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Votes to Note: MBTA Financial Accountability

Senator Tarr and the GOP Caucus offered an amendment to the MBTA Bailout Bill that would increase transparency.

Yesterday the Massachusetts State Senate debated a bailout proposal of $51 million dedicated to the MBTA to close the agency’s budgetary shortfall. The bill, S.2308, was ultimately approved by a 26 to 9 vote. The Senate Republican Caucus offered several amendments to improve our mass transportation system and provide safeguards that demonstrate fiscal responsibility.

One such measure that we offered was an amendment that would require the MBTA to develop on its website a searchable database that would allow the public to research monetary data regarding the agency. The searchable information would include:

  • a complete accounting of all capital assets under the control of the authority:
  • operating expenses;
  • monthly ridership data aggregated by each mode of transit;
  • the fare recovery ratios for each mode of transit and by line; and
  • the financial plans for any proposed expansion projects, and the development, conceptual planning, design and construction of any effort to expand the scope of MBTA services.

Unfortunately, the amendment did not pass and thus was not included in the final version of the Senate’s bill by a roll call vote of 12 voting in the affirmative to 25 in the negative. The amendment, if approved would have been a major victory for transparency and accountability. The Senate Republican Caucus will continue to fight for amendments like this one, so that everyone is given the opportunity to know how their taxpayer and ratepayer dollars are being utilized.

Posted below is the roll call vote of the amendment made by all the senators.

Amendment # 25 MBTA Financial Accountability

Yeas: 12

Nays: 25

Roll Call Votes: Yea/Nay

Frederick E. Berry: Did Not Vote
Stephen M. Brewer: Nay
William N. Brownsberger: Nay
Gale D. Candaras: Yea
Harriette L. Chandler: Nay
Sonia Chang-Diaz: Nay
Katherine Clark: Nay
Cynthia Stone Creem: Nay
Sal N. DiDomenico: Nay
Kenneth J. Donnelly: Nay
Eileen Donoghue: Yea
Benjamin B. Downing: Nay
James B. Eldridge: Nay
Susan C. Fargo: Nay
Barry Finegold: Yea
Jennifer L. Flanagan: Nay
John Hart: Nay
Robert L. Hedlund: Yea
Patricia D. Jehlen: Nay
Brian A. Joyce: Nay
John Keenan: Nay
Thomas P. Kennedy: Nay
Michael R. Knapik: Yea
Thomas M. McGee: Nay
Mark C. Montigny: Nay
Michael O. Moore: Yea
Richard T. Moore: Yea
Senate President Therese Murray: Did Not Vote
Marc R. Pacheco: Nay
Anthony Petruccelli: Nay
Michael Rodrigues: Nay
Stanley C. Rosenberg: Nay
Richard J. Ross: Yea
Michael Rush: Yea
Karen E. Spilka: Nay
Bruce E. Tarr: Yea
James E. Timilty: Yea
James Welch: Yea
Daniel Wolf: Nay

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Barry June 21, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Good thing this ridiculous amendment didn't pass. I wonder if the good Senator Tarr has ever ridden on the T?

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