23°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Maura Healey sworn in as Massachusetts 73rd Governor

The+Massachusetts+State+House.+Image+sourced+from+Wikimedia.%26%23160%3B
The Massachusetts State House. Image sourced from Wikimedia.

The new year is off to an excellent start for Massachusetts as the Commonwealth welcomes Maura Healey as its 73rd governor. Healey, the first female governor of Massachusetts and the first elected lesbian governor in the country, harbored a lot of encouraging support. With Healey, Kim Driscoll, the former mayor of Salem, took the oath as the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts.

In the inaugural address, Healey expressed her enthusiasm to lead the state. “I assume this office with humility, mindful of the weight of history and lightened by the gift of gratitude. It is the honor of my life to lead this state,” Healey said. She further expressed her commitment to addressing some of the state’s pressing issues, including affordable housing, improving the MBTA, building and promoting the state’s green infrastructure and improving education. [1]

After getting sworn into the statewide office, Driscoll made some remarks highlighting her career as a public servant. Driscoll said that having served as a local leader for the past 17 years and gained a firsthand office experience as a mayor of Salem, she can vouch for the greater impact this building [State House and Governor’s Office] has on the lives of residents living in the Commonwealth. [2]

Former Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker welcomed his successor to the State House by practicing a set of customs that Massachusetts governors have observed for almost 140 years, including the famous “lone walk” out the front door of the State House. The lone walk has been a tradition since 1984 and marks the end of the governor’s term in office. [3]

Before the walk, Baker and Governor-elect Healey met to exchange gifts, which is regarded as one of many other traditions. These gifts symbolize the transfer of power from one governor to another. The Pewter Key, which is the original key to the governor’s office, the governor’s gavel, Massachusetts General Statutes and the Butler Bible are the four ceremonial gifts exchanged at the end of the term. [3]

As Baker ended his two terms as Massachusetts governor, his closing remarks were filled with optimism and highlighted the administration’s work in leading the state during the pandemic. “While I know that many of you didn’t agree with all the decisions the lieutenant governor and I made during the pandemic, you tried your very best to abide by the rules and to share in the work to be done,” Baker said. “I believe that’s why we’ve recovered almost all of the jobs that we lost during the pandemic” [4].

Just in the initial days of the new administration, Healey issued her first executive order creating a cabinet-level position for the climate chief, who will be entrusted with advising the office on the policies and solutions related to the climate change issues in the state. Melissa Hoffer, a former attorney at the Environmental Protection Agency and an assistant attorney general under Healey, was chosen for this first-of-its-kind cabinet position. Hoffer will oversee the Office of Climate Innovation and Resilience. “We have no time to delay,” Healey said at a State House news conference. “The climate crisis threatens every aspect of Massachusetts life… It is our greatest challenge” [5].

Terrence Reidy, former Governor Charlie Baker’s secretary of public safety and security, will continue his position under the Healey administration. As of Jan. 6, Mike Doheny was announced as an acting labor and workforce development secretary. Healey stated that the office is still in the hiring process until the entire cabinet is filled. [6]

Sources:

1.https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/maura-healey-to-be-sworn-in-as-next-mass-governor-in-historic-inauguration-day/2936520/

2.https://www.wbur.org/news/2023/01/05/healey-sworn-in-as-governor

3.https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/01/04/metro/handover-baker-healey-begins-with-symbolic-gifts-lone-walk-wednesday/?p1=Article_Inline_Related_Box

4.https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/01/03/metro/charlie-baker-bidding-farewell-state-house-address-said-he-governed-without-partisan-bickering/

5.https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/01/06/metro/first-acts-governor-healey-signs-order-creating-climate-chief-reappoints-bakers-public-safety-secretary/

https://www.wbur.org/news/2023/01/06/healey-cabinet-baker-public-safety

About the Contributor
Kaushar Barejiya, News Editor