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Rep. Kupchick Newsletter: Assessing the Governor’s $10 Million Toll Study

Posted on July 23, 2018 by rjoslyn


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Dear Friends,

As you may have heard, Governor Malloy last week announced he is requesting $10 million in borrowed money to pay for a study on the impact of electronic tolling in Connecticut.

Toll legislation has been considered by the General Assembly each of the past five years, but it has never received enough votes to pass either chamber because of significant public opposition to putting another financial burden on cash-strapped Connecticut residents.

In the face of that opposition, the governor issued an Executive Order requiring the DOT to prepare a toll proposal and study how much it would cost commuters.  However, I don’t think we need a study to show the implications of tolls because they are obvious – it will make living in Connecticut even more unaffordable than it already is.

While I believe our infrastructure needs to be improved and modernized, I cannot support an additional scheme to collect even more money from Connecticut residents until the state conducts a serious re-evaluation of how it prioritizes the transportation funding we already collect, how the state can more accurately calculate the costs of transportation projects, and a real transportation funding “lockbox” is instituted.

The state already allocates funding for transportation from two gas taxes, the tax on out-of- state trucks, one half point of the CT sales tax, the sales tax on new cars, all sorts of fees, and borrowed money.  We should be reducing the tax burden on families and businesses, not increasing it.

My caucus has sent a proposal to Governor Malloy to address our transportation needs without imposing tolls – proposals that have been ignored.

To that point, I would like to share with you a letter my colleagues – House Minority Leader Themis Klarides and Finance Committee Ranking Member Chris Davis – wrote to the governor asking him to remove the request from the Bonding Commission’s agenda.

I stand with my colleagues in urging the Bond Commission to refuse the governor’s $10 million request as well.

The Commission is scheduled to meet on July 25.

Click on the image below to read the full letter:

 

Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have questions about items on the State Bond Commission agenda or any other state issue.

Rep. Kupchick Calls on Governor to Remove $10 Million Toll Study from Bond Commission Agenda

Posted on July 23, 2018 by rjoslyn


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HARTFORD – State Representative Brenda Kupchick (R-132) today urged the State Bond Commission to reject an item bonding $10 million for a study on the impact of a plan to implement electronic tolling on Connecticut highways.  The agenda item would borrow money to pay for the study, as required by an Executive Order from Governor Dan Malloy who chairs the Bond Commission and decides which items are on the agenda.

The study would explore tolls on all major Connecticut highways, including Interstates 95, 91, and 84, along with the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways.  This past spring, the legislature refused to consider a similar study costing only $5 million.

“It is completely inappropriate for the governor to attempt to circumvent the legislature like this,” said Rep. Kupchick.  “The governor is requesting to borrow $10 million in taxpayer money – which, unbelievably, is twice the amount we had seen proposed in the legislature for a similar idea – to study the impact tolls would have on Connecticut residents.  However, if you drive on I-95 or the Merritt Parkway every day you do not need a study to know that tolls would make life in Connecticut even more unaffordable than it is now.  That is why I am joining my colleagues in urging the State Bond Commission to refuse the governor’s request and remove this item from the agenda.

“I kept an open mind on tolls when the issue first came before the legislature, but as more details of the proposals were presented it has become obvious this would simply be just another tax.”

Rep. Kupchick referred to data offered by the CT Department of Transportation that estimated approximately 70% of toll revenue would come from Connecticut residents.  She also pointed to previous DOT tolling proposals that had called for up to 80 tolling gantries across the state, far exceeding the 14 toll locations in Connecticut before they were decommissioned in the 1980s.  These proposals are expected to cost commuters between $3,000 and $6,000 per year with additional costs for businesses.

“While I believe our infrastructure needs to be improved and modernized, and that charging motorists for using our highways makes some degree of sense, I cannot support an additional scheme to collect even more money from Connecticut residents until the state conducts a serious re-evaluation of how it prioritizes the transportation funding we already collect and how to more accurately calculate the costs of transportation projects,” added Rep. Kupchick.  “Further, a governor with less than 5 months left in office should not be permitted to make a $10 million appropriation that the legislature has already rejected.”

The State Bond Commission is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, July 25.

Rep. Kupchick Newsletter: Support Operation Hope’s Annual Community Tag Sale

Posted on July 13, 2018 by rjoslyn


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Dear Friends,

It is time again for the annual Community Tag Sale hosted by the volunteers at Operation Hope.  This year’s tag sale is at the First Congregational Church of Fairfield at 148 Beach Rd.  It will be held on August 18 from 9am until 4pm and on August 19 from 12pm until 4pm.  All proceeds will benefit Operation Hope.

 

 

 

Operation Hope has been helping Fairfield County residents through affordable housing, a food pantry, and other services for over 25 years. While our economy continues to struggle, more and more people need a helping hand.

The Tag Sale is only successful because of the efforts of volunteers. Proceeds of the sale go toward helping those in need.

 

Here are some ways you can help out:

First: Take a look through your home or garage for items to donate to the tag sale.

  • Furniture, Household Goods, Jewelry, Linens, Pictures/Paintings, Toys, Gaming Systems, Outdoor & Sporting Goods and more! Items
  • NOT accepted for donation: Bedding, clothing, televisions, computers, monitors, shoes, and books

Items for donation can be brought to the First Congregational Church in Fairfield between August 13 and August 16.

Operation Hope also needs donations of water for the volunteers and baked goods for the bake sale.

To sign up to volunteer at the tag sale, click on this link.

The Community Tag Sale is a great way to support and participate in a Fairfield tradition of helping our neighbors!

You can visit www.operationhopect.org for more information.

I hope to see you at the sale!