BPR-0711GOVPATRICK_1_0.mp3

Massachusetts Govenor Deval Patrick stopped by the WGBH studios on Thursday to talk with Boston Public Radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan.  Jim and Margery spoke with Gov. Patrick about a host of issues ranging from his new grandson, to cameras in the courtroom, to the much-contested state budget.

On the budget and the transportation bill:

He said the budget will hold tuition and fee hikes this year and does a little better in early education.

"There's a lot about it that I like, the biggest problem with the budget is that it depends on revenues  that are authorized not in the budget, but in the transportation bill. And the transportation bill I don't like yet... It's portrayed as an $800 million bill when it's not, and that's a problem."

"The need identified was $1.2 billion. That's not the wants, I'm talking about the needs. Most of that $1.2 (billion) was to pay debts we've already incurred.. to take care of what we have right now and then a few expansion projects that really are about unlocking economic opportunity in places that are cut off. "

On House Speaker DeLeo:

"This is a policy difference, it's not a personal one. I'm gonna do what I have to do, he's gonna do what he has to do. I hope we land in a place with a better transportation bill than we have right now....

"I'm gonna veto that bill if it comes back to me in it's current form and then we'll go from there."

On EBT fraud:

"The amounts we spent in public assistance are in the billions. I wish they weren't but they are. We find out about lots of things that raise questions, and it blows back on the worthiness of these programs and on the people and, frankly, on efficiency and effectiveness of the people running these programs and trying to keep this is perspective  is a very, very hard thing to do, I think."

On low voter turnout and "election fatigue":

I totally get that there is a certain amount of election fatigue. It has felt like we have been in perpetual elections, and there's this cascading effect... everybody's moving up or over. I wish it weren't this way, but I respect the rules.

On the Voting Rights Act, which was gutted by the Supreme Court a few weeks ago:

"It's a serious concern because while many, many things in the so-called "covered states" under the Voting Rights Act have changed, the creativity around how to drive an outcome and to do that by disenfranchising voters has just evolved. It's not gone away, it's just evolved.

It's a very, very worrisome thing. And, the Congress has the power to come back and fix it, but whether they have the will or the political ability in this gridlocked time is a big question.

On Common Core standards:

"We were not going to compromise any of our existing standards, and to the extent that we had something to contribute, we would be setting the benchmark, and it would be us or higher. And if there's a delta in terms of a lower standard then we would respect our own existing ones."

The question the Governor gets asked every time he joins us: why Massachusetts gas pumps don't have auto-flow clips:

The Board of Fire Prevention Regulations made it a state requirement that all clips had to be removed from gas pumps, and the regulation still stands today, and it has to do with static electricity. Who knew? Now, this  ... begs the question because a bunch of other states don't have this, and I gotta believe they worry about static electricity around gas stations as well. So maybe we ask the Fire Marshall to take another look at that.

On cameras in federal courtrooms:

You really want to turn me into a pundit, don't you?!