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Posted inMoney, Politics

Even transportation panel’s homework sets off a partisan furor

The group studying how to fund a 30-year transportation improvement program in Connecticut knows there are few options – if any – that won’t spark controversy. But the state’s Transportation Finance Panel watched that challenge expand significantly after its research became the focal point of an intensifying partisan battle among state legislative leaders.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Should Connecticut re-instate tolls on its major highways?

The Connecticut legislature is considering a bill (HB 6818) that would order the transportation commissioner to establish a toll-collection system on the state’s major highways at its borders. The bill would also set up “safeguards to ensure that any toll revenue is deposited in the Special Transportation Fund (STF) and used only for transportation purposes.” Witnesses — many from the state’s border communities — submitted testimony in opposition to the idea. A few were in favor. Here is an excerpted sampling of both. The full list of witnesses and their written testimony can be found here.

Posted inMoney, Politics

With ‘lockboxes’ for toll receipts, there are lots of ways to pick the lock

Though Gov. Dannel P. Malloy would consider restoring tolls if Connecticut creates a legal “lockbox” to ensure receipts are spent on transportation, other states’ have struggled to keep their “boxes” locked. And because Connecticut’s transportation program relies on many sources for funding, guarantees to protect toll receipts might mean little if other sources are diverted.

Posted inMoney, Politics

Malloy keeps options open on tolls for Connecticut highways

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy tried to give himself more flexibility Monday to re-establish tolls, warning he would force a Capitol debate in 2015 on the costs necessary to upgrade the state’s long-neglected transportation network. And while the governor insisted on the campaign trail last fall that two conditions must be met for tolls to be considered, he abandoned one – a precipitous drop in federal transportation funding – on Monday.

Posted inEducation, Money, Politics

Malloy may run afoul of his pledges whether taxing or cutting

Governor Dannel P. Malloy faces plenty of critics who argue he can’t balance the next state budget without breaking his campaign pledge not to raise taxes. But Malloy will be equally hard pressed to close next year’s $1.3 billion-to-$1.4 billion deficit with spending cuts, given the many pledges and fiscal principles he has espoused since taking office four years ago.