Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo was sworn into a second term in office Tuesday, promising to continue bringing change to set the state on a "path for enduring success."
The Democratic governor took the oath of office outside of the State House with her husband and two children by her side. Democratic Lt. Gov. Dan McKee and the state's other general officers were also sworn in.
Raimondo said in her inaugural address that she will continue to spur economic growth by investing in education and job training. She talked about the challenges the state faced when she first took office in 2015, including its high unemployment rate and crumbling infrastructure. She thanked Rhode Island residents who "dug in" and helped the state make progress.
"There can be no question that we have stopped our decline and this new approach is working," she said. "And so today, now, let's commit ourselves to sustaining this comeback until every single Rhode Islander is included and let's make the choices that will position our state for success for the long haul. You see, our work's not done."
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She said the state must lift up those who are struggling the most and end the opioid crisis, ensure that every resident who is willing to work hard can get a good job, and guarantee that women and men have the same economic opportunities and can thrive in workplaces free of harassment.
Raimondo also talked about the need to protect the environment and people's health care, and she called for commonsense gun laws.
In discussing the divided political climate nationally, Raimondo asked people to adhere to Rhode Island's founding principles of inclusion, equality and tolerance.
"I believe that the cure to all of the divisiveness that we see is action," she said. "Delivering for people, helping people to secure their dreams. So let's show everybody what Rhode Island can do. And while we work together over the next four years to continue to make progress and secure our future, let's anchor ourselves to hope. Hope will make us resilient. Hope cannot easily be taken away. And hope will guide us toward lasting progress."
Raimondo defeated Republican challenger Allan Fung in November to secure another four years as the state's chief executive. She is the state's first female governor. Raimondo highlighted the increasing number of women running for office and taking on leadership positions throughout the country during her speech.
State lawmakers also returned to the State House Tuesday for the first day of the legislative session.