ACEC/CT Government Affairs Update
June 30, 2015
The Connecticut General Assembly met in a special session yesterday to pass bills that were left on the table when the regular session ended on June 6. When businesses in the state threatened to leave Connecticut, Governor Malloy proposed lowering some of the taxes that were raised on businesses during the closing hours of the regular session.
The General Assembly passed legislation authorizing $5.9 billion in capital projects for the next two years that include clean water, school construction, and other public works projects. They also adopted a transportation bonding package worth $795 million over the next two years and $2 billion over the three years beyond that. But that represents a reduction of $16.3 million to help pay for the tax break for businesses.
However, the General Assembly did not adopt the “lockbox” for the Special Transportation Fund (STF) requested by Governor Malloy. The Governor had proposed a constitutional amendment protecting the fund from raids by the General Assembly for deficits in the general fund. The Governor also wanted to protect the fund by requiring a mandatory pledge to transportation bondholders. Not only did legislators fail to protect STF, they also began raiding it for other purposes. They took $500,000 out of the STF for DEEP boating regulations and enforcement and more than $4.5 million for the Department of Social Services for a Transportation for Employment Independence Program.
The General Assembly created a new Connecticut Port Authority independent of the Department of Transportation.
Engineers did well during this session of the General Assembly. We were successful in having a statute of limitations bill passed and successfully opposed the imposition of the state sales tax on engineering and other professional services.