A day after unveiling her $55.5 billion state budget, Gov. Maura Healey is on the road trying to garner support for her plan. She made a pitch Thursday morning to 800 members of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
"We know some of the challenges that we're confronting right now: an unprecedented housing crisis, skyrocketing costs for quality child-care, companies unable to find workers with the skills they need to grow," Healey said. "The good news is we can, working together, fix that."
Healey said her budget, along with a $750 million tax reform bill she proposed earlier this week, would help to stop the exodus of workers from the state. Since the pandemic, more than 110,000 people have left Massachusetts to find work in states with a lower cost of living, according to Internal Revenue Service data obtained by The Boston Globe.
It's a trend that has officials and business leaders worried about the state's long-term economic health.
"No one is going to compete harder as your governor than me. I promise you," Healey told Chamber of Commerce members.
But region's business community has given the plan a mixed reception.
The Massachusetts High Technology Council issued a statement saying Healey's budget proposal "includes several positive elements," but added "rehabilitating Massachusetts' declining business climate will require far more significant steps." The High Tech Council said while the governor's tax reform plan begins to address the high cost of living in Massachusetts, it does not go far enough in making the state's tax rate competitive relative to other states.
"Many individuals are hearing from other states saying, 'you know, you can live a different life in our state,' " said Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce President Jim Rooney. "So we have to fine tune our game."
Rooney noted the governor's budget and tax plan are still in the negotiation phase.
"The House will take a look at it next and we'll work with them as we have every budget year and then the Senate, advocating for things that we support within the governor's budget," he said.