Rather than harping on the fact that Boston ranks fifth best city to do business and the state of Massachusetts ranks first in student achievement, health care coverage, veteran’s services and clean energy policies, Governor Deval Patrick noted that there is plenty of room for improvement.
Patrick addressed the fact that homelessness remains a significant problem in the commonwealth, “Our strategy is about ending homelessness, not just treating it,” he said
The governor plans to continue investing in affordable housing and education. He plans on getting people back into community colleges in order to make them competitive in the job market, and also continuing to invest in public schools.
“There is a generational responsibility. We are in this together, not just for the here and now,” said Patrick, who viewed education as the key issue that distinguishes him and his party from his competitors.
“Being governor is a tough job. We need someone who cares about education. He’s been a strong advocate for young families and he’s trying to make community college more affordable,” said state Sen. Sal Didomenico.
Key to the creation of affordable housing in Patrick’s eyes is Statute 40 B, which enables the Zoning Board of Appeals to approve affordable housing developments under flexible rules if at least 20 percent of the units have long-term affordability restrictions. This same legislation has upset various environmentalist groups which view it as only a short term solution that ultimately destroys conserved land and perpetuates flooding.
Patrick plans to continue to invest in the life sciences and information technology, which he believes will promote a stable economy.
“We are better off by his choices to reform government and invest in life sciences, clean energy and education,” said state Sen. Anthony Petruccelli.
In response to the fact that Patrick’s investment in the biotech industry primarily caters to individuals with extremely high levels of education, Patrick responded that the life sciences are merely a foundation for the state’s economy. He suggested that people without high levels of education or background in technology or the sciences will still be able to find employment through sales and marketing if the state builds its economy around scientific research. He also noted that construction, manufacturing and tourism will also continue to be key components of the state’s economy.
The governor said that he supported building resort casinos in the state of the Massachusetts in order to provide job opportunities for blue-collar workers and to add to the tourism industry.
“I do not look at gambling as good or evil. I’ve done my research on the subject and I do believe that the positives outweigh the negatives,” said Patrick.
“Massachusetts has a mature gambling industry already with 75 years of wagering on horses, more than three decades of lottery and plenty of people sit at home gambling on the internet. There are negative impacts that need to be addressed and part of the state earnings should go to addiction services,” said Petruccelli.
Patrick argued that building the resort casinos would not trap individuals into a cycle of poverty, but rather that the services associated with them would provide a stable source of income for people with limited education.