Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lines in sand

Keeping up with the toll hike/gas tax hike story is such a roller-coaster! Good news seemed to come for taxpayers today when Governor Patrick drew a proverbial line in the sand, pledging to veto any legislation that comes to his desk that requires both a gas tax increase and a toll hike. From the State House News Service:
“There is no way – let me be unambiguous – there is no way that the citizens of Massachusetts are going to pay or I’m going to permit both a toll increase and a gas tax increase,” Patrick told reporters Wednesday morning.
I know, I know - I'm buying into his either/or framework in labeling this "good news," but everything in context, right? Either/or is "good news" as compared to "both," which is what I am convinced we're going to get.

Apparently, though, the Governor did not think to run that position by the new Speaker. Also from the State House News Service, a couple of hours after the item above:
House Speaker Robert DeLeo wants the state transportation system to dig its way out of a fiscal hole with increases to both the gas tax and Turnpike tolls, he said Wednesday. That’s a departure from Gov. Deval Patrick, who has called the revenue proposals mutually exclusive. “I think it has to be a combination of both,” DeLeo told reporters. “Whether that’s going to mean an increase, or whether that’s going to mean keeping tolls at their current level, with some sort of a gas tax, I think that’s what I’m really taking a look at.”
Back in the early days of the Patrick Administration, when this sort of insider kerfluffle was common, it would be written off as a rookie mistake. Now it's just inept. Back to the point, though, even assuming for a moment that this time the Governor really, truly means it... when is the last time the Governor won a fight with the Speaker of the House?

No comments:

Post a Comment

No spamming, flaming, cursing, or other such nonsense tolerated. Thanks for engaging on those terms - Greg