Gov. Malloy Ducks Bond Cap Question [WPNR News]

January 14, 2015

Governor Dannel Malloy got a hint of the tough questions he may face over paying for his transportation priorities at Monday’s bond commission meeting. But the governor said he’s not yet ready to set limits on borrowing for this year.

The bond commission approved $130 million in borrowing Monday, in its first meeting of 2015, including $57 million on special obligation bonds to pay for repaving and repair of highways, and almost $6 million for new train stations.

Senator Scott Frantz of Greenwich told the meeting he’s disturbed about the pace of borrowing, especially given Malloy’s second term pledge on major investments in transportation infrastructure. “It’s early in the year,” he said. “It’s the 12th day of January, and it’s astounding to me how quickly we can issue bonds, and allocate those bonds and spend the proceeds, to the point where I again start to lose sleep.”

Malloy told Frantz he’s not yet ready to impose a soft bond cap to indicate a limit on borrowing this year, but after the meeting he told reporters that not everything will happen at once. “We’re not in a position to start mega-projects in the next couple of years,” he said, “so this obviously has to be a ramp-up as we get those largest projects ready to go. Now, some of those are even longer term; the 84 run through Hartford, and the gigantic project in Waterbury that will be required, are going to take some period of time and probably be later execution.”

Malloy gave an example of the Charter Oak Bridge as a priority in what he said will be a long list of projects. He said he will set a bond cap around budget time next month.

Last year, the Malloy administration exceeded its self-imposed cap by almost $170 million.