Hiller Instinct: A big night for Deval Patrick
The Hiller Instinct: Hiller Instinct: A big night for Deval Patrick
Inside Memorial Hall in Melrose, the governor highlighted a budget that he says will put Massachusetts on a different course.
"We are building a foundation for lasting change and meaningful process, and we'd better get on with it," Gov. Patrick affirmed.
Deval Patrick's first budget totals $26 billion, 4 percent over what the state currently spends.
Key increases include a local aid boost of $312 million, with $200 million earmarked for education and an expansion of full-day kindergarten.
The governor also wants to hike spending on public health by $72 million. His budget includes $13 million for 250 new officers which is only one-quarter of the number he promised.
He also wants a home-owner circuit breaker tied to state income taxes, but a $1.3 billion deficit means calls for new taxes surpass any savings.
Patrick is proposing $500 million a year in business tax hikes, local option taxes on meals and hotel rooms. None of these increases guarantees any reduction in property taxes, though the governor hopes they will.
"This budget is balanced without gimmicks," Gov. Patrick said. "We didn't defer difficult decisions. We didn't ignore root causes."
At a town meeting after the speech, the governor was asked what voters can do to help him get what he wants.
"Let me tell you, the other side is paying people to talk to somebody," Gov. Patrick stated. "You need to talk to somebody. You need to talk to your legislators."
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