Tom Warne Report, 10 August 2012
Legislators in Massachusetts have approved a nearly $1.4 billion comprehensive transportation bond bill containing many attached specific projects. The one-year bill sent to Gov. Deval Patrick in the last hours of the regular session last week includes funds to do work authorized in a five-year 2008 bond bill.
The bill authorizes the state to borrow $685 million, which would be matched with federal funding. The measure is designed to address the state’s aging infrastructure by allowing the state to use $1.39 billion on roads, bridges and transit. Lawmakers specified more than 200 projects from their own jurisdictions. Cities and towns will have an additional $200 million in funds authorized by state lawmakers two months ago.
Despite the earmarks contained the bill, the authority to borrow does not guarantee work will be completed on the identified projects as the governor will ultimately decide which projects can proceed within an annual bond cap and five-year capital plan.