Government Administration and Elections Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HJ-100

Title:

RESOLUTION APPROVING A STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO PROTECT TRANSPORTATION FUNDS.

Vote Date:

3/27/2017

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/13/2017

File No.:

516

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Government Administration and Elections Committee

Rep. Devin R. Carney, 23rd Dist.

REASONS FOR BILL:

To enact a constitutional amendment to protect all transportation funds in a locked stream to be used for only transportation spending.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Dannel P. Malloy, Governor, State of Connecticut – Instituting constitutional protection for the Special transportation Fund (STF) is the critical next step in providing stability and predictability for the state's transportation system. These resources are needed to keep our transportation system safe fro all users and ensure our economy is not hinders by an out of date road & rail system. This bill is the exact same language as the one that passed both chambers in 2015, unanimously in the senate and by 100-40 in the House of Representatives. I urge passage of the bill to give the citizen's of Connecticut the opportunity to decide whether to enact this resolution.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Eric Gjede Counsel, CBIA - A safe, modernized transportation infrastructure is vital for the efficient flow of goods and services to and from Connecticut's businesses. 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.

Karen Burnaska, Coordinator,Transit for Connecticut- Improvement of our roads and transit network is essential to Connecticut's economic future. The establishment of a “lockbox” will give residents the assurance that money deposited in the Special Transportation Fund will be used for transportation purposes only. A transportation funding “lockbox” will provide reliable, long-term funding to allow for the planning and completion of critical maintenance and improvements to our transportation infrastructure.

Don Shubert, President, Connecticut Construction Industries Association- Protecting long-term, stable dependable funding is essential to maintaining a sustainable transportation program in the state. This is a no-cost, financially-prudent measure will put Connecticut on route to Address its Transportation needs.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Robert C. Pitcher, Vice President, State Laws, American Trucking Associations- We believe that the amendment to the Connecticut Constitution may be inadequate to ensure that revenues collected from various sources would be spent only for transportation purposes. It would be preferable for the amendment to identify specifically the revenue sources which the state intended to dedicate to the transportation fund. Additionally nothing in the language of the bill would prevent a future legislature form altering statutory language in such a way as to effectively remove one of the funds sources of revenue.

Joseph R. Sculley, President, Motor Transport Association of Connecticut- Almost all of the source of revenue are identified solely by reference to existing statute. In turn, the constitutional amendment proposed by the Resolution identifies the revenue sources that are to be protected and devoted to transportation purposes solely by reference to the fund. Nothing in the language of the proposal, we believe, would prevent a future legislature from altering statutory language in such a way as effectively to remove one or more of the Fund's current sources of revenue. For example last year SB 453 allowed municipalities to retain some of the fine for “blocking the box' infractions, the current version of the lockbox language would not have prevented it. Specific streams of revenue should be identified in this bill. Most of the revenues going into this fund are generated by cars and trucks but spent on transit or general purposes. The trucking industry and passenger cars are paying more than their fair share of taxes and fees and little of that revenue is being invested back into the highways. Additional sources of non-motor vehicle generated revenue should be explored. Connecticut should reevaluate its transportation revenue sources and disposition of that revenue.

Reported by: Philip N Mainiero

Date: 4/17/2017