Outside of Boston the Governor’s plans are not playing well. The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune opined yesterday that Governor Patrick’s promises run afoul of fiscal reality. The following are the money quotes (unconnected excerpts):
Gov. Deval Patrick has Republicans and members of his own party scratching their heads over his grand plans for spending money the state and its taxpayers simply don’t have.
The rhetoric is soaring… But the reality is neither the state, nor the cities and towns on which the burden of paying for many of these mandates will inevitably fall, are in a position to afford such grand schemes.
Such talk is certainly not appropriate at a time the Massachusetts Transportation Finance Commission says it will cost between $15 billion and $19 billion simply to keep bridges from falling down and the MBTA from stopping the trains.
Nor is it the right time when the commonwealth faces the uncertain costs of an ambitious health reform program.
The governor should fix what’s wrong with the commonwealth first before inviting us to join him on his high-minded flights of spending fancy.
I really do think that, after the $1.4B for the South Coast rail link, $1B for biotech, who knows how many $B’s for education, and millions more for additional police, people are starting to get more than a little unsettled. Backtracking on MCAS and the outsized desire in the education plan may be the straws that break the back of the business community and the legislature.