Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle should take action this year to allow Connecticut voters to vote on a constitutional lockbox for the state’s Special Transportation Fund.

This is a big issue for commuters and businesses alike: A recent CBIA survey found that more than 75% of business leaders said Connecticut’s transportation systems are key to their ability to move goods and services.

Lockbox-Transportation_022616Last December, legislators overwhelmingly passed a lockbox resolution in the special session on the budget, but the vote fell just shy of the 75% required to put it on the ballot for voters this November.

The governor’s resolution received a unanimous vote in the Senate and got 100 votes in the House–the latter tally 14 votes off the mark.

So, while the resolution passed, in order for it to appear on an election ballot, the next General Assembly (meaning those elected in November) would have to vote on it again.

Except for:

Under the state’s constitution, a resolution can be immediately placed on the next election ballot if it receives 75% of the votes cast in both the General Assembly’s House and Senate.

So they have another chance to get it on the ballot this November.

Why do businesses want a lockbox?

Simple. Surveys have shown the vast majority of Connecticut businesses want a lockbox to ensure that the Special Transportation Fund is used for transportation purposes only.

The vast majority of Connecticut businesses want a lockbox to ensure that the Special Transportation Fund is used for transportation purposes only.
Plagued by congestion and limiting businesses’ ability to reach customers and new markets, the state’s transportation system is in dire need of repairs and upgrade.

Connecticut can’t wait until 2018--especially with talk of installing highway tolls and increasing taxes to pay for the necessary upgrades.

If new revenue sources are enacted by legislators, there must be a firewall to ensure transportation dollars are used for transportation projects.

We have a few months left in the 2016 session.

There is plenty of time for a re-do and for lawmakers to come together on an issue that everyone supports.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Gjede (860.480.1784) | @egjede

Filed Under: Transportation
  • Matthew G McConnell

    The vast majority of business owners in this state favor a constitutional lockbox because of trust; or lack thereof to be more precise. Too many broken promises from past and current politician in all branches. We have little faith the monies will be used expressly for transportation infrastructure needs. This is backed up by comments made by some current legislators who say “they don’t want to be boxed in” by a constitutional lockbox. If the Connecticut legislature moves forward with establishing the transportation fund and taxing the citizens to fund it without heeding the warnings from the voters, they do so at the peril of their political careers. The numbers favoring a constitutional lockbox are overwhelming and trying to slide it under the radar won’t work this time.