Governor Charlie Baker was inaugurated as the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on January 8th, 2015, after several decades of service in both state government and the private sector.
Since taking office, Governor Baker has been making Massachusetts a great place to live, work and raise a family – while delivering a customer-service oriented state government that is as hard working as the people of the Commonwealth. Governor Baker believes people are policy and has appointed a bipartisan Cabinet and developed strong relationships with the legislature to work across the aisle and deliver results for our state.
Upon taking office in 2015, Governor Baker worked to close two budget gaps of more than $2 billion—without raising taxes. The administration has focused on bolstering local aid for our schools and communities, investing in a more reliable public transportation system and prioritizing funds to fight the opioid and heroin epidemic. Governor Baker also delivered critical tax relief for over 400,000 hardworking individuals and their families in his first year through a fifty percent increase of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Governor Baker has supported robust business sectors by reforming the Commonwealth's regulatory environment, holding the line on taxes, and advancing efforts to rein in energy costs. Governor Baker proposed and signed into law a $1 billion Economic Development bill to strengthen the Massachusetts economy, promote healthy communities, provide workforce training, invest in innovation, and stimulate private sector job creation across the Commonwealth.
Ensuring Massachusetts continues to be a national leader in education, Governor Baker has invested over $4.6 billion in Chapter 70 education funding -- the highest level of local education aid in state history.
Confronted with a devastating opioid and heroin epidemic, Governor Baker appointed a working group that has implemented a comprehensive action plan focused on prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery support, including the passage of landmark legislation that features prevention education for students and doctors and the first-in-the-nation seven-day limit on first-time opioid prescriptions. As the co-chair of the National Governors Associations’ Health and Human Services committee, Governor Baker has held up the Commonwealth’s success as a model for other states and recently spearheaded a nationwide compact to focus on opioid prescribing guidelines and education programs for athletes.
Met with a historic snowfall during his first winter in office that halted Massachusetts’ beleaguered mass transit system, Governor Baker undertook a major overhaul to fix the MBTA by appointing a Fiscal and Management Control Board to oversee the system's operations and finances, and prioritize investments in the core system that over one million daily riders depend upon. The MBTA recently recorded its lowest level of operating expense growth in more than 15 years through cost control, increased own-source revenue by more than $10 million, and reduced operator absenteeism by nearly 20%.
In line with the customer-service oriented approach he brought to Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Governor Baker moved quickly to address issues facing the Health Connector and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Both have seen marked improvements in service, with the RMV finding success in a dual queuing system that has substantially reduced wait times.
Residents and businesses in Massachusetts face some of the highest energy costs in the nation. To stabilize rates, Governor Baker authored and signed into law comprehensive legislation to diversify the Commonwealth's energy portfolio and embrace advanced technologies. Partnering with the legislature, the administration passed provisions to solicit clean energy, including hydropower and offshore wind, and make Massachusetts only the third state to authorize an energy storage procurement goal.
Other milestones include increasing funding for, restructuring, and overhauling procedures and policies at the Department of Children and Families in partnership with SEIU Local 509 with the primary goal of keeping children safe; a new strategic pathway for the Last Mile program to deliver high speed broadband service to under- or unserved communities in Central and Western Massachusetts; and expanding diversity in the state’s supply chain.
Over the course of his career, Governor Baker has been a highly successful leader of complex business and government organizations. As a cabinet secretary under Governors William Weld and Paul Cellucci, Governor Baker helped lead efforts to reform and modernize state government, turn a billion-dollar deficit into a surplus, create a half million jobs, and enact an ambitious education reform agenda.
During his time as Chief Executive Officer of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Governor Baker turned a company on the brink of bankruptcy into the nation's highest ranked health care provider for member satisfaction and clinical effectiveness for six straight years.
Raised in Needham, Governor Baker attended Massachusetts public schools and is a graduate of Harvard College. He went on to earn a Master's of Business Administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, where he met his wife Lauren. The Bakers reside in Swampscott, have been heavily involved in numerous civic and charitable endeavors, and are the proud parents of their three children, Charlie, AJ, and Caroline.