HARTFORD – State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) challenged the majority party on a ruling that blocked House Republicans from proposing a strict lockbox on transportation funds on Tuesday, June 06, 2017.
“The resolution that was passed today merely gives the illusion of a transportation lockbox,” said Rep. O’Neill. “Today, we attempted to propose an amendment that would effectively secure transportation funds for their intended purpose, which is to maintain and improve upon our infrastructure. Unfortunately, the majority party sidelined our efforts with a parliamentary maneuver that prevented a vote on a real lockbox. They are unable to control state spending and will use any funds necessary to fill holes in the budget.”
The Republican proposal excluded debt payments from the definition of “transportation purposes” forcing all transportation funds to be spent solely on specific transportation related capital expenditure projects and non-debt service operating costs limited to a maximum 3% growth per year. Additionally, the Republican amendment explicitly stated that all revenue sources that are earmarked for the Special Transportation Fund must be credited towards that account. Most importantly, the Republican amendment provided Connecticut citizens with a means to enforce this lockbox and prevent future raids on the transportation fund.
“This was an opportunity to make a meaningful structural change to our state finances, but the majority party chose to pass a fake lockbox constitutional amendment,” added Rep. O’Neill.
House Joint Resolution 100 is now on the Senate calendar awaiting action.