Last night, Governor Deval Patrick delivered his State of the Commonwealth address, laying out a powerful agenda for his second term focused on strengthening our economy and community through strategic investments in education, innovation, and infrastructure accompanied with progressive reforms to our tax code. There is a lot for Massachusetts’ youth — and all residents — to be excited in Gov. Patrick’s agenda.

From investments for early education to our public higher education system, Gov. Patrick’s agenda would provide greater education opportunities for young people across the Commonwealth. In addition to strengthening early education and continuing to increase funding for K-12 education, Gov. Patrick proposed doing more to make college affordable by raising our investment in public colleges and universities, and reinvigorating the MassGrants scholarship program.

Gov. Patrick also proposed bold action to create a 21st century transportation system. Gov. Patrick and MassDOT have laid out priorities that will connect communities around the Commonwealth to greater economic, housing, and social opportunities. Gov. Patrick’s investments in transportation include funding later hours for the MBTA, the Green Line expansion, the South Coast Rail Line, Commuter Line services to Springfield, and a connection between Pittsfield and New York. Gov. Patrick’s plan also includes innovations and improvements to our highway system.

Gov. Patrick proposed bold reforms that will make our tax code more progressive and generate new revenue to pay for these important investments. Under Gov. Patrick’s plan, the sales tax would be reduced from 6.25% to 4.5% and would be entirely dedicated to infrastructure and transportation funding. To support his education initiatives, Gov. Patrick has proposed raising the income tax 1% to 6.25% while doubling the personal exemptions and eliminating some itemized deductions.

YDM is pleased to see that the Governor understands that youth are not only the future of the Commonwealth but a part of its foundation and is bringing our issues to the forefront to support us. Education, revenue, and transportation are pillars of YDM’s platform. We look forward to learning and sharing more about this proposal so that together we can help shape the debate.

– YDM Public Policy Committee

Check out the video below to hear Gov. Patrick deliver the State of the Commonwealth Address for all the details: