Three lawmakers have filed an amendment to the MBTA budget bailout bill pending in the state Senate that would replace the board that oversees the T with a new panel, in an effort to find fresh solutions to the agency’s financial troubles, one of the amendment's sponsors said Monday.
“The folks on the current MBTA board are certainly well qualified and have certainly worked very hard,” state Senator Gale D. Candaras, one of the sponsors, said by phone. “But we just feel that the problems confronting them are herculean and that those problems have overwhelmed the present board.”
Under the proposal, the state Transportation Department’s board of directors, which oversees the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, would be replaced by a five-member control board that would include the chairman of the current board and the state transportation secretary.
The other members would be appointed by the state secretary of administration and finance. An MBTA spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment on the proposal.
The amendment is part of a bill, pending in the Senate, to help the T close its remaining $51 million deficit for the coming fiscal year. The House last week passed a version of the bill that would plug most of that deficit with money from the state’s motor vehicle inspection trust fund.
In a statement, Candaras, a Democrat from Wilbraham, and the amendment cosponsors — Senate minority leader Bruce E. Tarr and Senator James Welch — said the measure also provides a $51 million loan to the T, with the funds to be repaid in full by June 30, 2020.
In addition, the amendment would direct the new control board to develop a “long-term sustainability plan for the MBTA,” the statement said.