While the main agenda in yesterday’s transportation discussion was to fund transportation operations and maintenance, we passed a number of amendments to strengthen transparency.
A particular issue that had troubled many observers for decades was the secrecy of the MBTA’s pension fund. The MBTA’s pension plan has been perceived as excessively generous, allowing relatively early retirements. A court opinion in the early 90s had blocked attempts by the Boston Globe to access the records of the plan. The opinion construed existing statutes to exclude the MBTA’s pension funds from the public records law.
Yesterday, the Senate unanimously adopted an amendment sponsored by me to open up the fund records as public records and to include them in the state’s online open check book system. Currently all other state pensions are visible online. The Boston Herald has covered this issue heavily.