Tuesday's election will mark the end of the campaign for the U.S. Senate. But voters who are tired of campaigning won't get much of a break. On Thursday, Gov. Deval Patrick will deliver his State of the State address, which marks the unofficial beginning of the 2010 campaign season.
WBUR's Bob Oakes spoke with Gov. Patrick this week, and asked him the most significant thing he wants to share with the people of Massachusetts when he speaks to them.
And then I want to encourage people not to feel powerless, because I think at a time when the economy has buffeted and battered so many of us in so many different ways that we can't control or don't understand, there are times I think that a lot of people just feel completely powerless, and there are ways not to, and service is one of them.
Bob Oakes: What's the biggest challenge facing Massachusetts as we move forward through 2010?
Jobs. It's jobs all the time. We've been making progress in developing jobs in those innovation sectors that we've concentrated on: IT, life sciences, clean tech — even education and health care — is where the job action has been. At all levels, by the way, not just at the high end.
But we need more jobs because we've got a lot of people out of work who just want a way forward for themselves and their families, and a way to build their futures.
Will there be more budget cuts coming for the commonwealth — for state programs, for local aid to Massachusetts cities and towns, and schools?
Well, we have a very difficult budget for 2010 coming up, in large part because the federal stimulus money is running out — it's not all gone but it's running out. We've budgeted it for this year, but we have a good plan that protects core services the very best we can, and supports cities and towns and supports education, and we'll be rolling that out in just a couple weeks time.
There are some estimates the state may face a $3 billion deficit this fiscal year. Is that what you're looking at?
We've been dealing with that. I think we have a pretty good plan at this point for closing that gap, yes.
Finally governor, do you expect your 2010 re-election campaign to be a tough race?
Sure, I think all campaigns these days are tough, I think they're competitive and, by the way, I think they should be competitive. But we're going to offer a positive vision for the future, we're going to talk about how we've been driving that vision successfully for the last three and a half years so far, and how if the people will have me we'll continue to drive that vision and lift us all up.
Gov. Patrick, thank you.
This program aired on January 19, 2010.