Sen. Boucher Touts Transportation Bill Which Includes New Statewide Port Authority

May 12, 2014

Hartford, CT – State Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) and ranking member of the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee helped write and supported this year’s transportation bill. The legislation tackles everything from establishing a statewide Port Authority to dealing with potentially changing the way we treat our roads in the winter – keeping vehicles, roads and bridges from corrosion.

“Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle worked long hard hours on crafting a bill that would address some very pressing needs of our residents,” said Sen. Boucher. “We heard from so many of you about how the chemical de-icers put on the road were ruining your cars this legislation addresses that by requiring a thorough review of the impacts of the road treatments on equipment, infrastructure and the environment. I look forward to seeing the final report so that we may make the right decision moving forward.”

This legislation also creates a Statewide Port Authority Board made up of 15 members to coordinate development of state ports. Once the board creates the authority’s powers and duties it will share these recommendations with the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).

DECD will then come up with a plan to encompass maritime functions of the DOT and the CT Maritime Commission under the new authority. DECD commissioner will report to the governor and the Commerce, Transportation and Environment committees by March 1, 2015.

“The Port Authority will focus on private and public investments to promote and develop our harbors along the shoreline. These are vital areas of economic activity and we should pursue state and federal funding to increase movement of cargo through the ports – enhancing opportunities to grow and create jobs,” said Sen. Boucher.

Boucher thanked her fellow lawmakers for the bipartisan work that went into the bill. All sides worked together from DOT, to the transportation committee chairs, and ranking member Rep. Dave Scribner and fellow lawmaker Rep. Gail Lavielle.

The transportation bill also does the following:

  • Revises the weight limit for school buses and service buses for students with special needs on the Merritt and Wilbur Cross Parkways
  • Requires criminal background checks for certain livery cars
  • Requires DOT to study and report on improvements to getting in and out of Rentschler Field for UCONN football games
  • Establishes fare inspectors who issue tickets to busway passengers who have not paid their bus fare
  • Allows for beer trail, farm winery and agricultural signs on state highways
  • Exempts state salt sheds, parking garages and maintenance facilities from meeting LEED standards if such facility has incorporated best energy efficiency practices to the extent economically feasible