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Senate passes $200 million for transportation, budget

Last week, Senator DiDomenico and his colleagues in the Massachusetts State Senate, passed legislation to invest in municipal transportation projects and extend the Fiscal and Management Control Board. Thursday’s action also included the passage of an interim or 1/12 budget to ensure essential services continue to receive adequate funding. This 1/12th budget was signed into law by the governor Friday June 26, 2020.

“This investment in municipal transportation is a win-win: by funding shovel-ready improvement projects now, we can kick start our economy, all while moving forward with the development of a safe and equitable transit system for decades to come,” said Senator Sal DiDomenico. The transportation infrastructure bill, An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, authorizes $200 million in municipal roads and bridges funding, and includes $641,000 for the City of Everett. The legislation also renews leadership for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) by extending the Fiscal and Management Control Board for another year and maintaining the Board’s current authority.

During the course of Thursday’s session, the Senate also advanced a $5.25B “1/12th” budget to ensure essential services that communities rely on continue to receive funding as the legislature closely monitors the impacts of COVID-19 on economic and state tax revenue. The 1/12th budget is a standard exercise and would authorize funds for the month of July at a conservative level to ensure fiscal responsibility during this period of economic uncertainty.

“While my legislative colleagues and I typically pass an annual budget each year, the uncertain economic future created by the COVID crisis made it necessary for us to instead pass a one- month– or 1/12th—budget,” said DiDomenico. “This option allows us to meet our financial responsibilities and maintain essential services while we monitor the impacts of COVID-19 on our economy and our tax revenue. This approach also gives our Commonwealth additional flexibility while we await federal action in Washington.”

An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges awaits final procedural actions by the legislature. The 1/12 budget has been signed into law.

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