( - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
(Gardner) - State Representative Rich Bastien today blasted Governor Patrick for vetoing language that would have expanded the Gateway Cities program.
"I'm deeply disappointed in Governor Patrick's veto. The Governor has spoken many times about the need to close the educational achievement gap, rehabilitate neighborhoods, and redevelop our Gateway Cities. He had the chance today to expand on this program, and instead he turned his back on the residents of Gardner, Agawam, and West Springfield," Bastien stated.
In a statement issued today accompanying Governor Patrick signing the FY'13 budget, the Governor claimed the veto was based on the adminstration's concern that, "This change would dilute limited funding available for targeted communities already in the Gateway Cities program."
Bastien disputed the Governor's claim.
"His claimed reason for vetoing this is absolute nonsense. The Governor has previously advocated for more spending for Gateway Cities, yet this legislation would have expanded the very program designed to get people back to work and rebuild their neighborhoods. These cities meet all the economic, income and educational criteria, but can't dig themselves out of high unemployment because of an arbitrary number the state set that has no rational basis."
Bastien questioned the political motives of the Governor's veto. Each of the cities that would have received the new designation has either a Republican mayor, State Representative, or both.
"I've prided myself on my ability to work across party lines to get things done for the benefit of the people in our communities and the Commonwealth," Bastien stated. "Unfortunately, with today's veto, it seems that putting people back to work is not a priority of Governor Patrick if those communities have Republican elected officials. This is just what people are tired of in Washington, and I thought the Governor was better than that."
The House and the Senate will meet in formal session this week with the possibility of taking up overrides of the Governor's vetoes.