Patrick Stresses Education, Transporation During State Of The State Address
During his State Of The State address Wednesday night, Gov. Deval Patrick provided
details on how he plans to pay for ambitious transportation and education programs over the next few years.
Patrick says hiking the income tax by 1%, and cutting back the sales tax by nearly 2% should generate two billion dollars in new spending.
The Governor expects the commonwealth to spend $13 billion on transportation improvements over the next ten years, including $1.8 billion to extend commuter rail service to New Bedford and Fall River.
Lawmakers are giving mixed reviews to Gov. Deval Patrick’s call to hike the state’s income tax while also cutting the sales tax.
Senate President Therese Murray said she applauded Patrick’s ambition but added the “the devil’s in the details.”
Fellow Democrat, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, said Patrick’s proposal gives lawmakers a lot of food for thought, but said he didn’t think the proposal could pass or fail based just on what Patrick said.
Republicans lawmakers were more critical.
House GOP leader Rep. Brad Jones said Patrick should have proposed the tax hikes when he was running for re-election in 2010. He charged the governor with trying to saddle taxpayers with the cost of what he called “the Deval Patrick legacy project.”
The plan won kudos from progressive groups and unions, including the Massachusetts Teachers Association. (Associated Press)