Friday, January 18, 2013
As of Tuesday, 1,221 seniors remained on waiting lists for home care.
Dozens of senior citizens stood outside Gov. Deval Patrick's office in the State House Thursday demanding that their concerns about cuts in home care spending be heard. Chanting "Can you hear us now governor?" the seniors called for Patrick to respond to a letter several senior advocacy groups sent him in September detailing what they say has been a $15 million cut since 2009 in home care services and asking for such funding to be restored. Although Patrick didn't meet with the seniors, Ann Hartstein, his secretary of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, took their questions and comments in a downstairs press room. "The governor is totally communted to community-first," Hartstein said of the policy that promotes home care over nursing-…
Wednesday, January 16, 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. 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," Patrick said. Patrick said he wanted a more fair and …
The governor also announced that he will couple the bill with increased support for mental health services.
Hooking on to the national and local momentum to tighten gun laws in the wake of last month's school shootings in Connecticut, Gov. Deval Patrick introduced new legislation Wednesday that seeks to strengthen gun control. At the same time, he announced plans to increase funding for mental health services. "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. Specifically, the bill seeks to: Patrick also announced Wednesday that he will propose a 3.3 percent increase in Department of Mental Health funding in the FY2014 budget he submits next week. That money …
Money would help pay to improve transportation system and education in the commonwealth.
Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to propose $1 billion in new taxes to help pay to improve the state’s transportation system and expand early education programs, reported The Boston Globe. Patrick is expected to announce the plan at his State of the Commonwealth speech Wednesday night. The plan is to increase the state income tax from 5.25 percent to 5.66 percent, which would raise $1 billion. Patrick’s plan would also need to raise other taxes and fees to pay for the spending increases of $1.5 billion next year and $2 billion annually after that, according to The Globe. What do you think of the governor's proposal? Do you support raising taxes to fund these programs?
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
In January, the cabinet will have new secretaries of finance, education, health and public safety.
Governor Deval Patrick announced late last week that he has appointed four new secretaries to join his cabinet. In January, Glen Shor will replace outgoing Secretary of Finance Jay Gonzalez; Matt Malone will replace Secretary of Education Paul Reville; John Polanowicz will replace Secretary of Health JudyAnn Bigby; and Sheriff Andrea Cabral will replace Secretary of Public Safety Marybeth Heffernan. “Glen, Matt, John and Andrea are the real deal. They come to their new positions with the expertise, the talent, the respect and the vision to achieve our bold agenda over the next two years,” Patrick said. “Jay, Paul, Judy and Marybeth were instrumental in achieving the cornerstones of an agenda that is making a difference,” he added. “This …
Thursday, December 13, 2012
The state leader joined rabbis from around the Boston area in celebrating the fifth night of Hanukkah on Wednesday.
Gov. Deval Patrick joined rabbis and members of Boston's Jewish community to light the menorah in Copley Square on the fifth night of Hanukkah. "It is my honor, and joy, to be with you all to recognize the significance of an ancient truth, which is that freedom is light. And let us all let that light shine in our lives, in our communities, in our Commonwealth and in our country. And, indeed, in the hearts of those especially suffering all around the world. Happy Hanukkah everyone, and thank you for including me," Patrick said before climbing into a cherry picker to light the five candles. Patrick was joined by Shai Bazak, the Israeli counselor general in New England, at the event hosted by Rabbi Mayer Zarchi of Boston Chabad, a newly …
Gov. Deval Patrick says the state’s toll system will be fully automated by 2015.
Though users of the EZPass service never have to stop for a toll collector on the Mass Pike now, in just over two years, no one will have to. Gov. Deval Patrick said this week that all toll collectors will be phased out by 2015 to make way for a fully automated toll taking system on the Mass Pike, according to Boston.com. Patrick the state will provide a “dignified and soft landing” for the 410 toll workers who would be laid off, according to the news site. Do you think the state should move to the new automated system or should Massachusetts stick with the system in place now? Tell us in the comments.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Patrick announced the budget adjustments Tuesday.
In anticipation of the “fiscal cliff” combined with projected tax revenues that are more than half a billion dollars lower than previously expected, Gov. Deval Patrick released a revised budget designed to deal with the gap Tuesday. “The uncertainty of the fiscal cliff and the resulting slow down in growth, is the direct cause of our budget challenges,” Patrick said. “Congress and the President must come to terms on a solution so the private sector will continue to make the kind of investments that create jobs, grow state and federal tax revenue collections and contribute to a lasting economic recovery." The state is now expecting to bring in roughly $21.5 billion in tax revenue, and Patrick's plan to bridge the gap between this amount …
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The Internet giant has been exempt from collecting sales taxes in Massachusetts but some say that changed when it bought a North Reading company this year.
The Patrick Administration is arguing that after Amazon, the huge online retailer, bought a Massachusetts company this year it is no longer exempt from collecting the state's 6.25 percent sales tax as soon as the 2013 holiday season. Under federal law, online retailers are not required to collect state sales taxes if they do not have a physical presence in the state, such as an office building or a store, the Boston Globe reported. But Amazon bought North Reading company Kiva Systems this year, and is recruiting engineers for a Cambridge office, according to the Globe report. This, Patrick says, means it needs to start collecting the state sales tax in Massachusetts. Amazon has faced similar pressure from other states and collects sales …
Monday, November 19, 2012
Patrick helped staff and volunteers dish out meals for their annual Day of Thanks.
Gov. Deval Patrick on Sunday helped volunteers and staff at the Boston Rescue Mission serve a Thanksgiving dinner to hundreds of people in need. “As the holiday season draws near, it is important that we come together as a community to help those in need,” said Gov. Patrick. “I am proud to join the Boston Rescue Mission in their efforts to ensure that no one goes hungry this Thanksgiving holiday.” The Boston Rescue Mission, at 39 Kingston St., has provided basic life necessities, programs and services to the poor and homeless since 1899 and has hosted the annual Day of Thanks event for the past 18 years. Along with serving hot meals on the annual Day of Thanks, the downtown mission also distributes turkeys with complete holiday food …