For Immediate Release - June 19, 2009

GOVERNOR PATRICK STATEMENT ON REFORM AGENDA

Learn more about the Governor's reform agenda at www.mass.gov/governor/reform

BOSTON- Friday, June 19, 2009 - The following is a statement from Governor Deval Patrick:

"I pledged to veto the Legislature's proposed sales tax increase unless the Legislature first enacted meaningful reforms in the pension system, the transportation network, and our ethics and lobbying rules. In the last 10 days, the Legislature has passed and I have signed legislation eliminating long-standing pension abuses. They have also passed what, at first review, seems to be a good faith effort at reforming our broken transportation system. I commend the House and Senate for their work on these reform measures.

"However, the fact that we have not been able to pass a strong ethics reform bill -- despite the clear need to restore the public's trust -- threatens all the progress we have made. For the Legislature to enact a 25% increase in the sales tax without first passing a strong ethics bill goes against the pledge that the Legislative leaders and I made, and that the public expects us to keep, to deliver all three reforms before new revenue.

"We know what to do. The House passed a solid ethics bill. The Senate's bill contains a good new idea regarding campaign finance. Legislative leaders should quickly agree to final ethics legislation that includes the strongest provisions from the House, the Senate and my original bill -- including a gift ban and campaign finance reform. Without that, I will veto the sales tax."

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