WNPR

Trump's Infrastructure Plan Puts Most Of The Financing On States And Cities

Feb 21, 2018

President Trump recently announced his infrastructure plan to fix the nation’s highways, bridges, and transit - a $1.5 to $1.7 trillion investment. And while lawmakers on both sides of the aisle support infrastructure legislation, most states, including Connecticut, are disappointed in the funding formula.

Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, who's proposed her own multi-step plan that includes a National Infrastructure Development Bank, says she was elated when the president talked about investing in the nation’s infrastructure, but has deep concerns about how it's funded.

"It's about grants, it's about loans, it's about a variety of efforts, but it puts the burden onto states and cities to come up with 80 percent of the financing," DeLauro said.

A complete reversal from the past, according to state Representative Matt Lesser. He said federal highway transportation projects were historically 80 percent funded by the federal government, while the states paid about 20 percent.

"So in addition to figuring out, how are we going to be able to fund our existing projects, how are we going to be able to build projects we've already committed to? We're now being asked to come up with a magical new source of funding that just simply doesn't exist,” he said.

Lesser’s in favor of creating an infrastructure bank on the state level. He joined DeLauro at a construction company in Branford, where he announced that they've just introduced a bill, modeled after similar legislation in California, to create a Connecticut infrastructure bank.

A public hearing will be held next month