Governor Baker urging lawmakers to approve road safety funding

Baker is urging state lawmakers to approve $200 million in funding

Charlie Baker
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker is urging state lawmakers to approve $200 million in funding to make sure the roads you drive on are safe.

Instead of filing a bill year after year, the Massachusetts Municipal Association is asking state lawmakers to secure three year’s worth of transportation funding to give communities financial stability and extra time to plan.

Pothole season is around the corner. The legislature’s Transportation Committee heard a testimony on Governor Charlie Baker’s bill to deliver $200 million to help cities and towns pay for local road repairs.

State Highway Administrator Tom Tinlin said this funding is critical to ensure that drivers are safe on the road.

“We realize the importance of giving communities the tools that they need to put that money to work to see real improvements through their infrastructure,” said Tinlin.

The Massachusetts Municipal Association argues that $200 million isn’t nearly enough to maintain the roughly 30,000 miles of roads that’s covered under the so-called “Chapter 90” program.

The association’s Executive Director, Geoff Beckwith, said the additional funding will allow cities and towns to bring their roads to a state of good repair.

“We urgently and respectfully ask that the legislation be expanded to be a multi-year, $300 million a year program and that’s for three reasons,” said Beckwith.

Beckwith added that communities can better plan their projects if they know exactly how much money is coming in each year, saving taxpayer’s money in the long run. State lawmakers have until April first to get a final transportation bill to Governor Baker’s desk, but it may take longer.