Connecticut Sen. Toni Boucher: GOP Has Transportation Funding Plan [CBS New York]

April 28, 2015

Article as it appeared on CBS New York

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Republican lawmakers in Connecticut have apparently come up with a plan to help pay for Gov. Dannel Malloy’s $100 billion transportation overhaul.
State Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton, the ranking member of the Transportation Committee said Republicans in Hartford have come up with a plan that would redirect bonding, freeing up an extra $1 billion a year.

“I feel very, very certain we can pay for it out of our current bonding capacity,” Boucher told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau. “All we need is for the governor and the administration to open the door, sit down and take these ideas seriously.”

Now she says Republicans are waiting to see a broader plan from the governor’s office.

“Will they be proposing tolls?” Boucher said. “Will they be preparing an increase in the gas tax? We already have the highest gas tax in the country.”

Boucher said sentiment in Connecticut is practically nil for implementing tolls.

Meanwhile, the Democratic-controlled budget-writing committee has come up with a spending plan that would restore many of the social service cuts proposed by Malloy.

The lawmakers’ two-year, $40.47 billion spending plan also replenishes much of the fundingMalloy’s budget cut from libraries, regional tourism districts, before- and after-school care programs, state parks and other popular initiatives.

Appropriations Committee members were scheduled to vote on the proposal Monday afternoon. The Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee has until May 1 to vote on a revenue package.

The spending plan would come in below the state’s constitutional spending cap in part because of a proposed change that would no longer take into account unfunded pension liabilities for state employees, teachers and judges.

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