Transportation suffering because Democrats have failed to act
David Collins wrongly blames Republicans for Connecticut's infrastructure problems in his column "Toll me, please,” (Jan. 26).
Collins must not be aware that Democrats control the governor's seat and both chambers of the legislature and have held that power for years. He must not be aware that Democrats, including Gov. Lamont, have repeatedly diverted funds away from transportation. He must not be aware that Connecticut Democrats have the numbers to pass any transportation plan they want at any time, including tolls, but they haven’t.
Collins blames "Trump's Republicans," but in reality it is Connecticut's Democrats who have wasted time on transportation proposals that not even their own members supported. It is the Democrats who are now trying to rush a vote in special session only 24 hours before the regular session starts − on a bill that was only released on Monday. Ironically, it is the Trump administration's federal infrastructure loans that are offering the only beacon of hope for Democrats. Without those federal funds, none of the Democratic toll proposals would even come close to balancing.
While state Democrats have wasted time going in circles on tolls, Connecticut Republicans have offered no-tolls solutions. Contrary to the inaccurate Lamont talking points Collins repeats, the truth is the Republican plan borrows significantly less than any Democrat toll proposal. Our plan, FASTR CT, relies on using a portion of the state's budget reserve fund to pay down on the state's crushing unfunded pension liabilities, reducing our debt and freeing up funds to put toward transportation. It remains true to our fiscally conservative principles and takes the bullseye off taxpayers' wallets.
I welcome an open and honest policy debate any time. I am a centrist Connecticut Republican, working every day to represent my constituents. While political innuendo may sell newspapers, it doesn’t solve problems.
State Senator Paul Formica serves as deputy Senate Republican leader and represents the residents of the 20th Senatorial District, which includes Bozrah, East Lyme, New London, Old Lyme, Salem, Waterford and portions of Old Saybrook and Montville.