STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - LUNCH EDITION - THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

SENATORS LOOK TO TAG LOCAL PRIORITIES ONTO TRANSPORTATION BILL

It could be a long day in the state Senate. The 39 members of the body have filed a total of 237 amendments to a $13.15 billion transportation bond bill that will influence the spending decisions of Gov. Deval Patrick's successor. Members of the House tacked scores of local projects and priorities onto their version of the bill and the Senate amendments are largely in the same realm of local fodder. Sen. Gale Candaras wants a $2 million earmark for safety improvements on Roosevelt Avenue in Springfield. Sen. Richard Ross has asked his colleagues to commit the state to spend not less than $1 million for the reconstruction design of Village Street in Millis. And Sen. Cynthia Creem wants to ban the MBTA from reducing service or stops on the Framingham/Worcester Line during peak hours from the schedule effective April 29, 2013. The Senate bill includes a five-year, $1.5 billion commitment to the Chapter 90 road repair program, increases fines for MBTA fare evasion, and calls for property transfers for the Conley Terminal freight corridor in South Boston. The House in late January approved a $12.8 billion, five-year bond bill. The Senate bill (S 2023) also increases the bond limit for the Wood's Hole, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket Steamship Authority from $75 million to $100 million, designates the Governor Michael S. Dukakis Transportation Center at South Station, and creates a redevelopment program for Quincy Center Station, according to a bill summary. The bill also includes $2.3 billion for the South Coast rail project, $1.3 billion for the Green Line extension, $325 million for South Station improvements, and $175 million for the Springfield-Worcester, Boston-Cape Cod, and Pittsfield-New York City rail projects. - M. Norton/SHNS

STATE SAYS FORMER REP VIOLATED DISCLOSURE LAW

The State Ethics Commission initiated proceedings Thursday against former Rep. Demetrius Atsalis, alleging he owes a $700 civil penalty for filing his 2012 statement of financial interest 62 days late. The commission issued a press release announcing it had issued an order to show cause alleging that the former Barnstable state representative, who lost his bid for re-election in 2012, violated the state's financial disclosure law by failing to file his disclosure statement for 2012 until Aug. 19, 2013, when it was due by May 28, 2013. The commission said it would schedule the matter for a hearing within 90 days. - M. Norton/SHNS