“We invest in education because well-prepared young minds and mid-career talent is our global calling card and our economic edge. We invest in innovation because, with a workforce like ours, enabling and encouraging new ideas is the best way to take advantage of the knowledge explosion happening in the world economy today. We invest in infrastructure because rebuilding our roads, rails, bridges, expanding broadband to every community, building new classrooms and labs and more affordable housing gives private initiative and personal ambition the platform for growth. Education, innovation, infrastructure. It’s a strategy proven through history.  And it’s working for us today.
- Governor Deval Patrick, 2013 State of the Commonwealth

In his 2013 State of the Commonwealth, Governor Patrick laid out a clear vision for the Commonwealth that investing now in transportation and education will expand growth and opportunity across Massachusetts. Together, with the Legislature, the Administration has built a track record of reforms and policies that will leave a stronger Commonwealth for future generation.

Additional notable legislation signed by Governor Patrick in the 2011-2012 Legislative Session: 

Job Creation & Improving Business Climate 

Expanded Gaming Legislation Bill SigningExpanded Gaming Legislation

Advances job creation and economic development in the Commonwealth with the establishment of three geographically distinct regions where resort casinos can be built.

Gaming Compact with Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

This Compact paves the way for a resort-style casino in Region C in the southeast of Massachusetts, created by the Expanded Gaming Act signed by Governor Patrick in 2011.

Jobs Bill

Increases economic development and create jobs in the Commonwealth's key sectors of innovation and infrastructure.

Transportation Bond Bill

Provides $200 million in Chapter 90 funds to cities and towns to rebuild and repair local roads and bridges.

Unemployment Insurance Rate Freeze

Provides immediate relief to Massachusetts' businesses by freezing employer contributions to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund at current levels.

Health Care

Protections for Residents of Continuing Care Communities

Gives residents of continuing care retirement communities additional consumer protections and housing rights.

Increased Access to Down Syndrome Information

Requires parents who receive a prenatal or postnatal Down syndrome diagnosis be provided with up-to-date, evidence-based, written information. 

Expanded Access to HIV Testing

Removes barriers for patients to get HIV screening in order to increase screening and early detection.

Streamlined Organ Donation Process

Promotes organ donation by aligning state statute with requirements currently in effect in neighboring states.

Expanded Nurse-Midwifery Care

Authorizes nurse-midwives to issue written prescriptions and order and interpret tests and therapeutics and expands access to nurse-midwifery care for more women in the Commonwealth.

Improved Quality of Care for Dementia Patients

Establishes regulations to specify minimum safety and quality standards for dementia care units in long-term facilities, as well as requiring dementia-specific training to staff in long-term facilities.

Education

FY13 Budget - Closing Achievement Gaps in Gateway Cities

Provides $10 million in additional funding to support the implementation of the Gateway Cities Education Agenda , a comprehensive set of new initiatives that will provide much-needed support to students, families and educators in the Commonwealth’s 24 Gateway Cities.

Oversight of Proprietary Schools

Unifies the oversight of proprietary schools to provide greater protections for consumers with the establishment of the Office of Private Occupational School Education within the Division of Professional Licensure (DPL).

Public Safety

Anti-Human Trafficking Legislation Signed

Anti-Human Trafficking

Strengthens protections for victims of human trafficking and prostitution and increases the punishment for offenders by carrying a potential life sentence for traffickers of children. 

Christian's Bill for Children's Water Safety

Improves water safety to decrease the risk of drowning for children at camps and recreational programs. 

Clean Energy

Energy Bill

Protecting Massachusetts ratepayers while providing greater reliability and energy independence for all residents of the Commonwealth.

Green Communities Milestone

Massachusetts is now home to over 100 Green Communities due to the Green Communities Act. This law empowers communities to invest in local solutions that expand renewable energy adoption, boost the clean energy industry and cut overall energy use. As a result, we lead the nation in energy efficiency and have seen the number of renewable energy projects – like solar and wind – soar.

Reform

Pension Reform

Continues the Patrick-Murray Administration's efforts to end abuses and close loopholes to create a sustainable public pension system.

Anti-Discrimination

Transgender Equal Rights Bill

Makes Massachusetts the 16th state to treat transgender citizens as a protected class and modifies language in Massachusetts statute to protect all individuals from discrimination, regardless of gender identities.

Consumer Protection

Expanding Protections for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

Law expands important consumer protections and continues the Commonwealth’s national leadership on foreclosure prevention.

Temporary Worker Protection

Strengthens the Commonwealth’s ability to regulate staffing and temporary agencies to protect vulnerable workers and level the playing field for businesses.

Veterans Services

VALOR Act

Creates increased supports for veteran-owned businesses, Gold Star Families, military children and higher education access in the Commonwealth.