BOSTON, Mass. (SHNS)–A $350 million road and bridge maintenance bond and transportation grant bill scored initial approval from the House on Thursday morning, when the House also sent the Senate a new version of a supplemental spending bill.
The Ways and Means Committee on Thursday morning polled a new version of the bill (H 3547), which was not substantially changed from the previous version, authorizing $200 million in bonds for the Chapter 90 program and $150 million in bonds for a batch of other local infrastructure grant programs.
The new version was ordered to a third reading when the House met briefly at 11 a.m. Citing inflation’s impacts, cities and towns have urged lawmakers to increase the longstanding $200 million allocation for the road program known as Chapter 90, but the House has opted to stick to $200 million while once again recommending grants opportunities in the areas of municipal paving, small bridges, municipal buses, mass transit and regional transit, and electric vehicles.
House Speaker Ron Mariano’s office previously confirmed the chamber will vote on the legislation Thursday.
Also Thursday morning, the House sent the Senate a new version of Gov. Maura Healey’s fiscal 2023 supplemental budget, which includes time-sensitive appropriations for nutrition assistance benefits, school meals programs, and emergency shelters.
Both branches have adopted their own versions of that bill, and the latest House amendment is an indication that the branches might have resolved their differences through informal negotiations. House Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz of Boston offered the further amendment that the House adopted, but a copy was not available on the Legislature’s website or from his office.