Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Votes to Note: MBTA Financial Accountability

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 the Caucus 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