GOVERNOR PATRICK’S CALL FOR “CHANGE BEFORE REVENUE” “I have deep reservations about imposing a higher sales tax on people during these difficult economic times, especially at the risk of costing the Commonwealth jobs and at a time when we can least afford the trade-off. Doing so without meaningful results on the reform agenda is unacceptable.” Governor Deval Patrick, 4/27/09 Governor Patrick’s Reform Agenda Transportation Reform: Real Savings: Governor Patrick’s legislation saves the Commonwealth over $40 million annually – the House and Senate versions achieve significantly less savings. Consolidation and Accountability: Abolish the Turnpike Authority, merge all transportation agencies, and eliminate separate Turnpike state police unit. Work to move MassHighway personnel off the capital budget Reform of Pension Rules: Move Turnpike and MBTA employees into state healthcare system, end the “23 and out” perk for employees with less than 10 years service, implement tort reform. Pension Reform: End the Abuses: Close loopholes and abuses in current pension system, including tightening section 10, eliminating the “One Day / One Year” rule, and eliminating disability loopholes. Real Savings: Apply new reforms to both current and future employees. Ethics and Lobbying Reform: Restore the Public Trust: In January, the Governor called on the Legislature to join him in passing a strong ethics bill in 30 days. That was over 100 days ago – the public can’t wait any longer to tighten current laws and implement stronger penalties and lobbying reforms. Municipal Reform: Take the Pressure off the Property Tax: Eliminate the telecomm exemption, provide communities an easier path into the cost-saving GIC, and provide towns with the ability to pursue “local-option” meals and hotel taxes. Budget Reform: Responsible Solutions: Limit earmarks, reduce long-term structural deficits by dedicating a portion of future capital gain increase to the rainy-day fund, continue balanced budget approach of cuts, reforms, new revenue and appropriate use of federal and rainy day funds. Massachusetts Works Governor Patrick’s reform agenda is a continuation of the partnership with the State Legislature that has delivered, over the past two years, responsible, long-term solutions for the people of the Commonwealth. Together, they have made a commitment to job growth and economic development through a $1B life science initiative, passage of nationally-recognized clean energy and environmental bills, and regional economic development and transportation initiatives. In addition, Governor Patrick and the Legislature have maintained a commitment to education funding in historically-difficult economic times, helped to bring affordable health care coverage to over 400,000 previously un-insured residents, brought lower rates and more competition in auto insurance premiums for consumers, allowed for civilian flaggers at construction sites, and secured the right of marriage equality for all MA residents.
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