State of the Commonwealth: housing, transportation among Baker’s top concerns

Politics

BOSTON (WPRI/AP) ─ Gov. Charlie Baker said he wants to dramatically reduce the state’s reliance on polluting fuels while expanding housing and upgrading the state’s public transportation system.

Baker outlined his goals for the new year during his State of the Commonwealth address at the Massachusetts Statehouse.

“I get that this is going to be hard. But together, we have a real opportunity, and a responsibility to achieve a significant reduction in transportation emissions,” Baker said.

The Republican governor set a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in his speech Tuesday.

Baker said he wants to continue improvements to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

He also pressed lawmakers to ease local zoning laws calling them the “wall between the well off and the up and coming” for those seeking housing.

Baker was criticized by Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford for not mentioning President Donald Trump once during his speech.

“When was the last time you had a conversation about politics for 30 minutes, and never spoke of Donald Trump?” Bickford questioned. “Charlie Baker and Karyn Polito continue to nibble around the edges and refuse to really take on the critical issues we face…When people ask themselves if things have gotten easier or harder over the last five years, I don’t think Baker and Polito are going to enjoy the answer.”

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