Vote Yes To Transportation Ballot Question

Photo: Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

Commuter advocate Jim Cameron explains why he’s voting yes to this Nov. 6 ballot question: Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to ensure (1) that all moneys contained in the Special Transportation Fund be used solely for transportation purposes, including the payment of debts of the state incurred for transportation purposes, and (2) that sources of funds deposited in the Special Transportation Fund be deposited in said fund so long as such sources are authorized by statute to be collected or received by the state?

It will be labeled as “Question One,” a proposed amendment to the state constitution. And if you read it, you’ll see no mention of the word “lockbox.” But that’s what it is about: Putting money for transportation in a special place where it can only be spent on that intended purpose–transportation.

Until now, the state’s Special Transportation Fund has been a sieve, raided by Democrats and Republicans to balance the state’s budget. This measure would help end that practice.

To make it onto the November ballot, Question One was approved with bipartisan support by two legislative sessions. By making it a constitutional amendment instead of a law, it will be harder to circumvent, but not impossible.

This lockbox question is not perfect. It has loopholes. But if it passes, doom on any lawmaker or governor who tries to avoid voters’ clear intent: setting aside money that can only be spent on transportation.

There is wide support for Question One, especially among commuters who are tired of seeing our state’s bridges crumble and near-constant delays on standing-room-only trains. Even if you don’t ride our trains or buses, you should care about this issue. It’s your tax dollars (gasoline taxes especially) that have been misspent to the tune of $500 million in the past decade.

Read more here.


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