HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The State Treasurer is warning the Governor that taking money from the ‘Rainy Day’ fund to pay for the state’s new transportation plan is risky.
The Republican’s proposed transportation plan excludes the Governor’s proposed tolls for all vehicles, and, instead, proposes taking millions out of the state’s ‘Rainy Day Fund’ to pay for new transportation updates.
Senate Republican Leader Senator Len Fasano (R-North Haven) was attempting to drum up support among Fairfield County business leaders Thursday for his ‘no tolls’ transportation plan.
This comes only a few days after, the State Treasurer, Shawn Wooden, told the Governor and lawmakers that using a large chunk of the State’s ‘Rainy Day Fund’ to fund road, bridge, and rail repairs is not a good idea.
Treasurer Wooden told News 8, “Taking this much out of our ‘Rainy Day Fund’ will be harmful.”
Wooden explained that the currently large ‘Rainy Day Fund’ is one of the reasons the state’s Bond Rating and economic outlook has improved.
“Changing course this dramatically with something that we’ve seen such a positive impact from, I believe would be unwise.”– Connecticut State Treasurer Shawn Wooden
But, Senator Fasano says his plan would still leave $1.2 billion in the fund for that inevitable rainy day, saying “To put out a ‘caution flag,’ I get that. We thought about it and we have enough money in our ‘Rainy Day Fund’ certainly to take us through any recession that we have.”
The Governor, while praising Fasano’s efforts, appears to be in full agreement with the Treasurer.
“I think taking $1.5 billion out of the fund when you’re in the tenth year of an economy that hasn’t had a recession is pretty risky. I said that early on, but we may be able to find an agreement.”– Governor Ned Lamont (CT-D)
Meanwhile, Fasano says no Republicans will support the proposed ‘trucks only tolls’ plan because it would make it easy to include cars down the road.
“In Rhode Island the question is whether or not tolling trucks only is constitutional. If they do it in Connecticut and the court finds it’s unconstitutional they’ll say; ‘okay, let’s add cars, now we’re constitutional.”
The Governor also said today that all sides will be at the table, and all plans will be on the table at his office for a meeting next Tuesday (11/26).