BOSTON (WWLP) - State lawmakers say they can override a possible veto from Governor Deval Patrick. The governor is amending a transportation-tax bill and sending it back to the state Legislature. Patrick is asking state lawmakers to guarantee him $800 million dollars in new revenue to repair the state's crumbling roads by increasing the gax tax should the Massachusetts turnpike tolls come down in 2017.
"It's a real piece of legislation, it's gonna get the job done, it's gonna help the Massachusetts economy, so I would advise at that point to override the veto," said House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop).
"We will have enough votes today to override his veto," said Rep. Ellen Story (D-Amherst).
If Governor Patrick vetoes the tax bill, that could create problems for the state budget, which relies on $500 million dollars of revenue in the tax bill. An interim budget is supporting the state as the governor reviews the state budget.
"We've passed a limited budget to be able to cover us for the month of July, the question is whether we'd have to revisit that and look at extending even further a supplemental budget or interim budget," said Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). "There are consequences when you are in the beginning of the fiscal year already and still discussing how the budget's going to be financed."
But Patrick has only said he won't sign the tax bill as is. If the state Legislature votes against his bill amendment, the bill can still become law after 10 days without the governor's signature if he chooses to do nothing.
A date has not been set by the state Legislature to vote on the governor's bill amendment, but it could happen as early as next week.