MTA urges legislators to vote NO on transportation-only bill

The MTA is calling on members to urge their legislators to vote “no” on the transportation-only bill released on Tuesday. Votes in the House and Senate are expected as soon as next week. Please click here to email your state senator and representative.

MTA joined other members of the Campaign for Our Communities in expressing “deep disappointment” that the state House of Representatives is proposing a relatively small revenue bill that provides funds for transportation but no additional investments in education.

The coalition is continuing to urge members of both the House and Senate to provide adequate funding for education, transportation and other critically important services as the debate over the fiscal year 2014 budget continues.

“The governor has made a compelling case for passing significant new revenues, mainly by increasing the income tax, so that the state can provide services that benefit our communities, our students and our economy,” said MTA President Paul Toner.

Governor Deval Patrick’s budget proposal, filed in January, calls for $1.9 billion in new revenues – primarily from the income tax – while the House transportation-only plan announced on April 2 raises just $500 million by increasing taxes on gasoline and tobacco products as well as several business taxes.

When fully phased in, the governor’s plan calls for a $900 million annual increase in education spending. His proposal includes creating 35,000 new preschool slots for low-income children, funding a longer school day for middle school students in the state’s Gateway Cities, increasing Chapter 70 state funding for local public schools by more than 5 percent, boosting funding for the public higher education campuses by 8.4 percent and increasing need-based scholarships for students attending those institutions by $112 million.

The House plan, which is also supported by the Senate leadership, would address some but not all of the state’s transportation needs, including road and bridge repairs and improvements in commuter rail and mass transit services.

“We are going to work with the other 125 members of the Campaign for Our Communities to continue to make the case for raising and allocating the revenues needed to keep our communities healthy and strengthen our economy,” Toner said.

Email your representatives and senators.