Devlin works to protect our transportation funds

State Rep. Laura Devlin (R-134) submitted public hearing testimony in the legislature’s Transportation committee on Wednesday, Feb. 25 to guarantee that the all monies collected and earmarked for transportation, are indeed spent on transportation.

Devlin, who is a member of the powerful Transportation committee, proposed HB 5927, An Act Prohibiting Transfers from the Special Transportation Fund which is also called the “Lockbox Bill.” Implementing a lock box will ensure that monies collected for transportation are indeed spent on transportation.

Devlin reiterated that Connecticut needs to invest more in its existing transportation infrastructure, specifically the recurring problems of the Metro North New Haven line.

Devlin also mentioned that there are more than 410 bridges with at least one structural deficiency – 20% more than ten years ago.

According to CGS sec. 13b-69, Special Transportation Funds are supposed to be used exclusively to pay for transportation projects. PA 13-277 (sec. 76) underscored this policy by making this dedication of funds even clearer. Yet the Special Transportation Fund continues to be raided to fund operating and other state expenses. In 2013-2014 the STF received a net $91 million less than what was promised and the current budget assumes a raid of $20 million. This practice cannot continue.

“If Connecticut is serious about investing in its transportation infrastructure, we need to start by ensuring the funds collected that are earmarked for transportation are actually spent on transportation. This bill would do that,” said Rep. Devlin.

In his address to the General Assembly on Jan. 7, Governor Malloy also proposed a lockbox and said that he is willing to take it a step further by seeking a Constitutional Amendment to protect the Special Transportation Fund from future raids.

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