To the People of Massachusetts:
I am pleased to file my budget recommendations for fiscal year 2015.
This budget is a balanced, responsible budget that supports our growth strategy of investing in education, innovation, and infrastructure to create jobs and opportunity in the near term and strengthen our Commonwealth in the long term.
We invest in education because it is our calling card around the world. This budget invests $100 million in new Chapter 70 education aid for local school districts, and more than $68 million in additional funding to our public colleges and universities to invest in the development of our future leaders.
We know that children who have access to early education have a greater chance to succeed. This budget invests an additional $15 million to provide access to early education for 1,700 children from low-to-moderate income families.
We invest in our transportation infrastructure because roads, rail and bridges create a foundation that supports private sector investment and expanded opportunity for all our residents. This budget fully funds the next phase of planned transportation investments and will end the fiscally unsustainable practice of paying for transportation staff from the capital budget.
This budget brings renewed focus to providing both youth and adults with the tools and skills to successfully re-enter society after incarceration. At the same time, we propose to expand our summer jobs program for at-risk youth, a proven pathway to success.
We have also proposed a further series of reforms to streamline government to achieve savings, create efficiencies and improve performance, accompanying the budget. Those reforms include additional transportation reforms that will generate revenue and improve business practices, the implementation of integrated facilities management to protect our capital investments and achieve operating cost savings for state buildings and investments to strengthen our preparedness and resilience against the impacts of climate change.
I am proud of the progress we have made by working together and governing for the long term over the past seven years. Let’s continue this work, inspired by our shared commitment to leave to others a better Commonwealth than we found. In that spirit, I look forward to working with the Legislature on this budget.
Deval L. Patrick