Connecticut group sends highway plan to Legislature

| Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Back in September 2000, Connecticut officials proposed that a group of state and transportation officials form a committee to address continuing highway congestion in the state.

Now, two and a half years later, the group, The Transportation Strategy Board, has delivered its final report and recommendations. However, the plan is in danger, lying directly in the path of $2 billion worth of budget deficits, The Hartford Courant reported recently.

The plan calls for spending $5.5 billion for a number of transit improvements, including highway work, all paid for by increases in the gas and sales tax. The plan does not, at this point, specify any increase in diesel tax, state officials told Land Line. However, they cautioned the Legislature would make the final call on what taxes would be increased if the plan moved forward.

First, the state’s lawmakers must address a half-billion budget shortfall in the current fiscal year and $1.5 billion more in the fiscal year that begins in July, The Courant reported. In addition, while some legislators have indicated support for certain projects in the highway plan, the price tag, they indicated, could be a problem.

No bills regarding the transit plan had been introduced as of Jan. 20, according to the legislative Web site.

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