Republican Mitt Romney, the millionaire venture capitalist and former Olympic chief, launched his governorship Thursday by warning that "immediate, hard action" will be needed to address the state's escalating financial crisis.
"We've used up virtually all our cash, borrowed all the banks will lend us, and we are still spending more than we're earning," Romney said.
Confronted with a deficit that could soon expand to $3 billion, Romney told lawmakers to be prepared for stark measures.
"Many nonessential programs, even some that we like very much, will have to be downsized or even eliminated," said Romney, who recently said he and Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey would not accept salaries. "I didn't run for governor to do that, but I will do my job."
The political newcomer is charged with leading the state through its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Romney, 55, and Healey, 42, took the oath of office in the House of Representatives.