SPRINGFIELD — Today the Conference Committee released its compromise budget, which stripped the amendment to study east-west rail from Boston to Springfield. The measure had been included in the Senate version of the budget. Following the House and Senate votes to pass the compromise budget, Senator Eric P. Lesser released the following statement:
“I am disappointed that our proposal to study east-west rail from Boston to Springfield was stripped from the final budget, but remain undeterred. I share the frustration of countless residents in Western Mass and across the Commonwealth who are fed up with a political process that consistently leaves our region behind — not to mention stuck in traffic.
“This is, and always has been, a modest proposal with a potentially transformative goal: to reduce the regional inequality of our state and provide more opportunities for the residents of Western Mass. That’s why it passed the Senate 38-0. That’s why both Democrats and Republicans support it. That’s why business groups across the state support it.
“But we always knew it was going to be a tough fight to get this passed. If it were easy, it would have happened already. Entrenched interests are hard to dislodge. While the study was not included in this round, eventually good ideas have a way of bubbling to the top. And I am confident that we will once again get this to the Governor’s desk for signature.”