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MTA urges senators to vote NO on House transportation-only bill

The MTA expressed strong disappointment in the House vote on April 8 to approve a transportation-only revenue and spending bill that fails to provide any new resources for education or adequate resources for transportation.

The MTA and other members of the Campaign for Our Communities are urging state senators to reject the House plan and push for a more comprehensive bill that raises substantial revenues, is more progressive and allocates significant new funding to early childhood education, K-12 public schools and public higher education. The Senate could take up the bill as soon as April 11. Go here to send a message to your senator.

Governor Deval Patrick threatened to veto the House plan on April 4, saying in a prepared statement, “Not only does this proposal short-change the T and every community outside of Boston, it short-changes every parent or business owner who cares about the readiness of our young people for the workplace.”

Patrick proposed a $1.9 billion revenue increase, with $900 million targeted to education and $1 billion to transportation improvements. Most of the new funds would come from an increase in the income tax rate. The House bill raises $500 million, mainly by increasing gas and tobacco taxes. Those increases fall more heavily on low- and moderate-income taxpayers, while the income tax plan would affect upper-income taxpayers more significantly.

“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, our students well educated and our economy strong,” said MTA President Paul Toner.

The Campaign for Our Communities is a coalition of labor, human services, civic and religious organizations seeking revenue and spending plans that make Massachusetts “a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

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