Mass. House passes transportation finance bill
BOSTON (AP) -- The Massachusetts House has approved a transportation finance plan calling for $500 million in new taxes.
The House voted 97-55 to approve the bill late Monday following more than 10 hours of debate. That margin would fall just shy, however, of the necessary votes to override a threatened veto by Gov. Deval Patrick, who says the bill won't do enough to repair and upgrade the state's aging transportation infrastructure.
The measure would hike the gasoline tax by 3 cent per gallon and increase tobacco taxes. Democratic leaders say the bill would close the MBTA's operating deficit, end the practice of borrowing to pay the salaries of state transportation employees, and provide an extra $100 million for local road projects.
Patrick has called for nearly $2 billion in new revenue, including a hike in the state income tax, to pay for investments in transportation and education.