Will the “Lockbox” really be locked?
It amends the state constitution to require that all taxes and fees imposed for transportation purposes, like roads, bridges, and public transportation, go to that purpose in the state’s “Specia Transportation Fund” because the fund has been raided by lawmakers for other purposes in the past.
Governor Malloy championed this idea. Legislators from both parties approved getting it on the ballot. Some said it would be like a referendum on highway tolls although that’s being denied now because the federal government requires tolls to go to transportation no matter what the state constitution or the legislature does.
Friday, labor and business leaders joined political leaders from both parties under an I-84 repair site urging residents to vote “yes” on the “Lockbox Amendment” on November 6. “You have to have an infrastructure that works and to have an infrastructure that works folks, it means you that you have to have money for that,” said Rep. Tony Guererra (D-Rocky HIll) the longtime co-chairman of the Transportation Committee.
The Republican Senate President Pro tem, Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven) adding, “The ‘Lockbox’ just assures that money we put into transportation stays in transportation.”
And Veronica Chavers, the President of the Stamford local of the Amalgamated Transit Union said, “We must protect our transportation funding and that means voting ‘yes’ and we vote ‘yes’ for the ‘Lockbox’ Amendment.”
But the Republican leader in the House, Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) says the “Lockbox language is so loose, you can drive a truck through it adding, “There’s no guarantee that the money that goes in stays in and there’s no guarantee that the money that’s going in is going to go in. It is an excuse once again for tolls in this state and higher gas taxes.”
Here’s the ballot question language so you can judge for yourself;:
BALLOT QUESTION 1
Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to ensure (1) that all moneys contained in the Special Transportation Fund be used solely for transportation purposes, including the payment of debts of the state incurred for transportation purposes, and (2) that sources of funds deposited in the Special Transportation Fund be deposited in said fund so long as such sources are authorized by statute to be collected or received by the state?