HARTFORD — Today House Republican Leader Themis Klarides joined House and Senate legislators roll out a plan to prioritize transportation across the state of Connecticut. By securing a predictable and sustainable funding source and empowering transportation experts to plan for the future, “Prioritize Progress” aims to create a safe, reliable and multi-model transportation network including roads, bridges, rail, bus, and port improvements.
“This is a comprehensive transportation plan that accomplishes many goals: It defines a 10-year horizon where we propose funding an additional $5.3 billion to re-build our infrastructure. We do not raise any taxes and the plan does not include tolls,” said state Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby), House Republican Leader. “This plan will also save Connecticut $305 million in debt services.”
“Over the past century our state has never had a truly predictable and reliable revenue stream to fund transportation projects,” said Senator Len Fasano (R-North Haven), Senate Minority Leader. “Our plan will reprioritize state spending to put the focus on transportation. We are proposing a way to live within our means and simultaneously advance Connecticut for the future.”
The “Prioritize Progress” plan involves (1) establishing a predictable and sustainable funding stream for transportation totaling at least $1 billion every year for the next 30 years, and (2) reinstituting the Transportation Strategy Board to aid the Connecticut Department of Transportation in identifying community needs and prioritizing safety improvements.
Benefits of the plan include:
– An annual transportation funding mechanism guaranteeing at least $1 billion annually over the next 30 years
– No tax increases
– No tolls
– A reduction in the current level of state bonding
– Flexibility in setting transportation priorities
– A sustainable and predictable funding plan to support future generations
Key components of the plan would require the state to:
– Reserve a set amount of General Obligation Bonds to be used solely for transportation priorities.
– Preserve current Special Tax Obligation bonds dedicated to transportation.
– Fill all vacant positions at the Department of Transportation to ensure that the agency can efficiently carry out the state’s needed transportation projects. As of January 1, the DOT is 114 positions below where they were 6 months previously.
– Re-establish the Transportation Strategy Board (TSB) to work alongside CTDOT to assess proposed projects, identify community needs.