Sen. Moore gives Patrick’s address mixed reviews
January 25, 2012 ... In his “State of the State Address,” Governor Deval Patrick, on Monday night, touted how far the Bay State has come in recent years as it managed its way through the “Great Recession stating, “The strength of our progress is an indisputable fact,” he said. “Things are better in Massachusetts than in most other places. But that doesn’t mean they are good enough.”
“On this point, that there’s more we need to do, I agree with Governor Patrick,” Moore noted. “We’ve made a good deal of progress in putting people back to work and making state government work better, but there is certainly more we can, we must do,” Moore asserted. “However, I think the Governor’s agenda, leads Massachusetts in the wrong direction,” he added.
Sen. Moore said that he strongly disagreed with the Governor’s call for increasing taxes by $250 million, such as increasing the cigarette tax by fifty cents, creating a new tax on candy and soda, expanding the “Bottle Bill” to other containers, and postponing a 2008 corporate tax rate reduction.
Massachusetts was one of only 18 states to reduce taxes in FY 2011 (with the repeal of the sales tax on alcohol). Massachusetts has already seen two tax reductions in FY 2012: Income tax – 5.3 to 5.25% and Corporate – 8.25 to 8%. Massachusetts' state and local tax burden is still slightly above national average. Massachusetts currently has lower taxes than 30 other states. “With the recent further reduction in the personal income tax rate from 5.3% to 5.25%, we’re not “Taxachusetts” any more, and we ought to keep moving in that direction,” Sen. Moore explained.
While Moore stated that he shared the Governor’s goals of tougher sentences for dangerous criminals and cutting health care costs, he doesn’t agree with the Patrick Administration’s specific proposals to achieve these goals.
“The Senate passed a strong anti-crime measure that is now in discussions with the House,” Moore stated. “While I believe that we can do more to cut rising health care costs, I don’t share the Patrick Administration’s plan that is a form of arbitrary rate-setting,” he added.
Moore, the Chairman of the influential Joint Committee on Health Care Financing and the Senate’s point person on health reform stated, “We need to be very thoughtful about moving the health care system away from the current method of paying for volume of care toward paying for value of care. We need to get this right, or it could harm one of our most successful sectors of the state’s economy. I am confident that we’ll have a good plan in the coming weeks, but it will differ significantly from the bill filed last year by the Governor,” he explained.