Patrick reflects on past, future in speech
Gov. Deval Patrick looked back at his legacy and ahead to his last year in office as he delivered his final State of the Commonwealth address Tuesday.
Patrick pledged to continue to make government more effective, calling for an overhaul of Massachusetts' unemployment insurance system and vowing to pass legislation making it easier to register to vote.
Patrick also said he's working to fix the state's health insurance website and strengthen the Department of Children and Families in the wake of the disappearance of a 5-year-old Fitchburg boy who was under state care.
The governor also laid out a number of transportation initiatives involving both rail and road. He called for the launch of automated tolling, more commuter rail service to Worcester, and the construction of new Red and Orange line trains.
"And yes, in this year, we can accelerate construction on South Coast Rail," Patrick said.
Patrick also took time to look back and offer his version of his legacy.
Patrick says he never expected to deal with an economic recession and Marathon bombing, but said the state rallied in the face of both.
"The way first-responders and bystanders alike ran to help the injured; the way people offered their homes to stranded runners; the way we came together to grieve and support the families of those lost; the way we worked together to find the killers; the way we turned to each other, rather than on each other -- I still believe all this and more reflects the best of who we are," Patrick said.