Some 40 governors from across the country are in Boston this weekend for the annual summer meeting of the National Governors Association.
Governor Deval Patrick calls the meeting “a great honor for the Commonwealth.”
He says the 40 governors that are expected to attend along with their staff and family members should inject 3-million dollars injection into the local economy.
During an in-studio interview with WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Friday, Gov. Patrick said the governors will talk about implementing national health care reform as well as economic issues and ways states are dealing with the economic downturn.
The governors will be greeted by protesters. Some will be protesting Arizona’s immigration law and others will be protesting Patrick’s policy on road construction site flaggers.
Patrick tells WBZ, “We are expecting some folks to show up to express their concerns about immigration policies of the governor of Arizona who is visiting and you have to respect those views. And there are going to be police organizing a protest on our decision on flaggers…to use civilian flaggers instead of police details.”
Some police will also protest against cuts to the Quinn bill. “It’s one of the benefits local police have enjoyed for some while and that’s a reality that is like almost every other line item in the budget. So, I respect that concern and as long and the protests are orderly and appropriate then all will be well.”
WBZ NewsRadio asked the governor about a new web campaign ad by republican Charlie Baker in which the ad uses snippets of an interview the governor did with FOX25, where the audio was bad going into the governor’s ear and he couldn’t hear the questions.
In response to the ad, Patrick tells WBZ, “Some people think that’s a way you win elections…I think what we got to be about is what we are for and where we’re going and how we lift the Commonwealth up.”
Asked if he thinks the ad is a cheap shot, the governor says “Yes, I do. Ads reflect the campaigns and the candidate.”
The governor was also asked about the plan for casinos in Massachusetts, specifically the differences he has with House Speaker Robert DeLeo when it comes to allowing slot machines at racetracks.
WBZ’s Laurie Kirby asked, “Are you digging in your heels against slots?”
“You know my view,” Patrick said. “I’ve been consistent about this. I think that if the focus is where the focus should be , which is on how we create the most number of jobs at the highest possible wage and benefit level…you get that, by all accounts, by all experience in the context of destination resort casinos versus slots at the tracks. Now, this is a great Speaker he’s been a terrific friend and a great colleague to work with. I think if we’re going to get a good bill, then we’re going to have to dial it down…dial down the rhetoric…we’re going to have to have some flexibility and we’re going to have to talk to each other and not at each other and about each other but to each other.”
Kirby asked if the governor could imagine any scenario in which he would accept a bill that contained slots.
“I’m not there, but as I said the Speaker has asked me to keep an open mind I’m trying to keep an open mind.”
Would you veto it if ended up on your desk? “It’s a fair question, I get asked it several times every day but since there is not yet a final bill from the legislature and they have not yet engaged it on these solutions, I think it is too soon for me to say that.”
Listen to the interview with WBZ’s Laurie Kirby: