Toggling between the two, I watched Governor Baker’s second inaugural along with the swearing-in of the historic 116th Congress. Oh yeah – it’s a *challenge* listening to two sound feeds coming through one laptop simultaneously.

Baker’s speech was initially posted as a series of tweets on Mass.gov’s home page. The link to the thread is HERE. The speech was posted at the conclusion of the live broadcast HERE.

I was listening for what he had to say about 1). improving K-12 funding and 2). transportation. He made brief statements on both, teasers for further exposition, to be revealed once he submits his budget proposal later this month. He also touched on jobs, housing, criminal justice, public safety, health care, and the opioid epidemic, as he touted the success of bipartisanship and the Commonwealth as a beacon to the rest of the country on the above issues.

I wasn’t expecting him to veer from his typically un-courageous incrementalism for improvement, but listening to his laconic delivery I again realized that he is (still) a Republican who believes to his core that we can continue to preserve our civil rights and liberties in the Commonwealth without a serious infusion of revenue. In a tweet, Statehouse News put it this way:

$$$ SOURCES: In inaugural, Baker flags education and transportation as areas of focus, but also touts progress “without raising taxes” and doesn’t mention new revenues, which are a big area of focus for Democrats on the Hill who still want new taxes on the wealthy. #mapoli— State House News (@statehousenews) January 3, 2019

Governor Baker acknowledged that the Foundation Formula “needs updating” and that he’ll propose updates when his budget is filed in a few weeks, and that “progress isn’t just about the money”.

So say we all.

Progress isn’t just about money. It’s first and foremost about our deeply held values and what we truly cherish and will work toward steadfastly to see true progress for change. That’s what a budget document is supposed to be all about.


Photo credit: That’s rural Ohio, my tribute to Koyaanisqatsi, taken in July 2014.

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