Friday, April 12, 2013
The House proposal cuts out increased funding for early education, one of the centerpieces of Patrick's plan.
House leaders on Wednesday proposed a budget that was a billion dollars less than the one Gov. Deval Patrick put forth in January. The $33.8 billion House budget includes increased funding for higher education and local aid but not more money for early education, one of the centerpieces of Patrick's budget that emphasizes prekindergarten funding and investment in transportation. Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said the House budget would not increase these funds over concerns that the Department of Early Education and Care is inefficient and wasteful, the Boston Globe reported. Altogether, the House proposal would raise taxes by $500 million, compared to Patrick's proposed $1.9 billion tax hike. The House plan would result in a 3.9 percent …
Friday, March 15, 2013
The transportation bond bill would provide funding for modernization and maintenance of the transportation system.
Gov. Deval Patrick filed a transportation bond bill Wednesday that will finance an ambitious 10-year plan to overhaul the state’s ailing transportation system. The bill would invest $13.7 billion over 10 years in The 21st Century Transportation Plan “The Way Forward” if it is accepted by the state’s legislature, according to a press release from the governor’s office. The funding would address a backlog of deferred maintenance and strategically improve the state’s transportation system by reducing congestion on roads, curbing delays and minimizing crowding on trains and buses, according to the press release. “These investments will create the jobs and opportunity today that will build a stronger Commonwealth for tomorrow,” Patrick said in …
Saturday, February 9, 2013
You Ask, Patch Answers.
Many readers have been asking when the travel ban imposed by Gov. Deval Patrick will end. Well, you ask, Patch answers. According to the Boston Globe, the travel ban will end at 4 p.m. this afternoon. The ban was imposed yesterday due to the 2013 blizzard. It was meant to keep people off the roads as driving became dangerous and to allow crews to clear the streets. Those caught violating the ban would face up to a year in jail and a $500 fine.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The plan focuses on investments in transportation and education while calling for an income tax increase coupled with a lower sales tax.
In submitting his $34.8 billion budget to the Legislature Wednesday, Patrick said the proposed income tax hike is part of a comprehensive package aimed at investing in the state's infrastructure and in driving growth. The proposal asks for an increase in the income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent coupled with a reduction in the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent. It also doubles personal exemptions. Despite the proposed income tax hike, Patrick says that low and modest-income workers will pay less in taxes under his proposal, and only the "more fortunate see a larger increase." "I do not submit this proposal lightly. I understand that many households in Massachusetts continue to struggle from the impact of the Great …
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Tell us: do you think Massachusetts needs to increase taxes to strengthen education and transportation?
In his State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday night, Gov. Deval Patrick proposed raising the state's income tax by a full percentage point and lowering the sales tax to pay for $2 billion worth of transportation improvements and early childhood education programs. "There is no good time to raise taxes. I know how tough the times have been on the people and families of the Commonwealth. And though the worst of the recession is over, many, many families still face tough decisions and have deep anxiety about the future. I would not ask if I did not believe in my heart that investing meaningfully today in education and transportation will significantly improve our economic tomorrows," Patrick said. Patrick said he wanted a more fair and…
The governor unveiled legislation Wednesday to strengthen gun laws in Massachusetts while increasing funding for mental health services. Sensible or reactionary?
Are new proposed laws regarding guns in Massachusetts and mental health services sensible and pragmatic steps, or reactionary measures that won't increase safety? Gov. Deval Patrick introduced new legislation Wednesday along those lines in the wake of the school shootings in Newtown, Conn. "I am encouraged by the palpable consensus in our Legislature that the time for action is now. All of us must pull in the same direction to bring about real change in this state and across the country," Patrick said in a press release. The bill would, among other things: Punishments for crimes involving guns would also sharpen, with tiered punishments for possessing different weapons on school property and giving police the authority to arrest without…
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Where and when to watch or listen to the Massachusetts governor's annual address tonight.
I would suspect that the governor's annual State of the State address is not, usually, a TV ratings champ. But tonight's speech, which starts at 7:30 p.m., may attract more viewers and listeners than usual. Why? Since it happens on the heels of Gov. Deval Patrick saying he wants to raise $1 billion by hiking the Massachusetts income tax. So you may want to watch tonight. When: 7:30 p.m. Where: CBS ABC NBC NECN Streamed live on boston.com Streamed live on http://www.malegislature.gov/ If you know of other websites, TV stations or radio stations carrying the State of the State live, please add them to the comment section below.
Monday, January 14, 2013
Bill filed by Rep. Jay Kaufman was signed by Gov. Deval Patrick.
A new bill signed by Gov. Deval Patrick will allow students to carry Epi-pens in schools. The bill was signed last week, nearly 10 years after a Woburn mother proposed the law in 2004. The bill—H. 3959, “An Act Relative To Access To Epinephrine In Schools”—was sponsored annually by Rep. Jay Kaufman until it passed in 2012. Along with Kaufman, Rep. Cory Atkins, Rep. John D. Keenan, Rep. George Ross, Rep. Kate Hogan, Rep. Denise Andrews and Sen. Karen Spilka sponsored the legislation. Freedom Road resident Laurel Francoeur proposed the bill to Kaufman in 2004, as her son was ready to enter Kindergarten in the Woburn Public Schools. "I was told that his Epi-pen (his life-saving medication) could only be kept in the nurse's office," recalled…
Friday, September 28, 2012
Asked about toll fairness during a Patch live chat, Governor Deval Patrick asked a reader whether he'd support high-speed tolls. Are these a good way to share the transportation funding pain, or another money grab?
Are high-speed tolls along Interstate 93 and other highways a smart way to help fund transportation in the state? Governor Deval Patrick mentioned such a system during a Patch live chat on Thursday. If you've gone up Interstate 95 into New Hampshire, you've seen high-speed tolling in action. The system is designed to read your EZ-Pass (new Fast Lane) transponder while you breeze by at 65 miles per hour. There's no need to slow down or squeeze though a booth, as EZ-Pass users currently do on the Mass Pike, Tobin Bridge and harbor tunnels. The chat moved on to other topics, so no details about implementation were offered. What do you think? Would tolls along I-93 offer some fairness to riders in Boston, MetroWest and North Shore, who all …
The governor, during a live chat with Patch, expressed skepticism about the legalization of medical marijuana, though he sympathized with patients in pain.
Governor Deval Patrick said he would likely vote no on Question Three this fall. During a Thursday live chat with Patch, a reader asked Patrick how he would vote on the ballot question and whether the governor was for or against the legalization of cannabis. "I am not too energized on this issue, personally. California's experience has been mixed. I will probably vote against it. I respect the opposing view, though, especially those whose concern is for people in constant pain," wrote the governor in response. Proponents say medical marijuana will help ease the pain and suffering of cancer patients and other eligible residents. Opponents, meanwhile, say the law is a back door to full legalization, and that medical marijuana can be …