Patrick Vetoes, Including Repairs of Orange Dam, Could Be Reconsidered

The chair of the Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Committee says the legislature may reverse some of the cuts Governor Deval Patrick made to the state budget last week. They include $100,000 to fix a dam on the campus of a high school in Orange.

Mahar Regional High School in Orange is home to a pond and a small dam, which date back to the 1950’s when the school was built.

State Sen. Stephen Brewer of Barre represents some of the towns in the school district. He says the dam serves a physical purpose and is a science resource for students.

“It’s not a very large one, engineering reports have been all over the place on that,” Brewer says. “We figured that by getting $100,000 it would be some good seed money to help the regional school system in repairing the dam.”

Among the items vetoed by Patrick include $300,000 in public safety funds for Ludlow and $250,000 to repair an auditorium in Gardner City Hall. Patrick says he chose to veto funding for these and other items because his team believes the projects would not have much of an impact.

The legislature has until July 31st, the end of the current session, to act upon these cuts.

“Clearly, when we supported a measure in either the House or Senate budget, or as a result of the conference committee, the negotiation between the house and the senate, those are programs that we collectively had agreed on and believed in,” Brewer says. “And, to the extent under our system of checks and balances, we would reserve the right to revisit those.”