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Patrick Opens Up About Parole Board, Taxes & The Budget

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV
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Gov. Deval Patrick (CBS)

Gov. Deval Patrick (CBS)

BOSTON (CBS) — WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson got the chance to sit down with Gov. Deval Patrick to talk about his new term, the budget, taxes and the recent outrage over the parole board’s release of a man serving three life sentences who allegedly killed a Woburn cop last month.

PATRICK ON OUTRAGE OVER PAROLE BOARD

“I’m upset for goodness sake. I’ve talked with the Police Chief, I’ve talked with the family. Devastation was wrought here. Nobody can defend the outcome of this decision. But the question is how can we prevent it from happening again? And that requires some homework. It doesn’t require just being mad.”

Patick says he has not watched the parole board hearing yet. How come? “There are those tasked with doing the work to evaluate the decision. And I’m going to wait until that work is done and take those recommendations and go forward.”

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports.

Will he support the effort to limit parole to criminals with only one life sentence? “I want to see. There is a whole lot around sentencing reform that I want to see. I want to look at the whole picture and that’s some insight I’ll have after the work that’s being done now in public safety.”

Does he feel he bears any responsibility for the parole board decision to release Dominic Cinelli? “Dominic Cinelli bears the ultimate responsibility here. But what I have to do and will do and have done is order this review and do it on the basis of fact to get some recommendations and go from there. It’s a lot more than a passing upset. This was devastating for a family and community and the parole board as well.”

ON THE BUDGET

Patrick says his budget will have no new taxes, but he has not ruled out the possibility of new fees.

How will he close the budget gap? “We’re going to spend $1.5 billion less next year than in this current fiscal year, and that comes on top of having cut billions of dollars out of state spending the last couple of years.

“It’s hard to imagine anything will be spared. It’s also provoking us to think in fresh ways of how to have government do what we want government to do. And that’s not a bad thing.”

ONE THE SALES TAX

Will Patrick push to return the sales tax to 5 percent? “I don’t think we can do that this year, but I think it is something we can aim for over time.”

Patrick says if it’s done, it should be done in the context of improving and simplifying the entire tax code.

ON HIS SECOND TERM

Patrick says he is excited about his second term.

His goals: growing the economy, closing the achievement gap in public schools, cracking the code on health care costs, and developing a comprehensive strategy to combat youth violence.

What will prevent him from being a lame duck? “We have an ambitious agenda. It’s an agenda that’s shared with legislators and the general public.

“While I may not be running again, they’re running again, and they’ll be accountable about whether they deliver on these issues: Growing jobs, supporting education, reducing costs of health care, and making progress on youth violence.”

PATRICK’S BOOK TOUR

Patrick will be launching a national book tour. “I’ll be traveling. Probably in April when it comes out.”

Patrick says he will also be traveling around the country and overseas to promote Massachusetts. “Trying to get people to come in and invest… We have a number of business people who what us to do trade missions…. Instead of sitting around I’m going to move around. I’m going to promote this state as a great place to do business. So we’ll see.”

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