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Gov. Baker Plans State Of The Commonwealth Address Jan. 21

Gov. Charlie Baker (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Gov. Charlie Baker (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Gov. Charlie Baker will give his State of the Commonwealth address Tuesday, Jan. 21 — an opportunity to outline and explain his policy ideas for 2020 and spending priorities for next fiscal year.

The high-profile address falls a day before his annual budget proposal is due to be filed with lawmakers.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, who was acting governor Thursday while Baker travels back from a personal trip to Chicago, told members of the House and Senate that she looked forward to seeing them in their seats for the annual policy speech.

As is custom at the start of the new year, the House and Senate formed ceremonial committees Thursday to visit the governor's office and inform the executive branch that lawmakers are ready to do business in the new year.

"We love celebrating that moment," Polito said of the State of the Commonwealth, telling lawmakers assembled in the governor's office lobby that "it's an opportunity for the guv to outline a collection of things we've accomplished together."

House Second Assistant Majority Leader Paul Donato, who helmed the House committee, told Polito that the House looked forward to working on its policy priorities this year. Polito asked him what those priorities are, prompting laughter from lawmakers as Donato lifted his jacket lapel over his mouth and whispered to her.

Transportation revenues, housing production, health care reforms, climate change responses, sports betting, the annual budget and an economic development bill are among the major issues to watch as lawmakers embark on a seven-month stretch culminating with the end of formal sessions for 2020 on July 31.

Baker is also scheduled to speak at the Massachusetts Municipal Association annual business meeting on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 10:15 a.m. Polito will address the annual meeting's opening session on the morning of Friday, Jan. 24, according to MMA.

Baker's budget will offer the first look at state K-12 education funding under the state's new seven-year, $1.5 billion funding reform bill.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh plans to deliver his State of the City speech next Tuesday, Jan. 7, in Symphony Hall.

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