Motor Transport Association Names Boucher State Senator of the Year

July 27, 2018

Boucher Sculley award

Hartford – Today, the Motor Transportation Association of Connecticut (MTAC) presented State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) the organization’s State Senator of the Year Award for her efforts in support of policies that support the state’s trucking industry.

As Co-Chair of the legislature’s Transportation Committee, Sen. Boucher fought against proposals to install tolls on Connecticut highways that would increase costs for commuters and transportation companies. She also has promoted the Republican Prioritize Progress plan that would increase transportation funding by $1 billion a year without new taxes or tolls.

“It’s an honor to receive this recognition from MTAC for my efforts to prevent the installation of expensive, unnecessary tolls on Connecticut Highways. In addition to putting another tax on overtaxed commuters, tolls would put a tremendous strain on the trucking industry and commerce in our state,” Sen. Boucher said. “The trucking industry is the lifeblood of commerce in our nation. The growing prominence of online shopping has increased the need for more trucks and truck drivers to deliver the goods that everyday Americans and Connecticut residents want. Highway tolls would be an additional cost passed on to the consumer, potentially choking our state’s already struggling economy. Unless and until we reduce our overall state tax burden, I will continue to fight the additional tax that tolls represent in Connecticut.”

MTAC President Joseph Sculley said that Sen. Boucher recognizes the important role the trucking industry plays in the state’s economy and labor force. Americans’ growing hunger for online goods resulted in a hiring boom as more truck drivers are needed to transport goods.

“Senator Boucher has been a strong and consistent supporter of the trucking industry,” said Sculley. “She understands that everything the consumers of Connecticut purchase was on a truck at one point. More than 85 percent of Connecticut communities depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods. Trucks transport 94 percent of total manufactured tonnage in the state. There are more than 60,000 jobs in the trucking industry in Connecticut. The trucking industry plays a crucial role in the Connecticut economy.”

Sculley added that Sen. Boucher has not fallen prey to the falsehood that out-of-state trucks don’t contribute to Connecticut’s Special Transportation fund, which pays for state road construction and repairs. In fact, the trucking industry plays an important role in financing our transportation system.

“She knows that out-of-state trucks do not get a free ride through Connecticut. The pay their fair share, anywhere from $26 million to $30 million per year, through the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and International Registration Plan (IRP) programs.” he said. “Additionally, Connecticut-based trucking companies pay about $281 million annually in state and federal road taxes.”

Sen. Boucher called it unfortunate that she received the MTAC award on the same day the State Bond Commission authorized $10 million to fund a new toll study. The study and funding is based on an executive order from out-going Governor Dannel Malloy.

“A similar study in the legislature was going to cost $5 million and it was met with such an outcry by the public that it never came for a vote,” she said. “I don’t understand the Governor’s rational for doubling the cost for a study taxpayers have loudly said they don’t want, don’t need, and can’t afford. To top it off, he won’t even be in office when the study takes place. Will he still be in the state?”

Sen. Boucher said she is ready to take up the fight during the next legislative session to prevent the study.

“There are many more important things $10 million could be used for,” she said. “We have state residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities on waiting lists for housing and services. We could put more money into our children’s education. Not to mention that we have roads and bridges in desperate need of repair. Putting Connecticut $10 million deeper in debt for a study is just irresponsible.”

Sen. Boucher also is Co-Chair of the legislature’s Education Committee. She serves as Vice-Chair on the Finance, Revenue, & Bonding Committee’s Transportation Bonding Subcommittee. She is a member of the Legislative Management Committee.

The 26th State Senate District includes the communities of Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.