Joint Statement on Connecticut Transportation Revenues and STO Bonding

RPA and the signed organizations sent the following statement to the members of the Connecticut General Assembly on August 1, 2017, voicing concerns about the possible severe negative impacts of revenue reductions and bond cap proposals on mobility and economic stability in Connecticut.  

 

Faced with pressures to reduce expenditures, we, the undersigned, are concerned that the budgets under consideration would reduce revenues and cap the issuance of new bonds for transportation.  While there are no good choices for balancing the state’s budget, these proposed actions, individually or together, will deal a major blow to Connecticut’s economy and the state’s ability to grow jobs.

Based on OPM’s forecast of the actual revenue projections as of June 20, 2017, revenue plans under consideration would run deficits in the Special Transportation Fund (STF) during the biennium.  The STF could be insolvent in FY 2020, if not sooner.

STF revenue reductions will eliminate transportation services for residents across the state

ConnDOT has identified that a reduction of its 2018 and 2019 requested Appropriations Budgets of 10% from the 2017 Appropriated Budget levels would result in:

  • Reduction of bus operations, eliminating 688,000 hours of local services, impacting approximately 10 million riders annually, and CT Transit service reductions of 15-20%.
  • Reduction in Waterbury and Danbury Branch services, and a 50% reduction of Shoreline East service.
  • Postponing new commuter rail service between Springfield, Hartford and New Haven.
  • DOT Planning and Engineering for system investments and upgrades will be paralyzed.
  • DOT’s maintenance and safety programs will be diminished.

STF revenue reductions will threaten Connecticut’s fiscal health

  • Interest rates on transportation bonds will climb.
  • Heightened risk of defaults on currently outstanding transportation bonds.
  • Issuing new bonds will be difficult.

A bond cap will cripple transportation projects and halt future investments

  • Current construction projects will be halted.
  • Hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funding would be surrendered to other states.
  • No new contracts would be awarded or developed.

Transportation is critical to market accessibility, labor flexibility, job growth, and quality of life.  Unfortunately, the poor condition of Connecticut’s transportation system is inhibiting the growth of Connecticut’s economy, the attraction of new employers and the retention of jobs for the state’s residents.  The General Assembly must adopt a budget for the FY 2018-2019 biennium that maintains current revenues allocated to STF and does not cap transportation bonding. 

  • AAA Allied Group
  • AAA Northeast 
  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Connecticut
  • Associated General Contractors of Connecticut
  • Bridgeport Regional Business Council
  • Business Council of Fairfield County
  • Cameron Staples, Chair, Transportation Finance Panel; State Representative, Connecticut House of Representatives, 1992-2010
  • Capitol Region Council of Governments
  • Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce
  • Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut
  • Commuter Action Group
  • Connecticut Asphalt & Aggregate Producers Association
  • Connecticut Association for Community Transportation
  • Connecticut Citizens’ Transportation Lobby
  • Connecticut Commuter Rail Council
  • Connecticut Construction Industries Association
  • Connecticut Environmental & Utilities Contractors Association
  • Connecticut Fund for the Environment
  • Connecticut Ironworkers Local 15
  • Connecticut Ironworkers Local 424
  • Connecticut Laborers' District Council
  • Connecticut Ready Mixed Concrete Association
  • Connecticut Road Builders Association
  • Connecticut United for Research Excellence, Inc. (CURE)
  • Emil H. Frankel, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Transportation, 1991-1995; Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation, 2002-2005
  • Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce
  • International Union of Operating Engineers Local 478
  • Midstate Chamber of Commerce
  • MetroHartford Alliance
  • Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce
  • New England Regional Carpenters Labor Management Program
  • New England Regional Council of Carpenters
  • Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce
  • Regional Plan Association
  • Sacred Heart University
  • Stamford Chamber of Commerce
  • Transit for Connecticut 
  • Trinity College
  • Tri-State Transportation Campaign
  • University of Bridgeport
  • University of New Haven
  • Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Wesleyan University
  • Yale University