Legislators are again considering creating a constitutional lockbox to protect the state’s Special Transportation Fund from being raided and used for General Fund expenditures.
Last December, lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a similar resolution in the special session, but just shy of the 75% required to put it on the ballot for voters this November.
This time around, it’s critically important to seal the deal and Connecticut’s business community must help, by urging all state legislators to support the lockbox.
Governor Malloy has proposed a vehicle for that action, contained in HJ-1.
Surveys show that a vast majority of businesses in the state support a constitutional lockbox and have long viewed Connecticut’s outdated transportation infrastructure as a barrier to their ability to compete here.
Connecticut can no longer afford to continue to siphon off funds from the Special Transportation Fund for other purposes, and a constitutional measure to deter this from happening–something that has been talked about forever but never moved forward, has never been this close to being put to voters.
Opinions differ about the strength of the proposed lockbox, but delaying the will of the people would be a roadblock to achieving a 21st century transportation infrastructure.
Connecticut’s business community must help, by urging all state legislators to support the lockbox.
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.
The governor’s resolution last December received a unanimous vote in the Senate and 100 votes in the House–a tally that fell just 14 votes shy of the mark in the House.
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.
If passed, the earliest it could appear on a ballot is in 2018. Given the state of Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure, we can’t wait that long.
Fortunately, HJ-1 provides a chance for a do-over.