State Rep. Dave Yaccarino (R-87) joined fellow Republican lawmakers Tuesday in unveiling Prioritize Progress, a comprehensive long-term transportation plan that addresses Connecticut’s deteriorating transportation infrastructure.
The plan establishes a predictable and sustainable funding stream totaling at least $1 billion for the next 30 years and reinstitutes the Transportation Strategy Board to aid the Department of Transportation in identifying community needs and prioritizing safety improvements. The plan includes no tax increases, no tolls and a reduction in the current level of state borrowing.
“I think this is a great initiative,” Yaccarino said. “This is a sensible vision – one that does not rely on tax increases or tolls and still manages to keep our federal funding.”
For the past hundred-plus years, Connecticut has not had a truly reliable or foreseeable revenue stream for transportation. Prioritize Progress secures current funds, reprioritizes spending and gives experts the tools and resources they need to institute a broad range of transportation projects – including roads, bridges, rail, bus and ports.
The Republicans’ plan will save Connecticut $305 million in debt services, while defining a 10-year horizon with an additional $5.3 billion to rebuild infrastructure systems.
“This plan will have a direct positive impact for the state of Connecticut, and proves that we are putting our money where our mouth is,” said Yaccarino.
Key components of the plan would require the state to:
- Reserve a set amount of General Obligation Bonds to be used solely for transportation priorities.
- Preserve current Special Tax Obligation bonds dedicated to transportation.
- Fill all vacant positions at the Department of Transportation to ensure that the agency can efficiently carry out the state’s needed transportation projects. As of January 1, the DOT is 114 positions below where they were 6 months previously.
- Re-establish the Transportation Strategy Board (TSB) to work alongside CTDOT to assess proposed projects, identify community needs.