Following Wednesday's State of the Commonwealth address in which he put forward a vision to expand opportunity and growth in the Commonwealth, Governor Deval Patrick this week traveled to different communities to meet with legislative, business and community leaders and tour infrastructure projects that, thanks to state investments, are creating jobs and unlocking economic development throughout Massachusetts. The Governor has launched a serious, fact-based debate about creating a more fair, comprehensive tax system to generate the revenue the Commonwealth needs to build 21st-Century education and transportation networks that will benefit this generation and the ones that follow.
"Opportunity is too important to leave to chance, but opportunity requires growth and growth requires investment," said Governor Patrick in his address at the Massachusetts State House Wednesday night. "In every corner of the Commonwealth, investments we have made are paying off by putting people back to work and expanding economic opportunity. Working with our partners in the legislature, business community and cities and towns, we can build on these and create a stronger Commonwealth for this generation, and the next."
This morning, Governor Patrick will meet with Senate Ways and Means Chair Stephen Brewer in his district. Following a cabinet meeting at Union Station in Worcester, he will join legislators, business and community leaders to outline how increased transportation and education investments will benefit Central Massachusetts.
"This year as in years past we will be facing fiscal challenges and will have to make tough decisions. Moving forward we must all continue to work together to identify the best investments and the best plans for the future of Massachusetts," said Senator Stephen M. Brewer.
On Thursday, the Governor traveled to Haverhill, Lynn and Burlington.
In Haverhill, Governor Patrick joined House Ways and Means Chair Brian Dempsey to reinforce the importance of public infrastructure investments that leverage private development. They toured 500 units of housing private developers have added to the city center since the Patrick-Murray Administration and Legislature invested $1.8 million for the construction of a nearby parking garage.
In Lynn, Governor Patrick joined Senator Thomas McGee, chairman of the Joint Committee on Transportation, and local officials to showcase Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs), an innovative passenger rail investment that would be introduced through MassDOT's 21st-Century transportation plan, The Way Forward: A 21st Century Transportation Plan. DMUs are self-propelled units able to run on existing passenger rail tracks, allowing more frequent, expanded service. DMU service to Lynn would provide faster and more efficient public transportation to North Shore residents.
In Burlington, Governor Patrick joined Senator Ken Donnelly, Representative Ken Gordon, local officials and the Middlesex 3 Coalition, a group of business, academic and government leaders from along the Route 3 North corridor to discuss how the Commonwealth's investments in education, innovation and infrastructure are expanding job creation and economic development opportunities in this specific region of the state.
"This area represents one of the most economically successful regions in the Commonwealth," said Senator Donnelly. "It provides jobs across the economic spectrum, and a robust and reliable transportation system is critical to its continued success. Working in partnership, regional businesses, state and local officials and community stakeholders have been leaders in smart development that strengthens our communities and invests in the human capital needed to continue strong economic development. I applaud the Governor for all he's done to support smart development in this region and his bold leadership in addressing our infrastructure and transportation needs."
"The Governor listened attentively to the needs of the Burlington business community and he responded to its concerns," said Representative Gordon. "The members of the community told him how much they appreciated his willingness to listen and to take their priorities, including increased public transportation, into consideration."
On Wednesday, Governor Patrick joined House Majority Leader Ronald Mariano and other city leaders in Quincy to discuss the $1.6 billion Quincy Center Redevelopment Project, set to begin construction next month and bring a total of 11,000 new, permanent jobs to the area. This project, and others like it across the Commonwealth, was made possible by public and private investments, and will expand the region's economy for the long-term.
"I was thrilled to welcome Governor Patrick to the City of Quincy to tour the downtown redevelopment construction that is underway," said House Majority Leader Mariano. "I share in Mayor Koch and the entire state delegation's gratitude to the Governor and his administration for their unwavering support and vision for downtown, as we continue to fulfill our commitment to the future success of the revitalized City of Quincy."
The Governor has proposed a comprehensive, fair, dedicated and competitive investment plan that will strengthen the state's economic future by cutting the sales tax from the current rate of 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent and raising the income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent.
The Governor's proposals will support important investments in our infrastructure in order to pay the bills the Commonwealth inherited from the Big Dig, maintain existing infrastructure, promote regional equity and make targeted expansions to unlock long-term economic development and reinvest in the Commonwealth's education system by providing universal access to high quality early education, fully funding K-12 education and allowing extended school days in high-need schools; make college more affordable and accessible, and allow community colleges to expand their efforts.