Fasano: State Needs Constitutional Amendment to Protect Transportation Funding

January 8, 2015

Hartford – State Senator Len Fasano (R-North Haven), Senate Minority Leader, is calling on the governor and legislature to do more to protect transportation funding, including holding an immediate sit down meeting to draft a constitutional amendment to protect current funds.

“Governor Malloy’s statements during yesterday’s State of the State Address regarding a transportation ‘lockbox’ only touch the tip of the iceberg when it comes to transportation funding issues,” said Fasano.

“Obviously the governor believes the current legislation doesn’t go far enough in preventing his administration from mishandling the Special Transportation Fund over the next four years,” Fasano said, pointing to legislation that is already set to go into effect on July 1, 2015 which states that: “The resources of the Special Transportation Fund shall be used only for transportation purposes” (Section 76 of PA 13-277).

“In theory, this legislation should be sufficient. But clearly the governor is concerned that the legislature cannot abide by this law. I agree with the governor that we need to do more, but only because I’ve witnessed past legislatures use gimmicks and diversions to manage transportation funds,” said Fasano.

In light of this, Senator Fasano is calling on the legislature to strengthen protections on current transportation funds by drafting a constitutional amendment that does the following:

  • When defining a “lockbox,” the amendment must clearly delineate all of the current tax and fee revenues that need to be deposited into the Special Transportation Fund (STF), including all petroleum gross receipts tax collected from cars on the road.
  • The amendment would need clear language which states that at no time shall any current monies contained in the STF be transferred out of the STF.
  • The amendment must state that the STF shall not be used to support expenditures that are not related to transportation.

“A robust constitutional amendment that cannot be changed by future legislatures is the only way to fully protect taxpayers,” said Fasano. “If the governor is ready to put an end to the misuse of current funds in the STF, then I am ready to work with legislative leaders to hammer out a strong constitutional amendment to do just that.”

Senator Fasano also recommends re-establishing the transportation strategy board to ensure that all current funding is used in a manner that is best for all Connecticut residents.