November 6, 2018 Explanatory Text - Special Transportation Fund

PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE
STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

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?

 

CONTENT AND PURPOSE OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT        

If this amendment is approved, it would impose constitutional protections on state transportation funding. These protections, commonly referred to as the “transportation lockbox,” are currently established only in the Connecticut General Statutes. Specifically, this constitutional amendment, like the statutory lockbox, would do the following:

preserve the state’s Special Transportation Fund (STF) as a permanent fund;

require that the fund be used exclusively for transportation purposes, which include paying transportation-related debt; and

require that any funding sources directed to the STF by law continue to be directed there, as long as the law authorizes the state to collect or receive them.

 

Background: The STF

By law, the STF is a dedicated fund primarily used to finance state highway and public transportation projects as well as operate the Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Transportation. The law directs a number of revenue sources to the fund, such as (1) state fuel taxes, (2) most transportation-related fees and motor vehicle-related fines, and (3) a portion of state sales and use taxes. STF resources are pledged to secure bonds for transportation projects and must be used first to pay debt service on these bonds.

The preceding explanatory text was prepared by the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Research and approved by the General Assembly’s joint standing Committee on Government Administration and Elections in accordance with Section 2-30a of the Connecticut General Statutes.

 

TEXT OF THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

 (As set forth in H.J.R. No. 100 of 2017)

Section 1. That the following be proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the State, which, when approved and adopted in the manner provided by the Constitution, shall, to all intents and purposes, become a part thereof:

Article third of the Constitution is amended by adding section 19 as follows:

Sec. 19. The Special Transportation Fund shall remain a perpetual fund. The general assembly shall direct the resources of said fund solely for transportation purposes, including the payment of debt service on obligations of the state incurred for transportation purposes. Sources of funds, moneys and receipts of the state credited, deposited or transferred to said fund by state law on or after the effective date of this amendment shall be credited, deposited or transferred to the Special Transportation Fund, so long as such sources are authorized by statute to be collected or received by the state, or any officer thereof, and the general assembly shall enact no law authorizing the resources of said fund to be expended other than for transportation purposes.

Adopted June 7, 2017

 

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PROCESS

In accordance with Article Sixth of the amendments to the Connecticut State Constitution, this proposed amendment was approved by the General Assembly and is to be voted upon by the electors of each town at the state election on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

If a majority of the electors voting on the proposed amendment approve it, the amendment will become part of the state constitution.