Competitive and Modern Infrastructure
Investing in our state’s infrastructure is critical to economic growth. We need to ensure that Connecticut has the modern infrastructure that allows us to move people, products, and ideas at the speed of business and in a way that makes us competitive with our neighboring states.
Regional Transit Systems
A modern workforce demands regional transit systems that better connect people with urban centers and other transportation hubs. I support the expansion of existing rail and the creation of additional high-speed rail to seamlessly connect the New Haven-Hartford-Bradley Airport-Springfield corridor.
High-speed Internet, Airports, and Ports
In order to give startup and scale-up businesses the best chance to succeed and make Connecticut’s economy competitive, I support efforts to ensure that every corner of the state has access to high-speed Internet.
Significant progress has been made in recent years to expand travel to and from our regional and international airports. I will continue to promote our airports to add more service and better connect Bradley International Airport with Hartford to support expanded business travel.
Connecticut’s ports are an untapped resource. I will encourage initiatives to increase the capacity of Connecticut’s coastal shipping hubs and create a vision for multi-modal infrastructure that better connects surface transportation networks with our ports for the efficient movement of goods across our state.
Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure has not remained competitive with our neighboring states, negatively impacting economic growth. Because our cars are more efficient and travelers who use our roads fill up in neighboring states with cheaper gas, and oftentimes deliberately avoid stopping in our state, Connecticut’s gas tax revenue has been insufficient to cover infrastructure maintenance and improvement costs. Increasing gas taxes is not the solution. I support reducing our burdensome gas tax and establishing smart electronic tolls to fund infrastructure maintenance. I understand the concerns in some communities regarding tolls, and have a plan that addresses their concerns through smart technology, tax credits, tiered fees, and other means. These include smart electronic tolls where no vehicle stops are required through use of EZPass or photo technology, reduced fees or tax credits for Connecticut residents, and a tiered fee system in which drivers pay more for longer trips through the state to ensure we do not negatively impact border towns with many out-of-state customers for local businesses. These approaches will protect our residents from being disproportionately impacted while ensuring that out-of-state drivers who now use our roads for free contribute to the maintenance and repair of our roads. Ultimately, all revenue from tolls must go to a lockbox to ensure the money is used solely for infrastructure.
Establish the Connecticut Infrastructure Bank
Relying solely on taxes, tolls, and bonds to fund critical infrastructure endeavors will not be sufficient for us to develop modern infrastructure in a timely manner. As Governor, I will establish the Connecticut Infrastructure Bank to help facilitate funding for infrastructure development and critical improvement projects. The Bank will leverage state-contributed equity with private debt capital to fund revenue-generating infrastructure development that is critical to our state’s long-term economic vitality. Establishing such an entity will consolidate the expertise necessary to negotiate large and complex projects for the benefit of taxpayers. This funding solution will speed up implementation of projects that will foster business growth, create thousands of jobs (including union jobs), and revitalize Connecticut’s economy. In addition to identifying innovative ways to accelerate the funding of infrastructure, I will focus on the process through which projects are reviewed, with a focus on expediting regulatory approvals and permitting.