BOSTON (AP/WWLP) — Gov. Charlie Baker called for improvements in education, transportation and housing Tuesday in his last state of the state address before seeking a second term in office.
In the half-hour speech, the Republican said Massachusetts can’t rest on its laurels.
Baker cited the state’s accomplishments: reducing the deficit, increasing jobs, nearly eliminating homeless families in hotels, and boosting education. He said Springfield’s Empowerment Zone can work just as well in other districts.
“Tammy Grimes and Aevan Christner are teachers in the Empowerment Zone in Springfield,” Gov. Baker explained. “When I visited them, they told me this was a game-changer for them and for the kids they teach. They’ve joined us tonight. I want to thank you for being here. I wanna thank you and your colleagues for everything you do for our kids.”
He said while the state has seen a drop in opioid-related overdose deaths, more needs to be done. He also pushed an initiative to create more housing and said the state is working to increase its reliance on renewable energy and improve transportation.
Baker also said the state needs people to believe in their government.
“This requires among other things, that we commit ourselves to a common decency in our debate and in our dealings with one another and the public,” he said.
The address comes just 10 months before Massachusetts voters will decide whether to re-elect the Republican governor, who is running for a second term this year.
During last year’s address, Baker outlined a strong sate economy, and discussed job creation and improving education.
Watch the video above for the full State of the Commonwealth address.