Patrick Looks to Western MA for Transportation Bill Veto Support
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is trying to drum up public support for a veto he’s threatened against a legislative spending plan. That proposal provides just a quarter of the $1.9 billion Patrick wanted in new spending for transportation and education in the Bay State.
The governor held a conference call with media outlets outside of the Boston area today. He maintained that the legislative plan, which includes a three-cent gas tax., would ask drivers outside of Boston to shoulder too much of the cost of Boston area transit services.
"The problem with this package is that the folks in western Massachusetts will pay that gas tax and see no change or improvement in their transportation service. None. Not in the RTAs, not in the road and bridge work, and certainly not in the connection of commuter rail to New York City, which was in the plan that we filed."
Legislative leaders say, however, that their plan would ask far less from strapped Massachusetts taxpayers. And it would boost funding for regional transit agencies like the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, based in Springfield.