Dear Brothers & Sisters,
This past Friday, Governor Patrick signed a $36.5 billion budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. We wanted to update you on a few things that were included in the passed budget:
- Driver Assaults: Although everyone is entitled to a safe workplace, this is often not the case for our members. To help ensure the safety of our members, language was added to the budget to give police officers the ability to arrest an individual who assaults a public employee while operating a public transit vehicle. Before this law, police officers could only hand a suspected person a summons for this crime.
- Increased Transportation Funding: Funding for MassDOT and the MBTA increased by $141 million. This investment comes in addition to the $12.4 billion included in the MassDOT Capital Investment Plan over the next five years to improve Massachusetts transportation assets, which will allow for the replacement of the MBTA Red and Orange Line cars, reducing delays and improving the functionality of two of the MBTA’s highest-volume lines.
- MBTA Retirement Fund: Unfortunately, the governor vetoed a budget provision seeking to exempt our retirement system from the state’s public records law, saying it would go against his desire for transparency in government.
If you have any questions about any of the above issue, please contact the union office.
In addition, we will be introducing our new lobbyist, Mike Morris of Beacon Strategies Group, at our next union meeting. Mike is well-known up on Beacon Hill, well-versed in state politics, and he understands our issues given his father is a retiree and his brother is currently on the job. We are confident in his abilities to representing our interests up at the State House.
Boston Carmen’s Union, Local 589