Pike Debt Rescue Plan

The state Senate is revising a Patrick administration plan to use the state's strong credit to help refinance $2.5 billion in Turnpike Authority debt.

WBUR's Martha Bebinger reports.

BEBINGER: The Senate is working with the House and administration on a compromise that would address immediate refinancing needs, but not put the state at risk for the Turnpike's total debt. Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation, Steven Baddour, says without some state assistance, tolls will double or triple.

BADDOUR: If we do nothing, the tollpayers will be left holding the bag for these mistakes. Make no mistake about it, the swaptions were a mistake

BEBINGER: But the swaptions, or speculative borrowing, aren't the Turnpike's only problem. Baddour says it isn't clear yet how many hundreds of millions of dollars in turnpike debt the state will have back to get more favorable interest rates and avoid another hike in tolls.

This program aired on July 25, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.


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