March 26, 2013
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has received accolades for his transportation spending plan, but that doesn’t mean everyone is ready to sign off on the 10-year $19 billion construction plan.
“We must have a meaningful opportunity to review what the Commonwealth can prudently afford before we take on the very significant additional debt proposed by the administration,” Senator Brian Joyce told a Joint Committee on Transportation, according to the Lowell Sun. “I find it hard to believe that these ambitious proposals will fit within the current debt-affordability policy.”
Payments on the governor’s proposal would be made until 2053, which would require the state government to increase its statutory debt limit, Joyce said, noting that he does not “sense support…particularly when our state already has among the highest levels of debt, if not the highest level of debt of any state in the nation.”
Administration officials, who are pushing a plan to generate $1.9 billion in new tax revenues, said the proposed debt is affordable and sustainable, the newspaper reports.