2022 Infrastructure Bond Bill
This ACEC/MA Resource Page tracks the progress of The Massachusetts Transportation Resources and Climate Bill, also being referred to as MassTRAC
(Updated 8/16/22; newest info at the top)
Governor Baker Signs $11.4B Infrastructure Law
Some MBTA Plans Sent Back To Uncertainty Of Informal Sessions
New Law is Chapter 176 of the Acts of 2022
Governor Baker approved all the bond authorizations in the nearly $11.4B bill he signed on 8/10, including $400M for immediate safety improvements at the T and $275M as a down payment toward a western Massachusetts passenger rail expansion, and several of the outside sections packed into the major legislation. This infrastructure bond bill is important for the state to allocate the state match for the federal IIJA (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) as well as to have additional funding to apply for some competitive federal infrastructure grants. ACEC/MA-backed Dig Safe language was included in this new law.
Source: Chris Lisinski, State House News Service, 8/10/22 5:51 PM
AUG. 10, 2022.....MBTA electrification and safety reporting requirements feature as the most prominent parts of an infrastructure bond bill Gov. Charlie Baker wants to change with an amendment he returned to the Legislature.
Baker approved all of the bond authorizations in the nearly $11.4 billion bill (H 5151) he signed Wednesday, including $400 million for immediate safety improvements at the T and $275 million as a down payment toward a western Massachusetts passenger rail expansion, and several of the outside sections packed into the major legislation.
He struck language from a few line items, vetoed four outside sections and sent back five proposed amendments, many focused on additional guardrails lawmakers sought to impose around the MBTA amid upheaval at the agency.
One of Baker's amendments would rework a section of the bill in which lawmakers called on the T to outline short-, medium- and long-term plans to transform the commuter rail system.
Instead of working to roll out "electric locomotive" service or pursue "electrification" on several lines in the near future, the MBTA would instead be ordered to implement "battery electric locomotive" service and "battery electrification" under Baker's amendment.
"I support this planning to make the commuter rail system more productive, equitable and decarbonized," Baker wrote in his amendment letter. "I am proposing changes to ensure the plans incorporate the most up to date technology."
The original bill also called for "no agreement to purchase commuter rail trains" to involve diesel locomotives after Dec. 31, 2030. Baker's amendment dropped that requirement.
Two other amendments Baker returned would also reshape mandates on the MBTA linked to the ongoing, intertwined safety and staffing crises.
Lawmakers added language to the bond bill requiring the T to file a monthly report with the state inspector general listing all recent "incidents, accidents, casualties and hazards" across the transit system. The MBTA would also need to make that information available publicly.
Supporters said the bolstered reporting requirements would address the Transportation Committee's early findings as the panel probes failures at the T and as the Federal Transit Administration continues a nearly unprecedented safety investigation.
"There will be more as the committee continues, but as a result of the oversight process initiated by the speaker and Senate president, there are important changes in this bill already and no doubt there will be more," Transportation Committee Co-chair Rep. William Straus said last month.
Under Baker's amendment, the MBTA would instead be ordered to file a monthly "safety data analysis report" that "contains safety performance indicators for bus, heavy rail and light rail." He said that would "streamline" the requirement and "align" it with information the T already needs to submit to the Department of Public Utilities, the FTA, the MBTA's board of directors, the National Transit Database and the inspector general.
"This change will allow for consistent and comprehensive safety data analysis in a single report," he said.
Baker also moved to change a section of the bill requiring the MBTA to submit regular reports with the Legislature summarizing its unfilled job positions, recent hires and how long new workers will need to be trained.
The bill called for those reports to be filed "not more than 1 week after the effective date of this act and monthly thereafter." Baker's amendment would narrow their scope slightly, focusing only on openings and recent hires without the training element, and would call for their submission "not more than 1 month after the effective date of this act and monthly thereafter."
Staffing shortages at the MBTA have strained both service and safety, leading to trip frequency cuts and drawing warnings from federal investigators that a stretched-too-thin workforce puts riders and employees at risk.
Another Baker amendment would expand a proposed mobility pricing commission, which lawmakers tasked with studying and making recommendations on measures such as congestion pricing and public transit fares, by eight members.
The new seats would be filled by representatives of AAA, Construction Industries of Massachusetts, American Council of Engineering Companies, Trucking Association of Massachusetts, Retailers Association of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Restaurant Association, Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association and the hospitality industry.
With his veto pen, Baker slashed sections of the bill requiring the MBTA to provide "adequate parking alternatives" when it demolishes or reconstructs a parking lot or garage based on 2019 ridership levels and exempting car-sharing organizations from a rental vehicle surcharge.
The bill aims to maximize the impact of a new federal infrastructure law, which will steer billions of dollars to Massachusetts in the coming years and make more available via competitive grants, while upgrading transportation resources across the state and accelerating the transition toward electric vehicles.
It features $2.8 billion for projects on the interstate and non-interstate federal highway system, $1.375 billion for transit and rail improvements, $1.27 billion for non-federally aided road and bridge projects and tens of millions of dollars more for multimodal transportation planning, regional transit network improvements and Complete Streets funding for municipalities.
"MassTRAC will invest $11.4 billion in the Commonwealth's roads, bridges and environmental infrastructure through proven, existing programs, including Complete Streets and the Municipal Small Bridge program," Baker said in a statement Wednesday. "The bill will also advance major projects in cities and towns across the state by providing matching funds that will allow Massachusetts to compete for funding through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The MassTRAC bill includes many of the proposals our administration included when first filing the legislation, and I am grateful to our partners in the Legislature for continuing to support infrastructure investments in Massachusetts' cities and towns."
|Infrastructure Bond Bill on Governor Baker’s Desk||
The conference committee finished its work and brought their bill to both chambers on 7/31/22.
The Massachusetts legislature sent https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/H5151, their final version of the $11.3B infrastructure bond bill to Governor Baker on July 31, 2022. He is expected to act by 8/1022: to either sign as is or issue some vetoes and sign it with the vetoes. We’ll have an update at the 8/17/22 TALC Zoom.
|Infrastructure Bond Bill Sent to Conference Committee on July 18||
As of 8 pm on 7/20/22, it appears that the conference committee is getting ready to issue its final report.
6/29/22 Bill now in Senate Ways & Means
6/23/22: House passes Infrastructure Bond bill, which now heads to the Senate
|Bill is now: H. 4916, An Act relative to Massachusetts’s transportation resources and climate
Bill now in Senate Committee on Ways and Means
Bill now in House Committee on Third Reading, Floor debate planned for 6/23/22
Bill is now. H.4897, An Act relative to Massachusetts’s transportation resources and climate
The bill in its current form includes our Dig Safe language.
|3/21/22 by House and 3/24/2022 (by Senate||Bill is now H.4561, An Act relative to Massachusetts’s transportation resources and climate and has been referred to Committee on Transportation|
3/17/2022: Baker-Polito Administration Files $9.7 Billion Infrastructure Bond Bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 17, 2022
CONTACT: Terry MacCormack
Baker-Polito Administration Files $9.7 Billion Infrastructure Bond Bill
MassTRAC bill will authorize state matching funds and tools necessary to compete for, unlock and leverage federal investments in transportation and environmental infrastructure from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)
BOSTON - Today, Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, and MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak joined with municipal leaders in Worcester at an event to announce the Baker-Polito Administration’s filing of “An Act Relative to Massachusetts’s Transportation Resources and Climate,” (MassTRAC) a $9.7 billion infrastructure bond bill. This bill will advance and support significant investments in the Commonwealth’s transportation and environmental infrastructure, as well as provide critical and required state matching funds to compete for, unlock and leverage federal formula and discretionary investments provided by the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) enacted in November 2021.
“This infrastructure bill will support the investment of $9.7 billion in the Commonwealth’s roads, bridges, railways, transit agencies and environmental infrastructure,” said Governor Baker. “Building upon the BIL, this legislation will make a meaningful difference in the acceleration of projects that are set to receive federal funding and we look forward to working with the members of the Legislature to pass this bill.”
“Our Administration continues to work closely with our statewide municipal partners to help identify ways in which they can make further improvements to their transportation infrastructure,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “This legislation includes additional authorization to support investments in cities and towns to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety and invigorate our downtown community public spaces through several grant programs.”
The legislation includes $6.2 billion to support core federal formula programs for highway, transit, and environmental projects. The funding authorized under BIL provides the Commonwealth with an opportunity to increase investments in roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure, with a focus on climate change mitigation, resiliency, equity, and safety for all users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians.
This bill will facilitate the ongoing efforts of MassDOT and the MBTA to invest in and modernize the Commonwealth’s transportation system, and includes $3.5 billion in potential state matching resources to support the aggressive pursuit of new and existing federal discretionary and competitive grant programs available under the BIL.
“This $9.7 billion bond bill will enable the Commonwealth to take full advantage of the opportunities made available through the federal infrastructure legislation and continue critical support for core transportation and environmental infrastructure work,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. “Authorizing these investments will pave the way for historic economic growth that will benefit residents across Massachusetts, and we look forward to working with the Legislature to pass this bill into law.”
“This bond bill supports our efforts to rebuild, modernize, and expand the capacity of the Commonwealth’s transportation system and aggressively pursue and compete for discretionary grant funding to advance major projects,” said Transportation Secretary Jamey Tesler. “On behalf of the Baker-Polito Administration, I would like to express appreciation to the members of the Legislature and advocates for their support of our efforts to advance infrastructure investments.”
“Governor Baker’s $9.7 billion Infrastructure Bond Bill will dedicate once in a lifetime funding for important transportation and environmental projects that will directly benefit the Commonwealth today and well into the future,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Importantly, this funding will enable the Commonwealth to make significant investments in zero emission vehicle programs and infrastructure, which will further the Baker-Polito Administration’s efforts to decarbonizing the state’s transportation system.”
Provisions of this bill would enable MassDOT and the MBTA to use certain project procurement and delivery tools that could speed the implementation of BIL funded projects, as well as regular project delivery. MassDOT and the MBTA would be authorized to pilot the A + B procurement method to allow the time to complete a project to be considered in bid evaluation and award. Additionally, Private Development Mitigation/Transit Oriented Development authorization would allow MassDOT and the MBTA to enter into development agreements that include transportation and other public benefits without having to separately bid for those elements.
"The funding in the Infrastructure Bond Bill will allow the MBTA to fully harness opportunities in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, both with the match for Federal Formula funds and to help us take advantage of future discretionary funding opportunities,” said MBTA General Manager Poftak. “Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration, our MassDOT colleagues, local elected leaders, and transit advocates for continuing to work to upgrade and modernize the MBTA.”
This bill includes additional authorization for existing appropriations for the federal aid and non-federal aid programs to allow MassDOT and the MBTA to continue and accelerate work, taking advantage of the historic increase in annual federal apportionments over the next five years, while also providing the authorization needed to pursue new federal competitive and discretionary grants and support new investments in clean transportation and the environment. These significant investments, empowered by both reauthorized and increased federal funding within the BIL, will be transformational for the Commonwealth.
The bond bill also provides additional authorization to support investments in cities and towns to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety, improve municipal transportation asset conditions, and invigorate downtown community public spaces through several successful grant programs. Some of these programs include the Complete Streets Funding Program, Municipal Small Bridge, Municipal Pavement, and Shared Streets and Spaces Program.
Highlights of the $9.7 billion MassTRAC bill:
|2/16/2022: Baker Bond Bill Will Target Transportation Emission||
(source: State House News Service)
Details about the legislation remain scarce more than two weeks after Baker used his annual State of the Commonwealth address to plug his plans to file the bill, but MassDOT Director of Capital Planning Michelle Ho offered a glimpse at some of its topics.
The bill will ensure state-level matching commitments are in place to make the most out of federal dollars available under a new infrastructure law, and Ho highlighted several programs in that bipartisan package, including a climate resiliency program known as Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation, or PROTECT.
Transportation emissions represent a major source of air pollution that policymakers need to address to meet legal carbon reduction requirements, and the collapse of a multi-state compact to cut vehicle emissions has heightened the need for other approaches.
"We will include in that bond bill request all the new federal formula programs that were authorized: the carbon reduction, the PROTECT, the electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and the new bridge funding," Ho told MassDOT's Board, adding that the bill would account for new federal aid in the December 2020 Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act, or CRRSA.
Baker in January 2021 signed into law a $16.5 billion transportation bond bill. Ho said Wednesday that the administration originally expected the borrowing authorized in that law would run until spring 2024, but that officials now believe it will only last through the end of 2023.
Officials earlier this month published an initial list of 146 bridge repair projects they intend to target with a combination of federal infrastructure dollars and money in the most recent transportation bond bill.
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