Massachusetts House passes MBTA budget
By: George Sousouris
BOSTON, Massachusetts: The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed what is being called a "T bailout" on Wednesday, by a margin of 130-25, despite objections from Minority Leader Bradley Jones, Jr. and other House Republicans. The single largest measure used to close the budget gap is a transfer of approximately $50 million in auto inspection fees to the MBTA, as well as a transfer of unused snow removal funds from an unseasonably warm winter. This all comes of the heels of a major decision in April to raise T fares by an average of 23%, in addition to service cuts.
While Democrat William Straus claimed that the bailout was needed to avoid further harsh service cuts, Republicans were less convinced. Rep. Marc Lombardo claimed, "The MBTA will be back next year and for years after that, asking for millions more...How many times will we help the MBTA before they help themselves?"