- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Charlie Baker has ordered the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to immediately release $100 million in transportation funds for cities and towns.

The action on Thursday reverses a decision by his predecessor, former Gov. Deval Patrick, to withhold the funds and fulfills a campaign pledge made by the Republican.

The release of the funds was one of Baker’s first actions as governor following his swearing-in earlier in the day.

Baker also sent a letter to municipal officials around the state informing them of his decision to release the so-called Chapter 90 funds, which communities can use to help pay for local road and bridge projects.

Patrick released two-thirds of the $300 million authorized by lawmakers for Chapter 90, but said the state could not afford the final $100 million.

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