Tuesday, July 11, 2023

House and Senate Republicans Call for Release of Municipal Road and Bridge Funding

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) and Senate Minority Leader Bruce E. Tarr (R-Gloucester) issued the following joint statement today regarding the ongoing Chapter 90 conference committee negotiations, along with a letter to the conferees urging swift action on the areas of agreement between the two branches:

“The Chapter 90 road and bridge program provides a critical source of state funding assistance for our cities and towns so they can address their local transportation infrastructure needs. Although the House and Senate engrossed their respective bills in March, we have now gone nearly four months without a resolution, and it is time to break this impasse. While there are some provisions that remain a source of disagreement and still need to be worked out by the House and Senate, there is also much common ground to be found in the two bills that can be acted on now to ensure this money starts flowing to our cities and towns. Today we are calling on the members of the conference committee to break the months-long deadlock and report a bill in part that includes at least the $200 million in Chapter 90 funding, as well as funding increases for other critical municipal transportation grants on which the two branches are already in agreement.”

A copy of the letter sent to the Chapter 90 conferees is attached below.

July 11, 2023

The Honorable Brendan P. Crighton
State House, Room 109-C
Boston, MA 02133

The Honorable William M. Straus
State House, Room 134
Boston, MA 02133

The Honorable Paul W. Mark
State House, Room 504
Boston, MA 02133

The Honorable Brian W. Murray
State House, Room 134
Boston, MA 02133

The Honorable Patrick M. O’Connor
State House, Room 419
Boston, MA 02133

The Honorable Steven S. Howitt
State House, Room 237
Boston, MA 02133

Dear Conferees:

On behalf of the members of the House and Senate Republican Caucuses, we are writing to respectfully request that you take immediate action to resolve the current impasse on Chapter 90 funding for Fiscal Year 2024 by reporting a bill in part to deliver this crucial funding to our 351 cities and towns.

We understand that disagreements remain between the House and Senate over certain sections of the Chapter 90 bill that would allocate funding increases to a variety of transportation-related grant programs. However, there is no such disagreement over the underlying proposal to deliver at least $200 million to local communities for critical road and bridge repairs. Therefore, we implore the conferees to move forward with the immediate release of this funding by reporting a bill in part, while continuing to attempt to reconcile the differences that remain in the other sections of this legislation.

Although the final passage date of the Chapter 90 bill has varied from session to session, the goal has always been to approve the funding in a timely manner so municipalities can take full advantage of the spring and summer construction seasons. Unfortunately, we are fast approaching one of the latest dates for finalizing action on this important program, and our cities and towns are paying the price for this inaction.

Given the continued stalemate between the two legislative branches, we urge you to prioritize the release of at least $200 million in Chapter 90 funding and any additional transportation-related municipal grant funding that is not in dispute without further delay. We thank you for your consideration in this important matter.


Bradley H. Jones, Jr.
House Minority Leader

Bruce E. Tarr
Senate Minority Leader