Saturday, April 6, 2013
Should the state forge ahead with Gov. Deval Patrick's bold plan to invest now? Or should it follow the Legislature leadership's proposal to address the bottom line before embarking on bigger initiatives?
Massachusetts legislators this week answered Gov. Deval Patrick's ambitious plan to raise $1.9 billion for transportation and education with a $500 million plan of their own, which says the governor is asking for too much, too soon as the Bay State shakes off the effects of the Great Recession. Who's right? Should the state forge ahead in a bold plan to invest now? Or should it cautiously address the bottom line before embarking on bigger initiatives? While Patrick's plan includes funding for both the state transportation system and increased education funding from preschool through college, House and Senate lawmakers eschew new revenue for education, focusing solely on closing the transportation budget gap over the next five years. The …
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 hikes 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 people …
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Tell us: do you think we need to increase taxes to strengthen education and transportation?
In his State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday night, Gov. Deval Patrick proposed raising the state's income tax by 1 percentage point and lowering the sales tax to pay for $2 billion in transportation improvements and early childhood education programs. "There is no good time to raise taxes," Patrick said. "I know how tough the times have been on the people and families of the Commonwealth. And though the worst of the recession is over, many, many families still face tough decisions and have deep anxiety about the future. I would not ask if I did not believe in my heart that investing meaningfully today in education and transportation will significantly improve our economic tomorrows." Income tax hiked to 6.25 percent Patrick said…
Gov. Deval Patrick unveiled legislation on Wednesday that would tighten gun control laws in Massachusetts while increasing funding for mental health services and enhancing background checks. Is this sensible?
Are new proposed laws regarding guns in Massachusetts and mental health services sensible and pragmatic steps? Or are they knee-jerk 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, Conn. "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 the number of weapon sales by licensed dealers to not more than one gun…
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation that would require teachers, workers at child care centers and school bus drivers to submit fingerprints for criminal background checks.
Should school and child care employees fingerprinted before starting employment in order to check their criminal backgrounds? How about fingerprinting anyone who wants to adopt or foster a child? The governor thinks so. The state education office announced on Friday that Gov. Deval Patrick had signed a bill authorizing the Department of Early Education and Care and school districts to conduct fingerprint-supported national criminal history background checks on all teachers, school employees and early education providers in Massachusetts. "Prior to this law, school districts and early education providers were allowed only to conduct name-based Criminal Offender Record Information checks covering criminal history record information for …
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The Internet retailer said the collection would begin in time for next year's holiday shopping season.
Checking out at Amazon.com will be a little pricier starting next November. The Internet retailer will start collecting Massachusetts state tax for next year's holiday shopping season. Gov. Deval Patrick's office announced the deal Tuesday, stating the company would be adding jobs to Massachusetts in the next few years. Amazon.com and Patrick said they would work together to support a federal bill allowing individual states to collect sales tax in states where they have no physical location. The co-owner of one well-known Boston area business that has been hit hard by Amazon's tax-free run is is celebrating the decision. "For every brick and mortar retailer, this is a huge victory,” Dana Brigham of Brookline Booksmith told CBS Boston. "It …
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 …
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?
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
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 chance 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 Thursday's chat, head on over to our homepage from 1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Ask Governor Deval Patrick about any topic you like during our live chat at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
Gov. Deval Patrick will take your questions live on Patch this Thursday. The governor will spend 45 minutes fielding your questions. Head on over to our Swampscott Patch homepage from 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. on Thursday to join our chat. You'll simply have to provide your name, and you'll be able to ask your questions immediately. If you can't make the live chat, leave your questions as comments to this article, and we'll do our best to add them to the queue. We will publish the live chat transcript immediately and a recap first thing on Friday morning. Questions submitted will be subject to moderator approval. No vulgar or libelous comments will be allowed. Because we expect a high volume of questions for the chat session, we will keep …