After 2 years of fighting the pandemic, the state is still strong – CBS Boston

BOSTON (AP) – After two years of struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, Massachusetts has emerged stronger as it embraces new challenges, Governor Charlie Baker said Tuesday as he spoke for the eighth time. and also the last of the State of the Commonwealth speech.

Baker said Massachusetts is on track to return with the unemployment rate falling below 4% for the first time since March 2020 and more than half a million jobs restored.

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“Because of all that you have done, we can stand here together tonight and I can say that our commonwealth remains strong,” he said.

During the speech, the Republican introduced a series of tax cuts that he said would be included in his state budget proposal for the new fiscal year.

One would eliminate income taxes for the 230,000 lowest-paid taxpayers in the state. Instead of paying income taxes, individuals can use their earnings to pay for basic needs like food, housing and transportation, Baker said.

Citing the growing cost of renting rental units, Baker suggested giving tenants more tax breaks on their monthly payments. He also said his budget bill would propose doubling the tax relief for children and dependents.

The administration will also be filing a transportation bond bill soon to ensure that the state enjoys the full benefits of the federal bipartisan infrastructure law, he said.

Baker said he also wants to close what he describes as loopholes that threaten public safety, including one that he says leaves state residents, many of them women, , less begging when an ex-partner tries to ruin their life by taking pornographic pictures and posting them. Online.

“Massachusetts is one of only two states that doesn’t consider this a crime,” Baker said. “Forty-eight other states consider this a crime, because it is a crime.”

Other regulatory priorities include the state’s ongoing efforts to transition to a renewable energy future.

Baker said he will continue to push for a climate proposal that he says is designed to build on the state’s ongoing offshore wind agenda with the creation of the Clean Energy Innovation Fund. worth 750 million dollars.

Another priority is mental health, which has been made worse by anxiety, disruption and isolation during the pandemic. Baker said it is important to continue to support and expand access to mental health care.

Baker said the administration will continue to advance the fight against COVID-19. He said the state has made a lot of progress with more than 80% of the state’s eligible population fully immunized and nearly 100% of those over 65 being vaccinated.

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“During this pandemic, there’s been no shortage of things we don’t know, and it’s easy to get lost in them,” Baker said. “But we should also remember what we know. Vaccines and all other resources we currently have available for us to operate. ”

Before concluding his speech, Baker issued a warning about the struggles people in public life face as they try to build trust in an increasingly divided political landscape.

“The explosion of social media, the emergence of hundreds of news channels and information distribution platforms, and the constant chaos of information have made it possible for anyone in public life to want to Collaboration to build trust is not possible.

“The facts are often interchangeable and sorted. Missteps happen in real time and can go viral in the strangest and most unusual ways. Context is non-existent. And in many cases, history and current events become twisted to support whatever point of view someone is advocating,” he added.

With the Statehouse still closed to the public, Baker delivered a speech from the Hynes Convention Center.

Last month, Baker announced that he would not seek a third term as governor of Massachusetts.

The decision came near the end of an grueling second year in which his main focus was on the pandemic.

Baker first took office in January 2015 and easily won re-election in 2018.

He is one of the nation’s most famous executives. His decision – and Lieutenant Karyn Polito’s decision – not to seek office means there will be an open race for governor this year.

Three Democrats have announced their candidacy – Attorney General Maura Healey, Harvard professor Danielle Allen and State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz.

Republican Geoff Diehl, a former Whitman state representative, announced his candidacy. Shiva Ayyadurai, who lost the Republican primary bid for the US Senate in 2020, also plans to run.

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(© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) After 2 years of fighting the pandemic, the state is still strong – CBS Boston

Dustin Huang

Dustin Huang is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Dustin Huang joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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