State Budget Analysis: For Nearly Two Decades, Funding Has Been Diverted From Municipalities, Education, and Social Services to Bail out the Special Transportation Fund
$3.7 Billion Removed from the General Fund to Balance the STF Since 2003
(HARTFORD, CT) – The Connecticut Office of Policy and Management today released an analysis showing that nearly every state budget since 2003 has diverted money away from the General Fund that should have been used to fund various items such as municipal aid, education, and nonprofits, and was redirected to balance the state’s Special Transportation Fund (STF), which finances the state’s entire transportation system and is projected to become insolvent in the coming years.
The analysis shows that since 2003, a total of $3.7 billion has been redirected from the General Fund to the STF. In stark contrast, during this same time-period a total of $152 million has been transferred from the STF to the General Fund – the last time of which occurred during the 2014 fiscal year and the only time it has happened during the last 10 years.
Max Reiss, Director of Communications for Governor Ned Lamont, said that the analysis refutes a myth perpetuated by opponents of implementing a responsible transportation policy that will fix the ongoing solvency problems with the STF and modernize the state’s roads, bridges, transit, airports, and ports.
“The facts are clear and they continue to be muddied by those with political motives,” Reiss said. “The Special Transportation Fund has been supported by revenues that have been, and will continue to be, insufficient over the past decade and beyond. If we don’t take action, this is a trend we know will continue in the future. To that end, previous Connecticut governors – two Republicans and one Democrat – used the General Fund and revenues meant to support municipal aid, education, and nonprofits that were used instead to pay for transportation infrastructure. This practice robbed social service providers of needed funds and short-changed our communities.
“Connecticut residents should have faith in our government and they must have faith in the information coming from elected officials and those involved in the political process. These numbers and this data show what the truth is, and that truth is the reality that Connecticut has neglected its transportation infrastructure for decades, which led funding intended for other services to bail out the transportation fund for nearly two decades. Opponents to responsible transportation investment must face the facts, and not parse numbers to fuel a misinformation campaign.”