Maura Haley, the first woman and first gay member.
Of the LGBTQ community to be elected governor of Massachusetts. ook the oath of office at the Statehouse on Thursday, pledging to lead “with compassion and equity.”
Haley’s promotion to governor signaled a political shift from the GOP to Democratic. Hands in the state’s top elected office. Haley, 51, succeeds former Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, 66. who decided not to seek re-election after two terms.
The event also marks the first time that an all-female ticket office will be occupied. Kim Driscoll, who served as mayor of Salem.
Haley outlined some of his goals in his 35-minute opening address.
He acknowledged the rising cost of housing in Massachusetts. And promised to create a new housing secretary within his first 100 days. He said he would work to convert state-owned. properties into homes or rental properties. and reduce costs for renters by expanding tax breaks.
“Housing costs are out of control because we don’t have enough of it,” he said. “If we want Massachusetts to be a home for everyone, we need to create more places to live.”
Haley said she would work on changes to the tax code. Including providing a child tax credit for every child, as well as working to expand access to child care.
said in his first budget that he would propose free community college. for students over 25 who don’t have a college degree. He said he would push for increased funding in the state university system. To make it easier for everyone to pursue higher degrees.
One of the biggest challenges Haley faces is the state’s ailing public transit system.
He said within the next 60 days. He would appoint a safety chief to inspect the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Which oversees the Boston-area public transportation system. And include funding in his first budget proposal to hire 1,000 new workers. The system is running at full capacity.
“We know the MBTA is understaffed. — And we know that understaffing has serious consequences,” he said.
Haley, who served eight years as Massachusetts attorney general. Ran unopposed in the Democratic primary last year. And defeated Republican candidate Geoff Diehl in the general election. He is the second Democrat to be elected governor of Massachusetts in three decades.
The new governor is also part of a record number of women. Holding top state elected offices in Massachusetts. Of the six statewide offices, not counting US Senate seats, women now hold all but one.
During her speech, Haley also said she is committed. To eliminating barriers that people of color. People with disabilities, women and LGBTQ residents have faced for generations.
He said he would begin by ordering. Every agency in his administration to conduct equity audits.
“Our greatest strength is our people, but we cannot reach our potential as a nation. When so many are prevented from reaching their own,” he said.
Haley said he will continue. The state’s efforts to transition to a renewable energy future.
He has pledged to double the state’s offshore wind and solar targets. Quadruple its energy savings and put one million electric cars on the road by 2030.
These commitments are linked to the state’s broader efforts to combat climate change. Haley said he would create the country’s. first cabinet-level climate chief to work with the government. and cities and towns to meet the state’s climate goals.
Much like former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick invested state. Funds to help make Massachusetts a hub for biotech. Haley said he wants to make the state a hub for renewable energy technology.
A former Harvard basketball player, Haley. Said he relied on teamwork as attorney general. And will bring a similar sense of shared mission to the governor’s office.
Haley hopes to work with the Democrat-controlled Massachusetts House and Senate. Democratic Senate President Karen Spilka. Administered the oath of office to Haley and Driscoll.
“No matter what challenges we face, no matter what lies ahead, we will be true to our best selves,” Haley said. “We will act with compassion and fairness. We will work together.”