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A Discussion With Governor Deval Patrick

Massachusetts' new Governor is a man of vision. Indeed, Deval Patrick sees a state government that partners with business. He sees the need to build technology infrastructures. He sees the need for both economic development and environmental stewardship. And he plans to turn his visions into realities during his term as Governor.

Apr/May 07
Before running for public office, Patrick had a diverse career, from a stint as executive vice president for The Coca-Cola Company to an employment lawyer in private practice to an assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under the Clinton administration. Now, Patrick is serving the people and businesses of Massachusetts with a bold plan for change. Here are Governor Patrick's thoughts on several key priorities.

On the economy. I see Massachusetts as a place in which businesses invest because of a well-educated and well-prepared work force and because they are assured that neither taxes nor regulation will be unreasonable. Massachusetts will be where people with ideas and initiative want to be, whether they are the next software giant or the next local grocer.

In a strong Massachusetts economy, both entrepreneurs and workers will benefit. Health and housing costs will be affordable, thanks to more choices and fairer competition. Public education will be consistently excellent and investment in public higher education will expand. Start-up and reinvestment capital will be broadly available. Because of the wealth of opportunity, young people and families will want to set down roots here. Supporting this economic renaissance, state government will become an active partner with businesses and workers. As Governor, I will be personally involved in expanding opportunity and business growth.

On business development. Consistent with good environmental stewardship, no state permit or approval process will take more than six months. Businesses will have one place to go to manage through necessary state approvals. We will work with local authorities and interested parties to pre-permit development sites and anticipate infrastructure needs so that [the sites] are development-ready. State funds will leverage private capital in private investment funds to provide start-up capital for new enterprises across the state, with an emphasis on small businesses. The more jobs created by the new enterprise - particularly in distressed areas - the more favorable the terms for repayment will be. We will support new technology to guarantee wireless Internet access from anywhere in the state, regardless of region. That access will serve to enhance education and work force training, and public health initiatives including childhood immunization and disaster preparedness.

On energy and the environment. We are often asked to choose between economic development and environmental stewardship. From my experience in the energy industry, I am convinced that this is a false choice. In Massachusetts, I believe we can and must have both. In the near-term, we should develop incentives to conserve energy, both to reduce emissions from burning coal, oil, and gas, and to contribute our part to reducing dependence on foreign sources. I see excise and sales tax credits for energy-efficient vehicles, appliances, and construction. I will support renewable energy projects whenever the benefits for all of us outweigh the disadvantages.