Last week, Governor Baker filed legislation on budget recommendations for fiscal year 2022, which begins in July. This proposal includes a few policy changes including an extension of the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB). Keeping the FMCB in place is a top priority of A Better City in 2021 as this board is an essential component for proper oversight and transparency at the MBTA.
Last summer, A Better City worked closely with the legislature to prevent the FMCB from expiring and Governor Baker is now proposing to expand the current board to seven members. As this proposal heads to the legislature, there will be some debate over the makeup of this group, such as should there be municipal representation or an official specifically from the City of Boston. A Better City will continue to emphasize the importance of the FMCB and we will work to find a solution before the FMCB expires on July 1, 2021.
There are also proposed changes to capital deliver and procurement laws at the MBTA and MassDOT, similar to the ideas proposed by Governor Baker last year. These include allowing Design-Build project delivery methods and alternative methods like Design Build Finance Operate Maintain, allowing the MBTA to partner with private parties on mitigation work at MBTA/MassDOT facilities, and allowing for “A+B bidding” for infrastructure projects. Due to the scale of the challenge facing the Commonwealth with our current and future transportation needs, A Better City supports these proposals, and we hope they can become law this year. You can find more about these proposals at the Governor’s Budget Recommendations website.