Saturday, March 2, 2013
The governor's optimistic but state legislators don't sound so sure. What do you think?
Governor Deval Patrick's still bullish about his budget proposal, which will raise $1.9 billion in new revenue through an increase in the income tax, decrease in the sales tax, and various other changes to taxes, fees and deductions. But the men and women who have to pass the bill don't sound as eager to support a package many see as a politically-damaging measure. The Boston Herald quotes several Beacon Hill legislators who sounded notes of caution to outright opposition to the budget. Those quoted cited the 1990 election losses in the wake of an income tax increase, pressure on small businesses and the higher price of gas as reasons they were skeptical. And the governor's new web tools touting proposed transportation and education …
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Do you agree with the governor's decision or was it too drastic?
All non-emergency drivers were ordered off the roads on Friday when Gov. Deval Patrick issued an executive order banning travel during the blizzard. (Editor's note: The ban is lifted statewide as of 4 p.m. Saturday.) Patrick's executive order is being praised by some and bashed by others, reported The Boston Globe. While former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who was in charge of the commonwealth during the Blizzard of ’78, praised the governor’s move, others called the order “tyrannical” and say the strict ban and hefty fines were too much, according to The Globe. Those caught violating the ban would face up to a year in jail and a $500 fine. What do you think? Do you agree with the governor’s decision or do you think the travel ban …
Saturday, January 26, 2013
The governor's budget proposal for fiscal 2014 would raise $1.9 billion in new revenues through a combination of tax increases and eliminating some tax breaks. Is the state's economy ready for this?
After years of treading water in the state budget, Gov. Deval Patrick has put forth an ambitious $34.8 billion proposal for the coming fiscal year that would make significant investments in education and transportation by raising $1.9 billion in revenue, through a combination of tax increases and eliminating some tax breaks. The question: Is the state's economy ready for this? To raise that funding, Patrick's proposal would increase the income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent, while doubling personal exemptions. It'd also lower the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent. Several tax breaks for both personal income and businesses would be eliminated. The gas tax would be indexed to inflation, ensuring gradual increases in what …
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Gov. Deval Patrick unveiled legislation on Wednesday that would tighten gun control laws in Massachusetts while increasing funding for mental health services and enhance background checks. Is this 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, CT. "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 require gun purchasers to undergo background checks at gun shows, reduce access to high-powered rounds of ammunition, and limit licensed individuals to purchasing a maximum of one gun per month. Punishments …
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The state's transportation infrastructure needs $13 billion over the next 10 years. How would you raise the case needed to repair and expand highways, bridges and public transit?
Governor Deval Patrick and the Department of Transportation unveiled their new plan for the state's transportation infrastructure on Monday. The plan, which calls for reinvestment, repair and expansion of the commonwealth's highways, bridges and public transportation, comes with a hefty $13 billion price tag. Raising the amount of money needed would require a significant revenue increase. Income, payroll and gas taxes, increased tolls and registration fees, green vehicle surcharges and other proposals are all on the table. Patrick is expected to detail his revenue proposal during Wednesday night's state of the state address. Now it's your turn: How would you fund the state's transportation plan? Or is the plan too ambitious (read: …
Friday, November 16, 2012
Governor Deval Patrick won't run again, and Lt. Gov. Tim Murray wants the job. So do Treasurer Steve Grossman and 2010 Republican candidate Charlie Baker. Who do you think should run for governor?
Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray could hold out any longer. On Thursday, he told the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce he'd like to be governor, according to WBUR. Mind you, he didn't say he would run, just that he wants to be governor. With the election two years away, starting an official campaign now would be a bit premature. But Murray's not alone. Governor Deval Patrick has said he will not run in 2014, leaving the door open for Murray and a host of other suitors to the office. State treasurer Steve Grossman and 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker have also expressed interest in a run in 2014. And it wasn't so long ago that Scott Brown was greeted with shouts of "Governor!" during is concession speech. Who do you …
Friday, September 28, 2012
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 …
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 pay…
Thursday, September 27, 2012
The governor will take your questions Thursday at 1:30 p.m..
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Governor Deval Patrick will answer your questions during our live chat at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. To join the chat, enter your name and question in the widget above. We will try to get to as many questions as we can within the allotted 45 minutes, but can't guarantee every question will make it into the chat.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Governor Deval Patrick speaks with Patch readers live at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. What questions do you want him to answer?
If you could ask Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick one question, what would it be? Patrick will join Patch Thursday at 1:30 p.m. for a live chat with readers. Now's your change to ask the executive of the commonwealth your question about casinos, the JP crime lab, the economy, elections or whatever else you want to know Can't make it to the live chat? Leave your questions for Patrick in the comments to have them considered for the live Q&A session. We'll be sure to ask about the most popular topics when we chat Thursday. To join our chat, head on over to our homepage from 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. on Thursday.