Transportation Bond Bill (including Green Line) moves out of committee

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The following is a press release from the office of Rep. Carl Sciortino…
Rep.Carl Sciortino, D-Medford, today announced that the Committee on Transportation has issued the transportation bond bill out of committee with full funding for the Green Line extension intact.
“The Green line Extension has been talked about for decades, and we are finally seeing real action, said Sciortino. “Today brings us one step closer to efficient, affordable, environmentally sound public transportation in Somerville and Medford, and I am proud to help bring this long overdue project closer to completion.”

The committee held a session today at which Sciortino made the motion to favorably report the bill. The motion was unanimously approved by the committee.
At a public hearing in January, some members of the transportation committee had suggested a moratorium on new transportation projects. Sciortino, a member of the committee, reminded his colleagues that any further delays to the project could jeopardize federal transportation funding for Massachusetts.
“This project is a long-standing commitment of the state to both of my communities,” said Sciortino. “Further delay is unacceptable.”
Sciortino’s point that the Green Line extension is a legal obligation was supported by Transportation Secretary Bernard Cohen, who testified that the project should not be further delayed.
“I don’t consider that to be an option,” said Secretary Cohen.
In the time since the hearing, Sciortino worked closely with his colleagues on the committee to ensure that the funding remained intact.
Although the state will pursue federal funding for the project, the delegation advocated with Governor Patrick for inclusion of funds for the full cost in the transportation bond bill to ensure that the project will not be further delayed while federal funds are sought.
At an appearance in Somerville in October, the Governor affirmed his commitment to the green line extension by announcing that he would be including full funding for the project in the transportation bond bill. The bill was filed by Governor Patrick in November to provide critical funds for the state’s transportation infrastructure needs.
The bill will now move to the Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures, and State Assets before being voted on by the legislature. The bill is expected to receive final passage this spring.