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Old 06-08-2018, 09:33 AM   #1056
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 655
Re: North-South Rail Link

Originally Posted by odurandina View Post
Is the North South Rail Link about to be enacted as an emergency law??

"Emergency Preamble: Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to provide forthwith for the immediate capital improvement needs of the commonwealth, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience."

redacted email bulletin;

Chesto; Governor Charlie Baker may have to make a decision about the North South Rail Link after all.

The Legislature sent a bonding bill today to Baker that includes a long wish list of earmarks. Among them: $10 million for the controversial project that would connect the North Station and South Station via a tunnel below downtown Boston.

Donít get too excited, Rail Link fans.

This bill just authorizes borrowing for the costs of environmental permitting work. Itís up to Bakerís administration -- or his successor's -- to decide whether to spend the money. Many public officials in Massachusetts, particularly those from cities north of Boston, endorse the tunnel link. But Baker, like Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, is taking a wait-and-see approach.

We should know more later this month, when the state is expected to release the results of a Rail Link feasibility study. But the report from consultant Arup probably wonít quell the debate about the projectís multibillion-dollar cost, or whether it would be a smart investment in the first place.

Senator Jamie Eldridge says he secured the earmark with the hope it can better position the project should the federal government start spending big money again on large train projects. He sees the tunnel as a crucial missing link, one that could give North Station commuters better access to the Seaport and provide more flexibility for the entire system.

At the very least, the earmark could provide Rail Link supporters with more political leverage in their quest. Until Baker and Walsh climb on board, the proponents will need all they can get.
I don't think you understand how bond bills work. The bill simply sets out a series of things that the state may legally spend money on. The bill itself has no value. The earmarks are worth precisely the paper they are printed on. If you look at the rest of the bills you will see billions of dollars of projects that will never happen. Because the bill is not connected to actual spending, legislators can put in whatever they feel like to demonstrate their support of something. Ultimately the governor has to file a capital spending plan that includes items from the bill and this is fiscally constrained by borrowing conditions and the budget. The treasurer needs to sell bonds to fund it.
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