Transportation realities

April 11, 2019

As co-chair of the Transportation Committee, I have seen and heard first hand from Republicans and Democrats that our transportation infrastructure needs significant investment. At least we seem to agree on this premise. However, when we talk about how to get this done we couldn’t disagree more.

The fact is that transportation infrastructure has been a legislative priority for many decades, but partisan politics have gotten in the way of making real progress and we are at a tipping point where we must act before it gets worse. As the supposedly fiscally responsible party, I am surprised that Republicans are willing to push upgrade transportation costs onto our children and grandchildren for decades to come instead of taking a feasible approach today.

Republicans have proposed a plan that will cost an additional $600 million per year and would make Connecticut taxpayers foot the entire bill. Their borrowing proposal, plain and simple, will result in an income tax increase. In addition, their credit-card borrowing would cause our bond rating to plummet, making every transportation project more expensive to finance.

Here is our drafted plan:

  • 40% of the revenue from tolls will be paid by out-of-state drivers
  • I-84, I-95, I-91 and the Merritt Pkwy will be tolled
  • Gantries will be located every 6-7 miles approximately and frequent commuters and CT residents will get a discounts
  • No more than 50 gantries
  • Revenues from tolls will be exclusively used on road projects
  • Will yield a sustainable revenue stream – critical to free up additional funding for investments in rail system and other projects off the tolling corridors

It’s time to stop the word games and scare tactics. The plan we are considering today is realistic and doesn’t place the burden solely on Connecticut taxpayers.

Let’s continue to have our conversations, but let’s agree to do what is right in order to keep Connecticut growing again and moving in the right direction.