Reps. Scribner, Giegler on Vote to Protect Special Transportation Funds

State Representatives David Scribner (R-107) and Jan Giegler (R-138) today applauded the Transportation Committee for moving a bill out of committee which would protect and preserve funds set aside for road and bridge repair by amending the state’s constitution to prevent future fund sweeps.

The proposed legislation, SJ23 - A Resolution Proposing an Amendment to the State Constitution Limiting the Use of Moneys Contained in the Special Transportation Fund – would prevent any money contained in the Special Transportation Fund, or any successor fund, to be used or transferred from the fund for any expenditure or purpose not related to transportation.

Just last session a law, introduced by Rep. Scribner, was passed to protect special transportation funds by establishing a “lockbox” that won’t take effect until 2015, but later in the same session $118 Million was stripped from the fund in an effort to help balance the state’s budget. That legislation (PA 13-277) passed by near-unanimous margins in the Transportation Committee; Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and both chambers of the General Assembly before being signed into law by the Governor.

“The reinvestment of transportation funding into infrastructure improvements is crucial as our roads and bridges continue to deteriorate and pose a risk to safety,” Rep. Scribner, Ranking Member and longest serving leader of the Transportation and Transportation Bonding Committees said. “This Constitutional Amendment would help reduce the cost of commuting in Connecticut and boost transparency by preventing state government from using slight-of-hand fiscal maneuvers to raid transit funding.”

“It’s unfortunate we need to take actions like this to preserve funds that were already set aside for transportation infrastructure improvements and repairs,” Rep. Giegler said.  “This Constitutional Amendment would assure the money we set aside for these important transportation repairs is available for designated projects and not siphoned off for unrelated uses. It’s vitally important we maintain our highways and bridges.”

Forty-nine state bridges were recently classified as “structurally deficient” and “fracture-critical;” bridges that have an average use by 1.8 million vehicles daily according to the Associated Press.

If the Amendment passes this session it would be continued to the next session of the General Assembly and presented on the ballot of the November 4, 2014 general election for a state-wide vote.  The proposed amendment to be used on the ballots will state "Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to prohibit the use or transfer of moneys contained in the Special Transportation Fund, or any successor fund, for any expenditure or purpose not related to transportation?"


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