Transportation Bill Prompts Rare Weekend Session On Beacon Hill

April 13, 2013 2:08 PM
Transportation Bill Prompts Rare Weekend Session On Beacon Hill
" BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate, meeting in a rare Saturday session, weighed the latest version of a contentious bill that would pump more dollars into the state’s aging and debt-ridden transportation system.

The measure, calling for about $500 million in new taxes, was approved Monday by the House in the face of a veto threat from Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, who criticized the bill as insufficient to deal with the state’s long-term transportation needs.

A revised version approved later in the week by a key Senate panel would dedicate more revenue to transportation needs than the House-passed version, something Patrick called a step in the right direction. But the governor stopped short of saying whether he would accept the Senate plan, if approved.

Senate Ways and Means Committee chairman Stephen Brewer urged colleagues at the outset of the debate to ignore the sometimes harsh rhetoric surrounding the bill.

“There has been a lot of emotion and a serious case of hardball politics over the last couple of weeks in this regard,” said Brewer, D-Barre "

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