Sen. Martin Urges Lawmakers to Consider No-Tolls Transportation Alternatives as Tolls Vote Delayed Again

February 19, 2020


February 19, 2020

HARTFORD – Following media reports that Democrat legislative leaders are delaying a vote on the governor’s latest tolls bill again, Senator Henri Martin (R-Bristol), Ranking Member of the Transportation Committee, is asking lawmakers to consider FASTR CT, a Republican transportation plan that has no tolls.

This week it was reported that Democrats were attempting to split the governor’s latest tolls bill into two separate, incomplete bills to hold simultaneous voting between the House of Representatives and Senate, and then exchange the bills in a hostage-like situation. After backlash over the proposed scheme circumventing the legislative process, Democrat leaders cancelled the vote.

“This week’s developments, or more aptly put, lack of developments are a sign that it is time to move away from the current tolls proposal and consider alternatives to invest in transportation in a way that does not put more burdens on taxpayers,” shared Sen. Henri Martin.

“Connecticut does not need tolls to address the issues with transportation infrastructure. We have options. We can improve our roads, rail and bridges with a significant investment all by adopting smart fiscal policies, better managing state dollars and leveraging federal aid,” said Sen. Martin.

“Republicans have offered a solution, FASTR CT, that would invest as much in transportation as the Democrats’ latest toll plan, but it works without tolls, without tax increases and with significantly less borrowing,” said Sen. Martin.

  • FASTR CT brings certainty to fixing transportation. Meanwhile, tolling will kick open the doors to possibly toll all vehicles in the future, entice a lawsuit from the trucking industry, challenges from New York, and constitutional questions about giving taxing authority to the DOT to set toll rates.
  • FASTR CT has less borrowing than any of toll proposals to date.
  • FASTR CT requires multiple financial and performance audits to better manage transportation dollars to yield the best results for taxpayers.
  • FASTR CT pays down on unfunded pension liabilities to reduce debt and create savings that can be applied to transportation. It would use a portion of funds currently in the state’s budget reserve fund that taxpayers have already paid and use those dollars to pay down on unfunded pension liabilities. This is fiscally prudent. Much like using money in your personal savings account earning little interest to pay down on your credit card debt that has huge interest, this would create long-term savings.

“The most common mischaracterization of FASTR CT is its impact on the budget reserve fund. FASTR CT will not put our budget reserve fund at risk if a recession hits. Instead, FASTR CT will enable us to make the needed investment in our transportation system, create approximately 23,000 good paying jobs and begin road improvements immediately to help carry our economy through a recession generating nearly $38 billion in economic activity. Rather than the three year wait that would be needed for federal approval to implement tolls.  FASTR CT will also maintain a historic amount in our budget reserve fund providing a historic cushion for any potential recession,” said Sen. Martin.

Sen. Martin concluded, “Connecticut deserves an iron clad plan and a transparent legislative process to tackle the needs of our transportation system. I look forward to continued conversations with colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”


Read the full plan here: