MA Gov. Deval Patrick Attends UMass Basketball Game, Talks Legislative Session, Budget Cuts

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick attended today’s UMass Amherst men’s basketball season opener against Harvard at the Mullins Center. At the game, New England Public Radio’s Henry Epp asked Patrick for details about the upcoming legislative session, and potential tax shortfalls in the state. 

Governor Patrick says he has a growth strategy to spur economic development when the legislature reconvenes in January.

“It’s based in, on investing in education, in innovation, and in infrastructure. That’s a winning strategy, we want to keep that going, and accelerate it if we can, and we’ll be asking the legislature for some additional tools to help us do that.”

Patrick declined to give further details about what those tools will look like, but says he’s grateful for the legislature’s cooperation in past sessions. However the governor acknowledged that some state programs could face mid-year budget cuts. According to the department of revenue, tax collections for the first four months of the current fiscal year are over a quarter billion dollars lower than projected. Governor Patrick says that’s due to a sluggish national economy, but he says he expects the economy, and state revenues, to pick up soon.

“With the expected resolution on the fiscal cliff, I think the whole economy will start to move faster, and grow faster. But in the short run it may mean we have to do some mid-year budget changes and adjustments.”

Patrick says its too soon to say where budget adjustments could come from, but he says all state agencies are preparing to deal with potential cuts.

After Governor Patrick left the game, the UMass Minutemen beat the Harvard Crimson 67-64 on a three point shot in the game’s final seconds.