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June 18, 2024 Clouds | 85°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 4: Massachusetts Transportation Trust Fund

Section 4. There shall be established and placed within the department a separate fund to be known as the Massachusetts Transportation Trust Fund which shall be used for financing transportation-related purposes of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The secretary shall be authorized to enter into agreements with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the Massachusetts Port Authority, the regional transit authorities and, for so long as it shall continue to exist, the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority to commit any funds generated from fares, fees, tolls or any other revenue sources including, but not limited to, from federal sources of these authorities to the fund. There shall be credited to the fund all turnpike revenues and other toll and non-toll revenue collected by the department after assumption of the assets, obligations and liabilities of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, all tolls collected by the department after transfer of the Maurice J. Tobin Memorial Bridge by the Massachusetts Port Authority to the department, all refunds and rebates made on account of expenditures on ways by the department, any revenues from appropriations or other monies authorized by the general court and specifically designated to be credited to the fund, any gifts, grants, private contributions, investment income earned on the fund's assets, all monies received by the department for the sale or lease of property, all monies received by the department in satisfaction of claims by the department for damage to highway and bridge safety signs, signals, guardrails, curbing and other highway and bridge related facilities, and other receipts of the department. Money remaining in the fund at the end of the year shall not revert to the General Fund.

The fund, which shall be under the control of the department and not subject to appropriation, shall be used as follows:

(a) for expenditures to meet any debt obligations of the department following the dissolution of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and assumption of assets, obligations and liabilities by the department;

(b) for expenditure by the department for maintaining, repairing, improving and constructing municipal ways and bridges, sidewalks adjacent to such ways and bridges, bikeways and other projects eligible for funding as a transportation enhancement project as described in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, P.L. 102–240, salt storage sheds, bikeways and public use off-street parking facilities related to mass transportation, for engineering services and expenses related to highway transportation enhancement and mass transportation purposes, for care, repair, storage, replacement, purchase and long-term leasing of road building machinery, equipment and tools, for the erection and maintenance of direction signs and warning signs and for necessary or beneficial improvements to unpaved municipal ways, together with any money which a municipality may appropriate for such purposes, to be used on the same ways, sheds, bikeways, bridges, machinery, equipment, tools and facilities; provided, however, that municipalities shall expend funds authorized for projects under this section within 5 years of final authorization or the authorization shall be redistributed under procedures established by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation; and provided further, that a municipality may petition the department for a waiver of the 5–year expenditure requirement upon satisfactorily meeting the waiver requirements as provided for in the procedures. A city or town shall not carry forward more than 50 per cent of its allocated amount from 1 year to the next year, unless the city or town submits to the department a 5–year spending outline. Engineering services, including surveying services, shall only be performed by architectural, engineering or surveying firms prequalified by the department; provided, however, that a municipality may seek a waiver of this requirement from the department if the municipality demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department that it would be cost prohibitive to use a prequalified firm. Any such ways, sheds, bikeways, bridges, machinery, equipment, tools and facilities shall remain municipal ways, sheds, bikeways, bridges, machinery, equipment, tools and facilities. The department shall withhold or withdraw the unexpended balance of any funds assigned by it under this clause if the municipality fails to comply with the official standards for traffic control established by the department or with any provision of a traffic control agreement negotiated between the department and the municipality, as required by the United States Secretary of Commerce under 23 U.S.C. § 109. The department shall provide cities and towns with preliminary notice of the amount of funds authorized for projects pursuant to this section not later than March 1 of each year;

(c) for expenditure by the department for maintaining, repairing and improving state highways and bridges in the state highway system designated parkways and for the turnpike and the metropolitan highway system managed by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority until its dissolution;

(d) for expenditure by the department, in addition to federal aid payments received under section 30 of chapter 81, for construction of state highways;

(e) for expenditure by the department for engineering services and expenses, for care, repair, storage, replacement and purchase of road building machinery and tools, for the erection and maintenance of direction signs and warning signs, for the care of shrubs and trees on state highways, for snow and ice removal and for expenses incidental to the foregoing or incidental to the purposes specified in clauses (b) to (d), inclusive; provided, however, that the department may incur liabilities and make expenditures in excess of funds available to the department for snow and ice removal; provided further, that expenditures for snow and ice removal shall be approved by the secretary of transportation in consultation with the secretary of administration and finance; provided further, that no expenses shall be made in excess of funds available in any fiscal year until $40,000,000 has been expended for snow and ice removal in that fiscal year; and provided further, that the negative balance of funds available for snow and ice removal shall not exceed $50,000,000 at any time during a fiscal year and the state comptroller may certify for payment invoices in excess of funds available to the department;

(f) for expenditure for the operations of the department and any divisions thereof;

(g) for expenditure by the department for infrastructure improvements to transportation facilities throughout the commonwealth;

(h) for regional expenditure by the department for highway division projects in the 5 geographic regions of the commonwealth consistent with the boundaries of the 5 highway division districts as existing on July 1, 2009;

(i) for expenditure for highway field services and transportation support programs including, but not limited to, state police highway patrols and accident teams; and

(j) for any other expense of the department necessary to carry out its purposes.

Annually, not later than May 1, the department shall report to the executive office for administration and finance and the house and senate committees on ways and means the total amounts budgeted and expended for snow and ice removal. The department shall seek appropriations, as required, to cure deficiencies resulting from snow and ice removal in each fiscal year that expenses are made in excess of funds available.