Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fiscal Year 2014 Budget – Transportation

In case you missed it, today marks the second day of debate on the House Ways & Means Fiscal Year 2014 Budget.

As you may have heard, the House of Representatives recently unveiled their $33.8 billion state budget proposal. While the budget presented to the Legislature includes significantly less spending then Governor Patrick’s budget proposal, the House’s plan relies too heavily on revenue found in the recently passed transportation finance bill, and House Republicans will continue to oppose this fiscally irresponsible approach.

Amendments relative to transportation will be the focus of tonight’s debate. Below, you will find the amendments offered by House Republicans, along with a brief description of the amendment.


Amendment 77 - Transportation Safety (Howitt, Steven) Earmarks $125K in the MassDOT operating transfer account (1595-6368) for the design and installation of opticon traffic lights in Seekonk. Does not increase the overall appropriation.

Amendment 519 - Ensuring Turnpike Tolls Come Down (Frost, Paul) Adds a new outside section ensuring that the Western Turnpike tolls are removed once the debt is paid off or by December 31, 2017, whichever occurs first.

Amendment 737 - Land Audit (O'Connell, Shaunna) Adds a new outside section requiring the Inspector General to conduct an audit of all land and assets owned by MassDOT that were formerly owned by the Turnpike by December 31, 2013. Any land deemed to be surplus must then be transferred to the host municipality or sold by competitive bid.

Amendment 835 - Transparency in the MBTA pension system (O'Connell, Shaunna) Adds a new outside section requiring the MBTA, in conjunction with the open checkbook program, to publish online all pension payment information for its employees.