Transportation Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HJ-41

Title:

RESOLUTION PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE STATE CONSTITUTION LIMITING THE USE OF MONEYS IN THE SPECIAL TRANSPORTATION FUND.

Vote Date:

3/17/2017

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

2/27/2017

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Transportation Committee

Rep. Antonio Guerrera, 29th Dist.

REASONS FOR BILL:

To create a constitutional amendment requiring all special transportation funds to be deposited in a lockbox thereby protecting the funding to be used solely for transportation needs.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Executive Director, Joseph Comerford, Estuary Transit District-

Urges passage of this bill as only 44.99% of STF has been used towards transportation projects. Additionally polling shows the public believes that public transportation is an important investment and supports funding it when revenue is dedicated.

Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano-

Passage of this bill as Connecticut's Transportation needs have been overlooked and underfunded. This bill would protect the STF from “raids” for other projects outside the scope of transportation.

Counsel, Eric W. Gjede, CBIA-

Connecticut's transportation infrastructure is in need of costly repairs and the sources of funding for such repairs have become increasingly unreliable. Our ability to address infrastructure deficiencies is further reduced by the diversion of funds from the special transportation fund for their use to cover general fund expenditures. Connecticut businesses overwhelmingly (74%) supported legislation that would prohibit the use of special transportation funds to cover general fund shortfalls.

Roy A. Merritt, The Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers-

Past siphoning of our of transportation funds for non-transportation purpose has compromised our transportation infrastructure and threatens the future viability of our state's economy and quality of life.41% of state and local roads are in poor condition and 35% of bridged are in poor condition or structurally deficient. In fact 42% of businesses believe congestion hinders their growth. Recent projects in Connecticut show the benefit of investing in our transportation systems, for example the Perl Harbor memorial bridge was completed ahead of schedule and under budget replacing an ageing and obsolete bridge and easing congestion. Protecting our transportation revenue with a lockbox and making the necessary investments in the states infrastructure will benefit our economy, increase our competitiveness and improve our quality of life.

Public and Government Affairs Manager, Amy Parmenter, AAA-

It is imperative that Connecticut lawmakers develop a thoughtful, thorough and enforceable law with language that clearly articulates what is meant by “transportation purposes” and clearly identifies what types of fund receipts will be protected from diversion.

A recent AAA Northeast poll of drivers in Fairfield, Litchfield and New Haven counties found more than 80% support a transportation 'lock box' – a number that has been consistent in surveys over the last two years.

Connecticut Construction Industries Association Inc-

Long-term, stable, dependable funding is essential to a sustainable transportation program in the state. The 'Lets Go CT' study found it would take 60 billion over the next 30 years to maintain the current levels of service on all modes of our transportation. The resolution will ensure that funding deposited in the Special Transportation Fund will be used solely for transportation purposes.

Cam Staples, Chair, Transportation Finance Panel-

We strongly support a Constitutional Amendment to protect funds in the Special Transportation Fund. A well-crafted Amendment will be necessary to secure the broad public support required to implement a large-scale transportation plan.

Connecticut Association of Community Transportation, Executive Director, Mary Tolomonius

We urge the legislators to deposit transit revenues into the Special Transportation

Fund and utilize them for transit projects only by supporting the “lockbox”

resolutions. Polls continue to show the public believes that public transportation is an

important investment. A transportation “lockbox” will restore the public's confidence that transportation revenue will be used for transportation expenditures.

Local Operation Engineers 478, Nate Brown-

This bill is important to fund much needed infrastructure repair and by doing so, start to put men and women of Connecticut's construction industry back to work.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

President, Joseph Sculley, Motor Transportation Association of Connecticut INC-

The language in the bill is too vague and broad. Specific sources of revenue should be named and listed in statue. Additionally sources of revenue should not be able to be removed or diminished in their contribution to the STF.

Rep. Robert Sampson (80th)-

There are several problems with this bill. For example no matter how strong the lockbox is, the legislature will always have a key to it. Another problem is that it does not specifically clarify what is and is not “related to transportation”, we have no mechanism to control the money what goes in or the money that goes out.

Reported by: Philip Mainiero

Date: 3/24/17