South Coast Rail Funding Passed by House of Representatives
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.
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
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.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino have announced the formation of The One Fund Boston, Inc. to help the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15, 2013.
Photo: Sippican Week and SippicanVillageSoup.com
November 2013 Bill joins Mattapoisett Veterans Agent in honoring George Randall
August 2012. Bill attends the annual meeting of the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association held at the historic Hiller Farm in Rochester.
July 2012. Bill joins members of the Fairhaven Council on Aging Board and Selectman Murphy for the dedication of the new senior transport vans provided through a state grant from the Massachusetts DOT's Mobility Assisance Program.
April 2012 - Bill was a recent guest reader with 5th Grade students at the East Fairhaven Elementary School.
April 2012. Bill participates in signing of the new Massachusetts Port Compact with Mayor Mitchell and Lieutenant Governor Murray. The shared City and State resources will further promote the economic benefits of business in the Port of New Bedford.
February 2012 - Bill tours Joseph Abboud menswear in New Bedford with Congressmen Keating and Frank to hear a presentation from company President Anthony Sapienza
March 2011 - Bill recently was a Guest Reader to elementary school students in Middleborough during Read Across America Day.
September 2010 - Bill meets with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Massachusetts fisheries officials regarding Federal fisheries policy
Photo by Isabel Slepoy, Governor's Office
July 2010 - Bill helps dedicate new Council on Aging vans for use in Mattapoisett and Marion. Eighty percent of the cost of the vans came from state grants to the towns.
June 2010. Bill is briefed on developments within the Massachusetts Nursery Industry by Paul Cavicchio of Cavicchio Nursery in Sudbury and Scott Soares, Massachusetts Commissioner of Agricultural Resources.
May 2010. Bil Congratulates Stan Ellis on his final Memorial Day Appearance with the Old Hammondtown Orchestra before his retirement.
March 2010. Bill was recognized by the Greater Boston Food Bank for his continued support for funding for the statewide Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program. Bill is seen here with Catherine D’Amato, President of the Food Bank.
January 2010 Bill attends the retirement celebration for ORR
Superintendent Bill Cooper
State Rep. Bill Straus, D-Mattapoisett, presents CPAP Cadet 2nd Lt. Heidi Schneider of Mattapoisett with the Billy Mitchell Award in Plymouth last month. State Rep. Vinny deMachedo, R-Plymouth, is to the right.
June 2009. Bill congratulates retiring Marion School Committee Member Dr. John Russell during a recent committee meeting.
April 2009. Bill participates in Mattapoisett Rail Trail dedication with Trail Chairperson Steve Kelleher and Selectmen Joradan Collyer.
May 2009. Bill speaking during the Memorial Day Observance in Mattapoisett
Bill Marches with the
Selectmen in the 2009 Fairhaven Memorial Day Parade
2009. Bill speaks at Earth Day celebration at the State House with Governor Patrick and Senate President Terry Murray
August 2007. Bill attends the dedication of the State’s cranberry research bog along with Secretary of Energy and Environment Ian Bowles and his colleagues.
Bill reading to pre-school students in
Middleboro in November 2006