Senator Boucher Calls Malloy’s $10 Million Toll Study an Unaffordable Parting Gift State Taxpayers Don’t Want, Don’t Need, and Can’t Afford

July 19, 2018

As Co-Chair of the legislature’s Transportation Committee, I believe Governor Malloy’s executive order to bond $10 million to study tolls is another attempt to deepen Connecticut’s debt before he leaves office. The “parting gift” is something taxpayers strongly opposed during the legislative session.

This is another attempt by the most unpopular governor in America to do an end run around the legislature and force on the state a study that taxpayers don’t want, don’t need, and can’t afford. The bill in the legislature to study tolls was for $5 million compared to the $10 million study Governor Malloy has ordered by executive fiat. That bill didn’t even come up for a vote because of the groundswell of opposition by taxpayers. Legislators heard directly from their constituents that tolls are another tax on an already overtaxed populous and they were telling us, ‘We’ve had enough! Not one penny more!’ Which is something some of us already knew, but others needed to hear.

Connecticut has more important funding needs than to pay for a study the state doesn’t need. Priorities like funding schools, getting the disabled off of waiting lists for services, repairing old train bridges and our roads must come first.

Instead, Governor Malloy’s actions show a deep disconnect from Connecticut’s fiscal reality. The state is projected to face a $2.1 billion budget deficit in FY 2020 and a $2.4 billion deficit in FY 2021. Additionally, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the state’s bond rating because of the Hartford bailout, which will add to the cost of the $10 million in bonding the Governor proposed to pay for the study.

Governor Malloy seems to be doubling down on his attempt to bankrupt the state. Giving money away to financially unstable companies. Proposing to increase the state’s debt. Is he trying to surpass Lowell Weicker as the most unpopular governor in Connecticut history? Just when you think Governor Malloy can’t cause any more damage to our state, he proves us wrong.

This funding still must be approved by the State Bond Commission. While I am not on the commission, I will encourage my legislative colleagues to prevent the bonding from being approved.

Sen. Boucher represents the communities of Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.