Sen. Welch Driving Transportation Issues at the Capitol: Lock Box and Relief at the Pump

March 15, 2013

Hartford, CT – State Senator Jason Welch (R-Bristol) has co-signed a bill to prevent money in the state’s Special Transportation Fund from being used for the general fund. The bill is House Bill No. 6039 An Act Limiting Expenditures from the Special Transportation Fund.

“Last year this Governor’s budget did not transfer $70 million to the special transportation fund like prior law would have required. This bill would limit budgetary gimmicks. The money is supposed to go toward fixing roads and bridges, upgrading trains and buses. When the administration takes it for other purposes the commuting public suffers,” said Sen. Welch.

According to the Office of Fiscal Analysis transfers to the fund were reduced last year by $70 million and in the next fiscal year the Governor is proposing to reduce the transfer by even more, $74.8 million.

The transportation committee voted to pass this bill out of committee and it will now await a vote by the full general assembly.

Meantime, Sen. Welch is also looking for relief at the gas pump. House Bill No. 1095 An Act Eliminating the Increase in the Petroleum Products Gross Earnings Tax (PGRT). This bill would reduce the cost of gas by eliminating the scheduled increase in the PGRT from 7.0% to 8.1% that is effective on July 1, 2013.

“If this tax is allowed to go up this summer consumers will be paying more at the pump. We need to give folks some relief,” said Sen. Welch.

The Office of Fiscal Analysis estimates that this increase costs taxpayers $62.6 million. Sen. Welch would like to see the administration curb its spending habits adding, “If government can be more fiscally responsible with money then maybe we could eliminate some of these onerous taxes like this gas tax.”

This gas tax bill will have a public hearing on Monday, March 18, before the Finance Committee in Hartford. The hearing will take place at the Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Ave, Hartford, in Room 2E at 10:30 am. All are welcome to testify.