Three New England governors met in Connecticut on Tuesday to discuss "regional policy issues."
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont met to talk about transportation, energy, infrastructure, procurement and data sharing.
The governors blocked out two hours for the gathering on the campus of Eastern Connecticut State University in Windham, Connecticut, and held a 2 p.m. press conference.
Baker addressed problems discovered in the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, talking through the findings of a recent audit that showed some mail containing vehicle citations wasn’t being processed as far back as 2011.
Asked to react to the RMV problems in Massachusetts, Lamont instead talked about how the governors discussed efficiency in data sharing.
“When it comes to the purchasing of software, not only does that bring down the cost, but we also have interoperability of these systems,” Lamont said. “So that Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut can talk electronically at all times, … sharing the DMV data in real time, going forward, and bringing down costs, and giving us some redundant support. So that was broadly how we talked about that issue.”
The governors also talked about tolls, which Rhode Island and Massachusetts both have but Connecticut does not.
Raimondo said tolls have been controversial in her state — even sparking legal action — but now that toll revenue is available, it’s paying for needed road work. Baker said people often think of a toll booth when they imagine tolls, but he said the electronic gantries used in Massachusetts don’t create bottlenecks.
Both Raimondo and Lamont are Democrats, and Baker is a Republican. While Lamont is in his first year as governor, Baker and Raimondo came into office the same time in 2015 and have talked with each other frequently over the years.
Raimondo said she plans to host the group again in Providence in October.
Heather Brandon contributed to this report, which includes information from State House News Service and The Associated Press.
This story comes from the New England News Collaborative, eight public media companies, including The Public's Radio, coming together to tell the story of a changing region, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.