FY 2014 Budget

Lawmakers in the Berkshires are reacting to the fiscal year 2014 budget signed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on Friday.

Last week, Governor Patrick signed a $33.6 billion state budget into law. Patrick’s initial budget proposal called for significant investments in education, which lawmakers in the Berkshires supported.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick today signed the fiscal year 2014 budget into law and vetoed millions of dollars dedicated toward transportation and local aid in a bid to pressure lawmakers to accept his revisions to a still unresolved transportation finance bill.

Governor Patrick addressed reporters at a press conference after signing the $33.6 billion spending plan. He paid specific attention to programs that aim to close the achievement gap, reduce healthcare costs, and prevent youth violence. 

Berkshire Regional Transit Authority

The transportation funding plan unveiled by Democratic leaders in the Massachusetts state legislature has been met with a mixed response, with Democratic Governor Deval Patrick threatening to veto the plan if certain objectives aren’t met and House Republicans criticizing the plan for raising taxes without making other reforms to government.

And lawmakers in the Berkshires seem to be equally as divided on supporting the plan introduced by House Speaker Robert Deleo and Senate President Therese Murray, both Democrats, last week.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick today toured an elementary school in one the state’s Gateway Cities, where he also highlighted his plan to make significant investments in public education.

Governor Patrick was led by students through the Silvio Conte Community School in Pittsfield, where he met students, teachers, and administrators.

Governor Patrick addressed the challenges schools in Gateway Cities, like the Silvio Conte Community School face every day, with many students from low-income households and many studying English as a second language.

Massachusetts’ Secretary of Transportation visited the Berkshires on Thursday to pitch the governor’s transportation budget, and to discuss the newly filed transportation bond bill with local legislators and heads of town governments.

Discussion over the proper size for Massachusetts’ budget continues as supporters of Governor Deval Patrick’s intention to raise revenues rallied in Boston Tuesday. But House legislators and other groups are advocating for a smaller tax package.

Concerned members of the Northern Berkshire community gathered in North Adams Friday to participate in an open discussion on their current and future public transportation needs.

Opinions are mixed on Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s $34.8 billion budget released yesterday – some advocacy groups are saying the investments will pay off, while others are warning that a hike in taxes will damage a recovering economy.

In a speech detailing his  FY 2014 budget proposal, Governor Patrick focused on his plan to raise nearly $2 billion to increase funding for two key areas: education and transportation.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick today released his FY 2014 budget proposal. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports that the Governor is planning to invest in three key areas: education, innovation, and infrastructure.

Governor Patrick’s $34.8 billion budget proposal follows his State of the Commonwealth speech last week where he called for more investment in transportation including streamlining public transportation and improving roads and bridges, as well as a significant boost to education spending.