Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick unveiled a new online tool today detailing the benefits specific areas of the state would get from his proposal for nearly 2 billion dollars in expanded education and transportation spending.
The online maps are broken down by legislative district, in an apparent bid to target lawmakers who, so far, have been lukewarm TO new taxes and fees the governor wants. HE says the maps give voters direct information, which Patrick hopes will inspire them to contact their legislators.
Some lawmakers and observers say the online tool is a creative way to make the case to voters. But it could be a double-edged sword. Representative Stephen Kulik of Worthington says when he found his rural town on the map for education spending, he was disappointed.
Kulik, the House vice-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee, says the governor appears to have focused increased education spending on so-called gateway cities like Springfield, Worcester and Brockton. The committee is holding statewide hearings on the governor’s proposal – and is expected to produce its own version in mid-April.