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Governor Patrick highlights education and transportation in State of the Commonwealth speech

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Albany/HV: Governor Patrick highlights education and transportation in State of the Commonwealth speech
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Governor Patrick gave his State of the Commonwealth Address outlining several initiatives on education and transportation. YNN's Madeleine Rivera has more on the address and how it could affect Bay Stater's wallets.

MASSACHUSETTS -- "Education, innovation and infrastructure," said Governor Deval Patrick, highlighting his three main points during his State of the Commonwealth address for 2013.

"It's a strategy proven through history," said Patrick.

And it's one that he plans to use as he rounds out his last two years in office. Patrick specifically emphasized investment in education and transportation during his speech. To fund these programs , he called for a restructuring of the tax system.

"There is no good time to raise taxes. I would not ask if I did not believe in my heart that investing meaningfully today in education and transportation will significantly improve our economic tomorrows," he said.

According to his plan, income taxes would be raised by one percent to 6.25. He also proposed decreasing sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.25. These sales tax proceeds would go strictly to support his transportation plan, school building fund and other public infrastructure.

He acknowledged that there will be some debate. But the governor stood firm that improvements in education and transportation were necessary to sustain the state's growth.

"Our lead in education is too important to lose. Our competitor states and competitor countries are not slowing down-neither should we," he said.

Some of his initiatives in education included more funding for K-12 education, affordable college tuition and even longer school days for middle schools in gateway cities like Pittsfield.

On transportation, the governor has made it clear that the current system is not adequate enough to meet people's needs. Just this Monday, he revealed his plan to overhaul the system, a project that will cost about $13 billion in 10 years.

"Our citizens do not want less on transportation. They want more," said Patrick.

He hopes to answer that need, along with many others, in his proposal.

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