May 9, 2019

Abrams Legislation To Strengthen Middletown Area Transit Passes State Senate

HARTFORD, CT – Today, the Senate approved legislation strengthening the abilities of Middletown Area Transit by expanding its Board of Directors. This legislation is intended to strengthen the board’s abilities by adding representation from Middletown, additionally providing the ability of the board to remove members. State Senators Matt Lesser (D-Middletown) and Mary Daugherty Abrams (D-Meriden, Middlefield, Rockfall, Middletown, Cheshire) sponsored the bill.

Senate Bill No. 521, “An Act Concerning Middletown Area Transit, (MAT)” would amend the Middletown Area Transit charter to allow the removal of directors prior to their terms expiring. In the past, the board has experienced governance lapses.

“I am happy to see this legislation that will benefit not only Middletown Area Transit, but the entire region’s transit abilities, advance,” said Sen. Abrams. “By changing the MAT’s charter to account for issues that previously threatened its solvency, we protect transportation in our region while strengthening the board’s ability to govern.”

“Middletown Area Transit plays a vital role in keeping our community’s transportation systems moving, and I’m thrilled to see this legislation move forward,” said Sen. Lesser. “By proactively improving the MAT’s charter, we take an important step toward protecting its long-term success.”

Sen. Lesser previously testified that this bill would rectify previous situations where the board’s small size, combined with its inability to remove members, nearly caused the MAT to become paralyzed and insolvent, adding that the current state discourages regional collaboration, which is essential for the board to ensure the district’s transit abilities remain viable.

This bill was previously approved by the Planning and Development Committee in a unanimous vote.