State House News Service
BOSTON -- Gov. Deval Patrick challenged Beacon Hill lawmakers Wednesday not to make the politically expedient choice to reject his proposed tax reform to generate new revenue for transportation and education investments, casting the decision as one of generational responsibility.
"We must each of us sacrifice a little today so that we may all share in a better and stronger tomorrow," Patrick told a crowd gathered at the Statehouse for Transportation Day, sounding a theme he has emphasized often over his six years as governor and one echoed Tuesday night by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address.
The event, designed to introduce the various state transportation agencies and their programs to lawmakers, comes as skeptical lawmakers are being asked by the governor to approve a menu of tax-reform proposals designed to generate $1.9 billion in new revenue and slightly shift the state's tax burden off lower- to middle-income families.
He urged people to talk to their neighbors and representatives in the Legislature about the importance of investing in transportation and education, suggesting "reform alone" will not deliver for Massachusetts the type of 21st century transportation he said the state needs to remain economically competitive.
"Help them see the generational urgency of this moment and help them find the political courage to choose what's right for our long-term good instead of just what's easy for short-term politics," Patrick said.
House and Senate leaders have taken a wait-and-see approach toward the governor's tax plan as they review the intricacies of his budget proposal, but very few have fully embraced the whole of his plan.
Patrick indicated he is open to compromising on taxes, but suggested he might look unfavorably on a plan that ratchets down the scope of his proposal.
The House in April come back with a more modest tax hike targeted at just certain transportation needs.