Two Republican state senators have filed legislation that would require both houses of the state legislature to approve the proposed Boston 2024 Olympics before any taxpayer money could be spent on the games.
According to Wicked Local:
[A]s Olympics backers seek to win over public opinion, legislation filed by Senate Republicans would require the House and Senate to approve a bid for the games before any state dollars are expended on them.
Boston 2024, the non-profit seeking to bring the summer games to the area in a decade, claims the endeavor would be privately financed, though federal dollars could go toward security and taxpayer money would be spent on infrastructure upgrades that would benefit the games.
"My guess is that money's going to have to be spent somewhere," said Sen. Bruce Tarr, a Gloucester Republican.
A bill Tarr filed with Wrentham Sen. Richard Ross would require at least one public hearing on the Olympic bid to be conducted by the House and Senate Ways and Means committees. Tarr's bill would require the Legislature to pass a special act approving of the Olympic bid before Bay State dollars could be spent on anything associated with the games.
Tarr, who said it is "appropriate for the Legislature to consider the proposal," told the media he told Gov. Charlie Baker about his bill and has not yet broached the idea with leadership in the House and Senate.
Even if the games are largely funded by private sponsors, Boston 2024 hopes to use large amounts of public land to locate venues for the games. For instance, the group hopes to build a volleyball stadium on Boston Common. The group also wants to create a quasi-public agency to manage land for the Olympics, which could cost taxpayers.
Given that the proposal would entail the use of great amounts of public resources, it's welcome news that the state legislature may hold hearings and vote on the Olympics.
In addition to this new bill, Evan Falchuk, the former gubernatorial candidate and leader of the United Independent Party, is pursuing a ballot initiative question that would prohibit the use of taxpayer money on the Olympics. Falchuk announced last month that he had filed the necessary paperwork to create a ballot question committee.