Gov. Romney's Bill to Seek MassPike, Highway Dept. Merger

Piazza, Johanna
April 2003
Bond Buyer;4/4/2003, Vol. 344 Issue 31608, p3
Trade Publication
Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's administration is expected to file legislation detailing a reorganization of the state's transportation system that would merge the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority with the State Highway Department and would result in the state taking on turnpike revenues and debt. Under the legislation, MassPike and the Highway Department would be consolidated into a single state-operated entity, bringing all support structures under one unified management and changing the underlying credit of approximately $2.2 billion in existing turnpike debt service from a revenue stream backed by toll revenues to the full faith of the commonwealth. According to Romney's secretary of administration and finance, Eric Kriss, the consolidation would save the state approximately $16 million this year and as much as $50 million in annual savings by 2005. Although the legislation is being filed separately from the governor's fiscal 2004 budget, the administration is positioning the merger as part of the budget package to be voted on later this month and has already included cost savings from a merger in next year's budget equation.


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