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Conn. Democrats propose gas price measures

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Debate has begun on a bill that advocates say will help lower gas prices and protect consumers from alleged profiteering and price gouging in Connecticut by oil wholesalers.

The Senate was debating the legislation, touted by the majority Democrats, on Wednesday afternoon. The House of Representatives was expected to vote afterward.

The proposals include capping the gross receipts tax on fuels when prices hit $3 a gallon. Considering the wholesale price in New Haven is currently $3.20 a gallon, this plan would reduce the current price of regular unleaded by 1.5 cents. Proponents said this cap will protect motorists from future increases.

The bill also strengthens laws against price gouging and profiteering. One measure triggers price gouging investigations when wholesale prices increase by 15 percent or more within 90 days.