(CBS Connecticut) – Cash-strapped states like Connecticut have been cutting funding for highway rest areas. Democratic Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-2), along with Republican counterpart Jim Banks of Indiana have introduced a bill that would give states the option to commercialize state-owned rest areas on interstate highways.
“The 1956 law that currently blocks the creation of full-service rest stops creates a difficult financial situation for already cash-strapped states,” said Courtney. “Our bill will allow for public-private partnerships that will cover the cost of providing public restrooms while giving travelers options for food services and convenience shops.”
Current federal law prohibits states from commercializing rest areas on interstates developed after 1956. Connecticut has severely limited the operating hours of its non-commercial rest stops, and the budget proposal offered by Governor Dannel Malloy earlier this year would close them.
Congressman Courtney says Connecticut’s transportation commissioner has voiced support for the legislation, and predicted his counterparts in other states would be supportive as well.