Charlie Baker in 2019 Governor's State of the State speeches


On Crime: Account for criminal history in dangerousness hearing

We've made progress on criminal justice. But our work here is not done. In deciding whether or not it makes sense to hold a dangerousness hearing, current law requires a judge to ignore any previous criminal history and to focus only on the crime before the court. Moreover, the list of crimes for which a prosecutor is allowed to make that request is quite narrow. Too often, dangerous career criminals are arrested only to be released as soon as they appear in court. This sort of revolving door serves to undermine people's faith in law enforcement and the courts. And it's a threat to public safety.

Nobody wants to see someone's life ruined over a small-time lapse in judgment. But, we still need a common sense approach that provides the system with the ability to schedule a dangerousness hearing when individuals with violent histories come before the court. We owe it to law enforcement and to our citizens to ensure that we're doing all we can to keep dangerous people off of our streets.

Source: 2019 Massachusetts governor inaugural (State of the State) Jan 3, 2019

On Drugs: Four pillars: prevention, education, treatment and recovery

On opioid addiction we've made great progress. But we didn't get into this crisis overnight and we won't get out of it overnight either. This Legislature enacted two major bills that build on our four pillars of reform: prevention, education, treatment and recovery.

Today, we're one of a handful of states that can say that overdose deaths have dropped since 2017. There are interventions and policy changes that have worked and others that show promise. We also added initiatives like credentialed recovery coaches that will be coming online throughout 2019 and beyond.

Dealing with opioid addiction is enormously difficult. Relapse is an inevitable part of the story. Helping people avoid becoming addicted in the first place remains a challenge. And defusing the presence of fentanyl, which is now present in 90% of all drug overdose deaths, is an enormous challenge.

Source: 2019 Massachusetts governor inaugural (State of the State) Jan 3, 2019

On Education: Update Foundation Formula for urban vs. suburban districts

25 years ago, Massachusetts wasn't a national leader in public education.

Since then, we've achieved remarkable success by working together on a series of education reforms. As a result, Massachusetts students have scored number one on the National Assessment of Educational Progress exams in English and math for much of the past decade. And last year finished first on the Advanced Placement exams as well.

But when it comes to the difference in performance between urban and suburban school districts, we can and must do better. The Foundation Formula needs to be updated and we'll propose updates when our budget is filed later this month.

But progress isn't just about money. Our budget will also include opportunities for underperforming school districts to invest jointly with the Department of Education in proven best practices like acceleration academies, professional development, after school enrichment and leadership development programs.

Source: 2019 Massachusetts governor inaugural (State of the State) Jan 3, 2019

On Education: Added 4,000 seats to vocational and technical schools

Think about the Commonwealth's leadership on national issues. We have a K-12 education system that, despite its limitations, is the envy of the country. This story was written by a large cast of leaders and contributors across decades of deliberation and action. We added 4,000 seats to our superb vocational and technical schools. And we invested $50 million in capital grants to upgrade equipment and expand programs in high demand fields.
Source: 2019 Massachusetts governor inaugural (State of the State) Jan 3, 2019

On Families & Children: Reduced caseloads and licensed almost all social workers

With your help, the Department of Children and Families has made tremendous progress serving some of the Commonwealth's most at risk children and families. Caseloads are at historic lows and virtually all of our social workers are licensed.

We doubled the earned income tax credit for 450,000 low income working families, invested over $100 million in new funding into our early education system and reduced the use of hotels & motels to shelter homeless families by over 95%. Think about that!

Source: 2019 Massachusetts governor inaugural (State of the State) Jan 3, 2019

On Homeland Security: $200 million rebuild of the Soldier's Home in Chelsea

We enacted the BRAVE Act [providing additional services and supports to veterans]. We broke ground on a $200 million rebuild of the Soldier's Home in Chelsea, proving once again that no state is more committed to delivering for its veterans than Massachusetts.
Source: 2019 Massachusetts governor inaugural (State of the State) Jan 3, 2019

On Jobs: Public private partnerships: Over 200,000 jobs created

Our regulatory reform project reduced the complexity of state government across the board, allowing our small businesses to become more competitive in a dynamic economy.

And our 'get stuff done' approach with public private partnerships in economic development, advanced manufacturing, robotics and smart materials has created jobs and opportunity across the Commonwealth.

As a result, our economy is booming. We have more people working than at any time in state history. Over 200,000 jobs have been created since we took office. Our labor force participation rate is at an all-time high. And people are moving to Massachusetts because we offer good jobs and opportunity.

Source: 2019 Massachusetts governor inaugural (State of the State) Jan 3, 2019

On Local Issues: 50 miles of new gas pipe to fix Lawrence gas explosion

On the afternoon of September 13th, a series of explosions rocked Greater Lawrence resulting in one of the biggest disasters in the history of the Merrimack Valley. Dozens of house fires broke out across the region and one young man tragically lost his life.

For the next 90 days there was an army of operators, tradespeople, first responders, inspectors and state and local officials working throughout the three affected communities: to lay down 50 miles of new mainline pipe, replace thousands of service lines into houses, businesses and apartment buildings and repair or replace thousands of hot water heaters, stoves, dryers and boilers.

It was an enormous and complex undertaking. Throughout this ordeal, homeowners, families and businesses affected by this disaster showed a tremendous amount of patience, resilience, flexibility and fortitude. There were hundreds of local officials and elected leaders who went above and beyond the call on this one.

Source: 2019 Massachusetts governor inaugural (State of the State) Jan 3, 2019

On Technology: Over $8 billion on infrastructure for the T

Public transportation is an area in which the Commonwealth sat on its hands for far too many years and we're all paying the price for it. Over the course of the next five years, the T plans to spend over $8 billion on infrastructure, much of which will be invested in its core system. This is more than twice what has ever been spent in any 5-year period.

This will be no small task. One of the reasons previous administrations didn't invest in the core system is the complexity of upgrading and modernizing a system that operates 20 hours a day, seven days a week. But it's a challenge that must be identified, scoped and overcome.

The T also needs to leverage its automated fare system once it's in place in 2020. For the first time, that system will give the T real time data on how its riders use the system. That creates huge opportunities to improve service. To think differently about fares, routes and pricing. And to modernize operations to better serve customers.

Source: 2019 Massachusetts governor inaugural (State of the State) Jan 3, 2019

On Welfare & Poverty: Make housing policy with transportation policy in mind

There's much to do in transportation. I want to highlight some of the recommendations of our Transportation Futures Commission.
Source: 2019 Massachusetts governor inaugural (State of the State) Jan 3, 2019

The above quotations are from 2019 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts from 2019 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts by Charlie Baker.
Click here for other excerpts by other Governors.
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Apr 02, 2019
A Snopes Media Group Publication. Privacy Policy Terms of Use