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HOUSE DOCKET, NO.                 FILED ON: 3/21/2012

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 4000

 

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

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In the Year Two Thousand Twelve

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An Act Financing Improvements to the Commonwealth's Transportation System.

 

              Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to finance improvements to the Commonwealth’s transportation system, therefore, it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1.  To provide for a program of transportation development and improvements, the sums set forth in section2B, for the several purposes and subject to the conditions specified in this act, are hereby made available, subject to the laws regulating the disbursement of public funds. The sums appropriated in this act shall be in addition to any amounts previously appropriated and made available for these purposes.

              SECTION 2B.

              MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

              Highway Division

              6122-1223  For the construction and reconstruction of town and county ways as described in clause (b) of section 4 of chapter 6C of the General Laws, the “chapter 90 program”; provided that a city or town shall comply with the procedures established by the department of transportation; provided further, that any city or town may appropriate for these projects amounts not in excess of the amount provided to the city or town under this item, preliminary notice of which shall be provided by the department to the city or town not later than April 1 of each year; provided further, that the appropriation shall be considered as an available fund upon approval of the commissioner of revenue under section 23 of chapter 59 of the General Laws; and provided further, that the commonwealth shall reimburse a city or town under this item, subject to the availability of funds as provided in section 9B of chapter 29 of the General Laws, within 30 days after receipt by the department of a request for reimbursement from the city or town, which request shall include certification by the city or town that actual expenses have been incurred on projects eligible for reimbursement under this item, and that the work has been completed to the satisfaction of the city or town according to the specifications of the project and in compliance with applicable laws and procedures established by the department………………………………………………………………………..$200,000,000

              SECTION 5.  To meet the expenditures necessary in carrying out section 2B, the state treasurer shall, upon request of the governor, issue and sell bonds of the commonwealth in an amount to be specified by the governor from time to time but not exceeding, in the aggregate, the sum of $200,000,000. All the bonds issued by the commonwealth as aforesaid shall be designated on their face, Town and County Ways and Economic Development Loan, Act of 2012, and shall be issued for a maximum terms of years, not exceeding 30 years, as the governor may recommend to the general court under Section 3 of Article LXII of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth; provided, however, that all these bonds shall be payable not later than June 30, 2047. All interest and payments on account of principal of these obligations shall be payable from the General Fund. Notwithstanding any other general or special law to the contrary, bonds and interest thereon issued under this section shall be general obligations of the commonwealth.

              SECTION 8.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, in carrying out section 2B and all other provisions of this Act, the department of transportation may enter into contracts, agreements, or transactions that may be appropriate with other federal, state, local or regional public agencies or authorities. The contracts, agreements, or transactions may relate to such matters as the department shall determine including, without limitation, the research, design, layout, construction, reconstruction or management of construction of all or a portion of these projects. In relation to any such contracts, agreements, or transactions the department may advance monies to these agencies or authorities, without prior expenditure by the agencies or authorities, and the agencies and authorities may accept monies necessary to carry out these agreements; provided, however, that the department shall certify to the comptroller the amounts so advanced; provided further, that these agreements shall contain provisions satisfactory to the department for the accounting of monies expended by any other agency or authority; and provided, further, that all monies not expended under any such agreement shall be credited to the account of the department from which they were advanced.  The department shall report to the house and senate committees on ways and means on any transfers completed under this section.

              SECTION 9.  (a) Notwithstanding any other general or special law to the contrary, the department of transportation shall expend the sums authorized in section 2B for the following purposes: projects for the laying out, construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, relocation or necessary or beneficial improvement of highways, bridges, bicycle paths or facilities, on- and off-street bicycle projects, sidewalks, telecommunications, parking facilities, auto-restricted zones, scenic easements, grade crossing eliminations and alterations of other crossings, traffic safety devices on state highways and on roads constructed under section 4(b) of chapter 6C of the General Laws, highway or mass transportation studies, including, but not limited to, traffic, environmental or parking studies, the establishment of school zones in accordance with section 2 of chapter 85 of the General Laws, improvements on routes not designated as state highways without assumption of maintenance responsibilities and, notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, projects to alleviate contamination of public and private water supplies cause by the department’s storage and use of snow removal chemicals which are necessary for the purposes of highway safety and for the relocation of persons or businesses or for the replacement of dwellings or structures including, but not limited to, providing last resort housing under federal law and such functional replacement of structures in public ownership as may be necessary for the foregoing purposes and for relocation benefits to the extent necessary to satisfy the requirements of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, 42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq., Pub. L. 97-646, 84 Stat. 1864 (1971), and to sell any structure the title to which has been acquired for highway purposes. When dwellings or other structures are removed in furtherance of any of the foregoing projects, the excavations or cellar holes remaining shall be filled in and brought to grade within 1 month after the removal. In planning projects funded by said section2B, consideration shall be made, to the extent feasible, to accommodate and incorporate provisions to facilitate the use of bicycles and walking as a means of transportation; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed to give rise to enforceable legal rights in any party or a cause of action or an enforceable entitlement as to the projects described in this section.

              (b) Funds authorized in section 2B shall, except as otherwise specifically provided in this act, be subject to the first paragraph of section 6 and sections 7 and 9 of chapter 718 of the acts of 1956, if applicable, and, notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, may be used for the purposes stated in this act in conjunction with funds of cities, towns and political subdivisions.

              (c) In addition to the foregoing, the department of transportation may expend funds made available by this act to acquire from a person by lease, purchase, eminent domain under chapter 79 of the General Laws or otherwise, land or rights in land for parking facilities adjacent to a public way to be operated by the department or under contract with an individual; expend funds made available by this act for the acquisition of van-type vehicles used for multi-passenger, commuter-driven carpools and high-occupancy vehicles including, but not limited to, water shuttles and water taxis; and, in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations, exercise all powers and do all things necessary and convenient to carry out the purposes of this act.

              (d) In carrying out this section, the department of transportation may enter into contracts or agreements with cities to mitigate the effects of projects undertaken under this act and to undertake additional transportation measures within the city and may enter into contracts, agreements, or transactions with other federal, state, local or regional public agencies, authorities, nonprofit organizations or political subdivisions that may be necessary to implement these contracts or agreements with cities. Cities and other state, local or regional public agencies, authorities, nonprofit organizations or political subdivisions may enter into these contracts, agreements, or transactions with the department. In relation to these agreements, the department may advance to these agencies, organizations or authorities, without prior expenditure by the agencies, organizations or authorities, monies necessary to carry out these agreements; provided, however, that the department shall certify to the comptroller the amount so advanced; provided further, that all monies not expended under these agreements shall be credited to the account of the department from which they were advanced. The department shall report to the house and senate committees on ways and means on any transfers completed under this subsection. 

              (e) In addition to the foregoing, the department may expend funds made available by this Act for matching funds to obtain federal funds for costs associated with the design, acquisition, renovation, construction, reconstruction and other improvements for transit projects.

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