Patrick: Unused Snow Removal Money Could Go To Cash-Strapped MBTA

BOSTON (CBS) – Mother Nature may be helping out the MBTA.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports

Governor Deval Patrick says it may be possible to use the nearly $40 million surplus in the state’s snow and ice removal budget to help limit service cuts proposed by the cash-strapped agency.

The governor says if the weather holds up, the money could be part of a one-year fix.

Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation says it’s not a perfect idea, but something we should look into.

“Given New England winters, next year we may budget $50 million for snow and ice and have a horrible winter and need $100 million. So, there are downsides to using this money, of course. But given the hand that the state and the T are being dealt, I think it’s worth at least serious consideration,” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Friday.

Patrick says a permanent fix is still needed at the MBTA, and he’s looking at ways to achieve that goal.

The MBTA is trying to close a $161 million budget deficit this year.

  • Matt

    Let’s not give that money away just yet. Late April and Mach have been known to give us some pretty big storms around here in the past.

    Or maybe we could put it back into the system and save if for next year and give the people of this state a small tax break instead of trying to take care of the T’s management problems.

  • Ric

    It should go to an interest bearing account to supplement the future shortfalls. And we all know they will come. But we know it will be wasted and set up a future crisis.

  • KJean

    How will that solve the mismanagement at the T? A $40 billion bailout won’t compensate for more than a 3rd of their deficit and will not help the failed agency learn how to improve how it runs. A year from now they will have an even bigger deficit from not attempting to apply any leverage and simply waiting for a handout.

  • recaldeval

    I am surprised. I thought he would give all the money to illegal immigrants and felons like he usually does.

  • Willow

    Why reward mismanagement with a bailout? We could have a bad winter again next year and will need the extra funds. Why does every penny have to be spent whenever there’s some left over?

  • Dom

    Great! Let’s give illegal aliens free cars and guns and give drug addicts free drugs! It all makes sense now! Vote Duval Patrick in the next election and you might win too!

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