Republican Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday took oath of office, committing to take all the toughest challenges faced by the people Massachusetts that had been earlier pushed aside or ignored.
Baker was sworn-in as the new Massachusetts governor during an afternoon ceremony held in the Massachusetts House of Representatives chamber in the presence of members of the state Supreme Judicial Court, House and Senate lawmakers and several other top elected officials.
In his inaugural speech, Baker told the people of Massachusetts that he was a global leader in many areas, but a national leader on severe issues like marriage equality and health care.
‘‘But we’re nowhere near our full potential. Some of our toughest challenges have been ignored and lost amid the successes or have become the equivalent of kicking a can down the road because they’re not politically convenient or easy to fix,’’ the new Governor said.
In his address, Banker also mentioned about the more than 1,500 homeless residents who were living in hotels and motels in the states. He also highlighted the recent management breakdowns and the initial problems with the health connector website of the state during the transition to the federal Affordable Care Act (AFA) or Obamacare.
He expressed confidence of doing things better in the future.
According to Baker, one of his first priorities would be to fix a budget deficit for Massachusetts. He said his employees have estimated that the deficit will exceed USD 500 million, which is higher than the deficit of USD 329 million as projected by the administration of former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick.
Some of the other priorities that Baker mentioned during his address included- expansion of charter schools in the underperforming school districts, lowering the soaring electricity costs in the regions by taking other New England governors into confidence.
Baker was appreciated the most for pledging to address the opiate abuse crisis in the state.