Statement of Governor Patrick on the Legislative Session
"I want to congratulate the Senate President, the Speaker and the members of the Senate and House for a very successful and productive legislative session. In this session, the Legislature enacted sweeping pension, ethics and lobbying, transportation and education reform bills; addressed health insurance for people with autism, texting while driving and bullying in schools; widened the buffer zone around women's health clinics and improved nutrition for school kids.
"And in just the last few days and hours, they enacted significant tools to help small businesses lower their health insurance premiums and gain access to capital, passed CORI reform and moved forward a measure to make siting wind turbines more straightforward. They have delivered responsible, balanced and on-time budgets, all in the midst of the worst economy in living memory. We even have a sales tax holiday to look forward to in a couple of weeks.
"I mention these measures because this legislative work will make a lasting difference in the lives of Commonwealth residents. By any measure, this has been a productive session. Some of that gets lost in all the attention paid to the gaming debate, but I thank the Legislature for all their good work.
"We have not resolved the gaming issue. Our positions are well stated and understood. I still believe that we are best served by no more than three destination resort casinos, where we get more jobs and more revenue, and not by racinos or slot parlors that bring more social harm than they do benefits. I also believe it is wrong to favor the interests of track owners over those of the Commonwealth as a whole.
"When I receive the final bill enacted by the Legislature, I will send it back with an amendment to address these problems. I call on the Legislature to accept the amendment promptly so that we can provide the good jobs at better wages and benefits that we all agree are available in destination resort casinos. Had they done so two years ago, when I first proposed it, thousands of workers in the building trades and in other fields would be working today. Let's not let any more time pass without action."