Wednesday, January 17, 2007

State budget officials against taking on T debt

Christina Wallace of The Metro writes Wednesday morning: "The chairs of the House and Senate Ways and Means Committees yesterday came out against a proposed bill that would shift $2.9 billion of MBTA debt to the state."
“I don’t see in terms of what we heard today how we can assume this additional liability on our budget when we are already anticipating a billion dollar deficit,” said House Ways and Means Chairman Robert DeLeo, D-Winthrop, after the hearing. “Maybe in robust fiscal times we’d take a look but I don’t think right now it’s something we could entertain.”

Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, said she also opposed the legislation.

This is in response to a bill filed last week which we reported on.

The Metro was the only Boston paper that mentioned this on Wednesday.

The Globe did print a quote concerning the T at the House and Senate Ways and Means Committee joint meeting yesterday.

David Tuerck, executive director of the Beacon Hill Institute, said the state can balance the budget by making reasonable spending choices.
He urged lawmakers to cut waste from "patronage-laden" agencies such as the MBTA and the Turnpike Authority before looking for new revenue. Practices such as paying Turnpike Authority toll collectors $60,000 a year "sour taxpayers on the need for additional revenues," he said.

I suppose that would include offering customer service operators a starting salary of $46K a year.

Mac Daniel in the Globe reports the T may place more signs at commuter rail stations to warn passengers of the danger of crossing tracks on high-speed rail line. One of the first things I was taught as a child was "Stop, Look and Listen" concerning train tracks but some people are oblivious to the warnings. The Acela literally appears out of nowhere at stations like Sharon and Mansfield. The warning buzzer sounds with a voice alert but you can look down the tracks and see nothing, but people forget the train is approaching at speeds close to a 140 MPH.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am still shocked that toll collectors make upwards of $60,000 a year while public school teachers and state prosecutors (ADAs) make under $40,000. I'm all for unions but sometimes they go a little far and take money from those who deserve it.