By Bob Katzen
The House 145-3, Senate 38-0, approved a $3.8 billion bond package allowing the state to borrow funds for improvements to state and local buildings, facilities and grounds across the state which would include repairs, reconstruction, demolition, remediation, rehabilitation, modernization, disposition and renovations.
Provisions include $950 million for state universities and colleges; $760 million for courts and $500 million for police stations, fire stations and other public safety-related buildings.
The package includes earmarks for hundreds of millions of dollars for hundreds of projects in legislators’ districts across the state — many of which will never be funded. The Baker administration is required to adhere to the state’s annual bond borrowing cap and ultimately decides which projects are affordable and actually get funded.
Sometimes legislators will immediately tout the inclusion of local projects in these bond bills, especially in an election year to show they “brought home the bacon.” But Beacon Hill Roll Call informs readers that none of the projects in this package have been funded and most will end up never being funded because of the debt limit.