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Proposed bills to reduce DMV wait time, transportation ‘lockbox’ up for hearing

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HARTFORD — Connecticut lawmakers will hear from the public on the latest plan to stop transportation revenues from being spent on other programs and a proposal to reduce wait times at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The Transportation Committee will hold a hearing Monday on a proposed constitutional amendment to create a transportation lockbox.

The committee will also hear testimony about proposals to reduce wait times at the DMV which includes eliminating the requirement that the DMV refuse to register vehicles for owners who owe property taxes.

Democratic Gov. Dannel P.  Malloy wants outside contractors, like AAA, to be able to offer vehicle registration services in addition to being able to renew non-commercial licenses.The legislation proposal will put a hold on boat registrations until the end of 2018. Malloy said the move would allow more staff to work on vehicle registrations and reduce wait times.

The third point of the proposal, which has many–including tax collectors–concerned, would allow the DMV to register vehicles that have delinquent property taxes and parking tickets.  Currently, the DMV is prohibited from renewing a vehicle, snowmobile or vessel registration  if the department has not received notification from any municipality of outstanding tax payments or delinquent parking tickets.

The administration believes this will reduce return visits to the DMV to register vehicles.

The lockbox is a key issue for Malloy, who is pushing for a $100 billion overhaul of the state’s transportation infrastructure.

The bill must pass by three-quarters of each chamber of the legislature to appear on the November ballot. An earlier version passed the legislature last year but only by a simple majority. Some legislators said they didn’t believe the language was strong enough to prevent future legislatures from raiding the funds.

Malloy says his new version “goes farther than any other proposal” toward preserving funds.