Four protestors were arrested at the State House Monday, minutes before the House of Representatives started debating transportation funding.
The group was made up of seniors and disabled who used wheelchairs to shut down traffic.
Inside, lawmakers moved forward on a $500 million transportation bill.
The house threw out Gov. Patrick’s $2 billion transportation plan and replaced it with a much more modest version.
House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey called Patrick’s plan unrealistic given the economic climate.
"I commend the governor, the administration and the secretary of transportation for all the work they did coming up with a blueprint around transportation in the commonwealth," Dempsey said. "I applaud that. It’s our job to drill down and look carefully at those numbers, Mr. Speaker. To look carefully, to determine what can we afford. What’s sustainable? What’s adequate? Understanding the financial parameters that we have."
Patrick has said he will veto the bill if it reaches his desk unchanged. And there's speculation in the House and Senate as to whether there are enough votes to override the veto.
Patrick privately met with about 2 dozen lawmakers in his office in an 11th hour attempt to negotiate.
House Transportation Committee Chairman William Straus criticized Patrick’s tactics.
"Colleagues have said to me that the governor’s strategy this morning was, the only way he could accomplish compromise is if you killed the bill," Straus said. "If you vote no, in the words of the govenor as they were reported to me, you will allow him to compromise. I myself don’t want to play some roulette game or game of chance with the people we represent."
If nothing happens, or if no bill is passed, MBTA fares would likely shoot up at least 19 percent, structural deficiencies would go unchecked on some roads and bridges, and few if any new projects would go forward.