Month: January 2014

Transportation Bond bill passes House

I joined my colleagues in the House today in approving a $12.7 billion bond bill to assist Massachusetts communities in paying for local transportation-related projects. 

The bond bill authorizes $300 million in Chapter 90 funding to help cities and towns complete road, bridge and infrastructure improvement projects. This marks the eighth consecutive year that the House has either raised or level-funded Chapter 90. The legislation also includes a provision designating South Station the “Governor Michael S. Dukakis Transportation Center at South Station.”

“Chapter 90 funds are essential to providing stability and prompting economic growth in Massachusetts,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said. “That growth starts on the local level which is why the House has been, and will continue to be, an unyielding champion of municipalities across the state. This bill provides cities and towns with the funds they so rightly deserve. I thank Chairman Straus and my colleagues for their work.”

“I’m pleased that this legislation authorizes an appropriation of $300 million for cities and towns through Chapter 90 and also funds a variety of important large-scale transportation projects throughout the state,” said Representative William Straus (D-Mattapoisett), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation. “This bill demonstrates a continued financial commitment by the House of Representatives to pay for all modes of transportation in Massachusetts including roads, bridge repairs, new trains, improvements to local airports, and major transportation infrastructure projects.  An accessible and modern transportation system is essential for economic growth.”

 The legislation will improve and modernize the state’s infrastructure system through projects including:

  • $2.97 billion for state-wide roadway and bridge projects;

  • $350 million in investments for Regional Transit Authority improvements;
  • $125 million to support the Department of Conservation in preserving and improving historic parkways;
  • $2.5 billion for MBTA rail improvements including new Red and Orange Line cars.

Funding for the Sixth Plymouth District will benefit projects such as $100,000 for the repair and construction of a bridge to allow handicapped access and for the installation of a fish ladder at Herring Run Park in the Town of Pembroke.

The bill also includes $50 million in grant monies for the ‘complete streets’ project which supports investments that accommodate users including motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit.

The bill now moves to the Senate.

House Approves ‘Boston Strong’ License Plate

Rep. Josh Cutler and his colleagues in the Mass. House of Representatives have approved legislation to establish a “Boston Strong” license plate.

Proceeds from the sales of the optional specialty plates will go to aid victims of last year’s Boston Marathon bombing through The One Fund. The plates are expected to cost an additional $50.

“Specialty license plates are a great way for motorists to express support for a favorite cause. ‘Boston Strong’ is a credo that has become a part of the heart of our city and Commonwealth and I think this is a very appropriate way to show our support.”

The bill, authored by Rep. Angelo Puppolo and co-sponsored by Rep. Cutler and bipartisan group of legislators, drew unanimous support in the House. Under the legislation one free plate would be given to an immediate family member of those who died or were most severely injured. The measure is now under consideration in the state Senate.