BOSTON (WWLP) - House Speaker Robert DeLeo says any new revenue package state lawmakers pass will be "smaller in size" than what the Patrick administration has proposed. These past few months, DeLeo has been evaluating the governor's tax reforms that raise the state income tax and eliminate over 40 personal exemptions.
"People have raised some grave concerns, you know, about the package as a whole," said House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop). "The other hand folks are saying that they want to see improvements to the transportation system and the education system."
Ultimately, DeLeo worries the Patrick administration's tax proposals could place too heavy a burden on working families and businesses struggling to survive. But he also believes the state needs to invest in transportation and education to create jobs.
"When they say they want a 21 st century transportation system and a 21 st century education system we need to be honest with them about what that costs and what it's going to take to pay for it," said Governor Deval Patrick.
Governor Patrick's tax reform proposals raise nearly $2 billion dollars in revenue.
"I am supportive in general of those, what exactly that number is, I'm not quite sure …we gotta find the right number," said Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-Pittsfield).
Western Massachusetts lawmakers respect the governor's ambition, but echo the House Speaker's restraint.
Speaker DeLeo has also proposed a new and intense community college program called STEM Starter Academy that uses gaming revenue to train students for jobs.