Thursday, March 6, 2014

Senate to Debate a Transportation Bond Bill

Today the Massachusetts State Senate is expected to debate a $13.15 billion transportation bond bill.  Contained within the bill is a five-year $1.5 billion commitment to the Chapter 90 road fund dedicated to assist municipalities in repairing local roads, however, there are several costly items within the bond bill as well.  Two such items include $2.3 billion for the South Coast rail line project and $1.3 billion for the Green Line extension.

Members of the Senate have also filed 237 amendments that comprise both local projects and major policy changes.  Among those amendments are three initiatives that I have filed for today’s debate.  Those include:

·         Amendment #78, which would repeal the state’s 1993 anti-privatization law, aka the Pacheco Law;

·         Amendment #136, which would require the Secretary of Transportation to issue a five-year plan prioritizing the repair and maintenance of existing transportation infrastructure over expansion projects; and

·         Amendment #223, which would make the MBTA retirement fund subject to the accounting, recordkeeping, and oversight provisions of the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC).

To read the transportation bond bill and all 237 amendments in their entirety, please click here.  To follow along with today’s formal Senate Session, please click here to watch a live feed of the debate.  Senate debate is scheduled to commence at approximately 1:00pm.