This week, Governor Charlie Baker delivered his second State of the Commonwealth address from the House Chamber of the Massachusetts State House.
Members of the audience included Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, members of the House and Senate, state officers, business leaders and community groups.
“Our economy is among the strongest in the nation,“ Governor Baker told the assembled guests. “Over the past two years we’ve added 120,000 jobs. Today more people are working than at any time in the past 20 years. The companies of the future are moving to Massachusetts, bringing millions in private investment, while new companies are born here every day. In fact, for the second year in a row, Bloomberg named Massachusetts the #1 state for innovation.
“It’s not an accident that Massachusetts is such an attractive place to do business. It’s a reflection of the quality of our people and the business climate we’ve created,” he said.
Governor Baker also spoke about the progress being made on energy in Massachusetts.
“Together, we passed landmark legislation that will reduce our carbon footprint while maintaining a competitively priced and reliable supply of energy. And we’ve built on those efforts by issuing an Executive Order on Climate Change that directs state government to work with local governments, business, and non-profits to develop plans to further protect our environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
In terms of making government more efficient and more accessible to businesses and citizens in Massachusetts, Governor Baker said, “We’ve reviewed, updated and eliminated thousands of pages of outdated and obsolete state regulations, which has reduced red tape and made it easier for employers, non-profits and cities and towns to do their jobs.”
Governor Baker also talked about Massachusetts’ innovation economy and its global reputation in technology, health and the life sciences.
“We all know the world is becoming more and more dependent on technology. Smart buildings. Smarter machines. Robotics. Autonomous vehicles. Digital health. Precision manufacturing. And big data to name a few,” Baker said.
“These are the platforms of the next generation of great companies and new jobs. And cyber security that moves as fast as the hackers, thieves and troublemakers is what makes this all possible. Success in protecting databases and smart machines will ensure that people benefit from the best ideas in science, engineering and technology for decades to come.
Baker called Massachusetts “one of the three most important players in cyber security in the world,” and said the industry is just taking off.
“Hundreds of billions of dollars will be spent over the next decade to protect information and assets. Massachusetts’ organizations should play a major role in driving these decisions. Over the next ten months we’ll bring together the best minds locally and globally to develop a blueprint for success here in Massachusetts. And we will follow it.”
Finally, the governor praised the veterans of Massachusetts but noted that “too many of our returning heroes struggle to find good jobs. So we’ll be proposing a $4,000 tax credit for businesses hiring and retaining an unemployed veteran.”
Here is the full text of Governor Baker’s address.