Jan 6, 2023 - Politics

How Healey plans to tackle costs

Gov. Healey now has to turn her campaign promises into policy proposals the Legislature will sign off on. Photo: Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Maura Healey is promising that people will see the benefit of the state's overflowing tax revenues.

The big picture: Healey, in her first address as governor Thursday, told lawmakers gathered at the State House that record public revenue does little for residents who can't afford a home, heat or child care.

  • The inaugural speech, which followed her swearing-in, focused on the same themes as Healey's campaign for governor: the cost of living, equality, tax relief, access to abortion, job training and economic development.

Details: To increase the housing stock, Healey wants to revisit local zoning laws and build new houses near transit hubs.

  • Former Gov. Baker had similar goals but faced opposition from local officials that didn't want to make it easier to build.

Worth noting: Healey will create a new cabinet position dedicated to housing.

Healey also plans to make community college free to people over 25 years old who don't yet have a college degree.

  • Along with increased funding for state colleges and universities, Healey plans to realign the state's higher education programs with the skills most in demand from employers.

Plus: Healey said a strong Mass. economy needs a functioning MBTA, and she vowed to fund the hiring of a thousand new workers for the struggling T.

  • The governor added that she would earmark 1% of her first budget proposal, due March 1, to environmental and energy agencies. That could amount to nearly a half-billion dollars.

Our thought bubble: Lawmakers seemed to like what Healey was selling, and she had to pause for applause several times.


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