A last look at the choices for governor

Steven Senne/Associated press

Martha Coakley (left) and Charlie Baker.

Casino gambling

Coakley opposes the casino law repeal. She says the state’s focus should be on “how to implement casino gaming to maximize the benefits and minimize the negative.”

Baker opposes the referendum that would repeal the state’s casino law. He has supported the idea of a single casino; if voters repealed the casino law, he would ask lawmakers to pass a new law to rescue the Springfield casino project.

Raising taxes in the case of a revenue crisis


Coakley will not rule out raising “new revenue” if the consequence of not doing so was “negatively impacting” public schools, health care, and other critical services. “I would look to revenue options that do not increase the burden on those in the middle class and those who can least afford it,” she says.

Baker says he will not raise taxes; he argues for building up the state’s rainy day fund in anticipation of tough times and making the tax code “simpler and fairer.”

Tying the rate of the state gas tax to inflation

Coakley opposes the state ballot question repealing the so-called “gas-tax indexing” approved recently by the Legislature; she says the revenue is needed to repair and improve the state’s roads and bridges.

Baker supports the repeal; if lawmakers want the tax to increase, he argues, they should take a specific vote on it each time.

Changing the state constitution to allow for a graduated income tax

Coakley has said she is “open to considering” it but that it would likely take a while to get there.


Baker opposes the idea.

Requiring employers to provide paid sick leave for workers

Coakley supports the state ballot question.

Baker opposes the state ballot question that provides for such a plan but has proposed his own plan. It applies to fewer, larger businessses.

Charter schools

Coakley has offered tentative support for more charters. She says she supports lifting the cap on charter schools “as long as we ensure accountability for the success of students in those schools and adequate protections for teachers.” She would ban for-profit charter schools.

Baker has made expanding charter schools a top priority; he wants at least 50 more during the next four years.


Coakley promised “universal pre-K for all children” on primary night. Her plan actually calls for something more modest: eliminating the waiting list of 16,400 children from low-income families who are eligible for state-subsidized preschool and daycare vouchers.


Baker has said he supports a “significant increase in the number of low-income students with access to high-quality early education programs.” But he has suggested he would focus more on strengthening elementary schools.

Expanding the bottle deposit law

Coakley supports the ballot measure, calling it “critical to promoting recycling and keeping millions of bottles out of landfills every year.”

Baker opposes the ballot question that would expand the state bottle law to include water, sports drinks, and other noncarbonated beverages, calling it “essentially a tax increase.”

Extending natural gas pipelines through the state

Coakley opposes the specific plan to extend the Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline through western and northern Massachusetts to Dracut. She is open to future proposals that expand capacity on “existing pipelines.’’

Baker says Massachusetts needs more natural gas capacity as a bridge to the future where we can rely more fully on renewable energy sources. He says he would prefer expanding existing pipelines rather than building new ones.

Promoting job creation

Coakley has proposed a “regional economic development plan” that provides $500 million over 10 years for infrastructure and economic development projects.

Baker says he would streamline the state permitting process, phase out the inventory tax, reduce regulatory barriers, and invest in vocational training to build existing manufacturing, technology, and small businesses.