The state Bond Commission plans on borrowing $655 million in general obligation bonds and another $65.2 million in special revenue bonds today for a number of projects.
Sen. L. Scott Frantz, one of the two Republicans on the commission, said he he’s not sure how the governor plans to tackle all of these ambitious capital projects at the same time he plans to make a commitment to transportation.
A large portion of the state’s transportation funding, such as the $57 million for road repaving, which is part of the Bond Commission agenda today, goes on the state’s credit card.
“I plan to make a point of asking the governor what the soft bonding cap is this year,” Frantz said Friday.
Last year, Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy who controls the Bond Commission agenda blew through his self-imposed soft bonding cap. Between January and December 2014 the state borrowed $1.97 billion, which is over the $1.8 billion Malloy anticipated at the beginning of the year.
In November, after the election, state Treasurer Denise Nappier reported that for the first time since April 2013 the state transferred money from bond proceeds to help cover operating expenses.
On Jan. 2, Nappier reported that “The transferred monies were returned to their accounts on December 26th, although more transfer may be necessary during the remainder of the fiscal year.”
Rep. Chris Davis, the other Republican on the commission, said he’s going to keep a close eye on the agenda to make sure operating funds don’t continue to get shifted to the state’s credit card.
“I’m concerned with all this shifting of bond funds to cover operating expenses because it puts the responsibility to pay for it on our children and our grandchildren,” Davis said Friday.
Malloy’s spokesman Mark Bergman said it’s too early in the budget process for the governor to announce a soft bonding cap.
“The governor will work with the bond commission to approve projects that benefit Connecticut and our local communities,” Bergman said.
The governor has pushed his budget address back two weeks in order to gauge support for some of the items on his agenda.
Meanwhile, the state Bond Commission is poised to approve a number of projects, including millions of dollars in information technology upgrades, $350 million in school construction projects, $2 million to help purchase 924 acres of land in Old Saybrook, Westbrook and Essex, and more than $37 million in economic development projects.
The state Bond Commission meets at 10:30 a.m. today.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story had the decimal point in the wrong place for the amount of borrowing. It was $655 million, not $65.5 million