Amendment to bar public funds for Olympics fails in House - Metro US

Amendment to bar public funds for Olympics fails in House

The State House.
Derek Kouyoumjian/Metro

(State House News Service) –A Republican-sponsored amendment that would have prevented tax dollars from being used to support cost overruns or to secure bonds associated with potentially hosting the 2024 summer Olympic games in Boston failed in the House Monday night.

House lawmakers rejected the amendment offered by Whitman Rep. Geoff Diehl on a voice vote. Diehl said his amendment would avert the need for an expected ballot question in 2016 that may attempt to do a similar thing.

The Diehl amendment would have blocked the use of any state funds to host the Olympics or guarantee bonds related to the Olympics, with an exemption for transportation-related project that may indirectly provide a benefit to the games.

No one spoke in opposition.

“What we’re trying to avoid is having the taxpayers on the hook for overruns. I urge the membership to pass this amendment so we don’t have to wait for the ballot question to come about and have it passed for us,” Diehl said.

Boston 2024 Olympic bid organizers have said they intend to put together a bid without relying on public funding, except for transportation projects already in the state pipeline and federal funds for security.

Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and House Speaker Robert DeLeo have all said they would a support a ballot question barring the use of public funds to host the Olympic games. – Matt Murphy/SHNS

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