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South Coast Rail Funding Passed by House of Representatives Wednesday,

January 29 the Massachusetts House passed the key bond authorization of $2.2 billion for full construction of South Coast Rail to New Bedford and Fall River. As Chair of the Transportation Committe this session, this project has been among my key priorities. The bill goes to the Senate where I'm optimistic our regional colleagues will see it through. The transportation financing legislation from last year, coupled with this bond financing authorization provides the answer to those who ask how the project gets paid for. Much then depends on picking a new Governor in 2014 who will commit to implement this plan!

The bill also includes the beginnings of our third commuter line extension to the region from Lakeville down to Wareham by authorizing design and planning money for a station complex in that town.

And also of note, the House bill includes funding at an historic level of $300 million next fiscal year for the chapter 90 road and bridge program for projects within each town and city.

The Environment

Bill Straus has been at the forefront of efforts to protect the environment and the unique coastal areas of southeastern Massachusetts. »more


On March 7, 2014 Bill was again a guest on NECN's Broadside hosted by Jim Braude. The interview topics included national politics and transportation issues now pending before the Legislature
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Message:

Bill Straus has represented the 10th Bristol District in the Massachusetts Legislature since his election in 1992. Bill received his bachelors degree from Middlebury College, his law degree from Georgetown University and also holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Prior to his election as Representative, Bill served as an Assistant District Attorney in Bristol County for six years. He also was a member of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission and was a founding board member of the Zeiterion Theatre in New Bedford. He also served as a member of the Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Facility Site Safety Council for several years.

Bill is the House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Transportation. He has been involved extensively in transportation issues as a legislator. He was the original sponsor of legislation that added the Port of New Bedford to the Steamship Authority system now connecting New Bedford with Martha's Vineyard. Bill has been a longtime advocate for the extension of commuter rail service to New Bedford and Fall River, as well as extension of the Middleboro line further south into Plymouth County. As Transportation Chairman this term, Bill's work has already lead to a 33% jump in local road and bridge money that goes directly to the towns and cities from the state and new sources of increased state funding for the regional transit authorities which provide public transportation outside of Boston.

Bill has also worked on a number of issues in the legislature including education, the environment, healthcare and privacy matters. He is the original sponsor of the state's 'do-not'call' list to protect people from nuisance calls from telemarketers.