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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 16, 2015 8:00pm-10:01pm EST

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[applause] >> mr. president, mr. speaker, >> mr. president, mr. speaker, madam chief justice, distinguished justices of the court, honored officials, members of the washington state legislature, tribal leaders, local government officials, members of the consular corps and my fellow washingtonians. good afternoon. i want to begin today by thanking oso chaplain joel johnson; the members of the
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marysville pilchuck high school choir; my family members - especially trudi; the 13 newest members of the legislature who have stepped up to serve this state; and the people and communities of washington that over the past 125 years have given us the great state we celebrate today. i also want to mention a member i also want to mention a member of our legislative family, the late representative roger freeman. he was proud to represent his community. but most of all, roger was proud to be a father to his two children and a devoted husband to his wife, sonya. our thoughts are with them today. the new representative from the 30th district is carol gregory, and i extend a warm welcome to her and thank her for her willingness to take on this work.
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[applause] in our country's northwest corner, facing both the pacific ocean and the future, is the most innovative, most resourceful, most dynamic state in our nation. we're known as the evergreen state - not only because of our prodigious forests and the verdant green of our spring wheat, but also because of our ever-present entrepreneurial zeal, our social progress and our technological genius. washington state has remained evergreen throughout its first 125 years because in every moment of crisis, in every year of challenge, in every decade of change, washingtonians have chosen the path that takes us forward. we invest in ourselves. we invest in a legacy worthy of our children and grandchildren.
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we have done this, time and time again, with the firm conviction that our people, our communities and our economy will grow and prosper if we summon the confidence to make these investments. today, our state stands at another crossroads. one path leads to an economy that works for all washingtonians, supports thriving communities and preserves a healthy environment. the other path leads to a slow erosion of our shared prosperity, a widening gap of inequality and a deterioration of our clean air and water. the choice is ours. if we rise to the challenge, as we always have, we will choose the best path for washington. as you know, from day one i've
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focused on job creation in our state, and the issues we'll talk about today - education, transportation, clean energy - all work together to build an economy that works for everyone. it should please us all to know that our economy continues to rebound. our state has added 150,000 jobs over the past two years. but that growth has not been shared equally, either geographically or across the economic spectrum. the right path for washington is an economy that provides opportunity for all. [applause] we know that expanding educational opportunities, launching a transportation
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construction program and fighting carbon pollution will put us on the right course. our most fundamental commitment needs to be to the very youngest washingtonians. we know the greatest untapped asset in the state is the potential of a 3- and 4-year-old. the latest neuroscience research at the university of washington shows that at this age, children's minds have a tremendous capacity for learning. early learning is the best investment we can make in our future. [applause] that's where we start. but our success will require a continuum of education, from early learning all the way through higher education.
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that's why my proposal makes a $2.3 billion investment in our children's future, including the largest-ever state investment in early learning. children could attend high-quality preschools. my proposal fully funds class-size reductions in kindergarten through third grade. my proposal provides all-day kindergarten across the state. it gives our teachers their first cost-of-living allowance since 2008. it helps families struggling with the costs of higher education by freezing tuition and boosting financial aid so that 17,000 more students can get scholarships. these investments are not based on wishful thinking. they are based on a rock-solid foundation of proven strategies, established reforms and demonstrable student performance. we know what works.
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we know what it takes. i have visited a lot of classrooms in the past two years. and i have been continually impressed by the great teaching and innovative learning i've seen. and these opportunities must be available for all our children, at all our schools. because let me tell you, we have whip-smart kids ready for takeoff. [applause] but the future demands a higher level of achievement. investing in stem and workforce training pays off in attracting the most innovative companies on the planet. today we can celebrate elon musk's announced plans to open a space x engineering center in washington with the potential to hire up to 1,000 people.
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[applause] we know that a child spends an average of six hours a day in the school building. we also know what children need in those other 18 hours. every morning, they need to start the day with nutritious food in their bellies. they need a way to get to school safely. they need a coat to protect them from the elements as they get to and from school. and at night, they need a warm, safe, stable place to sleep with a roof over their heads. [applause] the budget we agree on should nurture all our students, in and out of the classroom, because we know how hard it is to educate a homeless, hungry, sick child. our families and our communities also need the vital services
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that allow them to function - nurses, mental health facilities, police officers and firefighters - the full range of services that help make washington a great place to live and raise a family. we've been cutting those services to balance our budget, and it's no longer working. over the past six years, we've cut existing and projected spending in our state budget by $12 billion. make no mistake: we've found savings and efficiencies as well. among other examples, we're saving an average of $1.6 million annually on leasing costs. the department of social and health services saved $3.5 million in energy costs in 2013 alone. and we're saving $2 million a year in long-distance charges through a new service. we need to continue this work.
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but we've reached the place where multiple courts have said we cut too much or neglected to fund adequately and have now ordered us to do a better job on foster care, mental health and protecting vulnerable children. i know some people say they haven't noticed the cuts. let me tell you: the man handcuffed to a gurney in an emergency room due to lack of beds in a mental health ward. he notices. the woman who was a victim of domestic violence and couldn't get emergency housing. she notices. the college students whose tuition went up 50 percent. they sure notice. what can seem invisible to some of us is painfully real to others.
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[applause] in the prosperous future we all want, we cannot leave so many people behind. some see the road ahead paved only with cuts to services. some consider only revenue as options. both camps will ultimately realize that neither view is the definitive answer. we're going to approach our work with a bold spirit of seeking solutions rather than finding excuses, and a can-do attitude of kicking aside our differences instead of kicking the can down the road. the same is true with transportation. without action, there will be a
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52 percent cut in the maintenance budget, and 71 bridges will become structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. without action, commute times will continue to rise, robbing us of time with our families. without action, our ability to move goods efficiently will be diminished. the tragic and catastrophic landslide in snohomish county last year reminds us that entire communities are cut off from the rest of the state when we lose transportation infrastructure. but now imagine a transportation system that moves the entire state forward. one that improves reliability and safety, addresses congestion and maintenance, creates jobs and offers more choices. as you know, i've been working for a balanced, multimodal transportation package since my first day in office.
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in december, i proposed a plan that builds on the bipartisan spirit of past efforts by offering a good-faith compromise to spark action this legislative session. it keeps us safe by fixing our bridges, patching our roads and cleaning our air and water. it also embraces efficiency, saves time and money, and drives results that the public can trust through real reform. finally, it's a plan that delivers a transportation system that truly works as a system. a system that transcends our old divides and rivalries. no more east versus west, urban versus rural or roads versus transit. now i welcome your suggestions for improvement. but the state cannot accept a continued failure to move on transportation.
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let's get this done. [applause] >> there's another thing my transportation plan does. it institutes a carbon pollution charge that would have our largest polluters pay rather than raising the gas tax on everyone. under my plan, it's the polluters who pay. we face many challenges, but it is the growing threat of carbon pollution that can permanently change the nature of washington as we know it. it's already increasing the acidity of our waters, increasing wildfires and increasing asthma rates in our children, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color.
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we have a moral obligation to act. our moral duty is to protect a birthright. future washingtonians deserve to a healthy washington. [applause] >> every generation has the duty to pass on healthy air and water to the next. and when we do, we will know that although we are a small part of the world, we are 7 million washingtonians strong who stand for preserving the grandeur of our state.
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if we don't stand up for the health of the state, who will? the people who are less than 1 percent of the world are leading the world in aerospace, leading the world in software and now can lead the world in clean energy, because that's who we are. [applause] >> what we lack in numbers, we more than make up for in our innovative spirit. and we are not acting alone. by next year, countries and states that are responsible for half the world's carbon pollution will have instituted limits on those emissions. and when we act together with other states and nations, we can do something even bigger. by locking arms with oregon, california and british columbia
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through the pacific coast collaborative, we become a region of 53 million people comprising the world's fifth-largest economy. won't it be great when the west coast leads, while washington dc is stymied by gridlock? [applause] >> i am pleased there is a growing consensus that it is time to act. we must meet the carbon pollution limits enacted by this body in 2008. i have proposed a comprehensive solution that caps carbon emissions, creates incentives for clean technology and transportation, invests in energy efficiency and makes our own government operations more efficient. for all we do here together in the next few months, for all our
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fiscal woes, for all our short-term demands, we know that the most enduring legacy we can leave is a healthy, clean, beautiful evergreen state. i will not, and in the deepest part of my heart i hope you will not allow this threat to stand. we also know the challenge of carbon pollution brings great economic opportunities for our state. i've seen companies in washington moving full steam ahead to seize these opportunities and create jobs: at itek in bellingham, which is not only one of our state's largest solar panel manufacturers, but produces the most powerful solar panels in the industry. at unienergy in mukilteo, where its groundbreaking vanadium flow battery is leading the way in the field of storage technologies for renewable energy. and at macdonald-miller, which is not only reducing the carbon footprint of commercial buildings, but last year added 300 jobs to our state.
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we are leaders in this state. when we act, others follow. let's shape that action together. let's test our ideas. let's fashion a washington carbon pollution action plan suited to the genius and leadership capabilities of our great state. we can do this. [applause] it's already been done successfully in many other places, including 10 states and 35 countries. i can't tell you today what our joint efforts will produce, but i can say that after six years of no progress on this front, washingtonians deserve action on carbon pollution. in developing my budget, i took the same approach to looking to tested solutions in developing
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revenue proposals this year. here's the sad truth: washington has the nation's most unfair tax system. the nation's most unfair tax system. our lowest-paid workers pay nearly 17 percent of their income in taxes while the top 1 percent pay less than 3 percent. a new teacher pays three times more in taxes as a percentage than our wealthiest citizens. we know there are many forces driving inequality, but we can make policy choices that move us toward an economy that works for all washingtonians. we can work toward a fairer tax system, and we should.
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[applause] that's why i am proposing to eliminate five tax loopholes that no longer measure up when compared with educating our kids. that's why we're asking the wealthiest washingtonians to do a little more. i am proposing a new capital gains tax on the sale of stocks, bonds and other assets. it is estimated that less than 1 percent of the state's taxpayers would be affected. this exempts any capital gains on retirement accounts, homes, farms and forestry. as i mentioned, this is new to
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us, but certainly not a new concept nationally. forty-one states have this system already. and here's something else we can do to bring a modicum of fairness to our tax system - a system that relies so heavily on sales tax revenue and affects our working families so disproportionally. i am proposing we fund the working families tax rebate, which was passed by the legislature in 2008 but never funded. this could help more than 500,000 working families in washington, mostly in rural and economically struggling counties. i've always believed that if you work full time, you should be able to provide for your family's most basic needs. that's why i will continue to work with legislators to help working families through polices
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such as a minimum wage increase and paid sick leave. [applause] so we begin this 64th legislative session at a crossroads. the time of recession and hollowing out is behind us. it is now time for reinvestment. i have a deep and abiding belief in our ability to lead the world and to build on our first 125 years. that is why we should choose the upward path that leads to more opportunity, greater prosperity and a better quality of life for everyone. let's walk this path together. we can make this choice with the full confidence that there are no better people to invest in than washingtonians, there is no better place to invest in than washington and there is no better time to invest than 2015. so let's get to work.
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[applause] >> go hawks! >> wyoming governor matt mead delivered his state of the state
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talking about the federal regulations on the coal industry and state budget priorities. from the state capital in wyoming this is an hour. >> thank you. thank you very much. have a seat. thank you. very nice of you. [applause] >> good morning. thank you for the warm welcome. i don't know if it could get any better than that. thank you very much. mr. president, mr. speakers members of the 63rd wyoming legislator secretary murray, auditor cloud, treasure gordon superintendent federal circumstancet judge chief justish burke, all members of the judici r, all military and
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veterans fellow citizens good morning. thank you for being here and thank you for those who are participating via the internet or other media. we welcome all of you. we are pleased the technology has many benefits including the freedom to be whenever you want to be in wyoming or anywhere else to take part intimate proceedings. i want to say good morning to my family. fro for those of you who have been here four years you have seen growth in the kids. i mention at the inauguration that this one place on the governor's residence wall we have marked the height of our children over the years and it is remarkable. we think they have grown not only in height but other ways and in many ways they have grown up with this body and it causes us all to reflect on the main
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reason we are here. for our kids and grandkids. i cannot imagine being here out with the love and support of carol, mary and pete. i thank you for helping me get here and helping me do this job. [applause] >> i think it was my first state of the state before i gave it pete wrote me a note and you have to decipher his hand writing. but he said good luck dad you will do great and signed it not pete but best son ever. i am lucky to have the confidence of my family and the a confident family. these are exciting time with a new year, new legislature and new faces in the legislature in
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the leadership and state-wide office and i look forward to working with all of you. as i told this body in the past we are so lucky in wyoming to have a citizen legislature. everyone of you here have made sacrifice to be here. you leave your homes, family your work and before we start this session, i just want to say to the president and the speaker and to all of you, how much i appreciate and how much it means to the entire state to have your service and i thank you for that. i am excited about the state and where we are. as i have done in the past i have asked citizens of wyoming to be here today so that i can recognize them because we recognize that as a state the individuals do so much and are committed to the state. i want to start with max maxfield.
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he served two terms of auditor and secretary of state as well. max searched wyoming with energy, optimism intelligence honestly and civility. we are sad to say farewell but wish you all the best. you have both served wyoming and making it a better place for us all. you were friend dear friends, and i ask all of you to join me in recognizing max and gayla in their service. max, will you please stand. [applause]
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>> we are lucky to have with us as we have in year's past members and representatives of the tribes in the area and i got do meet with them before coming up here today and they were graciousious in letting me know they have time on their hand and offered to write my speech for me. that message wasn't passed on through staff or i would have taken them up on that. there is no issue we have challenging issues to do with but no matter what we remain friends and neighbors with a common interest: being interested in this beautiful place we call home. if the tribal members would stand, we always enjoy the opportunity to welcome you here.
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thank you for being here. [applause] >> one of the great privileges i have had in my role of governor is to work with the men and women of our guard. i wish i could express what my eyes have seen of the work the men and women of the guard do. it is absolutely amazing. when i see them off as they are being deployed overseas. know this these men and women, often early in the morning, a hugging their spouse good guy and the grand parents are hugging them good bye and sometimes you will see a young mother or dad kissing a young
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infant good bye. it is a remarkable thing because each one stand, raise their hand and agree with everything it takes, including their life to serve and defend this country. we have about 2800 members in the guard. the men and women of the guard are ready for duty at home and when it calls them to distant lands. they fight fires and much more including the war on terror. wyoming soldiers have been in the thick of it serving overseas and missing family as we miss them. service and sacrifice whether for a single tour or over the course of a long career are no small thing to give. they are huge. and we are deeply grateful. wyoming's attorney general is here and i would say general, we appreciated what our guard and all of our military members and
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vets have given for wyoming and america. general, we want you to stand so we may recognize you and the guard. [applause] >> today this morning, i think it is appropriate we remember john shiffer. he served as a wyoming senator from 1993 until his death last june. in his long public service career he served in numerous leadership positions including senate president. he was an advocate for the natural resource and frust and
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was a supporter of mental health programs. he brought intellect and a farmer's view on the state. he made a positive difference for each of us and all of wyoming. i ask you now to join me for a moment of silence in john's memory. [silence] >> i am thinking to all of those in the cold and dark who battled the blaze on december 30th. we thank you. the fire was tragedy and we are thankful there were no deaths or injuries. the town will rebuild i have no
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doubt. to the people of the town know you are in our thoughts and prayers. i have broken my speech into two big parts. i want to first talk about the last four years and then talk about where we should go from here. last four years we did what we said we were going to do and we have gotten results and it is the way government should operate. we built upon the success of prior governors and legislatures and have made great stride for wyoming. when i took office the unemployment was 6.5 percent and the state budget doubled and the state was coming off government expansion. high-speed broadband was limited and only two schools have ethernet at their schools. to set a new course there was no
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time to waste. nine days in my office in the first state of the state, i a announced my vision saying we would focus on the economy,band education and actions that were adverse to the state. we would top to support our big thee industries of energy, tourism and agriculture. and seek to diversify our economic base. this was a tall order but this is wyoming and we don't shy away from big tasks. so we took it all on and four years later we see the difference. starting with the economy. we made a push for jobs. economic growth diversification and supporting are big three. here are some of the highlights. we have been able to welcome new enterprises. encar, microsoft, mag pool and
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oil to rail facilities. we have been developing and beginning to implement our state energy strategy and in the last session you provided funding to continue with initiatives in the energy strategy. i have and some of you have done to trade missions in places like hong kong canada south korea and taiwan to promote tourism. helping provide relief for droughts and flooding. we have provided strategic incentives in recruiting hard for data centers. microsoft opened a bio-gas powered data center recently and the company is investing $274 million in data expansion bringing investments in wyoming to nearly half a billion dollars. in december wyoming was recognized as a leader in the country for data center recruiting. this is the third year in a row wyoming has received that
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recognition. we have built our tourism and established markets and established new ones as well. we love telling people about what wyoming has to offer and we love to show it to them. we added a new sporting event with the cowboy tough adventure race to annual summer activities and for those of you who have not seen it it has to be the toughesterase -- toughest race -- in the world. our focus on the economy paid off. we see success and national recognition of our success. we received a number of accolades and we received the highest standards in the last four years.
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we have been ranked having the best return for taxpayer in 2014. we have the lowest local tax burden. we have the lowest foreclosure rate in the nation. we have been ranked as the second-most probusiness state in the country. we are third best in economic performance and in 2014 more wyoming people were employed than ever before in the history of our state. these rankings are important, not for boisting rights but to show the progress we made in four years. the economy was a priority and we have made great strides. broadband was a priority and we have made great strides. broadband brings opportunities for schools, businesses and development of a tech center. i mentioned only two school districts have ethernet speeds and now all 48 districts have
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such speed. we have increased high-speed connections to schools by 1900 percent. we have helped move broadband forward in 2012 '13 and '14 and will continue to do so. we asked for funding for the unified network and this network i am pleased to say today is fully built. this network brings higher standards of broadband to our state. more fiber optic connections and gigabit speeds. the state is a facilitate providing the upgrades for schools and government and they will be able to the private sector also. we all you prepared the ground that the private sector is now delivering the goods.
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efforts like this make it more competitive for businesses and people who want to run business from a home base in wyoming. it gives wyoming the type of access that is associated with large cities. suck access makes wyoming a leader in broadband and a player in tech. we have not been called these things in the past. but we are now. ron, we recognize what business leaders like you are doing to make wyoming a leader in broadbrand and a player in tech. ron, stand so we can recognize your efforts. [applause] >> so i talked about the economy
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and about broadband and another priority four years ago was infrastructure. we know for our communities to thrive and quality of live economic growth and commerce that infustructure is essential. we have been paying attention to the infrastructure. we provided funding for the madison water project and recognized future funding needed for completion. we passed a ten cent per gallon gas tax increase that produces $47 million for the state for road maintenance. we funded a new college of engineering with $95 million and $50 million match. we provided funding for the state hospital life resource center and veterans home. we set aside $37.5 million to start and $20 million more for the fiscal year 2015. we provided funding for land fills and supported the business
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council land and growth loans. we have and continue to invest and should continue to save. the fact is we have seen record-savings and we can be proud of that. but we have opportunities, again not down the road but this session, to infest in more infrastructure. we do this because we know that in wyoming, the wyoming we enjoy today, was built by those with vision and courage. our forebearers didn't view the role of government as a bank. as we judge their work we are also judged on what we build for future generations. what opportunities have we provided for our children and grand children? have we made wyoming a better place? another priority four years ago and still is assisting local government. work gets done and lives are
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lived in our cities towns and counties. we know how great it is to live here and we want our communities to keep doing better and residents to attract businesses and visitors. we provide additional funding to local government each of the last four years and during my time in office more than once i have suggested a longer term solution for funding local government. that included looking at a portion of the statutory one percent diversion. added funding always matters but when it comes a year at a time in differing amounts, or perhaps not at all, this tends to hamper local planning and development efforts. there is no question we have done well by the local governments the past four years. but we need to decide on longer term funding for local government that they can count on. and now is the time to work toward a solution. one of the other areas we have
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stressed the last four years is consolidating government. we have addressed backlogs and delay and got all state employees on the same e-mail system and merged two agencies and developed a meaningful employee evaluation system consolidated it system and reduced the budget and reduced ongoing spending by $60 million a years. we have a rule program for state agencies and reduced rules with some reducing by almost 50 percent. and we have amended state law to provide an updated database given everyone access to rules. we have fewer employees now than we did four years ago. state government has become more effective, and efficient and we are doing more with less.
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in turn, such an investment should yield the best education possible for our kids. we started work on education accountability in 2011 and it continues. i note this session a bill to consider the state assessment session. we provided funding for uw science programs and facilities and more is in my budget this year. i ask for your support on that proposal. we join complete college america, cca which is another tool to help wyoming students get the education, including importantly career-technical education, they need to succeed. we have s.t.e.m. summits in
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wyoming and last april i attended a rollout for school district one. s.t.e.m. education is important at every level and i look forward to more events like this. all of this work on education is lost without great teachers. k-12
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our community colleges and uw to get things right. for the future of our state we have to get education right. another priority four years ago and now is at federal actions that adversely affect our state. and wyoming has been aggressive in opposeing federal actions that hurt our state. sometimes we prevail and sometimes we don't. but we know we cannot look the
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other way because the impacts are too great. we must continue together to stand against federal overreach. one of my first acts in office was to ask the wyoming attorney general to join the constitutional challenge to the aca. this is an important lawsuit and wyoming had to be part of it. many of us including myself didn't like the result that wyoming didn't need to be involved. we have been active to support grazing rights. we know how valuable agriculture is here, not just to our state, but the country. it is one thing to not be able to fuel yourself but another thing not to be able to feed yourself. we have to continue to have strong support for agriculture. in december, we filled a case in wyoming district court to allow a better management of wild horses and fight the regional haze plan for addressing
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visibility. the tenth circuit uphold the plan regarding sulfur dioxide and we filled a plan for nitrous oxide. epa rulemaking under the obama administration has been troubling at best. wyoming is proposing the powerplant rules and many other epa actions and will continue to do so. wyoming's fight against federal regulatory overreach will not stop. along with the attorney general, and the support of this body we must all continue to fight for wyoming. looking back at the past four years i will mention other matters. we have reduced the dd waiting
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list, and undertaken jobs including those with disability. we will continue with the employment first concept. dfs appointed a state-wide homeless cordinator and create a ten year plan to address homelessness. and renewed our focus on suicide prevention. regarding worker's safety i support and appreciate the safety alliances formed by the oil, gas, transportation refine finery and construction industry. we added new osha positions and created a $500,000 fine to match grants for safety equipment and training. created a program to reduce workers compensation premiums for those who attend
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consolitations. in 2013 we had a better year with improved statistics and fewer fatalities and hospitalizations. this was encouraging. we haven't got the numbers on 2014 but we have reason to believe that 2013 is going to be a better year than 2014. we need to continue how we do better as a state to emphasis workplace and job place safety. i know as you do employers care and we care to get workers home at the end of the day. we have been headed in the right direction. but there is more progress to be made. we have to keep out it. finally, we passed laws for veterans.
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we created the wyoming welcome home veterans day. we hold ceremonies in communities around the state now to say especially for korean or vietnam vets who didn't get the proper homecoming. as i go to each event at the end of march it is remarkable think you have done on the welcome home day. because as you see the vets greet them and say a few words, it is astounding because you have vietnam vets who meet you with a hug or a hand shake and often times with tears in their eyes saying all they ever wanted was someone saying welcome home and thank you for your service. [applause]
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>> certainly that is the least we owe the vets. this concept has been tremendous. and today we have a vet with us who knows what it is like to not get when you return home. he served as an army infantry man in the korean war. he was wounded in action and earned a purple heart. it came to light the medal was never awarded. last november, 63 years after the fact the situation was put right. art received his purple heart. it is never too late to put things right. veterans a veterans evisc vish --
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initiatives and special license plate and recognition convey our gratitude. we thank you art and all of the vets for serving and making sack vurifice sacrifices for the country. art, please stand so we can recognize you. [applause] >> compared to unemployment at 6.5 percent in january of 2011
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it is at 4.5 percent in november of 2014. significantly lower than the united states unemployment rate. compared to blooming cost of operations our state budget is flat. we have improved state government enhanced infrastructure and given support to local government. grown and diversified the economy and tackled other tough issues. so today i am pleased to report to all of you with full confidence the state of the state is strong and getting stronger. [applause] >> this is because of the work you have done. for example, creating a great climate for business. this is because of wyoming's natural advantages including abundment mineral and energy resources. above all this is because of
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wyoming's people. our our our greatest strength. we will move ahead by building on the solid foundation laid not by standing still. we have been sewing the seeds and harvesting the crops. if we continue to plant and stir it well we have leave green pashtures and a better legacy -- pastures. -- we have the natural resources, and the civic leadership to make a difference for generations to come. we look at the next four years, i look at the next four years, with great optimism. in my second term i will continue to focus on the areas i talked about today that have been important from day one, remain important and there is more we can do on each. to add to these initiatives i would add coal initiatives
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increasing international trade forced health, medicare expansion for implementing our water strategy. regarding coal coal is critical to wyoming. and we just ensure its future. beyond that coal is critical to this country's future. and in my lifetime i have never seen an onslaught against a single industry or commodity like the obama's instruction anti-coal agenda. ...
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and other resources if they are targeted by oppressive federal regulations. and part of that is advancing the energy strategy. last session you funded continued work on initiatives identified in energy strategy. our tasks is to go further to advance the strategy issued two years ago by continuing the work on the initiatives and identifying new initiatives. i mentioned international attachment here's an interesting
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statistic from 2010 to 2013, international trade grew from 983 million to 1.35 billion. a growth of 36%. we want to see that growth continue. and you have added $350,000 in the budget to develop international trade funding i fully support. we are my office and you all, can use this funding productively to continue the progress we have made. our forests have been a challenge with beetle kill and for forrests -- we want our forests to be as healthy as possible and so many have been devastated by beetle kill. it put together a task force to look at the condition of the forests and make recommendations. support the recommendations and am including funding in my budget proposal.
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last session the legislature asked the department of health to find the best deal possible for wyoming under the aca. we have seen over the last four years, much more flexibility from hhs and cms. our department of health was able to craft what we believe is the best plan for wyoming. some in the legislature are looking at alternative plan and i appreciate their work. regarding the aca you and i may not like it, but it is upon us. we challenged it but it is upon us. two years ago, not last year, two years ago as i said in my state of the state let us try within the law that is upon us to find the best deal, the best fit for wyoming. under the aca. i feel the same say the same today.
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and here's some facts regarding the aca. fact is, small and large hospitals are anchors in our wyoming communities. fact is, businesses make clear too me they cannot recruit new people to an area without reasonable health care. beyond that they can't keep people in an area without reasonable health care. and if small hospitals close, our rural towns will suffer tremendousless and opportunity for the fewer -- tremendous loss and opportunity for the future. this fact is we have working men and women of wyoming who cannot afford health care. this is true now as it was when both i and the legislature supported healthy front frontiers in an attachment to address the issue. the wyoming hospital associate reports 200 minimum in uncompensated care, the number in terms of actual costs they believe is around $100 million. fact is economic analysis shows that medicaid expansion would
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create 800 jobs in wyoming. fact is, many of us don't like the aca, including me, but here's another fact. our federal tax dollars pay for the aca. wyoming federal tax dollars help pay for the aca. do we choose to have that support that wyoming money returned to colorado? to california? or to wyoming? i say wyoming. my plan or yours? or something better. we have fought the fight against the aca. we have done our best to find the fit for wyoming. we're out of time-outs and we need to address medicaid expansion this session. water strategy. wyoming is subject to seven water compacts and two supreme court decrees. water we're not committed to privating others under the compacts and decrees belongs to us. it is wyoming's water and wyoming water is key to our
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future. all of us need water. municipalities industries, ag and individuals. it is our most important natural resource. water more than anything is tied to everything we do in this state. it's tied to everything we have done, and it's going to be tied to everything we do in the future. yet wyoming has not had a water strategy. developing a water strategy was one of the initiatives identified in the energy strategy. over the last year or so with wide public input, we have put together a very good strategy. it's going to be issued tomorrow and available online and in hard copy. the strategy includes a ten and ten proposal. ten small reservoir projects in ten years. and nine other initiatives including a proposal for font nell. the time to appropriate the water is now and as the state, we cannot afford to delay. the supplemental budget gets us
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started on that. i request a transfer of 18.6 million for the water development account 2. i hope you'll approve this request. and i hope you'll consider supporting the water strategy in future budgets as you have supported the energy strategy. a budget in general, this is a general session, so i have before you a modest $156 million budget proposal. it is differ supplement -- conservative supplement to the budget. i believe it positions wyoming well for the years ahead strengthens uw and our community college system, makes investments in strategic areas. the fact is, the state has these funds. there are well over $100 million in reversions. money unused by agencies, which together with other dollars fully suspends my proposal. with you're recognition of the versions all funding is
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available. my proposal keeps government operating costs relatively flat. state agency worked hard to keep budgets trim. only 17 million, less than a half of a percent of the standard general budget is increased by the budget and its for operating and ongoing expenditures. i do make some funding requests that do not add to the future budgets. they're one-time proposals. these include $25 million for local government. 6.4 million for the municipal solid waste cease and transfer program. 21.2 million for passing lanes on highway 59 between dougless and gillette and between kasper and shoshone. funding for the sports traininger in, fund fog oil and gas research. entrepreneurship initiative. science initiative. literacy program and athletic competitive in all at uw and subject to private matching funds. here's the deal. we have one four-year land-grant
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university and those areas that are important to wyoming, such as ag science, engineering we do not need to accept playing second fiddle to anyone. private citizens are recognizing this. private citizens of wyoming have been giving many millions of dollars out of their own pockets to uw and as with engineering the science initiative has the ability to be transformational. making uw leader making wyoming a leader. we want important academic programs at uw to be topped here. and the same is true with athletics. i care about us competing. i care about us winning. it's not only brings pride to our state, for example, uw basketball is in the top 25 as you may know. and this helps recruit students and increases alumni dollars and builds the university. the funding i'm asking for uw
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will serve notice loud and clear that brown and gold is not fading. it will be brighter. we will be leaders in business, education, science athletics and many other areas. now, some of my funding requests may reoccur but they would have to be asked for and approved again. for example, a new initiative i'm introducing today is called, wyoming grown. hoarse the situation. for decade wyoming has challenges keeping our kids in wyoming after they graduate. research shows that of all 18-year-olds working wyoming on any given year, only an estimated 40% are still working in wyoming ten years later. we're losing 60% of our greatest talent. wyoming grown will seek to recruit wyoming computer programmers, doctors, welders, engineers and others, who have left the state but can continue
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to build their careers and raise their families here. work force services will use its network of employment specialists to connect job seekers with job opportunities. as part of the initiative the tourism office is developing a can be page to highlight the quality of our communes. the i've asked for $10,000 but it is critical for continuing to strengthen our work force, businesses recruiting people to wyoming know that if a wyoming kid will come back, it's a great fit because they are coming home. let's open the door to get our kids home. another initiative in my budget proposal is for job training and placement. we see what the private sector can do to help people become self-reliant. we have with us today ray den anyone a uw business degree and a dock rat in psychology from
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unc inch 1986 she saw that single mothers needed help reaching independence. she founded climb wyoming, a nonprofit organization which provides single mothers the resources needed to succeed on their own. the program benefits mothers, children communities and the state. it started in cheyenne and branched tout other communities. e.r.a. -- rae remains executive director. more than 1600 mothers with nearly 2600 children have been served by climb wyoming. my request for job training and placement is $1 million and is subject to private matching funds. it's intended to allow innovative programs like climb wyoming to reach more people. rae has been remarkable all that you have done, please stand so we can recognize your efforts. [applause]
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>> while the supplemental budget gets us start thread other items in my budget that keep building wyoming. these items are a list of forward-looking initiatives, and here we have to recognize some hard facts. with oil dropping, the revenue estimates will be going down. and it should be a concern for all of us. but the fact is it's not something new to wyoming. we have experienced this in the past. some of you have experienced this in the past on the legislature. but we're in a better position now than we have been in the past. we have positioned ourselves, and with less government, more efficient government we will work through this. we will be able to continue to build wyoming. fact is, in wyoming, we have
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never spent revenue we don't have in hand. we're not a like d.c., and we never will be. we recognize the drop in oil prices. for each five dollar drop the state loses $35 million in revenue a year. but we know safely we have 220 million to 240 million for the next fiscal year. investment earnings as of december 10, 2014, which will be realized on june 30th 2015. this does not come out of savings. it fully funds my supplemental budget as i've said and it leaves money left over for the list. i'll single out a few. as i said in my budget message we need to fund the gillette madison and the capitol renovation projects. i don't view either of those projects as optional. in addition we need to look at industrial parks like the
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heartland project in canada which would allow companies to cluster benefit from each other develop technologies and produce innovative products from our natural resources. they're vattal to our economy especially to energy manufacturing, and tech businesses. they'll benefit from the synergy such parks provide. these parks need infrastructure to get off the ground. the startup costs for reserve account would be small. the small down payment for big future gains. this year, marks the ten anniversary of the wildlife trust. fully funding the wildlife trust would be a one-time expense or, rather, a transfer to a different savings account. once fully funded the trust will carry it's some not be in any future budget. full funding would show that in wyoming would dee not just talk about balancing conservation and development. we actually do it. with is today is the bowsen family, been ranching in wyoming
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for over a century. the ranch has several thousand acres of private land and also uses federal grazing allotments. brad was the first to sign a conservation agreement for sage grouse and the first to ask about a similar agreement called the cca canada conservation agreement, used for federal lands. we congratulate him for these firsts. brad and his family represent the commitment of private landowners to take voluntary actions. brad, we thank you for your commitment to conservation, and please stand. [applause] [applause] >> like the conservation efforts of private land owns, the wildlife trust is a powerful force. it benefits ag tourism, energy,
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wildlife, and recreation. it preserves our rich heritage. we can secure the trust in perpetuity by fully funding the corpus. in addition to addressing items on the list we must also address our state's fiscal policy. wyoming has billions of dollars in various savings accounts. the rainy day fund alone during my anytime office, which is a liquid account, has almost doubled. it has $2 billion in it. and the permit of mineral trust fund has grown by 55% in my time in office. last year $1 billion flowed into liquid permanent savings accounts. the craig estimates as we now know do not tell the whole story. and the craig does not provide a fiscal policy. there are questions to be asked and there's questions to be answered. for example, how much should we have in savings? what is the purpose of the rainy
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day account? can we count earned investment income for planning purposes? in answering these questions, we need to recognize the stock markets can go up and down. but infrastructure has inherent value. we need a sensible fiscal policy going forward. so we can continue to say, and also continue to invest in the future. we need transparency, we need predictability we need clarity. only then in good times and in lean can we provide the best future for wyoming. these discussions have already begun with leadership. they've got some great ideas. we must continue this conversation with the entire legislature. as we go about our work we continue in every way to be inspired by people around us, and i want to recognize a few of them today.
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wyoming's 11,000 family farms and ranches give our state its special look and its special feel. open spaces beautiful views, historic buildings, growing crops, grazing livestock, we have these things and more, thanks to wyoming ag. the working hands on our ag lands make these operations tick and keep rodeo our state sport. russell, pinky walter started in rodeow as a bull rider and served as a pickup man for bearback riders. today he manages a ranch north of fort layer -- laramie and still steer ropes help has spend his entire life on horseback. he started thinking about a wyoming cowboy hall of fame. he and others cared its through. the hall of fame board and pinkey as vice-chairman established high standards to qualify for induction a person has to be more than 45 years old
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and have spent the majority of their life working on horseback on wyoming ranches. the first induction ceremony was last fall. pinkey, we recognize you. alloyage cowboys and cowgirls and the initial inducteeses in the wyoming cowboy hall of fame. you helped keep wyoming forever west. thank you, pinkey. [applause] >> pinkey, i used to rodeo in high school and there's no chance i'll ever be in that cowboy hall of fame. we think always about the importance of education in our state and what it means for kids
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and our future. walt notey represents our education system beyond k-12. he has been president of kasper college for ten years with leaders like walt our community college system is getting stronger and strong. uw and the seven great community colleges -- they are great -- are on the same page. they want to provide the best post high school education possible in our state, including what i believe is so important career and technical education. they're focused on student success. it's a team effort, not competition among entities. walt will retire in june and he leaves behind some impressive achievements, the largest enrollment in college history dozen new programs and five new building. walt, we all thank you for your work. you'll be missed. please stand so we can recognize you today. [applause]
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>> our predecessors made decisions to put wyoming in an enviable possession and it's our job to preserve and improve upon it. we're leaders in energy the environment, and many other areas. we're happy to take on these responsibilities that go with leadership, now and the future. since i took office the constant in all my messages besides wyoming strength, has been putting wyoming first. believing in our people local government, our small businesses to invest in our state and its future. my faith in wyoming is as strong as ever.
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we are small in number but our citizens have kept the attributes that have made our state great, independence entrepreneurial spirit optimism humor, and grit. we have these. our folks have these. their kid, grandkids, we must keep them in mind when we invest in the future of wyoming. we have them in mind with all the decisions we make. so as we go forward, with courage, with respect, with civility with motivation, not for ourselves but for wyoming, we make the future bright. may god grant us the wisdom may god bless our state. our country, and all who live in our wonderful land, may god bless you. thank you very much. [applause]
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[applause] [applause] [applause] [applause]
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after his first year in office, virginia governor terry mcauliffe delivered the annual state of the commonwealth on wednesday calling for expansion of medicaid and limit of handgun
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purchases of one per month. from the state capitol in richmond, this is an hour. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you, everybody. lieutenant governor northam speak are howell chairman stosch, men and women of the general assembly distinguished guests, people of virginia, thank you for inviting me here tonight, and i want to especially thank the first lady of virginia my wife, dorothy mcauliffe who is actually here with us tonight. [applause] i especially want to thank dorothy for their compassion her energy her commitment, to making sure that not one single child in virginia sits in a classroom too hungry to learn. thank you dorothy. [applause]
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[applause] >> and finally, i want to thank my cabinet and the thousands of virginia employees they represent, for the hard work and dedication to making this commonwealth a world class place to live work and raise a family. thank you, cabinet, for all the great work you do. [applause] >> folks just one year ago i stood at this very desk and shared my vision for a stronger more independent virginia economy. in that speech i expressed optimism that we in this chamber could find common ground and
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advance the causes that virginians care most about. job creation economic development, education and health care. one year later i am proud to say that the optimism was well-founded. i want to first thank chairman jones, stosch and colgan for working with me in a bipartisan fashion to balance our budget responsibly. thank you, gentlemen. [applause] we also worked with a bipartisan coalition to reform the standards of learning. we took the first step in reforming work force development. and we began tackling the challenges we face in our mental health system. and mr. speaker, i want to thank you for working with me and my team to make our transportation planning process more about
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economic good than my political maneuvering. thankthank you, mr. speaker. [applause] >> we built on our commonwealth's world-class business environment, helping more businesses expand here in virginia and bringing new companies here to create jobs and to grow and create new ones for every part of the commonwealth of virginia. those efforts, i am proud to say, are paying off. in the year that we have been working together, i am proud to announce that virginia has closed 267 economic development deals, resulting in $5.58 billion in capital investment which is more than twice any administration has done in their first year in office in virginia history. [applause]
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[applause] [applause] as you know, creating new jobs and building a stronger and more diverse virginia economy has been the primary focus of my time in office. ...
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[applause] now i'm appreciative but i have got one more quest. now let's bring your corporate headquarters to virginia as well. [applause] i was proud to help close the first economic development deal in the appomattox and more than 12 years in the largest deal
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that they have done and over 44 years. we brought a chinese company back then it took over a shuttered plant. we have reopened that plants with millions of dollars in new investment and guess what? we are now manufacturing in that plant pollution control devices that will be manufactured now in virginia, shipped to our port and those manufactured products are now going to be sold back to china, folks. that is a new virginia economy. [applause] last year i stood in this chamber and announce my goal to make virginia the east coast capital for agriculture and forest or exports. that wasn't empty rhetoric. we got right to work.
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i have posted over 20 ambassadors to the governor's mansion to discuss new trade opportunities for virginia. we have traveled the globe selling virginia agriculture products. everything from apples to blind to soybeans to peanuts. i have even eaten my fair share of fried cicadas and chicken pause. folks i will e anything if it back brings an investment to the commonwealth of virginia. [applause] [applause] and i am so pleased to announce that our efforts are paying off for the first time in the history of the commonwealth of virginia. agriculture and forest or exports for the first time ever last year exceeded over $3 billion in exports.
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[applause] we outcompeted to other cities across the nation to bring stone brewery to virginia and we beat out mexico for the continental automotive major expansion in newport news and i was just there the other day and announced another 100 million-dollar investment from canon in newport news. as you may all know by now i love my job. attracting new business investments in virginia is an essential part of being governor and we are having unprecedented success but if we are going to continue our momentum we must invest in smart incentive funds like the governor's opportunity fund and agriculture in forester industries development fund. these tools make virginia competitive in a global economy
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and they provide a real return on investment both in terms of economic activity and revenue to our budget. for every dollar that we invest in virginia economic development partnership we receive $9 back in budget revenue in return. folks, this is simply too good of a deal for taxpayers in this session i look forward to working with you in a bipartisan way to preserve and expand these important investments for virginia. [applause] given that virtually all of the current governor's opportunity fund balance is obligated to future projects it is my hope that we can work together to preserve these investments and continue to reap the benefits that they bring to virginia's
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families. i am also proposing legislation that strengthens management and oversight to the virginia tobacco indemnification and so we can maximize return on investment and preserve this important driver of economic development in the tobacco region for many many years to come. [applause] as we work to attract new business today we also have a responsibility, an opportunity to lay a real foundation for economic growth well into the future. when i talk about building a new virginia economy that is exactly what i mean establishing the economic infrastructure it will take to outcompete 49 other states and 200 nations around the globe even in the face of damaging defense cuts and
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economic headwinds. when i presented my budget proposal to you last month i spoke of the impact our sluggish economy has had on our state revenues. virtually all of that drag has been created by a federal policy decisions the most damaging of which as we know is sequestration. automatic federal budget cuts reduce military contracts in virginia by $9.8 billion between 2011, 12 and 13 and according to a george mason university study they threaten to eliminate 154,000 jobs in the commonwealth which is about 4% of our workforce. and if congress does not act by october 1, we could be looking at around another $50 billion in additional cuts nationwide.
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that would have a disproportionate effect on our economy particularly in northern virginia and hampton roads. even in the face of these cuts our close relationship with the department of defense and the federal government will continue and i intend to continue fighting for every single dollar we can get. i was proud to work with senators warner and cain and their congressional delegation to help fight off an effort to decommission the uss george washington aircraft carrier and that happened we would have lost thousands and thousands of jobs in the commonwealth. i was similarly thrilled to help convince the united states state department and general services administration to choose their own ford taken as the home of the foreign affairs trading center which will bring as many as 500 new jobs and millions and millions of dollars in investment with it.
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federal spending will continue to be an asset to our economy that there is no question that the foolish sequestration policy born out of a dysfunctional congress is doing real harm and damage to our economy and to many virginians quality of life. what remains to be seen is how we respond to this new reality that the days when virginia could rely on federal spending to buoy our economy in both good times and bad are over. if we are going to preserve virginia's position as a global economic leader we must open up new avenues for growth that are not dependent on federal government spending. we must grow, we must strengthen and we must diversify. to sum it up we must build a new virginia economy. folks, this is our time.
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[applause] if you look at the policy actions that my administration has taken in the proposals that i have set before the general assembly this year you will find that every one of them comes back to creating new economic opportunity for all virginians. i know many of you agree that the first step we must take to achieve that goal is to develop a world-class workforce and innovative programs so that our employers can get the employees they need for a 21st century economy. we know that virginia is home to the best workers on the planet. we owe them a workforce development system that prepares them for economic success from infancy all the way through adulthood.
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[applause] most of you in this room have heard me say this many times. we have employers across virginia today that have thousands of high-tech jobs available but they cannot find trained workers to fill them. if we are going to keep these companies in virginia and bring in new ones we must build a world-class workforce system that better align their training programs with the needs of our employers. this session i am proposing introducing a bipartisan workforce development package that increase state funding for workforce programs, devotes greater state attention to apprenticeships and training in much-needed areas and increases accountability and transparency for the millions of taxpayer
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dollars spent on a broken system that we have today. by streamlining our efforts at reducing redundancies we can get students the skills they need to succeed while being better stewards of taxpayer dollars. there is no question building a healthy virginia economy requires giving every virginia veteran the opportunity to live a meaningful and productive life here in virginia. [applause] [applause] i am proud of the work that my administration is doing encouraging companies to hire veterans particularly through the virginia valleys veterans
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program. in just over two years in the program 234 member companies have hired nearly 7000 veterans and let me say this one of them is here with us tonight. as travis johnson ended his distinguished 12 year career in service as a marine sniper he found himself struggling to translate the unique skills that he developed in the military into a successful civilian career. fortunately systems technology forum av three certified company met travis and recognized his enormous contribution that he could make to their company despite the lack of formal professional training. travis is now working hard at stf and gaining further training so he can advance in his career
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and after hiring 41 veterans in their first year with the v3 program stf has committed to me today that they are going to hire 20 more veterans this year. [applause] so travis thank you. [applause] [applause] travis thank you for your service to our commonwealth. thank you for your service to our nation. i would add that my son is
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graduating from the naval academy this year and he just chose the marines so i'm hoping you can give him some good advice. [applause] folks this session i am proposing to further enhance the v3 program by offering a performance grant which will recognize employers to meet goals for hiring, compensating and retaining veterans. initially we should ease the transition from military to civilian life by passing legislation required. the virginia community college system to award greater credit for the skills and training veterans received during their time in military service. [applause] these men and women have served and sacrificed for us so let's work together to give them the
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skills training and economic opportunity that they deserve. as we improve our workforce development system we cannot forget that our economic future runs through public school classrooms across this great commonwealth. that is why my budget contains no program cuts to k-12 education. [applause] [applause] and no additional cuts to higher education. [applause]
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public education is the backbone of a healthy economy so let us pledge tonight to avoid acrimony on this topic and agree that we will not cut a single dollar from schools during this legislative session. [applause] if we are going to lead in a global economy we cannot wait until her students reach kindergarten to begin preparing them for success. last year as you know i formed the first-ever children's cabinet as well as the commonwealth council on childhood success and i asked them let's take a 363 -- 360-degree approach to increasing economic opportunity
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for virginia students from before birth all the way through adulthood and we are already making great progress. i was proud to work with united states secretary of education arne duncan to help secure a $17.5 million grant just last month to expand our preschool program so that another 1600 at risk 4-year-olds can now learn in a pre-k classroom in their community. [applause] [applause] we will put every federal dollar we can get to work preparing our students to succeed. it's equally important that we make pragmatic use of the money we already have so i have introduced budget language that
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will allow communities that have exceeded their pre-k budgets to receive leftover funds not used in other divisions so that they can offer more children a great start that their education that they deserve. [applause] i am also proposing legislation to keep our children safe by increasing the number of daycare facilities across virginia that are licensed and properly inspected by the state and local governments. [applause] just as some students need a little extra and courage meant sometimes entire school sometimes need additional support. i included funding in my budget to help train principals in areas with underperforming schools so they can steer their teachers and students towards greater academic success.
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as a key element of increasing student achievement we need to make sure that every child in the commonwealth of virginia has access to quality nutrition. [applause] early last year dorothy and i met the united states secretary of agriculture tom vilsack to inform the two of us that virginia was leaving millions and millions of our federal dollars off the table that could be going to feed hungry children in school. the first lady has put this issue front and center and we are are reducing spectacular results. i'm proud to say that already 89 virginia public schools of art he enrolled a brand-new school nutrition initiative which enables qualified schools to
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serve every student breakfast and lunch at no cost to the students. [applause] dorothy has worked with virginia's participation in summer school magician programs. this is a great start folks but we still have much work to do. my budget plan includes funding to help schools expand their breakfast programs so that every virginia student can start his or her day ready to learn. once again dorothy thank you for your leadership on this important issue. [applause] i have also included an additional 2.5 million in financial aid to help more young
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people realize the dream of a college education. that dream is a key step forward forward, economic and -- success for people across the commonwealth. we should extend it to every single student who works for it including virginians whose parents brought them to this country when they were children so i hope you will add this session and let the virginia be the way impassive virginia dream traymack then i will sign it into law. [applause] [applause] my budget proposal makes key investments in virginia's research and technology
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infrastructure. i have included 4.2 million so that we can compete for the new ion electron collider at the jefferson lab at newport news. 618 million-dollar facility would create more than 4900 jobs within a decade and add 708 million to the commonwealth economy. it will also make virginia a world leader in high energy physics and folks let me be clear our sole competition for the ion collider is the state of new york and we simply cannot let those new yorkers come down to virginia and take our projects from us. [applause] [applause]
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i knew i would get you going here folks. it just took me a little time there. pretty good. [laughter] and in full disclosure i came up with that one myself. [applause] since the start of my administration improving virginia's state cybersecurity infrastructure as you know has been a top priority. this is one of the few areas where the federal government will be making major investments in the coming years and we have an opportunity here in virginia to lead. soon after taking office i launched the virginia cybersecurity commission chaired by richard clarke as you know who has advised three presidents on national security and counterterrorism issues.
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their continued work and diligence coupled with a vast array of cyberassets that we have in the commonwealth puts us at a very strong position to win the new proposed federal cybercampus. i'm also working very hard to make virginia a leader in bioscience. we just convened virginia's first bioscience summit with all of our state universities. i invite you to come together and then invited a world-renowned expert from m.i.t. with over 1100 patents to help us better leverage our great academics and private sector in this emerging industry. folks if we work together starting today we can succeed where others have failed before. we can untangle the web of our workforce development system so that it works for with students, businesses and for our economy. we can connect qualified workers
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like our veterans with the skills and training they need for the jobs of today and help us create those jobs of tomorrow and we can make sure that every step of the child's development puts us on the pathway to economic success in a new virginia economy and create opportunity for those who have made mistakes that have paid their debt to society. [applause] virginians like james ray vietnam veteran who returned from the gulf of tonkin in the vietnam war as he told me a different man. he came back a changed man from when he went. james made mistakes in his life but do you know what? he did his time and he reformed his life.
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james deserved a second chance to be a productive member of our society and i was honored personally the other day to restore his rights and to be part of what he called the greatest day of his life. i have made restoration of voting rights of former offenders a central focus of my administration and i'm proud to stand here today in just one year we have restored the rights of over 5200 former offenders and that is more than any governor has done in their first year of the history of the commonwealth of virginia. [applause] as we work to build a new virginia economy in which every person can get the skills
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training and opportunities that they need we must also ensure that no virginian goes without access to quality, affordable health care. [applause] people who can see a doctor when they are sick without incurring devastating costs and realize their full economic potential of people without coverage are one illness or one accident away from economic ruin. if we are going to build a new virginia economy we must get those hard-working men and women that care and health care that they deserve and the truth is we have already paid for it. with one votes this session. we can get health care for 400,000 of our fellow virginians virginians, create up to 30,000 new jobs and save our current budget $105 million.
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with one vote we can ensure hospitals across the commonwealth can stay open and eliminate a key barrier to economic success for so many thousands of our friends and neighbors. and with one vote we can show the world as we always have that virginia is a place where public good comes ahead of partisan politics. so let us come together. let's come together at the table and take that important vote this legislative session. [applause] [applause] [applause]
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as we continue this important discussion i will continue to implement my health care plan a healthy virginia. just today just in the last few hours we learned that more than 298,000 virginians have already signed up for the new health insurance under the federal marketplace during just the first month of open enrollment. [applause] many of the people who have signed up so far are newcomers to the marketplace. many many others are just renewing their plans that they purchased last year. i've met one of them last month in berlin elk. cara joy started her own business a hair salon. four and a half years ago and
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then she told me it was a real struggle. it was a real struggle for her to afford health care. she had a plan but it was limited and it was expensive. last year she got help signing up for a better plan through the federal marketplace that is more affordable and offers prescription drug coverage which are previous plan did not offer. cara is just one reminder that a healthy economy means healthy citizens and i'm glad that cara was able to join us here tonight and congratulations and good luck in your business, cara. [applause] last month we took another step forward in implementing a healthy virginia when we

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