Thursday, April 30, 2009

Letter from Governor Patrick On Vetoing the Sales Tax

Deval Patrick committee

Dear Friends,

This morning, I sent a letter to all of the members of the legislature regarding the debate about raising the sales tax. The letter, which follows, details my position that without final and satisfactory action on the several reform proposals before the legislature, I cannot support a sales tax increase and will veto it if it comes to my desk.

I ask that you forward this email to all of your friends, family, and colleagues so that they too can be informed of this very important issue facing our state.

Deval Patrick



April 27, 2009

Massachusetts Senate
Massachusetts House of Representatives
State House
Boston, MA 02113

Dear Member:

This afternoon, as the House considers its budget proposal for FY10, members will be asked to consider an increase in the sales tax. Without final and satisfactory action on the several reform proposals before you, I cannot support a sales tax increase and will veto it if it comes to my desk.

I appreciate the need to raise additional revenue for essential services, and have proposed a number of targeted measures and reforms to help meet the need. Our proposals were thoughtful, data-driven and specific, and, in the case of the gas tax in particular, would create jobs and support economic growth. I have deep reservations about imposing a higher sales tax on people during these difficult economic times, especially at the risk of costing the Commonwealth jobs and at a time when we can least afford that trade-off. Doing so without meaningful results on the reform agenda is unacceptable.

Before we consider any broad-based tax increase, we must first regain the public's confidence in government's ability to steward public funds wisely. That's what our reform agenda is about. On that front, we have unfinished work.

The transportation reform bill is now in conference. Real transportation reform requires simplicity, accountability, regional equity and true cost savings. We are not there yet. As I have said repeatedly, without real reforms, I will not support new transportation revenue. Without new revenue, we will unfortunately be forced to rely on toll hikes and MBTA fair increases and service cuts to meet our transportation responsibilities.

Pension reform is now also in conference. We must end the abuses and loopholes that justifiably outrage the general public and embarrass everyone in state government. A final bill that applies only to people not yet on the public payroll does not meet that test.

The Senate has taken no action at all yet on our ethics reform measures. Several municipal reforms, including (but not limited to) an easier path into the cost-saving GIC for municipal employees and elimination of the telecom exemption, still await action, leaving unchanged the pressure on local property taxes. Our proposals to end sales tax exemptions on alcohol, soda and candy to fund public health and wellness programs have not moved. The failure to take up these latter issues has caused us to have to make deeper cuts in local aid and other programs in the current fiscal year.

Crafting this year's budget is more challenging than any other in decades. As you consider the task before us in the coming weeks, be mindful that the times demand that we think and act differently than we have in the past. Together we must make the hard decisions that will deliver meaningful reform in transportation, pensions, ethics and municipal finance now. We must also reach agreement on how to dedicate any new revenue to specific unmet needs in education, health care, human services, transportation, public safety, local aid, and a worsening revenue gap for 2010.

We owe it to the people of Massachusetts to use this opportunity to change the way we approach these problems, and to work together on a more comprehensive solution that will provide the revenue we need while delivering real reforms and real change in the way we do the people's business. Without this, I will veto a sales tax increase if it comes to my desk.

I look forward to working with you to bring about this change.

Deval Patrick

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

South Hadley Comprehensive Plan Community Gathering

On Wednesday, April 29, at 7:15 p.m. in the South Hadley Town Hall Auditorium, the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) will hold a Community Gathering to solicit community input on the final four chapters of the Comprehensive Plan: Community Design & Land Use, Historic & Cultural Resources, Natural Resources, and Recreation & Open Space. Please go to the following URL for additional information about CPAC's work:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Community Service at Buttery Brook Park

For Committee members interested in community service, volunteers are needed for the annual Buttery Brook Park clean-up this Saturday, April 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (in the event of rain, the clean-up will be held on Sunday, April 26).

For information about the park or contacts, please go to the following URL:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Please give me your comments about this blog!


Welcome! If you got this far, you have been able to join the blog. Please look around at the blog and give me your suggestions. Feel free to make a comment here, directly to this post, by clicking on "Comments" below.

- Bob Judge

Monday, April 20, 2009

SH DTC meeting reminder Weds. 4/22

From: Sarah Etelman
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2009 10:58 PM
To: Sarah Etelman
Subject: SH DTC meeting reminder Weds. 4/22

Hi all,

Looking forward to seeing everyone on Wednesday, April 22nd at 7:00. We'll be in the conference room of the South Hadley police station again, so make sure your parking tickets are paid up! (just kidding)

Anyone who is not yet a member of the South Hadley Democratic Town Committee who would like to become a member is invited to attend a meeting and be voted in. Really, we're a pretty cool group, and so far no registered Democrat has been refused, so come on in!

This month's meeting will spend some time continuing the conversation about community involvement, so come with ideas and thoughts on the subject (or if you think it's something we shouldn't be doing, we want to hear about that, too).

See you Wednesday,

Friday, April 17, 2009

"ONE Massachusetts"

ONE Mass Banner
ONE Massachusetts
Virtual Rally : Support Our State!!
April 20-27th, 2009

Dear Robert,

We are excited to announce the official launch of the Virtual Rally to Support Our State!!

Support Massachusetts With Balanced, Adequate RevenuesAs an important member of our network, you know that our state has worked for decades to build a system of public structures that keep our communities safe and healthy, educate our children, "and draw businesses to our state.

Now, in an effort to avoid raising state taxes, the House Ways and Means Committee has proposed to dramatically cut those public structures in a time when we all rely on them more than ever.

All this week, our legislators will be considering amendments to our budget. Debate starts on April 27th. Now is the time to talk to your legislators!!


1. Contact your legislators - in the House and in the Senate. Tell them that you support an adequate, balanced tax package that both addresses our structural deficit and stabilizes the public programs that we depend on!

Customize your message by telling your legislators why restoring these public programs is important to your local community!

2. Pass this on to your personal and professional networks via Facebook, to mailing list, or in person - and recruit five of your friends and neighbors to do the same.

3. Let us know how it went! Once you've called each of your legislators, Twitter about it with the tag: #MassRevenues


* Don't know who your legislators are?

* Want to see a preliminary analysis of our state budget?

* Other questions?
Contact us:


10:00am Press Conference - Boston Community Organizations

* When: Wednesday, April 22nd at 10:00am
* Where: In front of the State House
* Contact Person: Yawu Miller, ONE Massachusetts (617) 821-8552

5:30pm Regional Tax Revenue Organizing Meeting in Western Massachusetts

* When: Wednesday, April 22 at 4:30 pm
* Where: Governor State Office Building 436 Dwight St, Ste 300. Springfield, MA


10:30am Regional Tax Revenue Organizing Meeting in Central Massachusetts

* When: Thursday, April 23rd at 10:30am
* Where: 484 Main St. Suite 350 Worcester, MA


4:00pm Local Option Taxes, Telecom Tax Meeting With Metro West Legislators

* Host: Metropolitan Interfaith Congregations Acting for Hope (MICAH)
* When: Sunday, April 26 at 4:00pm
* Where: St. Tarcisius Church, 562 Waverly Street (Route 135) in Framingham
* Contact: Michael Brown (617) 645-0226


12:00pm - Rally - Invest in Our Future: Stop Budget Cuts!

* What: Event & Lobby Day
* When: Monday, April 27th 12:00-1:00pm
* Where: State House Room 437
* For More Information:
o Harris Gruman, SEIU State Council 617-316-0443
o Carl Nilsson, Neighbor to Neighbor 617-470-5664

1:00pm - Debate on the Budget Begins

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