2/4/2008Connecticut: Governor Pushing for Freeway Speed Cameras
Connecticut governor to announce plan to boost revenue through traffic citations and freeway speed cameras.
Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell (R) will push for the installation of freeway speed cameras as part of her budget submission to the legislature Wednesday. The move, combined with a request for one hundred additional state troopers over the next five years, is designed to bolster the number of traffic citations and generate millions in new revenue. Rell previewed her plan to the Hartford Courant newspaper yesterday. Rell follows the lead of Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano (D) who announced in her January budget submission that a new statewide freeway speed camera program would generate $165 million in revenue.
Although Connecticut State Comptroller Nancy Wyman (D) projects a $281 million budget surplus for 2008, Rell insists that the state government needs more cash.
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average's nosedive on Tuesday morning was a stark reminder that revenue can plummet during a market downturn," Rell said in a January 23 statement. "It isn't raining yet, but we need to continue to prepare for that rainy day, hoping it never comes."
Wyman admits that her sunny revenue forecast is "full of gimmicks and wiggle room." Using industry standard accounting practices (GAAP), the state actually has a deficit of "more than $1 billion," according to Wyman. Rell vetoed a bill last July that would have forced the state government to adopt stricter accounting methods.
Rell intends the first automated ticketing machine to be installed on the Lyme-Old Lyme portion of the Connecticut Turnpike.