Two never-say-die state lawmakers are taking another long-shot bid at stopping the New Britain-to-Hartford busway.
State Sen. Joe Markley, R-Southington, and Rep. Whit Betts, R-Bristol, are proposing a bill that would divert all state funding for the busway to bridge and road repairs.
To even get the idea on the table, though, they'd have to win over a legislative committee chaired by one of the busway's chief supporters.
Even if that happens during this short legislative season, the bill then would need more than half of the heavily Democratic General Assembly to vote down one of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's signature projects.
Betts and Markley spent much of last year trying to rally opposition to the $567 million highway for rapid transit buses. But state lawmakers made no effort to block it last year, and the conservative Republican Congress allowed $275 million in federal funding to go through. Betts and Markley said Tuesday that they won't give up.
"The administration has turned its back on the taxpayers," Betts said. "Hurricane Irene exposed many of the underlying transportation problems in Bristol, Plymouth and across Connecticut. It doesn't make sense to spend such an exorbitant amount of taxpayer money on a project that will benefit so few when there are such glaring problems that affect so many."
Betts and Markley will ask the General Assembly's transportation committee to take up their proposal. It is co-chaired by Rep. Anthony Guerrera, who assured a rally of union laborers last August that the busway would bring jobs.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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