This week, MTAC president Joe Sculley submitted testimony in support of SB 1121, an act concerning Prioritize Progress. The bill is an alternative to using tolls to fund transportation in Connecticut, which would instead prioritize the use of Special Transportation Bonds, and General Obligation bonds.
In Sculley’s testimony, he outlined how the bipartisan budget passed by the legislature in May 2018 which retained fiscal restraints from the 2017 budget, while stabilizing the Special Transportation Fund, led to record interest in Connecticut transportation bonds. This is a positive development which can be built on.
Sculley also stated that debt service obligations are not causing problems with the Special Transportation Fund. Neither is revenue to the fund, which has steadily increased since the fund was created. The problems are caused by tremendously increased spending on public transit subsidies, as well as increased spending on pension/fringe benefit funding. Spending on transit subsidies has increased by 182.5% over the last 15 years, and spending on pensions/fringe benefits has increased by 140.4%. Meanwhile, debt service as a percentage of the STF is currently 40.3%, whereas 15 years ago it was 46.3%.
A copy of Joe Sculley’s testimony is available online.