Governor Patrick Unveils Federal Wish List

Governor Patrick yesterday met with the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, including the Fifth District Rep Niki Tsongas to discuss how Massachusetts may benefit from the upcoming stimulus package being talked about in Washington. Discussions have centered around having projects that are ready to go within a short time frame. The Governor put out a list, which is attached here, of projects that might be considered as part of the federal package. From the Boston Globe:

The list of projects, which is not ranked and may far exceed what the state ultimately receives, includes $1.3 billion to fix school buildings; $702 million for municipal projects, such as improvements to wastewater treatment plants and repairs to seawalls; $548 million for improving energy infrastructure, such as installing solar panels on municipal buildings and replacing state cars with hybrid models; $783 million for transportation projects; and $619 million for state-owned buildings.

The projects range from $400,000 for tunnel signs in Boston to $1.2 million to resurface Route 2 in Lincoln; from $500,000 to update the judiciary’s phone system to $18 million to renovate the library on the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth campus; from $18,118 for driveways and sidewalk improvements in West Bridgewater to $6 million to replace 20,000 trees that were removed because of Asian longhorn beetle infestation.

Since we do not know exactly what will be in the stimulus package it is a little early to start counting on any projects yet, but prudent policy requires this upfront planning. I am not sure what criteria were used to merit inclusion on this list beyond immediate impact. A lot more discussion needs to be had about what benefits will accrue to what municipalities. Congressman Ritchie Neal of Springfield had it right:

“There were many good projects across the state that were held up because of the Big Dig,” said US Representative Richard E. Neal, a Springfield Democrat. “Those of us who represent Central and Western Massachusetts wanted assurance that this would be an initiative that would treat the 351 cities and towns across the Commonwealth equally. . . . There’s a bigger state out there than Boston.”

Pretty good point Congressman Neal.


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1 Response to Governor Patrick Unveils Federal Wish List

  1. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    Our Democratic delegation have found a free tax payer supported pot of gold created by a Republican administration.




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