At its first meeting of 2016, the state Bond Commission is poised to approve $505 million in borrowing for a variety of projects.
In 2015, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who is in charge of the Bond Commission’s agenda, set a soft cap of $2.5 billion in borrowing for the calendar year. He ended that year just $5,482 shy of that $2.5 billion target.
It’s unknown at the moment if Malloy will increase the cap for 2016.
Friday’s agenda includes 68 items, many of which are related to technology upgrades of state computer systems.
There’s $28.5 million in school construction grants that will go to some of the lowest performing 30 school districts and another $20 million that will go to Hartford area magnet schools to comply with the landmark school desegregation lawsuit. There’s also $10.9 million that will go to school districts to buy computers and other electronic devices for students to take the controversial Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests.
The agenda also includes $1.2 million for the Connecticut Tennis Center in New Haven. A few years ago, the state stepped in and purchased the center in order to save the tennis tournament and keep it in the state. According to the agenda, improvements will include upgrades to the player’s lounge, the media center and offices.
The state Bond Commission is also expected to approve $1.5 million for repairs at the XL Center in Hartford and $775,000 will be used to finance an engineering study to find out what it would cost to install a permanent box office at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
Another $1.9 million will go to various cultural and historic sites in the state and $2 million will go to the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
An estimated $78 million will fund upgrades in affordable housing projects through the state.
“The availability of affordable housing is an economic driver that attracts business and jobs, and makes communities more vibrant places to live, work, and raise a family,” Malloy said Wednesday. “If we want to have a quality workforce, and if we want to be economically competitive, it’s important to have quality housing.”
There are projects 15 towns that will receive the affordable housing money and $17 million will go toward the goal of ending homelessness statewide.
The Bond Commission will meet at 10:30 a.m. Friday in room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.