(Press Release and Photo Courtesy of Healey-Driscoll Inaugural Committee)
On Wednesday, January 5, 2023, Maura T. Healey was sworn in as the 73rd Governor of Massachusetts, after becoming the first woman ever elected to the position in state history. She is also the first gay person to hold the office.
Healey was sworn in using a family Bible originally owned by her Great Great Grandmother Henrietta Porter. Henrietta was married to Healey’s Great Great Grandfather Jere W. Porter, who fought in the Civil War for the Union. They married after the war in Newburyport.
In her inaugural address, Healey pledged to make Massachusetts more affordable, drive competitiveness and lead the world on climate. A full transcript of the speech can be found here.
“We love this state because it’s our home. A home for us all. We want people to come here. And we want people who grow up here to stay here. Our country looks on Massachusetts as a gleaming example of liberty and equality and success. But too many states are beginning to pass us by,” said Healey. “We have to make Massachusetts a place that people can afford to call home. Our people can’t realize their dreams until we end the nightmare of high costs.”
Healey’s plans to make Massachusetts more affordable start first with housing. She pledged to file legislation in her first 100 days to create a new Secretary of Housing, who will work across the government and across the state to meet our housing goals. She has also directed her Secretary of Administration and Finance to identify unused state-owned land and facilities that can be turned into housing within one year.
Healey also highlighted her commitment to implementing tax reform, including an expanded child tax credit. And she called for passage of legislation in line with Common Start, which would lower the cost of child care for families and increase pay for workers.
“We also need to build a Massachusetts economy for the future. We can’t lead tomorrow if we settle for what’s good enough today. To keep attracting the best workers in the world, our economy has to compete,” said Healey. “Let me speak directly to the business community. You help drive our economy and you will help build our future. In me, you will have a partner every step of the way.”
In order to support businesses and drive competitiveness, Healey called for a massive job training effort, partnering with community colleges and vocational schools to make sure workers are trained with the needs of companies in the region. She pledged to create and fund a new program called MassReconnect in her first budget, which will offer free community college to students over 25 who don’t have a college degree. She also called for funding the Student Opportunity Act and expanding resources for mental health care and food security.
Healey also emphasized that Massachusetts’ competitiveness is tied to a safe, reliable and accessible transportation system. She committed to appointing an MBTA General Manager with deep transit experience and a laser focus on making transit safe and reliable, as well as appointing a Safety Chief within 60 days to conduct an audit of the system. She also pledged to include funding in her first budget to hire 1,000 additional MBTA workers in the first year of her administration and announced that she will form an interagency task force — the first of its kind — to compete for federal infrastructure money.
Understanding that our people are our greatest strength, Healey also pledged to break down systemic barriers that hold far too many back. To begin this work, she is directing every state agency to conduct a full equity audit.
“Let me be clear about this. Where others may see hopelessness and resignation, I see unparalleled opportunity,” said Healey. “We can protect our climate and create jobs. It’s not too late to do either. It’s urgent that we do both. And I believe Massachusetts can lead the world.”
In order to drive the work needed to combat the climate crisis and lead the clean energy economy, Healey announced that she will submit an Executive Order on Friday creating a cabinet-level Climate Chief, who will work across government and with communities to deliver on our climate goals. Those goals include doubling offshore wind and solar targets, quadrupling energy storage deployment, electrifying the public transportation fleet, putting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2030, dedicating at least 1% of the state budget to environmental and energy agencies, tripling the budget of the Clean Energy Center and creating a Green Bank to foster investment in resilient infrastructure and attract new businesses to Massachusetts.
Healey also pledged to create a climate corridor of research, innovation and manufacturing from the Berkshires to Barnstable and creating thousands of new jobs in clean tech and blue tech, coastal resiliency, and environmental justice.
Lieutenant Governor Driscoll
Kimberley Driscoll was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor, making the pair the first all-women executive office team in state history. She used a Bible from the fabled House of the Seven Gables in Salem, made famous by world-renowned author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel. The Salem landmark, built in 1668, is now a non-profit museum and listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark District. The historic bible, published in 1859, belongs to the artistic Upton Family of Salem — the last family to call The House of the Seven Gables home, and the first to offer tours of the pre-colonial mansion.
Lieutenant Governor Driscoll’s inaugural address reflected on the history-making moment and her personal journey, and articulated the vision that drives her and Governor Healey to build a Commonwealth that works for and welcomes all. She pointed to Massachusetts’ rich history of “firsts” as evidence of the state’s capacity to not only meet the challenges of the moment, but to embrace the opportunities that come with addressing those challenges.
“Those of us in this room elected to represent people throughout Massachusetts know that it’s possible to meet our collective needs in housing, in education, in transportation and climate. After all, we’re a state with a rich history of firsts – from sparking a revolution at home to sharing life-saving vaccines around the world,” said Driscoll. “Now, more than ever in our state’s history, we must lean into our roots and embrace the opportunities to grow, change, innovate – to bring people together in advancement of our shared vision.”