Posted on July 25, 2018 by admin
State Representative Craig Fishbein (R-90) today joined his Republican colleagues and signed a petition calling for a special session to deal with Governor Malloy’s latest proposal to spend $10 million to study implementing tolls on Connecticut highways.
In a letter to the Governor last Wednesday, House Republican Leader Themis Klarides and Representative Christopher Davis, Ranking Member of the Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee, urged him to “reconsider your proposal to seek a $10 million bond allocation for a study of tolls at the next State Bond Commission meeting.” The letter also pointed out that his proposal to spend “taxpayer money on a study of tolls without approval from the legislature is a blatant circumvention of our democratic process.”
Unfortunately, that request was ignored and the bond commission passed the measure at their meeting on Wednesday, July 25.
“Once again the governor refuses to abide by the will of the people and their elected representatives in the legislature and plans to push another $10 million expense onto the taxpayers,” Rep. Fishbein said. “With only a few months left in his term, and after previously suspending transportation-related projects due to a lack of funding, the governor now decides to waste millions to study an issue that has been soundly rejected by the people of the state. It doesn’t make sense.”
Over the last several years Republican lawmakers have proposed viable alternatives to fund infrastructure in a sustainable way, including plans to require the state to use a set amount of General Obligation Bonds solely for transportation priorities, preserving Special Tax Obligation bonds for transportation projects and re-establishing the Transportation Strategy Board (TSB) to assess proposed projects and identify community needs, Rep. Fishbein said.
“We can work together to fund important projects without adding even more pressure on taxpayers,” Rep. Fishbein said.
The petition signed today states that signatories deem it necessary to hold a special session to prohibit the “expenditure of taxpayer funds to study and evaluate the establishment of tolls on Connecticut highways.”
“No one knows what the future makeup of the legislature will be, or who will occupy the governor’s seat, but from my perspective it doesn’t matter because at this point tolls are not a viable option or priority,” Rep. Fishbein said. “The state has already wasted far too much time, resources and money in an effort to implement a system of taxation the people have said they do not want.”