Voters Overwhelmingly Think Gov. Baker is Right to Rethink Participation in the TCI Program
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The Fiscal Alliance Foundation today released the results of a new statewide poll gauging the level of support for the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) in light of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first Massachusetts poll done on TCI since the pandemic began. The poll asks voters to both weigh in on the gas tax scheme and if they agree with Governor Baker that Massachusetts should rethink the program considering the effects of the pandemic. The poll was conducted from November 19 to 21 and sampled 500 likely voters. The pollster was Advantage Inc, a polling company in the Washington D.C. area.
The survey is the first comprehensive poll to include questions about the impact TCI will have on workers who cannot work from home, the use of public transportation during the pandemic, and the Governor’s rethinking the program in light of changing habits.
“Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly support Governor Baker’s recent rethinking of TCI during the COVID-19 pandemic. By a margin of nearly 2 of every 3 likely voters, they strongly or somewhat agree with the Governor. The Governor should feel confident that he has the support of the people as he rethinks entering Massachusetts into the TCI compact during the pandemic,” stated Paul Diego Craney, an advisor to the Fiscal Alliance Foundation’s Board and spokesman for the organization.
“A majority of likely voters are strongly against TCI knowing it will impact ‘essential’ workers the most—people who cannot simply “Zoom” into work, but must continue to drive. Massachusetts voters realize the world has changed since the pandemic and as a result, a majority of voters show concerns with the TCI program because of who it will impact the most—blue collar workers, essential workers, and the poor,” continued Craney.
“Last December, TCI disclosed that the program will only yield a minimal environmental impact, anywhere from a 1 to 6 percent decrease in carbon emissions in the transportation sector. When voters were asked to weigh TCI knowing this, over 60 percent of the voters had a strong or somewhat strong opinion against the program. Clearly, the environment is important to Massachusetts voters but they can see a bad deal when it comes along and would rather spend their hard earned tax dollars elsewhere,” continued Craney.
“The Fiscal Alliance Foundation is pleased to share the results of this comprehensive poll. We hope State House leaders, taxpayers, and civic leaders will find the data helpful when forming their own opinions of TCI,” concluded Craney.
While leaders in all of the New England states have expressed reservations and concerns with TCI, the 11 states observing TCI will need to decide if they want their state to enroll in the program by early next year.