Governor Baker’s Term Reaches a Close

Baker leaves Massachusetts in economic prosperity

Jan. 5 marked the end of Governor Charlie Baker’s eight years as the 72nd Massachusetts Governor as Governor Maura Healey was sworn in. Baker, a two-term Governor, has guided Massachusetts through challenges and changes
since 2015. Although a member of the Republican party, Baker has been known for his bipartisan efforts as well as uniting Massachusetts during the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and economic development.

Baker, in his eight years, turned around the Massachusetts economy with his support of tax relief, creation of jobs and increasing surpluses, including the 7 billion dollars in the savings. Baker also focused on community development and sought out grants for low-income communities and signed the Community Compact Initiative in 2016. Similarly, he invested money in affordable housing and created the Massachusetts Public Housing Initiative.

Baker also placed significant focus on the labor department during his two terms. Baker, like many other government officials, worked to lower unemployment, but also went a step further by investing in equipment for vocational high schools and community colleges. In 2018, Baker signed into law the “grand bargain” bill that increased the minimum wage incrementally to $15 by 2023.

Baker invested in public education as he increased investment into math and science classes. Baker signed into law a bill that invests in education for immigrant students, especially for those whom English is a second language. Baker also invested in school safety. In 2017, Baker signed a law to require all schools to have automated external defibrillators in case of heart related emergencies. More recently, in 2022, Baker sought to improve school security and emergency response preparation.

In response to growing climate change reforms across the country including the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, Baker also signed a climate change and clean energy bill in the last year to continue his efforts to combat climate change. The bill allowed for fossil fuel bans and improvements to wind energy. In the area of climate change, Baker has made efforts to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by promoting electric vehicles, and he promoted recycling and clean water initiatives.

Although Baker’s efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic received mixed reviews, Baker did keep the state afloat by supporting health care professionals, small businesses and schools during a difficult time. Baker worked to keep necessary resources like COVID-19 tests and masks in stock for those in need while his administration worked to publicize vaccinations.

Through his eight years of work, Baker not only kept the state afloat during a tough time, but also managed to expand the state’s resources and outreach. Now, after his work as governor, Baker has become the next president of the National Collegiate Athletics Association—a surprise to many. Baker will use his experience as leader of Massachusetts in a different area where he will continue the development of college sports.