Top priorities for Baker once he takes office

BOSTON (WWLP) – Republican Charlie Baker will soon be left to handle the Patrick administration’s unfinished business. His top priority – filling the state’s spending gap. State lawmakers echoed their confidence in Baker, being that he was the former budget chief under the Weld and Cellucci administrations.

“I’m confident that we can address this issue and not just work at the deficit, but also look at ways to get this economy to rebound,” said South Hadley Democrat John Scibak.

The State Department of Children and Families also faces a number of challenges. Governor-elect Baker tapped child welfare advocate Linda Spears to help turn the agency around. Last year, Spears led an independent investigation of DCF and found several major issues within the agency: from high caseloads to being underfunded.

“Given her background, her expertise and hopefully her ability to work with front line staff, we’ll look at the agency six months from now and hopefully see it in a better place,” said State Rep. James O’Day (D-West Boylston).

Baker will also focus on job growth, fixing the state’s roads and bridges and improving the health care system. Governor-elect Baker is scheduled to be sworn-in on Thursday.

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