On January 23, Gov. Charlie Baker joined Boston Public Radio for the monthly installment of Ask The Governor.

On Diversity In Public Money

During the interview, Baker defended his administration's use of minority contractors as state and local officials come under pressure for the lack of diversity in public contract awards in the wake of WGBH News' New England Center for Investigative Reporting that revealed minority businesses have seen a declining share of state contracts over the past two decades.

“I’m pretty sure we are spending more money on MBEs — so-called minority business enterprises — and women business enterprises today as a percent of our total [budget] than we were spending then,” Baker said.

On The Transportation And Climate Initiative

Baker also reaffirmed his support for the Transportation and Climate Initiative, or TCI, a regional cap-and-invest program that aims to reduce carbon emissions, and said he would likely veto a bill to increase the gas tax.

"The big problem I have with just taxing the end user is you’re not creating a reason for anyone who createx products that generate pollution to change the behavior.”

Some legislators recentlyvoiced concerns about the program.

On Baker's "Rant" Comment To Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley
Additionally, Baker expanded on his apology to Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley for a comment he made about her speech during a Martin Luther King Day event they both attended.

Pressley’s speech focused on acknowledging identity and representation in politics. Immediately after, Baker said it would be tough to follow up "that rant," but then amplified Pressley’s statements about the importance of varied voices in making policy.

He told WGBH News Thursday he called the Congresswoman to apologize after his staff alerted him his statement had garnered criticism.

“I called her and said I’m very sorry that I stepped on a beautiful moment for you," he said. "And I apologized for the use of the word, I said it was poor choice of words, but that I thought what she said was exactly right.”