Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Representative Orrall Appointed To MassTRAC Conference Committee

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) has appointed State Representative Norman Orrall (R-Lakeville) to serve on a six-member conference committee charged with reconciling the differences between the House and Senate versions of a comprehensive transportation and climate bond bill.

House Bill 4916, An Act relative to Massachusetts’ transportation resources and climate (MassTRAC), was engrossed by the House of Representatives on June 23, while the Senate’s version of the bill – Senate Bill 3016 – was passed on July 14. Both bills commit nearly $11 billion to transportation and environmental infrastructure projects across the state, including $400 million to help the MBTA address safety concerns raised by the Federal Transit Administration.

There are several spending and policy differences between the two bills, however, with the House allocating $250 million for the proposed East-West Rail project and the Senate calling for $275 million. The Senate bill also mandates a low-income fare program at the MBTA while the House bill establishes a special commission on mobility pricing that will study the feasibility of means tested fares.

“Both the House and the Senate have put forward plans for addressing the Commonwealth’s critical transportation and climate needs that will leverage federal funding opportunities provided for in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said Representative Jones. “Norm is well-versed on transportation and environmental issues as a result of his legislative committee assignments and his civil engineering background, so he will be able to share valuable insights with his fellow conferees as they work to negotiate a final compromise bill to send to Governor Baker.”

Joining Representative Orrall on the conference committee are Representatives William Straus (D-Mattapoisett) and Danielle Gregoire (D-Marlborough), along with Senators Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn), Nick Collins (D-Boston), and Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth).

First elected to the House of Representatives in November of 2018, Representative Orrall currently serves as the Ranking Minority Member of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, and is also a member of the Joint Committees on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets; Municipalities and Regional Government; and Transportation.

Born and raised in Lakeville, Representative Orrall formerly served as the Town Moderator and on the Lakeville Finance Committee and has been a professional civil engineer for nearly 30 years responsible for major infrastructure projects in Ohio, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He represents the Twelfth Bristol District, which is comprised of the towns of Berkley; Ward 3, Precinct B and Ward 4 in Taunton; Lakeville; and Precincts 2, 4 and 5 in Middleborough.