Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick met with legislative leaders Monday for the first time in a month.
Patrick is facing defeat on his proposal to hike the gas tax even more to fund an ambitious agenda of rail, road and bridge projects, but he’s staying firm in his resolve.
“This is a principled difference! And I'm going to rest on my principles,” he said.
State lawmakers are expected to shoot down Patrick’s proposal this week to add at least three cents to the gas tax, saying their own proposal for a smaller tax increase is good enough. Patrick and the Legislature have been in a standoff over transportation funding since April.
The governor further antagonized lawmakers on Friday by vetoing $177 million in aid for cities and towns.
Senate Ways and Means chairman Steven Brewer, a Barre Democrat, said he’s not sure if Patrick was trying to pick a fight.
“The executive, as our founding fathers have established, has to do what it has to do and we have to do what we have to do,” Brewer said.
Legislative leaders have enough votes to restore the local aid money and to defeat the Governor’s gas tax proposal. They plan to do both by the end of the month.