For Immediate Release - January 21, 2010

Governor Patrick Lays Out Vision for Better, Stronger Commonwealth

Announces plans to protect Chapter 70 education aid in State of the Commonwealth address; FY11 budget will also preserve local aid

BOSTON - Thursday, January 21, 2010 - Tonight, in his third State of the Commonwealth address to the citizens of Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick laid out his vision for building a better, stronger Commonwealth in the midst of the current global economic crisis. The Governor connected the work he has done and the services the state provides with the direct impact they have on people who are struggling.

"Governing for people, the ways your government can help you help yourselves, is why we come to work every day. By investing in people, by making it personal, we are building a better, stronger Commonwealth for all of us," said Governor Patrick.

In his remarks, delivered to a statewide audience from the House of Representatives Chamber at the State House, Governor Patrick discussed how, working with the Legislature, the Patrick-Murray Administration has implemented policies that make a real difference in people's lives and the Commonwealth's future.

The Governor also announced that, in his Fiscal Year 2011 budget, he will fully fund Chapter 70 education aid at a record $4.048 billion. This ensures that every school district will receive Chapter 70 funding that meets or exceeds the level of funding they received last year. This announcement comes on the heels of the Governor signing historic legislation ON Monday that will turnaround underperforming schools, promote innovation and choice and eliminate achievement gaps that persist despite the successes of the state's landmark Education Reform Act of 1993.

The budget, which will be filed next Wednesday, will also include full funding for unrestricted local aid, a reflection of Governor Patrick's commitment to cities and towns and the local services residents depend on. The most flexible category of aid, this account will be funded at $936 million in FY11 -- the same level as FY10. This will help reduce pressure on property taxes and allow communities to mitigate budgetary impacts on police, fire and other essential services.

The Governor's speech can be found at www.mass.gov/governor/sotc

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