Governor Deval Patrick invoked the community response to the Boston Marathon tragedy today to urge business leaders to support his vision of creating economic opportunity through a $1.9 billion tax and reform package for transportation and education
“I think you know that my vision for Massachusetts is of a unified community, where we work together to build a better future for everyone,” the governor told 550 people at the 2013 AIM Annual Meeting in Waltham.
“In some ways, I think we got a glimpse of that in the past couple of weeks. So many lives were suddenly, viciously and profoundly affected by the bombings on Marathon Monday. And yet out of the dust of that tragedy emerged a strong sense of community, the notion of common stake and common cause. The bravery of first responders, the supreme professionalism of the medical teams, the acts of kindness and generosity by ordinary citizens – in these ways and others the strength of our community was on display for the world and, most of all, for each other. “
Patrick said he hears daily from people concerned about finding or keeping jobs, paying for college, the quality of their children’s education and the reliability of the MBTA – and suggested that business people hear the same concerns. He said the commonwealth must simultaneously grow jobs and be prepared to make the investments needed for that growth.
“I am not running for anything else. I have no agenda other than to make our commonwealth stronger, to leave it better than I found it. We have a rare chance right now to do some lasting good in transportation and education, in growth and opportunity, for our time and the generation to come. If that’s what you’re interested in, I look forward to working with you,” he said.
The governor also emphasized that his administration has made hard choices about making state government more efficient.
“We have eliminated over 6,000 positions in state government, consolidated agencies, shut down the Turnpike Authority, reformed the pension system, asked employees to pay a greater share of their health care benefits, and much more. We have, with your help, undertaken a comprehensive review of regulations and cut the time for state approvals to a fraction of what it once was.
“Of course we are not done. But it’s a fact that this administration has not only saved taxpayers billions of dollars and made state government vastly more efficient, but we have accomplished more of AIM’s agenda than any administration in 20 years.”
The Massachusetts House and Senate both passed much smaller tax packages focused exclusively on transportation. Patrick said today he will monitor the final bill that emerges from a conference committee to ensure that it provides revenue that is both reliable and timely.
“I am here to ask you to join us in that work. Because the work of building the platform for growth is vital to the business community. Some of that will involve taxes. Some will involve reforms. They are not mutually exclusive, but two sides of the same coin,” he said.
The governor’s speech was part of an Annual Meeting that also saw AIM honor several companies and organizations for outstanding achievements.
- Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) received the 2013 Legacy of Leadership Award
- The Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Innovation Collaborative (MACWIC) won the 16th Annual Gould Education & Workforce Development Award
- EMD Milipore, Billerica; Kinefac Corporation, Worcester; and Lenox, East Longmeadow all received Global Trade Awards