Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rumbling: Carpino to advocate for improved highways; Serra & Lesser Are you Listening?

Editorial: State Rep. Christie Carpino, R, Cromwell and Portland, represents the 32nd Assembly District in Connecticut. Below is an open letter Carpino has submitted to various news outlets with her plans to advocate for Connecticut road maintenance. Carpino's district used to include Middletown, until Democrats pushed for redistricting to better favor getting them elected. Our 25 year long veteran representative & hometown native State Senator Joe Serra is head of the state's highway commission &  cash cow CASHO, yet Middetown boasts the most deadiest stretch of roadway in the state, and by some reports, the whole northeast. On ramp 17 on Route 9 being the site of many a vehicular accident, some lethal. Rep. Matt Lesser has been too  busy advocating for college tuition tax breaks to address the issue either. There are state roads in Middletown that feel like washboards! 
Lesser and Serra, take note and learn a lesson from Carpino's initiative. Carpino's letter is below.
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To the Editor:
The recent White House report which found that Connecticut has the worst roads in the nation is upsetting and unacceptable, but not surprising to me. After all, I travel our roads daily right alongside my constituents. The legislative majority has failed the commuters of Connecticut.
Let us not forget, Connecticut also has the fourth highest gasoline taxes in the nation at 67.7 cents per gallon yet clearly this money is not being used for our critical state transportation needs. The governor has diverted over $189 million dollars away from transportation funding to be used on other projects.
The state budget I voted against in 2013 broke transportation promises made by Gov. Malloy dating back to 2009, when he promised to preserve the dedicated fund for transportation projects. It also raised CT Transit bus fares by 20 cents and paratransit fares by 15 percent.
In 2013, I took action and voted for a law which will provide a statutory lockbox on the Special Transportation Fund effective July 1, 2015. Any funds that will be put into STF can only be used for transportation purposes, unless the law is changed. Keep in mind that there is nothing preventing a future legislature from simply appropriating less funds to the STF.
Currently, Connecticut has a backlog of maintenance and repair needs. Ten percent of our bridges are ranked “structurally deficient” and in poor condition, according to Transportation for America. In addition, the state and municipalities maintain more than 17,100 miles of road, three-quarters of which are not in good condition.
This session, some legislators went farther and wanted to put in a constitutional amendment (SJR 23) that would prohibit the use of any money in the STF for non-transportation related projects.
The bill failed and never made it to me for a vote, but had it passed by three-fourths, it would have allowed voters to decide whether they want to restrict funds for transportation purposes.
Infrastructure is key to Connecticut — to our economy and safety. I will propose legislation next session that makes sure special transportation funds go to just that — special transportation needs.
Republican State Rep. Christie Carpino
Cromwell and Portland

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