Mass. Senate backs local road and bridge funding

Mass. Senate approves $300M for local roads, bridges; panel weighs transportation finance

Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) -- Massachusetts' Senate has approved a bill that would provide $300 million to cities and towns for road and bridge projects, a $100 million increase over last year.

Municipal officials have been pressing lawmakers to approve the so-called Chapter 90 funds as the spring construction season begins.

The measure passed Thursday has also been approved by the House but needs a final vote in both chambers before going to Gov. Deval Patrick's desk.

Senate Republican Leader Bruce Tarr says he's concerned that the funding for cities and towns could yet fall victim to disagreements between the governor and lawmakers over the amount of new revenue contained in a broader transportation finance plan.

That bill, calling for $500 million in new taxes, is currently being negotiated by a House-Senate conference committee.

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