Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont on April 16th led the Connecticut State Bond Commission to approve $340 million in special capital spending, funded with new bonds (despite a previous debt diet pledge) for a variety of highway projects, tens of millions of affordable housing, state buildings and $55 million in funds to dredge and develop the Port of New London, now undergoing an upgrade to handle offshore wind components (likely arriving by rail).
$5 million was allocated for dredging at the Port of New Haven. $17 million was allocated for brownfields remediation. $127 million was allocated for state highway projects and an additional $125 million for local projects including a lot of local transportation projects.
Aside from the Port of New London and New Haven, no rail projects were included.
Political chatter in the last several years has focused on a 30-30-30 goal of upgrading the speed and schedules on Metro-North to allow 30 minute trips between New York (Grand Central) and Stamford, 30 minutes from Grand Central and New Haven and 30 minutes between New Haven and Hartford (currently tabled at 45 minutes). None of the funding went to this goal.
Governor Ned Lamont cited low interest rates as part of the reason to turn to borrowing now: “It’s a pretty unique time. It’s unique in terms of the extraordinary needs we have out there right now, and it’s unique in terms of the ability to borrow money at a real discount.”