Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee
JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT
AN ACT AUTHORIZING AND ADJUSTING BONDS OF THE STATE FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS, TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER PURPOSES.
Joint Favorable Substitute
SPONSORS OF BILL:
REASONS FOR BILL:
This bill would authorize bonds and grants from the Governor's budget. $1,454,267,429 total General Obligation (GO) Bonds and $380,430,000 total revenue bonds in FY14. It will also include $1,506,968,712 GO Bonds and $331,970,000 Revenue Bonds in FY15. This package will also include $706,919,100 of Special Transportation Bonds (STO) in FY14. In FY15 there are $0 STO Bonds.
Add in language from SB 841 and changes to the bond package can be found in the Finance Committee.
RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:
Benjamin Barnes, Secretary, Office of Policy and Management.
Secretary Barnes explained that the Governor's budget takes a two pronged approach in addressing GAAP cost and liabilities. He explained by taking these steps the Governor is improving the State's cash position, which has been weakened by a deep recession and delayed recovery. Secretary Barnes also spoke in support of the bond package in this bill. There are bonds of 1.49 billion in FY15 and 1.6 billion in FY15. He explained that there are 380.4 million in FY14 for the Clean Water Fund and 332 million for FY15. This package also includes Special Tax Obligation (STO) bonds for transportation purposes.
Jim Redeker, Commissioner, Department of Transportation.
Commissioner Redeker supports SB 842. This bill is an investment in our transportation infrastructure, recognizing that our roads, bridges, ports, airports, buses, ferries, and trains are essential to the economic well-being of our state. It includes $60 million to continue fix-it-first bridge repair in FY14. There is $68.8 million for capital resurfacing and related reconstruction projects. Commissioner Redeker explained that $100 million was for major initiatives with our highways. He also explained that there is $15 million for the revitalized Local Bridge Program, and $45 million for Local Transportation improvements. The Town Aid Road grant program is to go from $30 million to $60 million annually. The last item Commissioner Redeker spoke on was $143,000,000 per year for bus and rail facilities and equipment across the State.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:
Sidney J Holbrook, Executive Director, Greater New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority.
Mr. Holbrook supports SB 842 in regards to the Clean Water Fund. Without this fund a huge burden would be put on the local taxpayers and ratepayers to do these upgrades. These upgrades that are covered under this fund help keep our rivers and oceans clean.
Leah Lopez Schmalz, Save the Sound, Connecticut Fund for the Environment.
Ms Schmalz supports SB 842. Not only will the Clean Water Fund help fund improvement projects, it will also create between 22,000 and 35,000 direct and indirect jobs. It will help continue to clean the water in the State.
Dennis Waz, Public Utilities Superintendent, City of Meriden.
Mr. Waz supports SB 842 that increases bond authorizations for the Clean Water Fund. He would like to see Meriden become eligible for the Clean Water Fund even though the city already received funding for phosphorus reduction.
Joy W. Ford, Planner II, New Haven City Plan Department.
Ms. Ford supports the level of Clean Water Fund bonding in SB 842. The Clean Water Fund is essential in aiding municipalities in essential upgrades to wastewater infrastructure, including sewer separation to remedy combined sewer overflows, and Federally mandated removal of nitrogen and phosphorus.
Michael A. Milone, Town Manager, Town of Cheshire.
Mr. Milone supports SB 842 to include an increase in the grant for phosphorous removal projects from 30% to 50%.
Lynne Bonnett, New Haven.
Ms Bonnett supports the funding in SB 842 for DEEP to provide Brownfield remediation and urban reclamation of polluted properties. She also supports funding for the Clean Water Fund as long as it is stipulated that this money be available for a source in CSO management per EPA guidelines for CSO management published in 1995.
William W. Dickinson Jr., Mayor, Town of Wallingford.
Mayor Dickinson supports the funding in SB 842. He believes that the Clean Water Fund should fund 90% of the cost for sanitary sewer plant improvements of phosphorus removal from plant discharges.
Tom Anderson, Director of Communications and Community Outreach, Connecticut Audubon Society.
The Connecticut Audubon Society supports the Clean Water Fund bonding for the next 2 years. With this funding sewer plants along the Connecticut River can be upgraded, making the Connecticut River cleaner. Cleaner rivers mean healthier eco-systems and more wildlife.
Supports the bond requested by DEEP for the Clean Water Fund in SB 842. This money will go to good use in helping clean up our waterways for future generations.
Paul Brady, Executive Director, American Council of Engineering Companies of Connecticut.
Spoke in support of the funding for the Clean Water Fund that is in SB 842. It will help create jobs from the projects that will go ahead with this funding. It will also help keep our waterways clean with updates to the sewer systems.
River Alliance of Connecticut.
River Alliance of Connecticut supports the bonding of the Clean Water Fund in SB 842. It is essential to the state's economic and environmental future to have clean water and a healthy Long Island Sound.
Michael Bonomo, President, New England Water Environment Association.
Mr. Bonomo supports the level of bonding for the Clean Water Fund in SB 842.
Connecticut Water Pollution Abatement Association.
The Connecticut Water Pollution Abatement Association supports the level of bonding for the Clean Water Fund in SB 842. Clean Water projects means jobs. For every 1 million spent, there are 47 jobs created.
Mark D. Boughton, Mayor, City of Danbury.
Mayor Boughton supports the bonding for the Clean Water Fund. He would like to see the cost of eligibility for reimbursement for phosphorus removal increase from 30% up to 50%.
Patrick J. Johnson Jr., President, Oak Hill.
Mr. Johnson supports SB 842 for the $40 million bond package to help address the needs that are vital in the private nonprofit sector to upgrade aging infrastructure.
Jeff Shaw, Project Director, Nonprofit Human Services Cabinet.
Supports section 13 of SB842, which allows the proceeds of the sale of bonds to be used as new grants-in-aid specifically for nonprofit health and human service providers. The bond funds will enhance the nonprofit sector's commitment to serving the community.
Ron Cretaro, Executive Director, Connecticut Association of Nonprofits.
Supports section 13 of SB842. It would enhance the nonprofits sector's commitment to supporting the community.
Anne Ruwet, CEO, CCARC.
Supports SB 842 that would provide $40 million designated for nonprofit community based providers. This bonding would help fund some much needed projects.
Howard Rifkin, Executive Director, Partnership for Strong Communities.
Supports SB 842 for the bonding provided for the Governor's housing initiative. This money will go a long way in helping his organization meet its goals. This funding is important because of the cuts being made at the Federal level.
Mary Anne O'Neill, The Connecticut Community Providers Association.
Supports section 13 of SB 842. The Funds are sorely needed by CCPA member organizations for structural improvements to facilities and for investment in new technology.
Stuart Greenbaum, Executive Director, The Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County. Supports SB 842 for the bonding of $40 million allocated for the non-profit community.
Mag Morelli, President, LeadingAge Connecticut.
Supports SB 842 because of its funding to help nursing home improvements and shows the state is not abandoning the nursing homes.
Betsy Crum, Executive Director, Connecticut Housing Coalition.
Connecticut Housing Coalition strongly supports SB 842 because it includes significant new resources for housing and other essential investments in Connecticut's future.
Betsy Gara, Executive Director, Connecticut Council of Small Towns.
COST supports the provisions in SB 842 which “double funding for the Town Aid Road program and restores funding for the Local Bridge program” programs that COST has long championed.
Don Shubert, President, Connecticut Construction Industries Association, Inc.
Supports SB 842 because the investments not only create jobs and economic activity over the short term, those investments will also create the infrastructure.
Lisa Bassani, Project Director, Working Lands Alliance.
Supports SB 842 specifically sections 61 and 13c. Working Lands Alliance supports the $20 million authorized for the Farmland Preservation Program (FPP).
Amy Blaymore Paterson, Esq., Executive Director, Connecticut Land Conservation Council.
Connecticut Land Conservation supports sections 13, 21, and 61 of SB 842. This bill authorized bond funding to support critical state land conservation programs.
David Sutherland, Director of Government Relations, The Nature Conservancy.
Mr. Sutherland supports SB 842 because of the funding of the Clean Water Fund. Mr. Sutherland also supports the bill because of Connecticut's continued bonding for the Natural Heritage Trust Program.
Eric Hammerling, Executive Director, Connecticut Forest & Park Association.
The Connecticut Forest & Park Association strongly supports SB 842 sections 13, 21, and 61 which authorizes bond funding to support critical state land conservation programs.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:
James Finley, Executive Director & CEO, CCM.
Opposes SB 842 because funding to cities and towns are not coming from the revenue side of the budget where the money is guaranteed. The funding is moving to the bonding side of the budget where they are more likely to get cut and go away, which would hurt the cities and towns more.
Ralph Eno, First Selectman, Town of Lyme.
First Selectman Eno opposes the bill. While he likes how there will be an increase to Town Aid Roads and LoCIP funding. He see that most of the increases will come from bonding the money and wonders if the State can sustain doing this over a long period of time.
Reported by: Adam K Askham