Rep. Kennedy supports bond package

State Representative Kathy Kennedy (R-119) joined her colleagues and supported a bipartisan, yet long-overdue bond package that provides much-needed funding for municipal road repair, school construction, municipal projects and more.

The $166 million package (HB 5518) for both fiscal years ’20 and ’21 that passed provides $2,774,531 in total aid to Milford and $478,791 to Orange, and includes funding for Town Aid Road (TAR), Local Capital Improvement (LOCIP) and grants for municipal projects. It represents an annual increase of $413,400 for Milford and an annual decrease of $16,003 for Orange for fiscal years ’20 and ’21.

“This was a tough plan to support because it does have a slight decrease in funding for Orange, but ultimately it’s a good package for the state, includes transportation funding, remains under the bond cap and provides additional money to battle the recent Coronavirus outbreak,” Rep. Kennedy said. “Still, I would have preferred the governor do more to honor his pledge of a debt diet.”

Rep. Kennedy appreciated the plan included funding for important transportation projects, bridge repair and replacement, school constructions grants, municipal aid, increased funding for non-profit agencies and open space programs, among others.

However, Rep. Kennedy disagreed with several items in the plan, including spending $65 million to refurbish Hartford's XL Center, funding for Workforce Development in Bridgeport and Hartford, brownfield remediation for one small town in Eastern Connecticut and cleanup of a waste site in Hamden.

“Bonding for programs that benefit the entire state makes sense, especially when we’re discussing important transportation and infrastructure projects, but I remain concerned that this plan has too many earmarks that will only benefit very small parts of the state.”

Republicans called an amendment to the package that would have preserved vital funding for Town Aid Road, school construction, public universities, while at the same time stripping earmarks in the underlying bill for the XL Center, the town of Preston and East Hartford, among others. That amendment failed on a mostly party-line vote.

Rep. Kennedy represents the 119th district of Milford and Orange.