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.
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.