Results—Change Built to Last
Governor Patrick’s leadership produced eight years of results for the people of Massachusetts. By the end of Governor Patrick’s term, Massachusetts ranked first in the nation in student achievement, in healthcare coverage, in veteran’s services, and entrepreneurial activity. Under his leadership, Massachusetts became a national model for gun control reform, climate change action, and in responding to the opioid crisis.
Others have plans, Governor Patrick has produced results. Those results were the product of leadership that was about building together, not tearing others down—about turning to each other, not on each other.
For each of the agenda items that comprise Governor Patrick’s policy platform, he has proven experience for making real change that lasts:
The Opportunity Agenda
Economic Growth for Everyone
- Governor Patrick helped revive an economy battered by recession, turning it into a global innovation powerhouse.
- In 2006, when Governor Patrick was first elected, Massachusetts ranked 47th in the nation in job creation.
- When Governor Patrick left office, employment in Massachusetts was at a 25-year high, with over 173,000 new jobs
- Massachusetts’ recovery from the recession beat national averages for GDP growth, job growth, and personal income growth.
- Governor Patrick enacted the highest statewide minimum wage in the country, raising it by over 37%.
Spurring and Supporting an Innovation Economy
- Clean Energy. Under Governor Patrick’s leadership, Massachusetts took aggressive action to combat climate change, while growing the clean energy sector by tens of thousands of jobs.
- Under Governor Patrick, Massachusetts was the top-ranked state for energy efficiency for four years in a row.
- Governor Patrick oversaw the growth of renewable energy generation from just over 900 thousand MegaWatt hours in 2006 to over 4.7 million MegaWatt hours in 2015.
- The Patrick Administration set the single most aggressive greenhouse gas reduction requirement in the country at that time (25% reduction below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% reduction by 2050).
- Governor Patrick signed An Act Relative to Green Jobs, under which Massachusetts became one of the first states to pass legislation focused on climate-jobs. As a result, Massachusetts is now a leader in developing solar power and supporting offshore wind.
- Governor Patrick played a critical role in Massachusetts joining and strengthening the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a nine-state “cap and trade” program in which power plants must purchase allowances from the nine states for each ton of carbon dioxide they emit.
- RGGI is a national model for emissions reduction from power plants, and has reduced carbon emissions by 40% in the power sector across the region.
- Life Sciences. Governor Patrick’s Life Sciences Initiative invested over $1 billion in 10 years to make Massachusetts a global leader in the Biotechnology and Life Sciences Sectors.
- The Massachusetts life sciences sector now employs over 74,000 workers.
- Advanced Manufacturing. Governor Patrick made significant investments to promote advanced manufacturing in Massachusetts. When Governor Patrick left office, advanced manufacturing jobs in Massachusetts were growing 50% faster than in other states.
Investing in Education
- Support for Public Schools. Despite governing through the recession, Governor Patrick made unprecedented investments in Massachusetts public education. Public schools were funded at record levels every year he was in office.
- By the end of his administration, Governor Patrick increased state funding for public schools by over $1 billion annually, a 34% increase from the beginning of the Patrick Administration. As a result, Massachusetts ranked first in student achievement in the United States and near the top of global rankings.
- During Governor Patrick’s tenure, four-year high school graduation rates increased by 7% for all students and 16% for low-income students.
- Governor Patrick was named “America’s Greatest Education Governor” by the national teachers’ union in 2014.
- In 2015, then-Education Secretary Arne Duncan praised Governor Patrick’s education leadership in an op-ed, calling Governor Patrick an “education governor.”
- Closing the Achievement Gap. Closing the achievement gap between minority students and their peers was a top priority for Governor Patrick. Governor Patrick signed the Achievement Gap Act, a groundbreaking education reform bill to transform public schools in Massachusetts and provide educators and districts with new tools to target the achievement gap and lift up all students.
- Thanks to these efforts, the gap in four-year graduation rates between white and black students closed by nearly a third from 2006 to 2015.
- Higher Education Within Reach. Under Governor Patrick’s leadership, Massachusetts made significant investments in higher education, quadrupling state spending for higher education over the course of his administration.
The Reform Agenda
Universal Affordable Healthcare
- Governor Patrick led a historic effort to implement Massachusetts’ 2006 health reform law. Under Governor Patrick’s leadership, Massachusetts led the nation in health care coverage—with over 98% of residents covered.
- In 2012, the Patrick Administration passed and implemented landmark legislation to contain health care costs. That bill:
- Reduced the burden of health care on families and businesses by limiting cost increases;
- Promoted prevention and wellness initiatives;
- Shifted the health care delivery system away from fee-for-service payment and toward value-based care; and
- Created an independent commission tasked with examining health care costs and quality.
- The Patrick Administration took significant steps to improve access to mental health services, including strengthening parity protections.
- Governor Deval Patrick declared a public health emergency and signed legislation in response to the growing opioid addiction epidemic.
- Through expanding access to Narcan (naloxone) and increasing prescription monitoring with other Northeast states, Massachusetts is leading long-term strategies to fight opiate abuse.
Criminal Justice Reform
- As Governor, Patrick oversaw significant reforms to Massachusetts’ criminal justice system, and took steps to make sentencing laws fairer and more just.
- The Governor signed a 2012 crime bill which reduced mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses, which opened up opportunities for parole, work release, and earned good time for many individuals who were already in prison.
- In 2013, Governor Patrick signed the “Raise the Age” law, raising the maximum age for juvenile jurisdiction from 17 to 18.
- Governor Patrick reformed the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) process, so that offenders who have paid their debt to society have a path to opportunity.
- This reform reduced the “look-back period” for criminal offenses and included a “ban the box” provision that prevents employers in most instances from questioning applicants about their criminal record as a part of the initial interview process.
Gun Safety Reforms
- In 2014, Governor Deval Patrick signed a nation-leading gun control law, making Massachusetts a model for effective gun safety reform. The 2014 law:
- Closed the “gun show loophole” in Massachusetts;
- Added Massachusetts to the National Instant Check System; and
- Made Massachusetts the first state in the nation to grant local police chiefs the ability to withhold a firearm identification card from a resident who poses a threat to public safety.
Responsible Fiscal Management
- Balanced Budgets. Governor Patrick controlled state spending – holding yearly increases to an average of 3.5%, as opposed to the previous Administration’s average of 4.9% – while making historic investments in education, infrastructure and innovation. Through strong fiscal management, the Commonwealth secured the highest bond ratings in its history.
- Pension Reform. The Patrick Administration reformed the state’s pension system to close loopholes, eliminate the most egregious abuses in the public retirement system and overhaul the benefits plan to ensure its long-term sustainability and credibility.
- Transportation Reform. In 2009, Governor Patrick signed a landmark transportation reform bill to radically simplify bureaucracy and deliver cost savings.
The Democracy Agenda
Inclusive and Representative State Government
- The Patrick Administration was the most diverse in the history of the Commonwealth.
- By the end of his administration, 17% of managers and 16.2% of senior managers within the executive branch were minorities – a 194.5% increase from the previous administration.
- Governor Patrick also made sure that women were in leadership positions throughout the executive branch.
- Under the Patrick Administration, 50.5% of managers and 47.8% of senior managers were women—a 26.1% increase from the previous administration.
- The number of minority and women-owned businesses serving as a vendor to the state increased by over 40% overall during Governor Patrick’s term—16% for businesses owned by people of color and 51% for businesses owned by women.
Leadership on Equality
- From the time he launched his first campaign for Governor, Governor Patrick has been a champion for the LGBTQ+ community. Governor Patrick has proudly protected the Massachusetts law allowing individuals to marry whomever they love, and Massachusetts has set the example for the nation in equality.
- Governor Patrick successfully fought to keep a measure off the ballot that would have stripped gay and lesbian couples of the freedom to marry.
- Upon assuming office, Governor Patrick immediately reversed a policy requiring same-sex parents to alter their children’s birth certificates by hand, and instituted convenient, modern procedures.
- Under Governor Patrick, Massachusetts was one of the first states to pass a non-discrimination law protecting members of the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination.
- In 2011, Governor Patrick signed an executive order prohibiting workplace discrimination in state government against members of the LGBTQ+ community.
- In 2014, Governor Patrick approved a new state policy that required both private insurers and the state-run insurer to cover gender-transition procedures.
Excellence in Veterans’ Services
- Under Governor Patrick’s leadership, Massachusetts led the nation in Veterans’ Services. In the final year of Governor Patrick’s Administration, Massachusetts expended more than twice as many resources per veteran as the next leading state ($173/veteran in Massachusetts compared to $86/veteran in the second leading state).
- Governor Patrick also led an aggressive employment campaign to increase hiring of Massachusetts veterans. The Patrick Administration more than doubled the value of Hiring Incentive Training Grants to employers for newly hired military veterans. ·
Ethics In Leadership
- Governor Patrick signed landmark Ethics Reform legislation, so the people of Massachusetts could have increased faith that their government was working for them. The new law banned nearly all gifts to public officials and increased the penalties for ethical violations.
Reforming our Democracy
- Early Voting. Governor Patrick signed an election reform law, which allowed early voting in Massachusetts, established online voter registration, and required audits to ensure that voting machines are working correctly.
- Abolish the Electoral College. Under Governor Patrick, Massachusetts entered an interstate compact that would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes nationwide once it was adopted by states representing a majority of the electoral college.
The Leadership Agenda
- Commercial Ties Abroad. On behalf of Massachusetts, Governor Patrick led ten official trade overseas, which spanned fifteen countries and four continents.
- The trade missions secured direct flights between Boston’s Logan Airport and other global hubs, and direct investments from foreign companies seeking a foothold in the Massachusetts economy.
- Dignity for Refugees. Governor Patrick pushed for Massachusetts to accept child refugees from the U.S.-Mexico border when other states were refusing to shelter them.
- Leadership in Tragedy. Governor Patrick oversaw and managed the coordinated federal-state response to the terrorist bombing during the 2013 Boston Marathon.