In his last formal address as governor, Charlie Baker, sometimes the only effective Republican voice on Beacon Hill, hewed as close to his party's conservative principles as he has the last seven years, calling for tax breaks for Massachusetts families, the state's poorest residents and those suffering under the high cost of housing.

Baker used his final "state of the state" to preview the budget proposal that he'll submit to lawmakers Wednesday, which calls for significant tax cuts for the working and middle class.

"To encourage our citizens to continue to call Massachusetts home and to help those struggling to make ends meet because of rising inflation, we’ll file several tax breaks in our budget proposal later this week," Baker said.

Baker's time in office has coincided with the record-breaking costs for private home sales and rents for tenants climbing to unseen heights.

The governor credited his administration's fiscal discipline for positioning the state to be able to offer tax relief, or as he called it, "tax fairness." When he began his first term in 2015, Baker said, the state budget faced a $1 billion dollar deficit and the rainy day stabilization fund had been depleted after being used to recover from the Great Recession.

"That rainy day fund grew from $1 billion to $5 billion — among the largest fiscal safety nets in the country," during his time in office, Baker said.

Baker delivered his final State of the Commonwealth speech at the Hynes Convention Center instead of the traditional setting of the House chamber. The venue was an improvement over last year's occasion, which saw the governor speaking from behind a lectern in the State House's corner office.

The upcoming legislative crunch time is Baker's final window of opportunity to reform the mental and behavioral health system in Massachusetts. The governor agrees with Senate President Karen Spilka on the broad strokes of bulking up the care system with more providers, greater access and better insurance coverage for behavioral healthcare, but the House has yet to weigh in with their own plan.

"The healthcare system doesn’t value behavioral health services, primary care and geriatric services. As a result, there are enormous staff and clinician shortages in exactly the areas of care that we need most," Baker said, calling on the Legislature to pass a behavioral health overhaul this session.

Much of Baker's speech was framed as a contrast to the way national leaders in Congress and other states conduct themselves. The only significant Republican actively crafting state policies, Baker has always made a point to thank the Democratic leaders he works with.

"At a time when so much of our public dialogue is designed to destroy trust, to manipulate facts and to pull people apart, we’ve partnered with one another, and shared success and blame along the way," Baker said.

Baker issued another call on the lethargic Democratic Legislature, asking them to pass his package of bills to crack down on people charged with violent crimes and allowed to go free prior to trial, as well as the so-called "revenge porn" bill that would make it illegal to share explicit content of someone else without their consent.

"We've filed bills to deal with these issues three times, to no avail. The time to do something about this is long past," Baker said.