Gov. Patrick's budget proposal plays to mixed reviews


BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Deval Patrick's proposed $34.8 billion state budget is meeting with mixed reviews on Beacon Hill.

Rep. Bradley Jones, the House Republican leader, said the governor's plan to raise $1.2 billion through tax changes and tapping the state's 'rainy day' fund for $400 million was "shortsighted and extremely irresponsible."

Michael Widmer, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, called it an "aggressive budget" that could put the state's economic recovery at risk.

But others praised the governor's plan to invest in transportation and education.

Noah Berger, president of the independent Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said Patrick's spending plan "addresses immediate needs" that will improve the economy and create jobs.

Campaign for our Communities, a coalition of teachers unions and other groups, praised the governor for committing to strong schools and more reliable transportation systems.