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State Senator

Cathy Osten

Representing Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich & Sprague

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Sen. Osten Statement on High Cost of Republican ‘Prioritize Progress’ Plan

HARTFORD – State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) issued the following statement today on the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis cost estimate of the Connecticut Republicans’ Senate Bill 1121, their “Prioritize Progress” road and bridge repair proposal:

“The cost of the Republican proposal to even begin fixing our backlog of necessary road and bridge repairs is so outrageously expensive as to be a non-starter.

“OFA has determined that the Republican $21.7 billion borrowing plan – let’s call it what it is – will end up costing Connecticut taxpayers a total of $35.4 billion over 30 years when you add in another $13.7 billion in interest charges. That’s nearly $3,400 in interest charges alone for every man, woman and child in Connecticut. For a family of four, that’s more than a year of tuition, room and board at a Connecticut state university.

“The Republican argument that Connecticut should continue to borrow more money, and not less, or that Connecticut should sacrifice investments in economic development, local school construction or higher education improvements for the sake of a campaign talking point, that argument falls flat from a political party with a history of decrying borrowing and ‘putting things on the credit card.’ This fiscal note must be a real bucket of cold water for them.

“The Republican proposal is especially untenable when you consider that the cost of electronic tolls for Connecticut residents over the same time period is only about one-third the cost of the Republican alternative. Poll after poll shows public support in Connecticut for electronic tolls if the money is used for road and bridge repair and congestion mitigation, and that’s exactly what we plan to do. I think today’s report from OFA has ended any argument for the Republican option and has only confirmed the wisdom and fiscal responsibility of e-tolls on limited highways.”

The full OFA analysis can be found here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2019&bill_num=1121

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