BOSTON -- Governor Baker's third State of the Commonwealth address touted a strong economy, fiscal discipline, and progress on major initiatives. Observers called the address "uplifting," and the Governor earned praise from across the state and both sides of the aisle.
Springfield Republican: Governor's Focus On Leading The Whole Commonwealth Draws Praise From Western MA
"Western Massachusetts lawmakers on Tuesday night praised Gov. Charlie Baker for mentioning broadband internet access, opioid addiction and Springfield schools in his State of the Commonwealth address."
WBZ's Jon Keller: Governor Highlighted Progress Following Predecessor's Mismanagement:
"While he struck his usual bipartisan tone tonight, he also reminded his audiences of the messes he inherited from Deval Patrick and the progress that's been made.
"[The governor] also touted samples of national praise for the state..."
Boston Herald: Governor Highlighted Strong Economy, Reforms To Government:
"Speaking to a packed House chamber, Baker offered an optimistic picture of a state whose economy is 'hitting on all cylinders' and a government focused on working well."
Observers Agreed: Governor's Address Extremely Well-Received
@SharmanTV: "And that’s a wrap. @MassGovernor calm and confident in this speech saying state of Commonwealth is strong #7news"
@MLevenson: "Strong response from the Democratic state Legislature for the Republican governor as he heads into a reelection year. #mapoli #MASOTC"
@ReillyAdam: "Also, the entire room stood to applaud when Baker touted a $45 million raise for teachers. Don't think I saw a single sitter."
@MaryAnnMarsh: ".@MassGovernor @CharlieBakerMA has hit all the popular issues healthcare, high speed broadband, transportation, opioids, fentanyl and direct appeals to the Legislature to work together to fix them. Very workman like speech. #MASOTC #mapoli"
Governor's Commonsense Approach Earns Approval From Both Sides Of The Aisle
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh: "The governor did a fantastic job tonight....The governor is popular: He's popular here in the Legislature, he's popular in the Commonwealth, and I think that anyone who makes it to the final has their hands full. I think it's going to be a difficult race, particularly when you see the accomplishments he's laid out over the last three years as Governor. There have been some incredible accomplishments..."
Speaker Robert DeLeo: "He mentioned a whole lot of positive things that have been accomplished in his three years in office"
Senate President Hariette Chandler: "It was a very uplifting speech."
Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez: "It was a great speech. He was inspirational, aspirational. He outlined a number of frankly successes we have had here in the Commonwealth.
"When first I came into office a number of years ago, the the T was overburdened by its debt, there wasn't much going toward the capital infrastructure, and now a lot of that's changed with the work that we've done together."
Rep. Linda Dean Campbell: "We've seen the governor and lieutenant governor up in the Merrimack Valley more times than I can remember...It's been a true partnership and the results speak for themselves in terms of economic development, helping communities to develop their downtowns and bring in new businesses."
Rep. Paul Tucker: "Rep. Paul Tucker, a Salem Democrat, said Baker 'hit all the right points' in his hourlong speech to the packed room."
Sen. Don Humason: "Sen. Don Humason, R-Westfield, called Baker's speech 'very optimistic.' 'The things he touched on impacted us in Western Massachusetts, things like in smaller towns, issues of high speed internet,' Humason said."
Sen. Adam Hinds: "I was happy we had a lot of recognition of various points...Springfield got a lot of love."
Rep. Angelo Puppolo: "He's a hard-working governor who does a good job and cares about the people of the commonwealth."
Sen. Eric Lesser: "Overall, it was a great speech. He covered all the right things."
GOP Leader Brad Jones: "House Minority Leader Brad Jones said he thought Baker's record would be a solid platform for his re-election bid, pointing to his turnaround of the sputtering Health Connector coupled with job growth in the state.
"'All that positive news that I think is a strong basis to run for re-election on,' Jones told the News Service. He said, 'Competency and effective management really are important attributes in an administration.'
"The governor's speech was "fantastic," Jones said, and he said the Legislature has 'largely worked off' the governor's agenda this session."
GOP Leader Bruce Tarr: "Governor Baker provided us with a narrative of the steady progress being made in our Commonwealth through his leadership and bipartisan collaboration with the legislature. Without resorting to increased tax burdens on the budgets of households and employers, strong gains have been made."
The Boston Globe: Speech Was "An Ode To Pragmatic Governance"
"[Governor Baker used the address to] argue that his nuts-and-bolts approach to fixing problems has produced tangible results for Massachusetts.
"The speech, an ode to pragmatic governance, previewed some of the conciliatory themes the Republican may evoke as he seeks a second term in a Democratic-leaning state..."
State House News Service: Governor Focused On Concrete Ideas, Urged Legislature To Work With Him
"Gov. Charlie Baker -- entering the final year of his first term and gearing up for a re-election contest -- delivered a workmanlike tick-tock of his administration's accomplishments on Tuesday night, while challenging Democrats to continue working with him to curb opioid abuse, build more housing and deliver on his vision for politics without 'name-calling.'
"Baker, who is riding high in the polls as he and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito prepare to make the case to voters for another four years in office, used his final State of the Commonwealth address to write the narrative of his first term.
"In many ways, the speech was quintessential Charlie Baker: slow and steady, seldom flashy and focused on the finer points of governing."