority Leader Jason Rojas (L-R) talk with reporters Friday May 3, 2024 at the Connecticut Capitol as a bill to create a roadmap for EV's appeared stalled. “I think our state was shocked at how much pushback there was and how woefully unprepared we were for that transition,” Ritter said. “I don't see it getting better by doing nothing. But some people think the commission is not worth it.”

With just a handful of days left in Connecticut’s short legislative session, a House bill that would create a roadmap for electric vehicle rollout is stalling.

The bill would establish a 40-person group to examine how to prepare the state for more electric vehicles and their charging infrastructure, to help reduce the state’s largest source of carbon emissions contributing to climate change: transportation.

The measure was born over concerns of whether Connecticut was ready to adopt California emission standards that phase out the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035.

House Speaker Matt Ritter, who wields influence over what bills ultimately get taken up for debate in the chamber, told reporters Friday morning he likes the bill but doesn't think it will get taken up in the coming days.

“I think our state was shocked at how much pushback there was and how woefully unprepared we were for that transition,” Ritter said. “I don't see it getting better by doing nothing. But some people think the commission is not worth it.”

Ritter said the state follows the federal emissions standards at this point - which are less strict than the California-led standards. With an end-of-Wednesday deadline, it’s possible the issue will get shifted to January of next year.

House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said he doesn’t support the measure because of the proposed 40-person council makeup — concerns echoed by his caucus in committee as well — but said Friday that the state needs a roadmap for the future of EVs.

“Republicans have said all along, we need a plan,” Candelora said. “We just can't force our way into electric vehicles.”

If taken up and passed in the House, the bill would still need Senate passage before lawmakers adjourn.

As Connecticut Public's state government reporter, Michayla focuses on how policy decisions directly impact the state’s communities and livelihoods. She has been with Connecticut Public since February 2022, and before that was a producer and host for audio news outlets around New York state. When not on deadline, Michayla is probably outside with her rescue dog, Elphie. Thoughts? Jokes? Tips? Email msavitt@ctpublic.org.