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February 27, 2003 CONTACT:


Business and community leaders laud budget approach as long overdue and refreshing


One day after proposing far-reaching reforms for state government, Governor Mitt Romney was joined today by a wide array of business leaders, community advocates and policy leaders to endorse his budget and offer their support for change.


The group was comprised of advocates and leaders from the fields of education and health care, the business community and various nonprofit organizations.


“It would be impossible to reach unanimity on every aspect of our budget, but it’s clear there is widespread support for the concept of change. We face a choice between either cutting waste out of government, or facing a new job killing tax increase every year from here on out,” said Romney.


Romney’s budget calls for the restructuring and streamlining of several areas of state government, including health and human services, the judiciary, higher education, and reforming the state's outdated employment practices.


“It’s refreshing to see a serious-minded effort at reform that will finally put state government to work for the citizens of Massachusetts, rather than for special interests on Beacon Hill,” said Steve Adams, President and CEO of the Pioneer Institute.


Said Chris Anderson, President of the Massachusetts High Technology Council: “Governor’s Romney’s budget plan proves that there are other means to solving a fiscal challenge than automatically raising taxes.”


He continued, “By holding the line on new taxes and spending increases, and supporting the Governor’s bold reform agenda, we have a unique opportunity to provide stability for the state’s employers and families by ending forever the boom-and-bust budget cycle that haunts Massachusetts every decade.”


Sara Johnson, Managing Director of Global Insight, also praised the Romney budget for protecting the Massachusetts economy.


“By rejecting new taxes, Governor Romney’s budget ensures that Massachusetts will be at the forefront of the next economic expansion and gives businesses the opportunity to create jobs and build prosperity,” said Johnson.


Lyndia Downie, President of the Pine Street Inn, said: “We are grateful that Governor Romney did not cut homeless programs and that he preserved the safety net for some of our most vulnerable citizens. We also appreciate that he stayed true to his word of not cutting homeless shelters, especially during this time of record demand.”


Romney acknowledged the state must focus on delivering the core missions of government, noting his budget preserves veteran's benefits, welfare payments to the poor, childcare funding and homeless assistance. He said spending on health and human services will actually grow by 4.6 percent in his budget for next year.


“We will continue to be a generous state when it comes to caring for the poor, the disabled and the elderly. We will be far less generous when it comes to patronage, waste and inefficiencies,” said Romney.



Advocates at Press Conference

Steve Adams, President, Pioneer Institute

Mitch Adams, Executive Director, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative

Chris Anderson, President, Massachusetts High Technology Council

Greg Beamen, President, Associated Builders & Contractors

John Connors, Former Deputy Administrator, District Court

Clare Cotton, Executive Director, Association of Independent Colleges & Universities

Jim Davis, President, New Balance

Lyndia Downie, President, Pine Street Inn

Lori Ehrlich, Co-founder, HealthLink

Andrew Grainger, President, New England Legal Foundation

Jeff Grogan, Partner, The Monitor Group

Bill Guenther, President & Founder, MassInsight

Mark Helberg, Founder, New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans

Jo-Anne Hodgson, Principal, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School

Mary Ellen Holmes, Executive Director, Housing & Shelter Alliance

Sara Johnson, Managing Director, Global Insight

Christy Mihos, Board Member, Massachusetts Turnpike Authority

Sandra Moose, PhD, Senior Vice President, Boston Consulting Group

Alan Rom, Executive Director, Appleseed Foundation

David Tuerck, Executive Director, Beacon Hill Institute

Michael Weekes, President, Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers

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