Posts tagged "Half"

State House News Service Weekly Roundup: Backing Into Half a Cat

Four years ago Gov. Deval Patrick went to the Legislature and asked for a 19-cent gas tax increase to fund transportation. They scoffed at his idea, then raised the sales tax and swore off further revenue increases, until now. With that history in mind, a sense of irony settled over Beacon Hill this week, where there’s a possibility that the governor’s proposal to hike the income tax, lower the sales tax and eliminate some tax deductions might be driving lawmakers back to that moment in 2009 with a chance to reconsider. It would be odd if House lawmakers turned later this month to the gas tax for new revenue. But not implausible. At least not anymore. The plot thickened as the negotiations between House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Patrick – private up until now – spilled more into the public sphere. And with little to nothing else on the legislative agenda at the moment, all ears were tuned. DeLeo on Thursday went before the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce to embrace Patrick’s priorities of investing in transportation and education, with one big caveat. He committed to raising new revenue for transportation, but said the House plan would be “far more narrow in scope and of a significantly smaller size” than Patrick’s $ 1.9 billion ask. And he said he wanted to do it apart from the budget, possibly by the end of the month. And so on a snowy Friday afternoon, Patrick went before the House and Senate Ways and Means committees to testify on his own plan, an unusual but not unprecedented step by the governor to lobby lawmakers face-to-face in public with the clock ticking a little faster. And he brought charts. Click here to subscribe to MASSterlist, a free morning newsletter by State House News Service that highlights political news from a wide array of newspapers and journals in Massachusetts and New England. Cognizant of DeLeo’s comments, Patrick warned against the temptation to focus just on transportation for now and to ignore education needs until a later date. He said he did not “pad” his $ 1.9 billion investment plan, and while there may be more than one way to skin a cat, he cautioned against “backing ourselves into half a cat.” Calling “brainpower” the hallmark of Massachusetts, Patrick likened a transportation-only strategy to the idea that Texas would stop investing in oil, or Iowa turning its back on corn. And then he addressed the gas tax, a topic that has dogged him for years – in short, he was against raising it before he was for that idea. Without being specific, Patrick said he has heard that some in the Legislature want to raise […]

Read more...

Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 9, 2013 at 5:53 am

Categories: Arrests   Tags: , , , , , , , ,