Rep. Frey commends transportation funding in budget plan, no transit fare hikes
State Representative John Frey (R-111) expressed his satisfaction with transportation funding in the budget adjustment plan that passed the legislature overwhelmingly earlier this month, noting that the Department of Transportation has cancelled the rail and bus fare hikes they originally called for.
“For most of my service in the legislature I have advocated for protecting the Special Transportation Fund and have watched as previous legislatures raided our investment in transportation to pay for other projects, so it was encouraging to this year be a part of the winning side, successfully funding the STF without relying on tolls, fare hikes, or service cuts,” said Rep. Frey.
The budget adjustment plan, which was based largely on a proposal crafted by legislative Republicans, passed both chambers on bipartisan votes and was signed into law by the governor last week. The plan provides $29 million more to the Special Transportation Fund for road projects by accelerating the existing tax on new cars. The funding will ramp up dramatically in the coming years. There is also a provision to secure $150 million in General Obligation bond funding to support transportation projects.
“Connecticut’s transportation problems have never been the result of insufficient revenue, but rather a systematic failure to responsibly prioritize the money that we already have,” said Rep. Frey. “This shortsighted practice of raiding transportation funding is why we have deteriorating infrastructure today and an STF that is going bankrupt. The budget we passed this year is a marked departure from the days when the first place the legislature would look when it needed money was the pockets of its commuters. Instead, we specifically address the STF and actually secure a long-term source of revenue.”
“By prioritizing funding for transportation and creating a more effective strategy for identifying urgencies, we can create a safe, reliable and multi-model transportation network — including roads, bridges, rail, bus, and port improvements,” added Rep. Frey. “Everyone benefits from a strong transportation system, and progress can only be made if we prioritize transportation.”
The new budget adjustments go into effect at the beginning of FY 2019 on July 1.