By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Governor-elect Charlie Baker is vowing to use his executive power to help companies in Massachusetts.

In an interview Monday, Baker made it clear there is one thing he intends to stand tall on: His contention that his predecessor and the Democrat-controlled legislature have left the state’s business climate choking in the weeds for years.

“I look at where Massachusetts sits on almost every survey anybody does around our cost of doing business, our cost of living, our permitting processes, our tax policies, our regulatory policies. We’re sort of a 48th, 49th, 47th place finisher out of 50 on all those lists. That says something to me,” Baker told Keller.

So Baker says his first priority is keeping that campaign promise to restore economic order.

“I’m serious about trying to figure out a way to make us a much less complicated, more simple place to do business,” Baker said.

“I don’t need legislative approval to do most of this and I think that’s why to some extent it’s a particular area of interest for me early on.”

“The low hanging fruit?” Keller asked.

“I don’t know if there’s something in our water or what it is, but for some reason if there’s a really complicated way to do something that takes a really long time and is really expensive, somehow we here in Massachusetts will find it and celebrate it,” Baker said. “We need to stop doing that.”

Neither House Speaker Robert DeLeo nor incoming Senate President Stan Rosenberg is known to be anti-business. And both know Baker and say they like him.

But if and when Baker’s reforms step on the toes of key democratic constituencies like organized labor or environmentalists, look out.

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Jon Keller

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