Advocates for a better-funded state transportation system will get their chance next week to appeal to Connecticut’s gubernatorial candidates face-to-face in North Haven.

The campaigns for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Tom Foley confirmed Thursday they will attend a forum at Monday sponsored by Moving Transportation Forward in CT, a coalition of nearly three dozen chambers of commerce, construction trades and businesses, environmental advocates, regional planning agencies and municipal groups.

During a mid-August press conference at Union Station in Hartford, the coalition challenged the gubernatorial candidates to support increased funding to overhaul the state’s aging transportation network, even if it means tax increases or tolls.

The group also asked the candidates to attend a public forum devoted exclusively to transportation issues. But both Malloy and Foley have ruled out tax hikes. And while each has said he is willing to discuss tolls, neither has proposed them. According to event organizers, Monday’s forum, set for 9 a.m. at the Best Western Plus at 201 Washington Ave., North Haven, each candidate will appear on stage separately, offering opening remarks and fielding questions from transportation advocates.

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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