State of the State
The Hiller Instinct: State of the State
The theme of the Governor's speech was that Massachusetts is in for a rocky ride, but that the ride will end, and the state can be better and stronger when it does.
Still, he could not avoid the inevitable consequences of a broken economy and a state budget that's bust:
"No one's priorities will be spared. Local services will be cut, and in many cases, police, firefighters and teachers will face layoffs"
The Governor's solution to ease the pain: massive reform across state government and he specified five areas as his targets: local governments, transportation, pensions, public safety, ethics and lobbying:
"These reforms further a vision of state government that serves the public's interest, not the special interests."
The Governor's speech was pragmatic and sober, but it was also optimistic.
For all Bay Staters who are losing their jobs and savings, and are anxious about the future, he offered a promise of better days ahead:
"The times we are in are tough, but temporary."
The state of the State may depress you, but - interestingly -- it is energizing the Governor.
A crisis creates opportunity, and Patrick sees a rare chance now to make changes that, previously, were not politically possible.
He may not get all five of the reforms he wants, but just one or two would significantly shake up state government.
And early indications are the Legislature will cooperate with him, not contest his proposals.
Reform may not sound exciting, but it could change the central nervous system of state government.
And that's what the Governor really wants to do.
I'm Andy Hiller and that's my instinct.
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