MassFiscal Scorecard Update: Two Environmental Bond Bill Votes

(MassFiscal Scores the pork laden environmental bond bill – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)

Yesterday, the Massachusetts House cast two roll call votes related to H. 4138, which authorizes nearly $2 billion in long-term borrowing to pay for various environmental projects across the Commonwealth.

The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance would have cast NO votes in both cases for reasons too numerous to list fully. However, here are three:

– Speaker DeLeo again chose to employ the “consolidated amendment,” where dozens of amendments are dealt with on a single vote rather than being debated individually, which is an affront to the democratic process.

– The bill is just another in an ever-lengthening line of proposals that will significantly increase Massachusetts’ crushing debt burden.

– As Billerica Rep. Marc Lombardo said on Twitter, “there’s more pork in the bill than at a bacon factory,” and that’s just not kosher. The bill includes tens of millions for golf courses in Braintree and Weston, a kayak park in Orange, and a “decorative pier” on Revere Beach.

Certainly, some of the projects are important, but the bill as a whole represents a stunning refusal on the part of Beacon Hill to prioritize what’s important and recognize common-sense limits on what is and isn’t affordable right now. Lawmakers should not be grabbing for more goodies to help with their reelection campaigns, when their children will be stuck paying the bills, and this is especially true given that Massachusetts families are still struggling to make ends meet thanks to Beacon Hill’s anti-growth policies.

The two votes were as follows:

Consolidated Amendment to Environmental Bond Bill (Roll Call #382): This vote included a series of local projects into the environmental bond bill. The additional projects added nearly $200 million dollars to the underlying bill. The amendment passed 128-16 (D: 115-0; R: 13-16).

Environmental Bond Bill (Roll Call #383): This vote was on final passage of a $1.7 billion bill authorizing borrowing for a series of environment-related projects. The amendment passed 138-5 (D: 114-0; R: 24-5).

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