A group of more than 40 advocates for transportation today released the following statement:
“In introducing its report and recommendations to Governor Malloy in January 2016, the Transportation Finance Panel quoted United States Senator Bob Corker, ‘. . . If something is worth doing, it’s worth paying for.’
This is certainly true of Connecticut’s transportation system. Even at a time of fiscal constraint and tough budget choices, it is essential that the State maintain adequate investments in its transportation infrastructure. Transportation investment and innovation have always been the bases of economic growth and competitiveness, and a transportation system that is in a state of good repair advances long-term economic productivity, improved access to markets, expanded labor mobility, and enhanced job opportunities.
It is widely recognized that Connecticut’s transportation system is aging, deteriorating, and congested. Transportation investment, even in the current context of difficult budget choices, is an essential foundation for the restoration of Connecticut’s economic growth and for the State’s fiscal stability.
Since the 1980s, a financially viable and solvent Special Transportation Fund (STF) has been at the core of assuring stable and reliable investment in the State’s transportation facilities and the provision of safe and efficient transportation services.
The budget presented to the General Assembly by the Governor for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 assumes that one-half cent of the State’s general sales tax will be allocated to transportation purposes during the biennium. Even with this allocation of a portion of the sales tax to transportation purposes, STF will have only bare operating surpluses during this fiscal period, and it is projected that STF will fall into a cumulative negative position by Fiscal Year 2022.
STF’s financial position is fragile, and its long-term stability and solvency are uncertain. Despite these circumstances, there will, no doubt, be strong pressure to reallocate funds designated for transportation purposes to other programs, thus starving STF of the funds necessary to maintain transportation services, to match federal capital grants, and to service existing and future transportation-related debt.
Such a diversion of revenues from necessary transportation purposes should be resisted. Moreover, the General Assembly should adopt legislation that will enable the Department of Transportation to implement alternative and accelerated project-delivery methods and to reform and improve the provision of essential transportation services and operations.
We urge the General Assembly to protect the current and long-term financial viability of STF, by establishing, maintaining, and protecting adequate revenue streams for transportation. Specifically, we recommend that the General Assembly:
- Adopt a resolution for a constitutional “lockbox” for funds raised for transportation, in order to protect transportation-based revenues from diversion to other purposes; and
- Maintain current revenues allocated to STF, in order to ensure sufficient funding for transportation services and infrastructure investments throughout the biennium.”
- AAA Northeast
- AAA, Allied Group
- American Council of Engineering Companies of Connecticut
- The Bridgeport Regional Business Council
- The Business Council of Fairfield County
- Capitol Region Council of Governments
- Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce
- Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, Inc.
- Chamber of Commerce of Northwest Connecticut
- Commuter Action Group
- Connecticut Asphalt & Aggregate Association
- Connecticut Association for Community Transportation
- Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA)
- Connecticut Citizens Transportation Lobby
- Connecticut Commuter Rail Council
- Connecticut Construction Industries Association (CCIA)
- Connecticut Environmental & Utilities Contractors Association
- Connecticut Fund for the Environment
- Connecticut Laborers’ District Council
- Connecticut Railroad Association
- Connecticut Ready Mixed Concrete Association
- Connecticut Road Builders Association
- Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers
- Connecticut United for Research Excellence, Inc. (CURE)
- Michael Critelli, Former Chair & CEO, Pitney Bowes
- Emil H. Frankel, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Transportation, 1991-1995; Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation, 2002-2005
- Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce
- International Union of Operating Engineers
- Transit for Connecticut
- MetroHartford Alliance
- Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce
- Midstate Chamber of Commerce
- New England Regional Council of Carpenters
- Regional Plan Association
- Sacred Heart University
- Elliot G. Sander, Executive Director & CEO, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 2007-2009; Former Chair, Regional Plan Association
- Stamford Chamber of Commerce
- Cameron Staples, Chair, Transportation Finance Panel; State Representative, Connecticut House of Representatives, 1992-2010
- Trinity College
- Tri-State Transportation Campaign
- University of Bridgeport
- University of Hartford
- University of New Haven
- Webster Bank
- Wesleyan University
- Yale New Haven Health System
- Yale University
Brian E. Boyer
Vice President of Communications, Marketing, and Media and Public Relations
Karen Burnaska, Coordinator - Transit for Connecticut Coalition
Don Shubert, President - The Connecticut Construction Industries Association. Inc.
(203) 856-3489, firstname.lastname@example.org
Larry McHugh, President - Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce