Gov: I'll veto Legislature's transportation bill

BOSTON (WWLP) — Governor Deval Patrick won’t support the Legislature’s $500 million dollar transportation bill that goes for a vote in the House of Representatives on Monday.

“If it comes to me in the current form …I’m going to have to veto it,” said Patrick to a crowd of reporters in front on his office Thursday.  “It’s a fiction to claim that this bill somehow avoids new taxes …From all we can tell, everybody pays more and gets less.”

The Legislature’s revenue raising plan is a lot smaller than Governor Patrick’s $2 billion dollar proposal to build roads and invest in education over the next ten years. While the governor’s vision is long term, Patrick says the Legislature’s plan puts a “band-aid” on transportation needs.  He mentioned the crumbling concrete on I-91 as an example.

“The Legislature’s plan doesn’t have any resources to help us deal with [I-91],” said the governor.

“That was I think the largest highway project we had funded under the Way Forward Plan, it has to happen,” said Department of Transportation Secretary Richard Davy.

Governor Patrick said legislative leaders agree the state needs to raise revenue.  But unlike the governor, most lawmakers intend to run for re-election – Which Patrick says makes raising taxes a politically difficult option for legislative leaders.

“I’m concerned about setting forth any further tax burden on the people of Massachusetts,” said House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop).

If the Legislature’s transportation bill is eventually passed and the governor veto’s it, Patrick admits he is not confident that he has the numbers to sustain the veto.  The Legislature can override the governor’s veto with a two-thirds majority.

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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