After extensive discussions of transportation funding over the last several years, CBIA's board of directors issued the following statement today.

Transportation has and continues to be a key strategic component of a vibrant, growing economy. Connecticut's economy has been hamstrung by a lack of infrastructure investment over the last several decades leading to an antiquated transportation system that restrains, rather than supports, economic growth.

As such, there is general agreement among board members that user fees, which could include electronic tolling, are an acceptable mechanism to provide funding for critical transportation projects.

However, there is also agreement among board members that the state's chronic short-and long-term fiscal problems—as evidenced by current and projected significant budget deficits—outweigh any of the other factors inhibiting economic and job growth in Connecticut, including infrastructure funding.

These chronic fiscal problems have created a challenging environment for economic growth that is the reality in Connecticut today.

The troubling reality is that Connecticut continues to struggle with population loss and job and economic growth numbers that lag other states in the region and across the nation.

The state's chronic short-and long-term fiscal problems outweigh any of the other factors inhibiting economic and job growth in Connecticut.

Improving our infrastructure is part of the solution, but there is widespread distrust that transportation funds will go to transportation projects, despite the lock box, because of the state's continued fiscal instability and a history of diverting funds to cover spending levels rather than for economic investments like transportation.

Governor Lamont came into office very much constrained in his ability to reduce the cost of delivery of services due to contractual obligations and other restraints.

His plan to modernize state government and reduce its size and cost through attrition over the next several years is appreciated and supported by the business community, as is his stated desire to deal with the state's fixed costs.

These changes will take time, and until state government exhibits a greater capacity for fiscal discipline it is difficult to support adding additional cost burdens, like tolls, on individuals and businesses.

Our necessary infrastructure upgrades will also take time, so the legislature must begin the debate on how to best fund those upgrades during this legislative session.

At this time of fiscal instability due to high state spending and fixed costs, we cannot support highway tolls.

At a minimum, the legislature must restore all funds to the Special Transportation Fund that were proposed to be diverted to the General Fund and determine the best funding mechanisms to improve transportation while the hard work to solve our fiscal problems continues.

It is the consensus of the board that at this time of fiscal instability due to high state spending and fixed costs, we cannot support highway tolls as one of those funding mechanisms.

We are hopeful that continued progress on improving the overall climate for growth in Connecticut, and sustained action on our fiscal problems, will lead the board to be able to support alternative funding mechanisms in the near future.

We look forward to working with the governor and the legislature on these issues and on developing a set of tax, spending, and investment policies that will reignite the private sector job growth needed to benefit all Connecticut residents.

Filed Under: Transportation
  • yankfan8370

    Yup, it’s a matter of trust. They are correct that toll revenue will end up in the General Fund for pensions. Also the Federal government will not approve of the toll plan being touted by state Dems…

  • WatsonAL

    There has been no detailed explanation of project costs, comparison of CT’s costs to perform reasonably the same work as in other states and any notion of prioritization. If I understand the high level numbers – the STF revenue is about $1.7 billion annually. In addition, the Federal government adds $704 million annually. So, that’s $2.4 billion in funds. In addition, the state issues $800 million in transportation bonds annually. So, we’re now up to $3.2 billion. Finally, the State DOT spends (excluding the $66 million for the DMV) another $663 million annually.

    So, $3.8 billion/year for a state the size of Connecticut is not enough?

    I find that difficult to believe.

  • Rosemary Ciuci DeFeo

    NO TOLLS, we need to look elsewhere for the $$

  • Tom Jacobsen

    Please take a look at the waste of money redoing Rte 37 between Danbury 7 New Fairfield. This state is incapable of the proper use of money to fix infrastructure.

  • Diane Knight

    Ned Lamont has to address waste and overspending, look for money that is available like grants and special funds, that is not being done, only 1% of the resources are being spent on that research. Ned Lamont came in to office thinking he can do anything he wants, without bipartisan negotiating. Thank you CBIA for your insight and letter of reason.

  • useyourhead2

    Yes, we recall with fond memory how we were fooled with the Social Security “Lockbox.”

    “Fool me once, and shame on you; fool me twice”………….. just ain’t going to happen, especailly after the campaign promise by Neddy that the Tolls were ONLY going on those “Evil Truckers” and NOT the Working Poor or others transiting The Peoples Republic of Connecticut.

    Our infrastructure is a mess because the budgets that were allocated for infrastructure, were pi$$ed away elsewhere leaving the infrastructure to slip into the mess that it is today.

    Neddy and the Dems aren’t fooling anybody: The $800 Million of Tolls was going to be applied to the various Employee Pensions. Instead to curtailing pensions as the Private Sector has to let workers set up their own retirement funds and to eliminate corporate responsibility in funding an maintaining them, THE UNION OWNED DEMTARD CAUCUS CONTINUE BOOKING PASSAGE ON THE STATE’S TITANIC KNOWING THAT WHEN THE COLLISION OCCURS, THE POLITICIANS THAT STOLE THE FUTURE OF OTHERS TO PAY FOR IT WILL BE RETIRED IN FLORIDA AND OUT OF CONNECTICUT. What better example than John M. Fabrizi Bridgeport’s mayor from 2003-2007.