To the Editor:
At the recent public hearing regarding the latest tolls bill, LCO 373, Sal Luciano, President of the Connecticut AFL/CIO testified that he was in favor of the bill because it represented an important investment in the infrastructure of our state and would generate 2,3000 jobs to implement the improvements.
There is no argument that the improvements are necessary and overdue, and that the plan will be a significant jobs generator for the construction industry. Mr. Luciano also suggested that the $19 billion investment called for in the proposal would generate $40 billion in economic activity. While there is no attribution to this claim, I have every reason to believe that economic development will occur with an advanced transportation system. What he and others fail to address is that there are other ways to fund the plan that do not have negative implications to taxpayers, in contrast to the LCO 373 bill.
With the Republican plan, FASTR CT, nearly the same funds would be made available, the same projects would be funded, the 23000 jobs would be realized as would the anticipated economic development benefits. In addition, FASTR CT, would pay down $1.5 billion in pension liability, which every state employee should recognize as beneficial to his/her future. The current pension liability is suffocating and obstructing state agencies who need money to adequately provide services to the citizens of CT.
LCO 373, the Tolls Bill, while trucks-only today, does not preclude the Legislature, or its designated Connecticut Transportation Finance Authority, from including tolling cars in the near future.
The Legislative leadership needs to listen to its constituents and adopt the Republican plan that achieves the same ends with no additional money from the taxpayers. Legislators need to represent the wishes of their constituents and not their party leaders.
Republican Candidate for State Representative, 79th District