Alert from the Massachusetts Municipal Association just now -
-January 14, 2013
Gov. Patrick Proposes $13B Transportation Investment Plan
Chapter 90 Would Grow to $300M a Year, a 50% Increase
Other Major Investments Would Benefit Cities and Towns
Governor Deval Patrick and Transportation Secretary Richard Davey today provided the details of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s long-awaited comprehensive transportation investment plan for Massachusetts. Speaking before a large crowd at a special event at UMass Boston, the Governor called for $13 billion in transportation investments over the next 10 years as an essential strategy to spur economic growth and create a “21st Century Transportation Plan” for the Commonwealth.
A key element of the Governor’s transportation investment plan is adoption of the MMA’s call to increase Chapter 90 funding for cities and towns by $100 million a year for the next 10 years, adding $1 billion for local roads over the coming decade. The current $200 million allotted to Chapter 90 would increase to $300 million beginning in fiscal year 2014, with the Administration suggesting that a portion of the first-year increase be targeted for a new asset management system at the local level. The MMA is gathering information on the asset management aspect of the proposal, and will report on that when details are available.
In addition to the annual $100 million increase for Chapter 90, the Governor’s plan also calls for impressive increases for other transportation programs and projects for cities and towns over the next 10 years, including: $1.1 billion more for regional transit authorities; $1.175 billion for a new bridge repair program modeled after the nearly complete $3 billion accelerated bridge program initiated several years ago; $1.25 billion for a “multi-modal highway program” targeted for hundreds of local and regional projects to decrease congestion; $430 million for bicycle and pedestrian projects; and hundreds of millions for system and facility improvements.
Today’s announcement was designed to establish the Governor’s transportation vision for Massachusetts. The comprehensive “21st Century Transportation Plan” unveiled by the Governor articulates the current funding shortfall to meet today’s programs, and the additional investment that is necessary to modernize and enhance our highway, transit and multi-model transportation system over the next 10 years. The plan did not embrace any revenue options or propose any specific tax initiatives. The Governor said that he would outline his tax proposals in his State of the Commonwealth address on Wednesday, January 16, and in his fiscal 2014 budget plan when he submits it to the Legislature on Wednesday, January 23.
The Governor’s transportation plan would require new tax revenues of $1.02 billion a year to fund the investments he is calling for.
Governor Patrick will be at the opening session of the MMA’s Annual Meeting and Trade Show on Friday, Jan. 25th, and he is expected to discuss his transportation and budget plans at that time. Secretary Davey will appear at the Annual Meeting on Saturday, Jan. 26 at a special forum on transportation investment and funding. If you have not yet registered for the MMA Annual Meeting, you can do so by visiting the MMA website at www.mma.org.
Increasing Chapter 90 to $300 million a year is a top MMA priority, and would represent a 50% increase for cities and towns across the state. Please contact your legislators today and tell them that the Chapter 90 increase is essential, and please let them know that you recognize that a revenue increase will be necessary in order to adequately maintain and enhance the local and state transportation system.