Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) announced on Jan. 10 that hundreds of transportation projects worth nearly $4.3 billion will be postponed indefinitely, until new revenue is identified to replenish the state’s Special Transportation Fund (STF). Without additional funding the STF will face a deficit by July 1, 2018, and could reach insolvency by mid-2020. In December Gov. Malloy had warned of upcoming cuts to delay the projected shortfall, which is exacerbated in part by growing debt costs on previous transportation bonds.
In the joint announcement with Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Commissioner James Redeker, the governor stated his intention to propose a transportation funding plan later in January, prior to the start of the 2018 legislative session. CTDOT estimates a 14 cents-per-gallon gas tax increase will be required to prevent the STF from facing a deficit.
A Sept. 12 report from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association found that the state would forego over $65 billion in long-run economic benefits, wages, and output from drivers and businesses, and nearly $21.4 billion in state GDP, if the state fails to invest in transportation infrastructure.
Connecticut voters will consider a ballot measure to impose a transportation fund ‘lockbox’ in the November general election. The measure would amend the state constitution to ensure all revenue deposited in the STF be used solely for transportation purposes, including paying debt service on state obligations incurred for transportation purposes. Revenue sources designated for the STF are authorized by statute to be deposited there.
Quotes From Gov. Malloy’s Jan. 10 statement:
Gov. Dannel Malloy : “If Connecticut does not take the necessary action to allow us to restart these vital projects, not only will it put the state’s infrastructure into a further state of disrepair, it will hurt our economy. If we want to compete in the 21st century economy, we need a transportation system that works for people and businesses, and we need to invest in transit-oriented development to build the communities where people and businesses want to be. I want to be very clear – this is preventable, but it requires immediate action. The legislature must act this year to avoid potentially devastating setbacks to our transportation system.”
CTDOT Commissioner James Redeker : “This isn’t a problem that can be punted until future years. Connecticut needs immediate action. As Governor Malloy noted last month, the solvency of the Special Transportation Fund is in doubt without new revenues. In real terms, that means we need to postpone indefinitely important projects today.”
Representative Tony Guerrera (D- District 29), co-chair of the state legislature Transportation Committee: “The cupboard is bare. Without a dedicated, stable stream of revenue to the Special Transportation Fund, our infrastructure will continue to rot and decay. We sit at the precipice of a transportation tragedy that can be avoided by investing in roads and bridges. We must act immediately in the 2018 legislative session and institute tolls or another revenue stream to avert the oncoming crisis.”