Recent bills that became law in Mass.

Bills that became law that have an impact passenger and/or freight rail service in our region of the state.

Contents

191st Session (2019–2020)

192nd Session (2021–2022)


191st Session (2019–2020)

An Act authorizing and accelerating transportation investment

Commonly referred to as the Transportation Investment Bill or the Transportation Bond Bill

2/26/2020
House Committee on Ways and Means — reported as H.4506

3/5/2020
House — Passed as H.4547

7/10/2020
Senate Committee on Ways and Means — reported as S.2813

7/16/2020
Senate — Passed and printed as amended | see S.2836

1/5/2021
Reported by Committee on Conference | see H.5248
House – Passed
Senate – Passed

1/15/2021
The bill became law with the signature of Governor Baker, subject to “pocket votes” that reduced the total funding in the bill by $30 million | See Chapter 383 of the Acts of 2020

Of particular note is this wording that was included in the bill that was signed by Governor Baker on January 15, 2021.

$175 million for Rail Improvements, including $50 million dedicated to East-West Passenger Rail

Item 6622-2184 — $175,000,000 (reduced from $250 million)
For the purpose of implementing rail improvements pursuant to chapter 161C of the General Laws; provided, that not less than $50,000,000 shall be used for transportation planning, design, permitting and engineering, acquisition of interests in land, vehicle procurement, construction, construction of stations and right-of-way acquisition for the East-West passenger rail project, which includes Pittsfield to Boston service via Springfield, Palmer, and Worcester; provided further, that said rail improvements may take the East-West Passenger Rail Study conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation into consideration; provided further, that funding for said rail improvements may be used in conjunction with any federal funding set aside for the East-West rail project;

provided further, that funds may be used for transportation planning, design, permitting and engineering, acquisition of interests in land, vehicle procurement, construction, construction of stations and right-of-way acquisition for rail projects,

  • including Housatonic Railroad service,
  • Boston to Cape Cod service, including, but not limited to, commuter service to Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod,
  • Fitchburg to Greenfield to North Adams service, Pittsfield to New York City service and Boston to Albany, New York service and
  • converting the Valley Flyer Pilot Service into a permanent commuter rail service connecting the cities town of Greenfield and the cities of, Northampton, Holyoke and Springfield;

and provided further, that not less than $25,000,000 shall be expended for transportation planning, design, permitting and engineering, acquisition of interests in land, vehicle procurement, construction of rail and stations and right-of-way acquisition for the Berkshire Flyer rail project, which includes service from the city of Pittsfield to the city of New York, New York via the city of Albany, New York.

192nd Session (2021–2022)

An Act Relative to Massachusetts’s Transportation Resources and Climate

Abbreviated as MassTRAC and sometimes referred to as the the Infrastructure Bond Bill

Baker-Polito Administration Files $9.7 Billion Infrastructure Bond Bill
Press Release | Office of Governor Charlie Baker | March 17, 2022

House Bill H.4561
Filed by Governor Baker

5/18/2022
House | Reported out of Transportation Committee as H.4798

6/21/2022
House | Second reading, New draft | H.4897
Bill now includes $250 million for East-West Rail and a new commission to study what the governance structure should be for East-West Rail.

6/23/2022
House | Passed by a unanimous vote
House | Published as amended, see H.4916

7/7/2022
Senate | Ways and Means Committee recommended ought to pass with an amendment, see S.2989

7/14/2022
Senate | Passed by unanimous vote
Senate | Reprinted as amended, see S.3016
Bill now includes $275 million for East-West Rail and a new commission to study what the governance structure should be for East-West Rail.

7/31/2022
House | Reported as H.5151
House | Enacted by unanimous vote
Senate | Enacted by unanimous vote
Senate | Laid before the Governor
The bill includes $275 million for East-West Rail and a new commission to study what the governance structure should be for East-West Rail.

8/11/2022
Signed by the Governor with vetoes and amendments to certain sections | See Chapter 176 of the Acts of 2022

Summary of sections relevant to the Pioneer Valley coming soon


See also

Current bills in the legislature
Bills in the Massachusetts General Court (the legislature) that affect passenger and/or freight rail service in our region of the state.


Further reading

The Legislative Process in Massachusetts
MassLegalServices | 4 pages | 2019

The Legislative Process in Massachusetts (PDF)
Public Employees Retirement Commission | 20 pages | 2002

Page last updated: August 15, 2022
Page last reviewed: July 17, 2020