As Governor Dannel Malloy attempts to fill a $400 million budget hole, most state agencies will have to take a budget cut. Those agencies will likely include the Department of Transportation, and some of those cuts may be passed on to commuters.
Connecticut’s Department of Transportation oversees a budget of about $1.2 billion each year. That includes maintaining and renovating highways, bridges and rail infrastructure throughout the state. Speaking on WNPR’s “Where We Live”, Governor Malloy said he thinks transportation is a priority. But the money isn’t there.
“Do we have enough money to make up what is this gigantic gap created by prior administrations under-investing in transportation?" he asked. "The answer is: No.”
Malloy said highway tolls might be part of the answer to paying for what needs to be done, since as cars get more fuel-efficient, the state will make less money off its gas taxes.
“We’re going to get less money from the taxes that we have on gasoline because less gasoline’s going to be sold. So we have to figure this out," he said.
Malloy has already raised fares on Metro-North’s New Haven line to help close the deficit, and beginning next year, they’ll jump another five percent. Asked if he might raise fares even higher, Malloy was elusive, saying:
“When you have a situation that we’ve had in this state for a number of years, it’s about making decisions that reflect the greatest ability to share the sacrifices required.
More details may come out after the legislature’s special session to address the deficit next week.