Ceremonies Related to Government Transition Begin – NBC New England

As he prepares to leave office on Beacon Hill, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker expressed his thanks and best wishes to the people of the commonwealth in a farewell address Tuesday.

Addressing the budget, the pandemic and bipartisanship, Baker said he and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito will leave the building for the last time Wednesday “with love and appreciation for what you the people have shown us since day 1: your kindness and generosity were always present”.

Baker’s term ends Thursday, which is when Governor-elect Maura Healey will take office. Baker began her speech in the House of Representatives by offering Healey and her lieutenant governor, Kim Driscoll, her best wishes.

Much of what Baker mentioned involved small government principles that Baker, a Republican, has consistently upheld while leading a largely Democratic state, leaving him as one of the most popular governors in the nation. He cited “neighbors helping neighbors, local leaders going above and beyond, businesses large and small standing up for their communities” as examples of Bay Staters’ kindness and generosity.

He also highlighted his handling of the budget, which has gone from a $1 billion deficit to a $5 billion surplus. The Baker administration is also leaving after inflating Massachusetts’ emergency fund to $7 billion and returning $3 billion to taxpayers.

Baker discussed other infrastructure-related accomplishments: building broadband Internet access in western Massachusetts and housing reform that the governor says will make the cost of living more affordable.

The COVID-19 pandemic came to define much of Baker’s second term, and he said the way Massachusetts residents came together exemplified what makes the commonwealth “a very special place.”

Baker, a longtime centrist, alluded to the extreme partisanship that has dominated much of national politics, saying the focus on work in Massachusetts paid off, “despite some political bickering and distractions that were wreaking havoc on our around”.

And while he did not mention former President Donald Trump, with whom Baker has clashed on occasion, he did say that the event that stands out among the many he has held as governor is his trip to the US Capitol to visit members of the National Guard. from Massachusetts who were deployed there.

The various guardsmen were “all there to do the same job for the same reason, to serve their community and their country no matter when they were called upon. To me, that visit is the embodiment of the commitment and generosity of the people of Massachusetts.” . Baker said.

After leaving office after what he referred to as “eight precious years,” Baker will take over the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

There are a series of ceremonies and speeches planned for this week to mark the transition of power taking place in Massachusetts between the incoming and outgoing government administrations.

On Wednesday, Baker will participate in his Lone Walk Ceremony, which is scheduled for 5 pm Prior to that ceremony, Baker and Polito will participate in a traditional exchange of symbols with Healey and Driscoll.

Healey and Driscoll will be sworn in during an official ceremony at 11:30 am Thursday at Government House, followed by their inaugural addresses. That night, they will hold an inaugural celebration at the TD Garden, headlined by Grammy Award-winning artist Brandi Carlile.

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