State Senate Republicans have unveiled a transportation plan as an alternative to Gov. Ned Lamont’s CT 2030 initiative.
Thursday's plan from the minority party in Connecticut's Senate comes a day after Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont pitched his 10-year, $21.3 billion initiative to Senate Democrats. While the Democrats liked projects in Lamont's proposal, they didn't like how it includes 14 tolls on bridges across the state.
The Republican plan has no tolls and no tax increases. The proposal looks to cut down on debt which Republicans say is hurting the Special Transportation Fund. They want to begin with cutting down on state borrowing, leveraging federal low interest loans and dipping into the General Reserve Fund.
In the FASTR Connecticut Plan, GOP leaders are looking to make an $18 billion investment in transportation, including roads and rail, less than the governor’s $21 billion proposal, which includes tolls for revenue. Republicans also want transportation boards, and suggest reestablishing the Transportation Strategy Board.
GOD leaders also recommend a Connecticut/New York Railroad Strategy Board, comprised of two representatives from the NY/MTA, two Connecticut commuter rail council reps, Connecticut Department of Transportation officials, and rail leaders from towns directly affected by rails.
Senate Democrats agree that the state’s rainy day fund is at a high level and are working to confer with the Office of Fiscal Analysis to crunch the numbers in the Republican plan.
Republicans do agree with Lamont that $100 million for transportation need some prioritizing, and that the number one goal should be fixing the state’s infrastructure.
Lamont issued this statement in response to the GOP plan:
“Growing Connecticut’s economy is my top priority. Every dollar we invest in our infrastructure is a dollar we invest in our future. I am not surprised Senator Fasano also recognizes the critical importance of those investments. The state’s largest employers agree that these investments can transform Connecticut.
“My plan, CT2030, provides a comprehensive, multi-modal vision for Connecticut’s transportation and economic future. It invests $15.6 billion in making our infrastructure safer and $5.5 billion in transformative enhancement projects that allow Connecticut residents to spend more time with their families and less time on the road. CT2030 is responsibly funded and financed with federal and out-of-state dollars to stabilize our Special Transportation Fund for the next decade.
“While I appreciate Senator Fasano’s proposal to partially fund much-needed infrastructure investments, taking money out of the Rainy Day Fund is a risky proposition that requires serious evaluation.”