BOSTON – Friday, March 08, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick today testified before the Joint Committee on Ways and Means FY14 Budget Hearing to make the case for his proposed investments in transportation and education that will unlock opportunity in every corner of the Commonwealth.
The Governor’s FY14 budget includes a $1 billion annual investment in the Commonwealth’s transportation system to maintain the current transportation assets we have today and launch a number of high-impact transportation projects across Massachusetts that, if built, will create thousands of jobs and spur economic development across the Commonwealth. The plan also includes a $550 million investment in education, reaching $1 billion over four years, to provide universal access to high quality early education for children across the state, from birth through age five; fully fund K-12 education and allow for extended school days in high-need schools; make college more affordable and accessible for high school graduates; and allow our community colleges to expand their efforts to provide students with the knowledge and skill training needed to succeed in the workplace.
“I have heard from people across the Commonwealth that what they want is 21st century transportation and education systems – that is not frivolous or unreasonable,” said Governor Patrick. “That is precisely what Massachusetts needs to be economically strong today and in the future. If we want to see growth, we need investment, and I choose growth.”
During his remarks, the Governor addressed head-on the myth that lower taxes lead to economic growth, pointing out that investments in transportation and education are what support job growth – not simply lowering taxes for the sake of lowering taxes. The Governor cited a recent report from the non-partisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policyshowing that states with higher income taxes actually saw considerably more economic growth per capita than states with low or no income tax. The states with no income tax also saw a decline in median household income.
The Governor emphasized that any new revenue proposal put forward should be comprehensive, dedicated and competitive. The amount of revenue raised must be sufficient to meet the state’s obligations and capitalize on our opportunities in both transportation and education; a portion of new revenue must be dedicated to our historically underfunded public infrastructure – transportation, school building assistance fund projects and other public capital projects; and new revenue must not put our tax burden out of line with neighboring or competitive states, nor should it unfairly burden any one population.
The investment plan put forward by the Governor is one that uses new revenue to build up communities across Massachusetts, and creates opportunity for our residents in the near term, and for future generations.
To read the full text of the Governor’s remarks, click here.