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Greenwich's GOP Legislators Endorse Toll-Free Transportation Plan

Republican lawmakers have unveiled the transportation plan in addressing roads, bridges and more.
Republican lawmakers have unveiled the transportation plan in addressing roads, bridges and more. Photo Credit: File

GREENWICH, Conn. – Republican lawmakers Tuesday unveiled Prioritize Progress, a comprehensive, long-term plan to address Connecticut’s infrastructure needs, and State Reps. Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) joined their colleagues in calling for improvements to roads, bridges, rail, bus and ports.

The plan would establish a predictable and sustainable funding stream totaling at least $1 billion for the next 30 years and would reinstitute the Transportation Strategy Board to aid the state Department of Transportation in identifying community needs and prioritizing safety improvements. The plan would include no tax increases, no tolls and a reduction in the current level of state borrowing.

“I emphasize every year that we cannot continue to spend money by putting it on our 'state credit card.' This plan is a common sense solution to allocating money for essential transportation projects while spending within our means,” said Floren.

Camillo agreed that transportation is vital to the state's economic future.

“If we don't prioritize it, and fast, we will continue to struggle to recruit and retain jobs in both Fairfield County and the rest of the state. The House and Senate Republicans have put a plan on the table that is a common sense blue print that would enable Connecticut to move forward with a sustainable stream of funding while not raising taxes or erecting tolls, both of which would have a negative impact on area residents and taxpayers,” said Camillo.

Bocchino stressed the funding mechanism, and that it would not include tolls on the state's highways.

“The most important part about this plan, especially for our districts, is that it does not install tolls. It’s a win-win. We avoid tolls and set aside yearly funds for transportation projects—this is essential for lower Fairfield County,” said Bocchino.

For the past hundred-plus years, Connecticut has not had a truly reliable or foreseeable revenue stream for transportation, the lawmakers said.

Prioritize Progress would secure current funds, reprioritizes spending and would give experts the tools to institute a range of transportation projects – including roads, bridges, rail, bus and ports. The GOP plan would save Connecticut $305 million in debt services, while defining a 10-year horizon with an additional $5.3 billion to rebuild infrastructure systems, the lawmakers said.

Gov. Dannel Malloy is expected to present his transportation plan to the General Assembly on Wednesday.

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