Monday, June 29, 2015
Today, I met with Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito and legislative leaders for several hours with Steve Pagliuca, Chairman of Boston 2024, to discuss the organization’s newest plans to secure the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.
In order to secure Boston as the central host, Boston 2024 must first provide specific and detailed information to the public and elected officials about how they will finance and operate the games. Identifying financial sources for the Olympics has been a great concern since efforts to secure the games were first contemplated two years ago.
The state government shouldn’t be committed to financially supporting the Olympics by deficiency, accident, omission or inaction. In May, as part of the Senate debate on the state budget, the Senate adopted a proposal which I initiated with our Republican Caucus. Our amendment, co-sponsored by numerous members of the majority party, blocks all state agencies and departments from spending any public money related to hosting the 2024 Games unless a special act is passed by the Legislature and is signed by Governor Baker. Our amendment ensures that the Legislature and Governor, as responsible stewards of your resources, are not excluded from the process.
The budget proposal received bi-partisan support and was adopted unanimously by the Senate. Under our plan, state money can only be spent for consulting, analysis and other forms of due diligence that Governor Baker and the Legislature may need. Hopefully, the House and Senate conference committee, still negotiating the budget, can include the language in the final version. In addition, I have also filled a separate piece of stand-alone legislation which is moving through the committee process.
At today’s meeting, Chairman Pagliuca presented Boston 2024’s reconfigured proposal known as Bid 2.0. The effort is intended as an important transition towards gaining approval from the United States Olympic Committee, I am including links to it so that you have full access.
The Bid 2.0 plan presented today by Boston 2024 claims the Boston Olympics will generate billions of dollars in spending, create tens of thousands of jobs and thousands of new housing units. The organization estimates the games will generate nearly $5 billion and will be paid for with private money. Recent news accounts say that Boston 2024 will secure a $128 million insurance policy to "cover against reduced revenues, general liability, non-payment by sponsors, cancellation, and other issues."
Here is a link to the Boston 2024 site which will allow you to view the information presented today: https://www.2024boston.org/docs
And, the budget amendment now pending before the conference committee can be read by clicking the link: Senator-Tarr-Spending-Freeze-Hosting-Olympic-Games