HHS Secretary John Polanowicz Discusses Governor's Growth Agenda at Corridor Nine Chamber in Westborough
Governor's budget includes investments in education, innovation and infrastructure to grow economy and create jobs
WESTBOROUGH — Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary John Polanowicz today discussed Governor Deval Patrick’s growth agenda and investments in health and human services programs at the Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce in Westborough.
“The Governor’s growth agenda focuses on groundbreaking new investments that will strengthen our economy for businesses and families in the short term and for generations to come,” said Secretary Polanowicz. “The Governor’s proposals will increase access to critical education and transportation services and will help lower the cost of health care across the state.”
Secretary Polanowicz was joined by more than 200 members of the Corridor Nine’s business community, representing the towns of Westborough, Northborough, Southborough, Shrewsbury and Grafton.
“Governor Patrick’s growth agenda has put forward a visionary proposal that recognizes that bolstering innovation and job creation must be at the center of any long-term strategy for economic growth,” said Senator Jamie Eldridge. “Governor Patrick’s proposals will make key investments in infrastructure, vital health and human services programs and education that will strengthen tomorrow’s workforce and will position Massachusetts as the best place in the country to do business.”
“It is important that we make these investments now if we are to ensure the future of quality healthcare for the Commonwealth,” said Senator Harriette Chandler.
Governor Patrick’s FY14 budget includes investments in HHS programs to help lower health care costs, enhance public health oversight and strengthen the safety net for the Commonwealth's most vulnerable populations.
“I thank Governor Patrick and Secretary Polanowicz for starting the dialogue regarding the budgetary concerns of the Commonwealth,” said Senator Michael Moore. “As the Legislature continues their budget process, this starting point in the debate will allow for a proper discussion on the education, economic and transportation needs of the state. However, we must ensure that necessary services and programs will be provided, without placing unfair burdens on working families.”
In his State of the Commonwealth address last month, Governor Patrick laid out a plan to invest in education, innovation and infrastructure, areas that have proven to create new jobs and expand economic opportunity throughout the Commonwealth. Governor Patrick’s budgetary priorities address the importance of those investments that will strengthen our economy, and create growth and opportunity for the long-term throughout the Commonwealth.
“As we discuss next year’s budget, it makes a strong statement that Secretary Polanowicz has come out to meet with leaders in our business community at the Corridor 9 Chamber,” said Representative Carolyn Dykema. “Investments in healthcare, transportation and education are crucial to local businesses but it’s also imperative that we maintain a competitive overall business climate. Having the Secretary hear directly from our local employers is crucial to making sure we strike the right balance between controlling costs and investing in the economic and job growth that we need.”
The Governor’s plan includes a $1 billion annual investment in the Commonwealth’s transportation system to maintain the current transportation assets we have today and launch a number of high-impact transportation projects across Massachusetts that, if built, will create thousands of jobs and spur economic development across the Commonwealth. Last month in Westborough, Transportation Secretary Rich Davey announced a $12 million investment. The investment funds the widening of Route 9 between Computer Research Drive in Westborough and Crystal Pond Road in Southborough, and improves intersections at Route 9 and Crystal Pond Road, and Research Drive and Connector Road.
"As one of the fastest growing regions in the state, I commend the efforts of the administration to see to it that smart investments are made in our area to foster continued growth and prosperity,” said Representative Matthew Beaton. “While we may not see eye to eye on how best to achieve this goal, we're all in agreement that the end goal must be to ensure that we create a climate that can grow jobs, expand our economy and improve our overall quality of life. I thank Secretary Polanowicz for taking the time in his schedule to speak to our Corridor Nine members and look forward to working with him as the Budget process continues."
“With 85 percent of Corridor Nine membership being small business, it was exciting to hear the Secretary speak about the Governors initiatives to help lower the cost of health care, which will help alleviate the high cost of doing business,” said Barbara Clifford, president of the Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce.
The Governor’s plan also includes a $550 million investment in education, reaching $1 billion over four years. This investment would allow the Commonwealth to fully fund K-12 education and extended school days in high-need schools, improve the accessibility of colleges to high school graduates, and expand community colleges’ efforts to provide students with skills training needed to succeed in the workplace. This also includes a $152 million increase in financial aid through the MassGrant program and additional funding to state universities like Worcester or Framingham State to help keep college more affordable for students and their families.
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