Posted on July 19, 2018 by rjoslyn
As you may have heard, Governor Malloy this week announced that he is requesting from the state Bond Commission $10 million in borrowed money to pay for a study on the implementation of electronic tolling in Connecticut.
Toll legislation has been considered by the General Assembly in each of the past five years, and it has never passed. Thus far, significant public opposition has prevented its passage in the legislature.
In the face of that opposition and despite several studies already completed, the governor nonetheless issued an Executive Order for the DOT to proceed with a study that he says will demonstrate what a toll plan would look like and how much it would cost commuters.
The move is surprising, particularly because the legislature just recently twice considered and failed to pass bills that included toll studies: HB 5391 in 2018, and an amendment to HB 6058 in 2017. The Executive Order therefore directly circumvents the clearly expressed will of the legislature.
I agree with state Comptroller Kevin Lembo, who said, in explaining his plan to vote no on the request in the Bond Commission, “The Bond Commission should not act as a replacement for legislative action.”
It is also noteworthy that in the case of each of these two bills, the studies were projected to cost $5 million. The governor is now asking for twice as much to accomplish the same thing.
I feel that the request is inappropriate, particularly given the state’s precarious financial circumstances. I would like to share with you here a letter that my colleagues – House Minority Leader Themis Klarides and Finance Committee Ranking Member Chris Davis – have sent to the governor asking him to remove the request from the Bond Commission’s agenda.
I stand with my colleagues in urging the Bond Commission to refuse the governor’s $10 million request, and will join them in petitioning for a special session in the event that the Bond Commission approves the request.
The Bond Commission is scheduled to meet on July 25.
Click on the image below to read the full letter:
Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions about items on the state Bond Commission agenda or any other state issue.