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Baker files $9.7 billion Massachusetts’ infrastructure bond bill

Transportation and environmental infrastructure are the focus of a new bill filed by Gov. Charlie Baker.

The Republican governor announced Thursday he has filed a $9.7 billion infrastructure bond bill entitled “An Act Relative to Massachusetts’s Transportation Resources and Climate.” The bill is aimed at providing investment in the state’s highway, transit, energy and environmental affairs.

“This infrastructure bill will support the investment of $9.7 billion in the Commonwealth’s roads, bridges, railways, transit agencies and environmental infrastructure,” Baker said in the release. “Building upon the BIL, this legislation will make a meaningful difference in the acceleration of projects that are set to receive federal funding and we look forward to working with the members of the Legislature to pass this bill.”

Under the bill, significant investments would be utilized to support advancement of the state’s transit sector and environmental infrastructure using matching funds that would be combined to “compete for, unlock, and leverage federal formula and discretionary investments” that fall under the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that went into effect late last year.

The bill would provide $6.2 billion for highway, transit and environmental programs that would fall under the infrastructure law. Funds that would be gained would be used to raise investment dollars in roads, bridges, and other transportation projects. The aim would be to instill climate change mitigation, in addition to building a more resilient and safer environment for patrons of the state’s transit systems, including pedestrians and bicyclists.

According to the release, investments would be made into ongoing projects through the Department of Transportation and Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority in an attempt to modernize the network. The bill features $3.5 billion in state matching resources to aggressively pursue federal dollars.

“This $9.7 billion bond bill will enable the Commonwealth to take full advantage of the opportunities made available through the federal infrastructure legislation and continue critical support for core transportation and environmental infrastructure work,” Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan said in the release. “Authorizing these investments will pave the way for historic economic growth that will benefit residents across Massachusetts, and we look forward to working with the Legislature to pass this bill into law.”

Under the bill, a $2.5 billion investment would be made for highway federal aid and non-federal dollars, and $27.1 million would be used by the Aeronautics Division to pursue Federal Aviation Administration grants for public airports.

In addition, the bill would spend $64.9 million for Regional Transit Authorities and another $200 million to support the Clean Transportation program.

This article was originally posted on Baker files $9.7 billion Massachusetts’ infrastructure bond bill

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