I’m nowhere near Beacon Hill these days, so it is useful and perhaps natural for me to consider what fundamental changes will be left standing after Governor Patrick takes his walk tomorrow. I think of these as “facts on the ground,” structural changes (physical, political, or fiscal) that persist and exist independently of whoever sits in what chairs tomorrow. They materially change what is feasible going forward. I invite BMGers to list what these are. For instance, consider all the renewable energy resources that have been installed in the last 8 years or are firmly in the pipeline. These now have, or are about to have, their own existence and will supply energy for the rest of their material lifetimes.
**Massachusetts legislators will be debating and voting on an inadequate transportation finance bill TODAY, I encourage you to speak out and let your legislators know that we must do better. Join me and sign my petition for real investment in 21st century transportation and education.** Today, Massachusetts has a historic opportunity to make visionary investments in our schools, roads, and public transportation systems. By standing up for innovative changes in education and transportation, we can create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, and put the Commonwealth at the forefront of the nation’s 21st century economy. House and Senate leaders have put forward a proposal that is inadequate to address these problems. We can’t continue to kick the can down the road, putting only partial fixes on falling concrete, crumbling roads and bridges, and aging schools and trains. We can do better. These are the same kind of poor choices we have seen in Washington. Kicking the can down the road got us the Sequestration Crisis and the Fiscal Cliff. Lack of political courage has meant bailouts for Wall Street and nothing for the people of Massachusetts. Now is the time to be bold. We must demand a comprehensive, progressive solution […]
The future of Massachusetts depends on the decisions we make today. From the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, Massachusetts cut taxes dramatically, leading to devastating cuts in transportation, human services, local aid for cities and towns, and more. Too much bone has been cut from essential investments. It’s time to invest in our systems for education, human services and transportation to ensure our state can compete effectively in the global economy. Without an educated workforce and the ability to get people from middle class communities to thriving work places, Massachusetts can forget about long-term economic growth. Recognizing these realities, Gov. Deval Patrick has put forward a bold plan to increase state revenues by almost $2 billion per year. Thanks to the progressive structure of his plan, low-income families will see a modest tax cut. The biggest contribution will come from the wealthiest among us, although middle-class families will have to chip in as well. This could be his finest hour. If this plan is enacted, we will all reap the benefits. The Green Line expansion across Somerville will reduce traffic on Cambridge Street and Beacon Street and add value to East Cambridge, Wellington-Harrington and Inman Square. Commuter service to Fall River and New […]
When the Watergate scandal broke, I was just old enough to grasp that something really bad, shocking in fact had happened. That was before “shocking” became just another mot du jour and scandals were not reality shows. I was raised by blue-dog Democrats who lived by the rules of the Greatest Generation: God, family, community and country. Hard work and a good education “pay”. Do unto others as you would have them do unto (unless it’s your brother or sister then go duke it out) you. Be home when the street light turns on (in the summer). The coolest thing about watching a man land on the moon was that I had a relative who was over one hundred years old who was alive to see it happen. Imagine that! He was alive before cars. He lived through two World Wars and saw an astronaut walk on the moon and you know what? He received a letter congratulating him on his 100th birthday from THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I saw it myself and was utterly awestruck. We were not touched by cynicism, sarcasm or self-pity. We were not victims, even if life was hard […]
Lawrence Harmon of The Boston Globe had a very interesting article that highlights the intersection of medicine and public policy. The issue was the debate whether MassHealth, our state’s Medicaid program, should move to pay for Suboxone versus methodone for opioid-addicted patients (for example heroin addicts). The article examines the growing medical evidence of the clinical effectiveness of Suboxone and the benefits versus commonly utilized methadone. I suggest you read the whole article for yourself to get the full medical discussion of the upsides of Suboxone versus methodone, but here are the sections I found most interesting on the public policy front: In 2007, MassHealth paid $325 million to treat 18,000 low-income addicts with either methadone or Suboxone, according to a 2009 legislative report. Of that amount, $276 million was spent on methadone programs for 14,000 addicts. The average cost per subsidized patient was $19,799 for methadone and $11,820 for Suboxone. The state Department of Public Health spent $6 million last year on methadone treatment for addicts whose insurance policies won’t cover the drug. By contrast, the department provided only $1.5 million for Suboxone programs in 14 community health centers across the state. So one might think that state public […]
If you listen to our friends on the other side of the aisle, you’d think that (a) Massachusetts is a terrible place to do business, and (b) Fidelity’s decision to move 1,100 jobs from Marlborough to Rhode Island is because of (a). We already knew that (a) is false – CNBC surprised even itself by declaring that MA is the 5th best state in the country in which to do business. Some claim that a survey by something hilariously called “Chief Executive Magazine” is more important. I find that claim to be an amusing one. Anyway, we now know that (b) is false too. How do we know? Because the Governor just met with Fidelity’s Abigail Johnson, and she told him so. Officials with Fidelity Investments told Gov. Deval Patrick Thursday that their decision to move more than 1,100 jobs out of Massachusetts as it shutters operations in Marlborough had nothing to do with the state’s business climate, according to the governor. Speaking to State House reporters after a meeting with Abigail Johnson, a company president, Patrick said Fidelity told him the move had to do with the quality of the facilities in the various locations, and the decision stands. […]
A fascinating nugget in the National Journal (HT Bernstein – emphasis mine): Though Patrick said he had not been actively recruiting challengers for Brown, he told [National Journal] he has spoken with four potential candidates – City Year founder Alan Khazei, Democratic activist Robert Massie, Newton Mayor Setti Warren, and Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “Kim is not in; she has not made up her mind, but I know she’s thinking about it seriously. But Alan and Bob and Setti are in, for sure,” Patrick said. He added that former finance executive and Romney aide Robert Pozen, who has said he will run for Senate as a Democrat if the party asks him, had been trying to get in touch. Interesting, in that only Massie has actually declared. I wonder whether Deval was speaking out of turn. I’ll see what I can scare up from the other potential candidates. UPDATE: Here’s a statement (email, no link) from Setti Warren: Statement from Mayor Setti D. Warren in Response to Governor Patrick’s Comments About US Senate Race “I’m honored that my friend Governor Patrick has mentioned me as a possible candidate for U.S. Senate. I am considering a run against Senator Brown. I […]
As you know, all political action committees must have a catchy name. Our previous Governor, with his lamely-entitled “free and strong America PAC,” has utterly failed on this score, which I suspect is in large part responsible for his poor showing in 2008.
So, in light of today’s news that Governor Patrick is forming a federal PAC, it seems essential to hold a naming contest. What should the Gov call his PAC? “DevalPAC” is too easy.
This is a big deal. I don’t have time to digest it at the moment, so I’m simply reproducing the press release (email, no link).
Governor Deval Patrick today announced comprehensive health care payment and delivery reform legislation designed to control rising health care costs and improve patient care. The Governor’s proposal builds on the Patrick-Murray Administration’s bold leadership in achieving universal access to health care by confronting the next frontier – ensuring that health care is universally affordable.
The bill, “An Act Improving the Quality of Health Care and Controlling Costs by Reforming Health Systems and Payments,” establishes a structure and process to facilitate significant reforms to the Commonwealth’s health care payment and service delivery systems over the next three years.
So Deval’s hero, Michael Bloomberg, said the film and TV industry subsidy is a “race to the bottom” and “a waste.” Will Deval emulate the politician he said during his campaign that he most would want to be? Or will he continue to give away tens of millions in this faux “economic development” boondoggle while he cuts essential services? Stay tuned.