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House Begins Debate On Transportation Financing Bill

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(photo credit: Thinkstock)

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

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BOSTON (AP) — With a veto threat and more than 100 amendments to consider, the House debate on a transportation financing bill promises to be lengthy and spirited.

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The bill being considered Monday would raise more than $500 million in new tax revenue, including a 3 cent hike in the state’s gasoline tax. Legislative leaders say the measure would close the MBTA’s annual operating deficit, put regional transit systems on sounder financial footing and gradually end the practice of borrowing money to pay the salaries of state transportation employees.

Gov. Deval Patrick says he’ll veto the bill if it reaches his desk unchanged.

Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey calls the legislative plan a “Band-aid” that provides too little revenue to solve the state’s long-term transportation needs, and would lead to increases in fees, fares and tolls.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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