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tv   Massachusetts Governor Delivers State of the Commonwealth Address  CSPAN  January 29, 2022 5:57am-6:37am EST

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gov. baker: so.
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the lieutenant governor has introduced me. i'm completely off script here. sorry guys. thousands of times.
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i always end up at the end of it saying how much i appreciate the introduction because my dad would have liked it and my mom would have believed it. [laughter] you delivered once again lieutenant governor and i thank you for that. [applause] members of the house and senate, and you for being with us. thank you so much for joining us this evening. constitutional officers, thank you for being here. members of the governor's council, thank you for joining us as well. chief justice and the numbers of the judiciary, thank you for being with us. members of the cabinet in our administration,, we are in your city and our house, thank you
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for making this available for us. i miss you man. to the shares and district attorneys, thank you for being here. to all the mayors and local officials, our partners in so many ways, the reverend clergy who are with us, thank you for all you do it best to keep us safe in times like these. to all of the distinguished guest, i want to thank you so much for being with us as i deliver what will be my eighth and final state of the commonwealth address. lieutenant governor, you are one of the finest public servants and finest person i have ever been able to work with. your work with local government has forever changed the way people with public life think about the responsibilities of lieutenant governor.
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there is a reason a lot of people are running to serve as the next lieutenant governor. they see the way that she has on-the-job and they believe that they can follow in her very large footsteps. [applause] from where i sit, they can try, but they can be wrong. she wrote -- she broke the mold and the new one belongs to her. [applause] to lauren baker, my wife of 34 years, and inspiration between the wonder fund. you can clap without one. -- for that one. you are simply my everything. [applause]
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you gave me this chance to serve these past seven years and you and your mantra's team of four at the wonder fund are the one place that foster families, social workers, and kids can go when the answer is always yes. [applause] to prepare for this, i did something i'm sure nobody else did. i went back and read all seven of my state of the commonwealth speeches. they were brilliant. [laughter] they were all different, given the times and works to be done. they are positive and optimistic. they talked about the special
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qualities of our people, our communities, and our institutions. they marveled at our success as a commonwealth and they spoke about our challenges and our setbacks. mostly, they focus on are opportunities to be better. to do better, together. each one asked us to find the courage to compromise, to engage, to seek what john f. kennedy once called the right answer. not the republican answer or the democratic answer, and for the most part i think we have done just that. [applause] the big push to lieutenant governor, we brought broadband service to 53 communities. [applause] we brought care and compassion to bridgewater state hospital after decades of national embarrassment. [applause]
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a long list. we created -- treatment beds in state history and became the national leader against the fight and opioid addiction. we eliminated the widespread use of hotels and motels to shelter homeless families. [applause] we fixed a very broken home connector and made it a national model and we made deepwater a booming affordable reality in america. [applause] we created the first municipal venerable ability program in the country. over 95% of our communities participate. we modernize local governments by updating 50 years of mostly
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useless statutory busywork. there were so many happy officials with us when we signed that bill into law. [applause] we enacted long-overdue changes to our exclusionary zoning laws to unleash must -- much-needed housing building options. [applause] we rescued a bankrupt and unaccountable public transportation system and created a soap -- an oversight board and invested over $6 billion to modernize this for structure bid. finally, after 30 years of broken promises, we finally began building commuter rail service between -- it will begin operation in 2023. [applause] we increased public school spending by $1.6 billion and
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fully funded be game changing student opportunity act. [applause] at the big deal. we invested over $100 million in modernizing equipment at are vocational technical programs, bringing opportunities to thousands of students and young adults. [applause] we dramatically expanded programming and helped thousands of high sway students and college free through our early college program. [applause] we enacted criminal justice reform legislation that emphasized rehabilitation treatment and reintegration and we enacted forward-looking comprehensive and balanced her -- police reform laws. [applause]
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in 2015, we inherited a what -- in a depleted rainy day fund. over the next seven years, we never spend more than we took in and increased local aid to schools and community's, cut taxes for working families, invested hundreds of millions of dollars alongside billions of dollars of private sector investments, housing downtown developments, waterfront operations and job creating businesses expansions, and that rainy day fund has grown from $1 billion to $5 billion, one of the largest. [applause] as we roll in the calendar year 2020, we had the highest number of people working in state history.
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hundreds of thousands of new jobs and it felt like the world belong to us. then came covid. we all know the past 22 months have been tough. we've all suffered some degree of loss, disruption, confusion, anger, and isolation. the people of massachusetts did what they always do. they collaborated, created, reimagine, and may be unbearable, bearable. in so many instances massachusetts led the way. we had decent -- largest small business program in the country. the program fund open -- pummeled over $17 million to 15,000 small businesses. the vast majority were owner operated and half were owned by women and almost half were owned by people of color. [applause]
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our addiction of version program which began before the stead -- feds sefton has pumped almost $5 million, making it one of the largest bid eviction hearings are down dramatically and so is demand for timber housing. our security program served millions of residents across the commonwealth and brought together news and providers ranging from foundations to farmers markets to food banks. the knowledge gained has created new permanent investments. [applause] to stop the spread of covid, we work with local labs and dozens of community partners to create one of the most expansive free covid testing programs in the country. to keep kids and adults safe and
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in school, we partnered with colleges and universities, k-12 schools, to create a first in the nation covid testing program. [applause] we invented shared streams. dining, shopping, street theater, farmers markets, walking, biking, pop-up stores, you name it. the people of massachusetts got vaccinated. [applause] over 80% of our eligible population is fully vaccinated and those over the age of 65 on 100%. [applause]
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5.2 million people are fully vaccinated and half of them have already received a booster shot. we are nafta -- national leader on this. [applause] throughout this pandemic there has been no shortage of things we just don't know. it is easy to get lost in that. we should also remember what we do know. vaccines and all the other resources that we now have available to us work. the chance of suffering serious illness in someone that is vaccinated is very, very small. i want to give a special shout out to be vaccinators from across the commonwealth who stepped up to support their fellow residents. [applause]
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thousands of people got this done and made it possible for massachusetts to be that national leader in this critical effort and it is the most reliable and fastest path forward toward normal. i asked manny lopes to join us tonight. [applause] their partnership and what they've earned over the many years has made a major difference there. vaccination rates in all three communities, despite challenges, now come close to or exceed our statewide averages. we are so grateful for all of the work your teams of done. thank you. [applause]
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there is an old expression about what you learn about people when they are truly tested. the past two years, the people, the institutions, and the people -- institutions of this commonwealth have truly been tested. time and time again you have responded. it is working. our rate is below 4% for the first time since 2020 and we gained back over half a million. [applause] because of all you have done, we can stand here together tonight and i can say the state of our commonwealth remains strong. congratulations. [applause]
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thank you. [applause] as we enter the new year, there are many important opportunities to build on the collaborative work that we've done over the past several. two of those opportunities are closing loopholes and the lieutenant spoke about earlier that threaten public -- the first loophole allows those in charge of my old crimes who may also have lengthy crimes to free before trial. secondly, as residents with little recourse when an x partner attempts to violate them and destroy their lives. we filed a deal with these issues three times to no avail. it is time to do about something. the lieutenant governor night recently listened to several women tell their survivor
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stories and it was one of the most difficult conversations we have ever been part of. one after another, these women described in graphic detail how they survived multiple physical and psychological assaults. how these loopholes actually detected the men who were protecting them. it was awful. current law is clearly not working. these women were bothered, battered, bruised, and beaten time and again by their abusers. nothing changed. we could feel her desperation. it would be impossible to listen to those stories and walk away believing that the commonwealth is serious about protecting these women. another woman came forward to detail how and partner unbeknownst to her had taken dozens of lewd pictures of her and posted them on the internet. if it couldn't get any worse
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than that, she then said that the website said video coming soon. a lifetime of relationships, the small business that she owned, a basic sense of privacy that we all take for granted, were shattered by one man's despicable actions. massachusetts is one of only two states that does not treat this as a crime. 48 other states treat this as a crime because it is a crime. [applause] this is very difficult for women. they have a very hard time maintaining themselves during their talks with us. it was a public forum. they had the courage to come
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forward and tell their stories. they deserved to be heard. they and the women they speak for deserve a vote on these two pieces of legislation. [applause] as we come out of this pandemic, we know we have a health crisis. like many things, it was there before covid arrived, but the anxiety, disruption, and isolation that came with covid, has made it worse and more visible. before the pandemic, we filed a health care reform bill that would provide access to health care services. some pieces of it, like telehealth, became important parts of our efforts to expand
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to kids in the pandemic. since the time the legislation was written, it was written into state law. for which we are grateful. there are many parts of the 2019 proposal that had not been addressed. the message on this basically remains the same. the health care system does not value behavioral health services , primary care, and geriatric services. as a result, their enormous staff and mission shortages in the areas of care that we need most. we know the legislature carries deeply about these problems. we work -- we look forward to working with you to finish this work during this legislative session. [applause] we also appreciated the chance to testify before the committee on telecommunications and energy
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on our fourth lima proposal. this one is on a very successful agenda and creates $750 million clean energy innovation fund. there are a lot of ideas out there looking for a chance to test themselves. academic institutions and cutting-edge reading -- research institutions. this fund create groundbreaking institutions for them to get that. work across the commonwealth. housing, health care, health training, cultural investments, water and sewerage, a host of other investments. all to help us adjust to the changing nature of life and work in a post-pandemic commonwealth. we know there is a lot to do here and we post -- pledge to move closely at quickly on it.
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to ensure we get the full benefit of the federal bipartisan infra structure law. [applause] as you know, accessing these require state government authorized funds to pay for our federally approved projects. the fiscal management has made it possible to maximize our participation and dozens of projects. there is a really long list of opportunities here, but a big piece of these funds will be awarded to a competitive process that we need quickly to support your these dollars. about tax fairness and our competitive position. the pandemic has proven that we now live in a new world where people have more flex ability about where they live and work. to encourage our citizens to call matus desk -- massachusetts
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home, rising inflation we will file several tax breaks later in our budget next week. let's support parents. the past two years have been very difficult ones for families and our budget doubled tax break for children and dependents because they deserve a break. [applause] we will also ask lawmakers to eliminate income tasks -- tax for the lowest paid people in the commonwealth. instead of paying income taxes, these people should be able to use their earnings to pay for necessities, food, housing, and transportation. rent is also rising while wages remain flat. it is time to give renters a bigger tax break on their monthly payments. we also know it has been a tough two years for seniors.
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we will ask the legislature to give them a break on their property taxes and make our state tax more competitive with the rest of the country. [applause] thank you. we have asked the people of massachusetts to do a lot these last few years. it is time to invest in our families and give them back some of the tax revenue that they created through their hard work. [applause] before i close out my remarks tonight, i do want to thank a few more people. it has been a really long two years for everyone. it is been an especially difficult. for anyone who has to go to work. many people have been able to work from home and continue to get the job done. our friends and neighbors in health care, senior care, education, retail, hospitality, emergency response, public works, public safety, restaurants, food service,
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grocery, transportation, and a huge number of other fields, had to show up and they did. every single day. [applause] let's just do me a favor and stand where you are. stand right where you are. their work and their commitment, their patients and their grace throughout all of this has been extraordinary. i would like to ask you to give those folks the round of applause that they so deserve. [applause]
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thank you, you are way ahead of me on that one. as most people know and as the lieutenant president said on her remarks, we have been calling on the national guard since the first month we took office. whether it was snowmageddon or bob cyclones or tornadoes or hurricanes or ice storms or natural gas explosions or forest fires, the guard has been an amazing partner. they really became a godsend during the covid that -- pandemic. they did it all. [applause] transporting medical gear, testing residents and staff of
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long-term care facilities and other primary care facilities, locations big and small, where i got vaccinated, driving school buses so that kids could return to in person learning. filling in for workers across every kind of health care institution. protecting our nations capital and the aftermath of january 6. all of that and they continue to help at hotspots all over the world. on behalf of the people of massachusetts, i just want to say how proud we are of all that you do, thank you for your service, and you make us so much better than we would be without you. god bless you. [applause]
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earlier tonight, several members of our goldstar family committee let us in the pledge of allegiance. we have gotten to know these families pretty well of the last seven years. you represent yourselves and the price that you pay for. you honor us with your presence here tonight. thank you. [applause] five months ago, we are the news that a suicide bomber had attacked a checkpoint to afghanistan.
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along with 13 members of the u.s. military. one of those lost that day was massachusetts own marine corps sergeant. she volunteered for that mission. she was there because she was there because she wanted to be there. to evacuate women and children from the increasingly dangerous streets. she paid for it with her life. lieutenant governor and i spent time with her family when she returned home. the kind and decent people out and heartbroken that she is gone. i would like to ask for a moment of silence to honor those up you have lost in the goldstar families they have left behind because they are the very best among us.
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thank you. let me close with this. any fall of 2018, we were hit by a gas explosion that shut down -- 18-year-old tragically died that day. many others were tried -- severely injured. everything ground to a halt. many members of our team practically lived in makeshift command centers along with hundreds of emergency response personnel for several months has worked feverishly to fix the damage. we work through it. to this day, i think a big part of our success was due to the relationships we already had with most of the key leaders who were involved. lieutenant governor and i knew the local officials and the
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state legislator. we knew the utility companies, we use the contractors -- new the contractors, and they all knew us. we trusted each other and i trust made what -- much of what we done over the next three months, possible. there is no collaboration without trust. when we try to do anything over the past seven years, we tried to build trust. others can debate whether we succeeded or not, but i believe we have. i believe it shows in the work that we have done during good times and difficult ones over the past seven years. today it is clear and difficult to build trust and collaborate in public life. the explosion of social media, the arrival of hundreds of news channels, just abuse and platform. the ongoing turn of information that made it almost impossible for
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to build trust. facts are often fungible and curated, the missteps play out in real time and can go viral in the most bizarre and unusual ways. context is nonexistent and in many cases, history and current events get twisted to support whatever point of view someone is advocating for. the answer to this world of chaos of modern life is not more of the same poisonous brew. the answer is to stand up at except the responsibility that comes with the work, to understand that trust is earned and collaboration is how difficult things get done. many of the projects we have worked on with our colleagues in local government would never have happened without trust. many of the most important pieces of legislation we have enacted over the past seven years would not have happened without trust. trust is where possibility in
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public life comes from. but you can't -- if you can't tell someone what you really think, it is very hard to do small things, much less big ones. here in massachusetts we have done big things and small ones. at a time when so much of our public dialogue is designed to destroy trust, make you late facts and pull people apart, we have partnered with one another and shared success and blame along the way. we should continue to focus on building and maintaining positive collaborative relationships because it is what most people -- voters expect from us. they want us to work hard and collaborate the same way they do. to listen to them as if they were our neighbors because they
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are. to appreciate their life story is the same way we appreciate that expect them to appreciate hours. they want us to knock off the noise and focus on building better and stronger communities from one end of the bay to the other. i do as well. honestly, i will think about what i missed most. it will be these opportunities to partner with 70 of the other great people in this room and with the great people across this amazing state who want nothing more than to leave it better than they found it for those who have come after that. ♪
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[applause] thank you. thank you. but before that time comes, we have a responsibility to do just that for the next 12 months. let's get to work. god bless the commonwealth of massachusetts and god bless the united states of america.
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the 2022 state of the state address from lansing. this is 25 minutes. gov. whitmer: good evening,


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