Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee
JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT
AN ACT AUTHORIZING AND ADJUSTING BONDS OF THE STATE FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS AND OTHER PURPOSES.
Joint Favorable Substitute
Disclaimer: The following SENATE FAVORABLE Report is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose.
SPONSORS OF BILL:
Sen. Martin M. Looney, 11th Dist.
Sen. Bob Duff, 25th Dist.
Rep. Joe Aresimowicz, 30th Dist.
Rep. Matthew Ritter, 1st Dist.
REASONS FOR BILL:
To implement the Governor's budget recommendations
RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:
Benjamin Barnes, Secretary, Office of Policy and Management:
Secretary Barnes explained that this bill proposes the following adjustments to General Obligation Bond Authorizations for fiscal year 2019:
• A new $100 million authorization to continue rehabilitation of the XL Center in Hartford
• An additional $25 million authorization to continue information technology improvements in state agencies
• A new $16 million authorization to construct parking to support redevelopment projects in the area around the Bushnell in Hartford.
The bill also proposes to cancel the $20 million annual authorizations for hospital capital improvements for fiscal years 2018 through 2022. Sec. Barnes respectfully requests that the committee support this bill.
Melody A. Currey, Commissioner, Department of Administrative Services:
DAS strongly supports passage of Governor's Bill SB12. She specifically mentioned her support for sec. 2 allocating $16,000,000 to the Capitol Region Development Agency for the design and construction of parking garages in Hartford and Section 10 which increases the bond authorization for the IT technology capitol program.
External Affairs Division State of CT Judicial Branch:
The Judicial Branch expressed support of the bill and specifically section 8 which makes a change requested by Judicial Branch. It was part of last year's bond package, but was unintentionally omitted in the Special Session. The language will allow the Branch to use dollars previously approved for development of a new courthouse in New Haven towards much needed repairs to the existing New Haven courthouse.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:
NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:
Betsy Gara, Exec. Director – CT Council of Small Towns:
On behalf of COST Ms. Gara expressed her skepticism as to how the state is able to fund all of the projects listed in this proposal, but not fund Town Aid to Road Grants? Maintaining and upgrading local roads and bridges is a bread and butter issue for our small towns. Well maintained roads are critical to supporting and nurturing the growth of our downtowns and shopping centers as well as for the safety of our residents. A well-maintained transportation network directly benefits the state's business climate as well. Clearly, assisting towns in maintaining roads should be a top priority in our state budget. Failure to adequately fund TAR on top of recent cuts in municipal aid will drive increases in property tax levels and/or cuts in local programs, including education and public safety.
Neil Ruenzel, USCG (ret):
Opposes the $20million in state funds to build a proposed pedestrian bridge for the National Coast Guard Museum in New London CT. He feels it shouldn't be built here at all and is a waste of money in this location.
The following all submitted identical testimony regarding this bill:
The Administration proposes to abandon a commitment made in last year's agreement with hospitals by eliminating a grant program to hospitals for capital improvements. This proposed change would repeal a provision included in the bipartisan budget adopted last year that authrized up to $20 million in new General Obligation bonds in each of the next five years for the Office of Policy and Management to provide grants to hospitals for capital improvements.
These proposed reductions also undermine what is already a fragile healthcare system. We need to continue to partner with the state to invest in our communites, to maintain high quality standards, to invest in new innovations and technologies and to ultimately improve the health of our community.
David M. Bittner, Sr. Vice President & CFO, Trinity Health of New England
Anne Diamond, President & CEO, Day Kimball Healthcare
James E. Shmerling, President & CEO of CT Children's Medical Center
Charles Johnson, CFO, Hartford Healthcare
Carl Schiessl, Director, Regulatory Advocacy, CT Hospital Association
Diane Auger, Sr. Vice President & Chief Advocacy Officer St. Vincent Medical Center
Andrea Rynn, Director of Public Affairs, Western CT Health Network
Reported by: Dawn Marzik