BOSTON (WPRI) — Massachusetts officially has a Democratic governor for the first time since 2015.
Maura Healey was sworn in Thursday as Massachusetts’ 73rd governor, making history as the state’s first woman and the nation’s first openly lesbian candidate elected to the office.
The swearing-in ceremony was held in the Massachusetts House chamber. The oath of office was administered by Senate President Karen Spilka.
Healey was sworn in alongside Lieutenant Governor-elect Kim Driscoll.
Although Healey, 51, is the first woman elected to the office, she’s not the first to hold the position.
Republican Jane Swift, then lieutenant governor, became acting governor in 2001 when Gov. Paul Cellucci resigned to become ambassador to Canada. Swift was never elected governor.
During her campaign, Healey pledged to expand job training programs, make child care more affordable and modernize schools. Healey has also said she would protect “access to safe and legal abortion in Massachusetts” in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
Healey said during her inauguration speech that she aims to make the state more affordable, drive its competitiveness, and be a leader on climate issues.
“We are not going to have a functioning economy until we have a functioning transit system,” Healey said. “Part of making Massachusetts a great place to live and work, to grow businesses and attract business, is making sure we have a transit system we need.”
“We love this state because it’s our home,” she continued. “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.”
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Healey said she plans to create a secretary of housing within the state government and expand the child tax credit.
“We also need to build a Massachusetts economy for the future,” Healey said. “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… In me, you will have a partner every step of the way.”
Healey also said her administration’s climate goals include doubling offshore wind and solar targets for usage, increasing energy storage deployment, and putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.
“Where others may see hopelessness and resignation, I see unparalleled opportunity,” she said. “We can protect our climate and create jobs. It’s not too late to do either. It’s urgent that we do both. I believe Massachusetts can lead the world.”
Outgoing Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker finished up his final full day in office on Wednesday and took the traditional “lone walk” out of the state house. In March, he will become the new president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).