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Legislature Passes Bill Authorizing Chapter 90 Funding

Makes investments in roads, bridges, public transportation, and regional transit authorities

(BOSTON – 7/27/2023) The Massachusetts Legislature on Thursday passed a bill that includes $375 million in bond authorizations for transportation needs across the state, including $200 million for the state’s Chapter 90 program, which provides municipalities with a reliable funding source for transportation-related improvements, including road and bridge repairs.

“The investments included in this bill will address much needed transportation advancements across Massachusetts. Reliable transportation is a vital infrastructure for all residents of and businesses in the Commonwealth,” said Representative Bill Driscoll Jr. (D-Milton). “This funding will target many local transportation networks by prioritizing road and bridge projects and developing frameworks to bolster up and coming transportation capabilities, such as electric vehicles. I am grateful to my colleagues in the House and Senate for their work to pass this bill, intending to strengthen transportation systems in Randolph, Milton, and across Massachusetts.”

“Ensuring that people in every region of Massachusetts have safe and dependable transportation options is fundamental to creating a competitive and equitable Commonwealth,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “This funding invests in our infrastructure and transit systems everywhere, allocating much-needed funds to local roads and bridges, regional transit, EV infrastructure, and parts of the MBTA. I want to thank Senator Crighton for making this a priority, my Senate colleagues for their support, and Speaker Mariano and the House for agreeing on these critical investments in our infrastructure.”

“Providing funding for critical infrastructure projects through investments in the Commonwealth’s public transportation, roads, and bridges is one of the most important responsibilities that we have as members of the Legislature,” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy). “I’m proud of the support for regional infrastructure that this legislation provides, and of the funding that it allocates for the purchasing of electric vehicles by transit authorities. I want to thank Chairman Straus and my colleagues in the House, as well as Senate President Spilka and our partners in the Senate, for prioritizing this vital legislation.”

This legislation also authorizes $175 million in programs that will support various transportation-related projects. This includes $25 million for each of the following:

  • the municipal small bridge program;

  • the complete streets program;

  • a bus transit infrastructure program;

  • grants to increase access to mass transit and commuter rail stations;

  • grants for municipalities and regional transit authorities to purchase electric vehicles and the infrastructure needed to support them;

  • funding for pavement and surface improvements on state and municipal roadways; and

  • new funding dedicated to additional transportation support based on road mileage, which is particularly helpful for rural communities.

“This Chapter 90 bill secures historical levels of funding for our municipal roads, bridges, and sidewalks,” said Senator Brendan P. Crighton (D-Lynn), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation. “In addition to our annual authorization, we have added additional funding for various transportation programs, from bridge repair to improving access to mass transit. No matter how you get around, this funding will benefit transportation systems in every region of the Commonwealth.”

“This legislation does an excellent job of addressing a concern frequently voiced by local officials, which is that cities and towns have a backlog of significant transportation projects beyond road repair that need to be tackled,” said Rep. Bill Straus (D-Mattapoisett), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation. “I am very pleased that in recent years the legislature has acted to increase local transportation funding in ways that will enable municipalities to address not only local road maintenance but some of these larger and more capital intensive projects, as well.”

“The Chapter 90 funding passed by the legislature today is a testament to both chambers’ commitment to infrastructure improvement in the Commonwealth,” said Senator Edward J. Kennedy (D-Lowell), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets. “Beyond funding the complete streets and municipal small bridges programs, this bill includes grant funding for green initiatives such as $100 million for increased access to mass transit stations, and $75 million for electric vehicle purchases by municipalities and regional transit authorities. The legislation also contains additional funding for towns with populations under 10,000 which includes Dunstable in my district.”

“Our communities rely so heavily on Chapter 90 funding to make critical transportation improvement projects. Today’s funding ensures our roads remain safe and efficient for the travel of people and commerce,” said Representative Michael J. Finn (D-West Springfield), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets. “Additionally, with extra resources being made available through competitive application grant programs, the legislative funding is now forward looking in striving to meet broad ranges of municipal needs.”

“This year's Chapter 90 funding bill reflects an increased commitment by the House and Senate to support communities in every part of our Commonwealth,” said Senator Paul W. Mark (D-Beckett), a member of the conference committee. “The inclusion of $25 million in rural road funding is an important supplement to a wide-ranging package that will benefit our smallest municipalities where each dollar is crucial and so hard to come by. I am grateful to the members of our conference committee for their hard work and collaborative engagement to ensure the best result for the people of Massachusetts.”

“This very important legislation certainly delivers much needed funding to cities and towns for our roads and bridges,” said Representative Brian Murray (D-Milford), House Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation. “But it also increases the annual appropriation and targets substantial amounts for prioritized projects that will improve the transportation infrastructure for numerous communities.”

The bill having passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives, it will now be sent to the Governor for her consideration.



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