As it stands now, a major roadblock to Connecticut’s economic recovery remains the issue of transportation funding and how we prioritize spending.
Every state relies on its transportation network to support economic development and maximize quality of life. Transportation has been ignored for far too long here in Connecticut. Funding has been unpredictable and unreliable. It has long been a misguided tradition to siphon off funds intended for transportation projects to spend elsewhere. As a result our transportation system is far from where it needs to be to foster growth and advancement.
It is time to make transportation a priority.
On Friday, I joined the House Republican caucus in unveiling an updated plan for a long-term solution to advance transportation in Connecticut for the next generation. A component of our budget adjustment proposal for 2018, Prioritize Progress creates a predictable and sustainable funding stream to ensure that transportation will be properly prioritized for the next three decades.
Here is how we do it while keeping the budget balanced:
Require the state to:
1) Reserve a set amount of General Obligation Bonds to be used solely for transportation priorities.
2) Preserve Special Tax Obligation bonds dedicated to transportation.
3) Re-establish the Transportation Strategy Board (TSB) to work alongside CTDOT to assess proposed projects and identify community needs.
Benefits of the plan include:
- An annual transportation funding mechanism guaranteeing over $1 billion annually over the next 30 years
- No tax increases
- No tolls
- A reduction in state bonding compared to recent practices
- Flexibility in setting transportation priorities
- A sustainable and predictable funding plan to support future generations
By prioritizing funding for transportation and creating a more effective strategy for identifying urgencies, we can create a safe, reliable and multi-model transportation network – including roads, bridges, rail, bus, and port improvements. It is recommended that Connecticut first address immediate safety needs and deteriorating infrastructure and then consider progressive development for our future.
Everyone benefits from a strong transportation system.
As always, I am interested to hear from you if you have any questions or comments about Prioritize Progress, transportation funding, the state budget, or any other issue related to state government. Please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-842-1423.