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Mass. House Rejects Change to Transportation Bill

chicopee construction road

By BOB SALSBERG, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts House has rejected Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposed change to a bill that would pay for modernizing the state’s transportation system.

The lawmakers instead voted 121-31 on Wednesday for a substitute amendment that made technical changes to the bill but did not include Patrick’s call for an increase in the gasoline tax, if tolls on the western portion of the Massachusetts Turnpike come down as scheduled in 2017.

The Senate on Thursday is also expected to turn down the governor’s amendment.

The vote margin in the House would be enough to override a veto of the bill, which Patrick has promised if his proposed change is not accepted by lawmakers.

Patrick says the bill doesn’t account for the loss of revenue that would occur if the tolls are removed.