TSM - MBTA Trains in New Bedford

The Legislature's Joint Committee on Transportation has given its approval to a $12-billion transportation bond package, which includes $2 billion for the permitting and construction of Southcoast Rail.

The spending plan now heads to the House where debate is expected to begin next week.

Rep. William Straus of Mattapoisett chairs the Legislature's Transportation Committee. He expects funding for the commuter rail extension to New Bedford and Fall River will be approved.

Straus says Governor Patrick will sign the legislation once it reaches his desk, but most of the Southcoast Rail spending will have to be authorized by the next governor.

Straus says he can't see himself supporting a candidate that doesn't support Southcoast Rail.