(updated as of April 27, 2020)
ACEC/MA President Dennis Baker testifies in support of Bond Bill before Joint Committee on Transportation on 10/8/2019
March 5, 2020: House Votes to pass Transportation Bond bill (H4547), now in Senate Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets
|In early March, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted 113 to 40 (a veto proof margin) to pass the Transportation Revenue bill (H4530). The bill is now in the Senate where its fate is unknown.
The House bill includes a 5 cent gas tax increase, 9 cent diesel increase, increases in TNC fees (Uber/Lyft), a tiered structure for corporate minimum excise tax, and the imposition of the sales tax on vehicles purchased by rental car companies.
Estimated revenue from the legislation ranges from $522M to $612M per year.
ACEC/MA supported the legislation and has expressed our appreciation to House leadership and the members who voted in favor of this important legislation.
Passage of the revenue bill set up the ability for the House to take up, and fund, the Transportation Bond Bill on March 5.
With 467 filed amendments, the House engaged in a long formal session which ended with a 150 to 1 vote to pass the Transportation Bond Bill at 10:53 PM The bond bill, like the revenue bill, is now in the Senate.
By the end of the bond bill debate, with much of the discussions occurring behind the scenes, the House added approximately $4B to the House Ways & Means version of the bill that was originally a $14B bill – for a new total of $18 billion.
We extend our appreciation to the House leadership and the members for their dedication to getting a revenue bill and bond bill passed this session. We now look forward to working with the Senate as these bills are sent to that branch for consideration.
|House Committee on Bonding releases the bond bill now H.4505 and sends it to the House Committee on Ways & Means||February 26, 2020: The House set a deadline of 5 pm on Friday, February 28, 2020 for state representatives to file amendments to the House's current version of the transportation bond bill released by House Bonding and sent to the House Committee on Ways and Means.|
Joint Committee on Transportation releases Transportation Bond bill with changes, sends it to House Bonding, next step in the process. Bill was H. 4002 https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H4002;
Now H. 4397 https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H4397 bill is now in House Bonding, next step in process.
February 5, 2020: Joint Transportation Comm removed ability to use future funding from Transportation Climate Initiative to MBTA, because TCI hasn’t happened yet and also removed ability to use GANs (Grant Anticipation Notes that would borrow against future federal grants to expand state’s bridge repair program.
House Bonding will have a hearing on the bill, but date/time isn’t posted yet.
Sign up for Engineers and Land Surveyors Day – You are needed at the State House on 5/14. More info and registration link: https://www.engineers.org/events/engineers-land-surveyors-day
This bill would allow the Baker administration to begin borrowing up to $18B over multiple years to invest in transit, roads and bridges was voted on by the Transportation Committee.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo and House Transportation Committee Chairman William Straus said that the bond bill would authorize the $18 billion requested by Baker, but it excludes two major provisions from the governor's bill.
Chairman Straus said the committee decided to cut Baker's request to devote half of future Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) money to the MBTA because of the uncertainty underlying the regional cap-and-trade program Baker is working to put together to reduce vehicle emissions.
The bill the committee voted on also omits the governor's plan to expand the use of grant anticipation notes (GANs) by $1.25B to support a $4B bridge preservation and reconstruction program over the next eight years.
Speaker DeLeo did not provide an update on the highly-anticipated revenue bill that House leadership is putting together to expand investments in transportation.
The committee action on the bond bill was a sign of "moving toward that goal" of having a broader debate on transportation spending in the House, DeLeo said.
Neither DeLeo nor Straus would predict when the bill would reach the House floor for a vote because it must first move through the House Bonding Committee, where Chairman Antonio Cabral may seek to hold a second hearing on the redrafted bill.
|Joint Committee on Transportation holds October 8 hearing to consider the transportation bond bill.||
The Joint Committee on Transportation heard a wide range of oral testimony starting with the Governor, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak, and including ACEC/MA President-Elect Dennis Baker. The Governor stated that, “we have enviable problems: our economy is growing, our population is growing, and the economic activity that dominates our commonwealth is constrained by the limits of our current system” in calling for the bond bill’s approval.
In the Governor’s bill, the funding is sourced from the Transportation Climate Initiative, a multi-state collaboration to impose a cap on motor fuel emissions that is still being developed into final form. Under the legislation, 50% of the revenue generated from the initiative would go toward transportation needs. Taking this proposal further, Transportation House Chairman William Straus (D-Mattapoisett) believes it should be 100%.
|Joint Committee on Transportation to hold hearing on October 8, 2019||
Hearing will be held at 10 AM in Hearing Room B-1 in the State House. ACEC/MA plans to testify at this hearing.
|Transportation Bond Bill Referred to Joint Committee on Transportation. Bill is now H4002||On July 30, 2019, the House, followed by the Senate, assigned this bill to the Joint Committee on Transportation, which may hold a hearing on this bill in September. The transportation bond bill will be first heard by the Joint Committee on Transportation, followed by a hearing before the House Bonding Committee, before going to the House Ways and Means Committee and then to the full House for a vote. Following the House vote, the bill would then be reviewed and acted on in the Senate. ACEC/MA will be urging the legislature to take speedy action on this bill.|
Governor Files Transportation Bond Bill on July 25, 2019
On July 25, 2019, the Baker-Polito Administration filed a transportation bond bill seeking $18 billion in additional capital authorization to invest in building and modernizing a transportation system that meets the needs of residents, businesses and cities and towns statewide. The authorization would be used to fund existing programs as well as several new initiatives designed to lessen impacts from roadway congestion and ensure reliable travel throughout the Commonwealth.
Titled An Act Authorizing and Accelerating Transportation Investment, the proposal includes a series of initiatives from the administration to combat congestion on the Commonwealth’s roadways including establishing a tax credit to encourage telecommuting and remote working, expanding the use of designated bus lanes and transit signal priority, as well as creating a program designed to reduce bottlenecks on local roadways.
It includes nearly $5.7 billion to continue modernizing the MBTA, $150 million to improve the pavement condition on state roads, $20 million to ensure municipalities have resources needed to continue efforts to build ‘Complete Streets’ infrastructure to encourage the public to travel more on foot and by bicycle and $70 million for the Municipal Small Bridge Program.
Links to documents provided on July 25, 2019 for An Act Authorizing and Accelerating Transportation Investment
Summary- Section by Section
Baker-Polito Administration Press ReleGovernor Baker unveiled an $18 billion bond bill for transportation improvements. The proposal would distribute funding on varying time frames authorized over the next 10 years, including $2.7 billion for the MBTA, $100 million for locally owned roads in poor condition, $1.25 billion for a “next-generation” fund for bridge maintenance, and a $50 million municipal grant program for congestion improvements such as bus lane installation and traffic signal modernization. The Governor’s proposal also authorizes changes to the procurement process at the MBTA, allowing it to more rapidly advance projects, and it calls for the creation of a new tax credit, capped at $50 million per year, to incentivize employers to let workers telecommute.ase
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