RTA Local Overrides

July 24, 2013                                               

Boston – Senator Richard J. Ross (R-Wrentham) voted today to override two vetoes of Governor Deval Patrick, in an effort to restore much needed funding for cities and towns. Concurring with the House, the Senate voted to override the vetoes of $177 million in unrestricted local aid, as well as additional funding for Massachusetts regional transit authorities.

“This funding is critical for the cities and towns of the Commonwealth to continue providing essential services that residents rely on,” said Senator Ross. “Local aid is necessary to maintain the stability of our municipalities, particularly as we continue to navigate this difficult fiscal climate. I am thrilled that we were able to accomplish this today, to prevent the severe impacts a cut in this funding would have had across the Commonwealth.”

Last week, the Senate Republican Caucus called upon House and Senate leadership to advance the vote to restore the $177 million in unrestricted local aid that had been cut by Governor Deval Patrick. The letter noted that without an override, the cut to local aid would drastically reduce funding to Massachusetts cities and towns, leading to widespread cutbacks in local services, including police, fire and school departments, as well as massive layoffs.

The Senate also voted to override $240 million in cuts to the Commonwealth’s transportation system. A portion of that will be used to forward-fund regional transit authorities. RTAs are ordinarily reimbursed with state funding at the end of the year, forcing them to utilize loans and accrue large amounts of interest. Forward-funding will provide RTAs with an opportunity to plan for the future, while saving the Commonwealth millions of dollars.

Please contact the office of Senator Ross with any questions or concerns at (617) 722-1555 or Richard.Ross@masenate.gov.

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