Gov. Patrick prepares for handover of power

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick is winding down his second and final term in office and preparing to hand over the reins of power to his successor on Beacon Hill.

Patrick held an “open house” on Tuesday for members of his administration, legislators and other elected officials who wanted to stop by his office to say farewell. But the governor had no public events on his schedule. He also signed a handful of last-minute bills filed by lawmakers, including one that put limits on the solitary confinement of inmates who have been diagnosed with mental illness.

Patrick’s final full day in office on Wednesday will be steeped in tradition. The schedule includes a meeting in his office with Republican Gov.-elect Charlie Baker during which the outgoing and incoming chief executives will exchange several ceremonial gifts, including a bible dating to Gov. Benjamin Butler’s administration in 1884 and a gavel made from the original oak frame of the U.S.S. Constitution.

Patrick will then make the “lone walk” down the front steps of the Statehouse, a longstanding tradition for departing governors.

Baker on Tuesday attended the inauguration of Rhode Island’s new Democratic governor, Gina Raimondo. He said he had invited all Northeast governors to his inauguration on Thursday because their states share many common interests, including high energy costs.

Baker and Lt. Gov.-elect Karyn Polito also were scheduled to attend several “spotlights on excellence” events around the state in the coming days intended to highlight core issues such as jobs and education. On Wednesday night, the governor-elect plans to attend a pre-inaugural interfaith prayer service in Boston with Cardinal Sean O’Malley and other local religious leaders.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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