tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN2 January 16, 2015 10:00pm-12:01am EST
four and a half years ago and 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 won a
$2.6 million federal grant to pursue health care delivery innovations that would result in better care at lower costs for virginians. just this past week the governor's access plan begin processing applications ensuring that up to 20,000 virginians with serious mental illness could get medical and behavioral care that they need to lead healthy and productive lives that they deserve. mr. speaker the men and women of this general assembly a healthy virginia is no substitute for medicaid expansion but it is creating real opportunities for thousands of virginians who desperately need it. i will be honest i cannot think of a better investment than that. [applause]
as we strengthen our human capital by improving workforce training and access to health care we must also enhance the infrastructure upon which our economy is built. transportation energy generation and transmission, ports, airports. these are the building blocks of our system and a new virginia economy they would be the envy of the world. but thanks to the leadership of many of you who are here today in this room we have made great progress funding transportation maintenance and construction. but there is more that we must do in order to build the infrastructure that we need to drive our economy into the future. increasing virginians access to rail and other forms of public transportation is a key element of easing congestion and expanding economic opportunity. yesterday chairman chris jones
and i announced a compromise legislation plan that would provide local governments with more access to transportation funds and pump much-needed dollars into rail and transit projects so that we can expand our transportation infrastructure without raising taxes. [applause] thank you senator. [applause] another challenge we must enact together is reforming our public-private partnership program. p3's are a vital tool for virginia's transportation network. but as we have learned after we wasted $300 million we are still counting a road and not a
single shovel had been put into the ground nor had a permit even been requested to build that road. so our p3 program is open to mismanagement and abuse and i stopped all funding en route 460 and i will stop every project that wastes our virginia taxpayer dollars. [applause] this year we are offering a set of commonsense bipartisan reforms that will improve the program's transparency minimize taxpayer risk and ensure greater accountability. the port of virginia is one of our greatest economic assets. it is our gateway to a world of international commerce. this year the port has seen
record-breaking growth in the number of shipping containers that move through that facility and thanks to the leadership of the new board and a new executive director we are making great progress. when i stood here a year ago i was disappointed because the airport was losing millions of dollars and i had to discover that the port for years have not even been meeting their debt covenants. those days are over so we are looking at everything that we can possibly do to make sure we are protecting our core economic assets of this great commonwealth in order for us to grow. the energy sector in virginia holds tremendous potential for economic growth and development but the potential will be unfulfilled if we are complacent complacent. this session will advocate for legislation to increase the diversity of our fuel mix their increased utilization zero
carbon emitting sources such as solar, wind and nuclear. these growing techniques and technologies will not only help virginians create new job they will also reduce our emissions as we mitigate the impacts of global warning. we work to increase renewable development to public-private partnerships by creating the virginia solar development authority and we will introduce legislation to create an energy economic development fund to provide virginia with yet another tool to attract new large job creating businesses and help are assisting businesses grow. workforce development education health care and economic infrastructure are essential ingredients to a strong economy and so is giving businesses the confidence of this commonwealth is home to transparent and accountable government. i want to applaud both chambers of the general assembly for
returning to a seriousness of purpose they're performing our ethics laws demand. and my first day in office i honored a campaign pledge to put a 100-dollar cap on gifts for myself my family my administration and their families. i am confident that by the time we adjourned we will have made a 100-dollar cap on all gifts the standard for all virginia public officials. [applause] with that gift cap we should also establish a bipartisan ethics review commission with real investigative powers to offer guidance on the love and to identify and sanction those who may violate. i also hope you will pass my proposal to prohibit
fund-raising activities both in regular and special sessions. right now the only thing that makes special session special is that we can still raise money. this session we can work to erase that inconsistency from our ethics laws. additionally this session is our opportunity to adopt the commonsense position that people who sit on boards of commission should be prohibited from voting on matters that benefit their family members themselves or their business partners. [applause] if we pass these commonsense measures we can restore virginia's trust and reestablish a reputation for a well-run government that puts results first. we should also act the session to reassure families that we serve that we are doing everything we possibly can to
keep them safe. we can no longer stand by as our fellow virginians are lost to preventable and senseless acts of gun violence. as a gun owner myself i fully believe that law-abiding citizens have a right to responsibly own and carry firearms. but as we have learned far too many times from far too many tragedies here and across the country there is a difference between responsible gun owners and those who violate the law or are likely to use firearms in a manner that endangers lives. i have proposed several commonsense restrictions for virginians to keep them safe without infringing on the right of responsible law-abiding citizens. if we work together this session these proposals will keep guns out of dangerous hands by
closing the gun show loophole. [applause] by preventing violent criminals and domestic abusers from obtaining the firearms. [applause] and revoking concealed carry permits from those who do not meet their legal obligation to pay child support. [applause] and curtailing gun trafficking by restoring the one handgun a month while we had here in virginia. [applause] even one virginians precious life is too high a price to pay
for our inability to reach a reasonable compromise on gun safety. before i move on i want to recognize someone special. his name is colin goddard. he is here with us tonight. colin goddard is a survivor of the 2000 shooting at virginia tech in which 32 students were killed with faculty members. colin goddard was shot four times. that young man still has three bullets in his body and i want to thank them for coming here tonight and standing by our side every step of the way to make virginia a safe place for our families. [applause]
and as we work to rid our communities from gun violence we must do right by the people who are on the front on the frontlines every single day keeping our families safe. you have all heard me talk about this before. i find it appalling that sheriff deputies who risk their lives to protect virginians often earn so little that they qualified for the supplemental nutrition assistance program. as a candidate for governor i've pledged to raise deputies pay and i'm proud not to stand here as governor to honor that commitment to raise the pay so that the average starting pay salary for our virginia's sheriff's deputies is no longer so low that these brave young
men and women qualify for food stamps. i want to thank sheriff arthur townsend and deputy sheriff alex madison from linda for county for joining us here tonight and for helping me of this legislation and more importantly for representing every man and woman who puts on a law enforcement uniform and keeps virginia's safe. thank you. [applause] [applause] in a new virginia every person will have an equal right to succeed regardless of his or her race gender or religion or sexual orientation and i'm proud
to report that this has been a great year for equality for many virginians. the supreme court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage in virginia and many other states means that decisions about marriage are now left two loving adults instead of their government. [applause] i was honored to take executive action springing virginia government in line with the decision including allowing same-sex couples to provide a loving adoptive home for a child who needs it. this session we have an opportunity to update the remainder of the code of virginia to reflect this historic decision and in doing so we can send a message to the more than 90% of fortune 500
companies that protect their employees from discrimination that virginia is a place where equality and prosperity come before outdated culture battles. [applause] ours is a commonwealth that gave birth to a nation founded on the values of people and individual rights. we make virginia stronger when we work together to expand these rights not restrict them. during the campaign i promise to be a brick wall against any legislation that would erode women's access to quality health care. [applause] and i'm proud to stand here one year later and say that not one
single woman's health clinic has closed and the commonwealth since i took the oath of office. [applause] [applause] i have asked the board of health to revisit owners regulations that were threatening to shut down clinics that provide essential services like cancer screening and regular check-ups and i told them take the politics out of regulatory process and focus on safety and science and the reality of a woman's constitutional right to make her own health care decisions with her own doctor. [applause]
[applause] in a new virginia economy everyone will receive equal pay for equal work regardless of their gender. today a woman in virginia makes just 79 cents for every dollar mm makes. folks this is unacceptable and it's hurting our communities and that's hurting our economy so this session i'm introducing legislation that will increase the penalties for companies that fail to pay every worker equally for the hard work that they do and as we rid our commonwealth that pay disparities that hurt our economy we will also send a message that virginia is a leader in keeping our residents
safe from the threat of sexual and domestic violence. earlier this year i created a task force to combat sexual violence on our college campuses campuses. chaired by your attorney general to develop broad-based approach to deal with this very important issue. they are already doing great work and will deliver recommendations to me by jim but there are several commonsense steps that we can all take together now to make our communities safer. i am proposing that the state council higher education for virginia develop a unified sexual misconduct policy for all of virginia's public colleges and universities by july 31 of this year and i'm also proposing that virginia public colleges and universities place a notation on academic transcripts and cases where a student is dismissed from that institution for violation of the school's
sexual misconduct policy student code of conduct or the university's honor code. i know these are difficult and challenging issues but i know if we work together we can make our schools and our communities safer. i would be remiss if i did not mention our hard-working state employees to wake up every single day determined to make virginia a better state in which to live. they deserve our thanks for their hard work and dedication under often sometimes challenging challenging circumstances. but in addition to our gratitude let's be clear. our state employees deserve a raise. [applause] [applause]
as you know last year i included a 2% pay raise in my budget proposal which i paid for for the savings in closing the coverage gap. i was disappointed to see that removed from the final budget. while the revenue picture prevented me from including a raise in the budget i submitted last december i know that many of you in this chamber would like to see our final compromise include a raise for state employees. let me be clear i am open to that idea. if you come to me with a plan to raise state employee pay i will give it the consideration that it is due as long as it does not cut education and health care or other essential services. [applause] as we begin our second legislative session together i
am proud to look back at all that we have achieved over the last 12 months. new jobs a tremendous investment in our economy, responsibly balanced-budget smart reforms to our school testing and transportation prioritization process, stronger mental health system, greater equality of opportunity all across the commonwealth. we have made great progress together but serious challenges remain. i have every confidence that we can meet them but only if we work together and only if we start today. the vision that i have shared with you tonight does not originate from a place of confrontation or partisanship. it's about job creation. originates from a place that i know all of you share that we want to put virginia on the path toward sustained long-term growth so that dorothy and my five children in all of your
children every child in the commonwealth can have the same opportunities to succeed that we have had. and so as the committee meetings and hearings begin and the bills start to fly i want to thank each and every member of the general assembly for your leadership, your service to virginia and the genuine kindness and respect that you have extended to my family and me over this past year. if that bipartisan spirit continues to guide our work together i know that we will emerge 45 days from now at the budget that closes or where revenue shortfall and invest in key priorities for growth. i know we will have revitalized the commonwealth's approach to human capital development so that every child has an equal shot at economic success and i know we will continue to work on improving and expanding our
economic infrastructure so that we can create those jobs of the 21st century. i know we will have taken action to make virginia safer, more equal, more welcoming to people from all walks of life and with every step that we take together i know that we will move boldly to thwart that new virginia economy that are families deserve. my friends, this is a moment for history and i am honored to share it with you. may god bless you and may god bless the commonwealth of virginia. thank you. [applause] [applause] [applause]
this week oklahoma governor mary fallin was sworn in for a second term. she discusses economic gains in her first term and names education prisons and health care as priorities for her current term as governor. from oklahoma city, this is a half hour. ♪ [applause] >> it is now my honor to ask justice steve w. taylor to come to the podium to administer the oath of office to the honorable mary fallin governor accompanied by her husband mr. wade christiansen. >> governor are you ready to take the oath? raise your right hand and repeat after me. i mary fallin do solemnly swear
that i will support, obey and defend the constitution of the united states and the constitution of the state of oklahoma. and that i will not knowingly receive directly or indirectly any money or other valuable thing for the performance or nonperformance of any acts or duty contained -- pertaining to my office other than the compensation allowed by law. i further swear that i will faithfully discharge my duties as governor of oklahoma to the best of my ability so help me god. congratulations governor.
[applause] [applause] please welcome the honorable frank keating former governor of oklahoma. [applause] today we enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate the electoral continuation of our free society society. we also enjoyed enjoy the opportunity to celebrate the election the re-election of our 27th governor mary fallin.
and we also are here in front of this building to celebrate the art and the history and the culture of oklahoma. this place 40 years ago when i was a young member of the state house in state senate really reminded me of the bilge of a battleship. there really wasn't anything here in over the years we have celebrated our culture and history by filling this place with the art and the sculpture of oklahoma and oklahoma state it's really an enormously significant repository of what is best in the history of our society. today we are going to unveil the bust of mary fallin. the bust was designed and executed by paul moore one of oklahoma's most distinguished ever sculpture is.
paul is currently at the university of oklahoma. his works are at the smithsonian institution among other incredible places remembering american history and culture. he is a member of the muscogee creek nation and as a tremendous friend and artist for all of us as look -- oklahomans and what an honor for mary and oklahoma to have paul moore execute the bust of mary fallin. [applause]
>> and now is my great privilege to introduce the honorable mary fallin the 27th governor of the great state of oklahoma. [applause] [applause] >> thank you so much. elected officials members of the court, tribal leaders in distinguished guests and the great citizens of the state of oklahoma it is with a deep sense of honor and humility that i stand today to accept the
we had only $2.3 left in our savings account. many had gone through a tough time. when i came into office i promise to get our economy back on track and their people back on there feet. feet. i was lucky to have a newly elected legislature conservative legislature equally committed to that task, and to those legislators that are here today, thank you very much for your service and your sacrifice for serving in public office. we appreciate you.
i would also like to thank our other elected officials that have joined us here today. today. thank you for your service. together we have worked hard to help move oklahoma forward and i believe the story of the last four years will be that of an economy lifted out of its deepest recession in our state and nation and one that our state and nation has never faced before. an unemployment rate though it was over 7 percent to just 4.4 percent today. 103,000 new jobs created in the 4th fastest growing economy in the nation. [applause] oklahomans earning more with the per capita income rising by 15 percent, the 2nd highest in the nation. the highest rate of job
creation in the manufacturing sector in the country in 2013 helping to create a record high number of oklahoma exports of goods and the rainy days savings account replenishment almost nothing to $530 million. quite an incompetent. let's be proud of what we have accomplished accomplished, let's be proud of oklahomans construction boom a knew 50 story high-rise downtown and other oklahoma city high-rise buildings it to be built. our capitol city was just named one of the top 2012 destinations in the world by national geographic traveler magazine along with other exotic locations.
its also be proud of the strong and sustainable growth in downtown tulsa and the ongoing transformation of the city by projects at the gathering place. in fact the new york times just listed. as one of one of the top 50 states -- one of the stop -- one of the top 50 cities in the world to be able to visit was to drive between rome and shanghai. let's celebrate the great quality of life and beauty of our towns that make up rural oklahoma phyllis be
proud to be home to a narrow cultural section that is speeding the country, and energy sector that is powering the nations cars and heating our homes and businesses and medical facilities doing tremendous groundbreaking research in cancer and diabetes and an arrow space industry that is developing technology that we need to protect not only our nation but to further commerce and trade. and let's be proud of the beauty of our great outdoors, lakes and land and parks. wonderful great outdoors that we all enjoy. above all, was the problem of a very special thing about oklahoma are special people in our state. every time we are challenged, neighbors helping neighbors. in may 2013 the world was inspired by the bravery, the compassion, the hard work of the people that worked toward to hard to help families that in some cases have lost everything the
nation of the world saw our strength and spirit and we became known as oklahoma strong. i have seen that sure determination of the people of oklahoma and i know they can rise to meet any challenge. today we must recommit ourselves in our state to meeting the challenges in front of us, protect our liberties, freedoms, freedoms, and acting as a successful laboratory of democracy for innovation, bold ideas. we worked hard to create a friendlier business climate, to become a better state ought to invest build, and to raise a family and create jobs. we know that the best way to let people out of poverty is to provide them with a good a good education and the good job. so we must continue to pursue our program performs that have hopes to jumpstart our economy and continued to reform our outdated and efficient government systems
to deliver quality services to our customers, the taxpayers continue to improve programs the projector citizens and offer care to the most vulnerable for a continued to teach her children the value of hard work and personal responsibility. those are those are the values that lead to success and a great future our state we have worked hard on all these fronts to set a knew course for oklahoma, to build a stronger economy and a better state government, but now it is important to ask and to look inward _ the question, what holds us back as is a state? how can we do better? and what other challenges that we face that are remaining not just over the next four years but the next 40 years that we must address to ensure our fellow
oklahomans and their children can achieve their dreams. we know that we do this work and there we will be setbacks but setbacks offer opportunities for comebacks. there are three areas we must resolve to make a priority, areas we we must improve or risk stifling our economic growth and forward momentum and i want to tell you, 1st you, 1st of all, educational tenement. second, over incarceration and 3rd, health. we asked how we can assure the long-term prosperity in oklahoma the most important answer is educational attainment. oklahomans must rise and must do better to have a higher rate of high school graduation and award more career technology in higher education degrees.
individuals need to have marketable work skills to flourish in today's economy. businesses need skills and educated individuals to succeed and to expand, increasing educational attainment is about creating more and better jobs in oklahoma and about providing a way out of poverty. absolutely the new minimum for success in the workforce and if we can increase educational attainment as a state the state we we will benefit from everything from higher earning salaries to less crime to less teen pregnancy and less reliance on government aid and save taxpayers money. and speaking of educational attainment, i want to congratulate and offer my sincere thank you to my friends in higher education for successfully implementing our oklahoma complete college america program. over the last two years we've increased the number of college degrees and career technology to forgets by over 6502 years.
give them a round of applause. and and over the last five years we have increased ten -- stem by 27% helping to improve the quality of our work force and providing more oklahomans with the skills they need for high-paying high-tech jobs. we have created the teachers and educators who are absolutely dedicated to students in their profession command i believe in those educators, just like i believe in my sister-in-law sitting over here. i believe they can rise to the challenge and help students meet and achieve academic goals. educators are educators are important and deserve our thanks. [applause]
our children will spend at least 12 years with them and their teachers as they go through school, so we need to work with them to improve student learning and deliver better outcomes. we have worked hard to deliver more accountability and transparency and public education while focusing on early childhood literacy. as our economy has grown stronger and been able to recover over the last couple of recent years we have been able to put in $150 million back into funding of k-12 education. commitment to public education is strong. strong. $0.51 of every dollar goes toward education but more needs to be done. we need to improve and improve quickly. this is an all hands on deck challenge requiring an all hands on deck solution. together has parents
teachers, lawmakers, and the business community way to work and get it done. second another issue that holds our state back in his crime and incarceration. community and personal safety will always be a top priority in oklahoma. anyone who is a threat to those around them is to be locked up. nothing will change about the. here is the sad truth many truth, many of our inmates are nonviolent offenders with drug and alcohol problems and don't need to spend time in a state penitentiary where they can join gangs and join criminal networks. they need treatment supervision, and to be returned to their families and back to the communities with help. some of these individuals are already benefiting from successful public-private partnerships and it is
transforming their lives and getting them back on their feet and making a difference in our state. that is a smart on crime initiative and approach and a conservative approach to address crime and incarceration. we need to offer help and treatment and counseling to give them the help they need to divert the foregoing into our correctional facilities. in this next session i am committed to working with legislators to redouble our efforts to pursue smart on crime initiatives and offer commonsense passed to help people with mental health and substance abuse problems to help get their lives back on track.
we must all work together to improve the health of our state and citizens. they may not all agree on the way to get their help provide more choices for individuals with businesses shopping for insurance plans but these are all important goals that we need to address. one of the things that we can all agree upon is the importance of encouraging personal responsibility and improving oneself. you're better your better job of educating why health matters and what is important and why people should get healthier. destroyer quality-of-life costing taxpayers and businesses a tremendous amount of money. time that we face these hard truth and take
responsibility for these outcomes is a state and also as individuals. we are too good of the people to continue to be the worst state and the nation when it comes to health outcomes when a cost of prescription drug abuse, when abuse, when it comes to one in ten oklahomans with diabetes, state that is ranked 7th work in the nation for obesity and six works in smoking. i know we can improve. improve. all of us need to find ways to participate. oklahomans have worked hard to develop and oklahoma health improvement plan with great coalitions and great partners. i want to give you one example. i have been proud of the star to work with our nba superstar kevin durant and
the governors get fit challenge. we watch that program earlier designed to help get children up and moving and help helps them focus on exercise and proper protection. the state has also increased resources for mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention programs that i i believe we will also help improve the outcomes of our health and our state. once again we need to do more. in the coming months we we will continue to work with our health providers and employers and lawmakers that we will make a real and immediate difference in the lives of oklahomans and chart a better course for the health of our state. one of the bay indicators of overall health because it is so closely linked to smoking and obesity in nutrition is the prevalence of heart disease. let's set an aggressive goal
for the state of oklahoma that we reduce our disease by 25 percent. if we are successful command i believe we we will be that alone we will save 2400 lives. i'm optimistic for the next four years but years but our goal should be to lay a starter foundation to grow our state and improve our quality of life for decades to come and collectively we should all commit ourselves to working together to make oklahoma the best place for people to be able to live, work, and raise a family. we can build strong families and safe communities a place where we can pursue our dreams get a good
education, and find a good paying job. we can make that happen by learning from past successes and also confronting the challenges that are in front of us. there will always be ups and downs in our economy we have successfully pushed through those times and pushed through the last recession by pursuing fiscally responsible policies focusing on rightsizing state government today is no different. tomorrow offers us a knew day with bold ideas and possibilities to dream big dreams. there are many things that we must do to keep our state moving forward but increasing educational attainment, reducing incarceration and crime and improving our health outcomes are those that will directly impact our quality of life at the state of oklahoma. every parent wants their children to have opportunities and even more
opportunities than they did. i know i certainly do. but if that is going to happen we must address these challenges. i have great confidence in oklahomans and also in our lawmakers, and i am excited to work together to a sure and a new generation of prosperity and forward momentum to make oklahoma once again the best place to live and to work and to raise a family for generations to come. thank you so much. thank you for joining us here at this very important ceremony. they aren't to be able to serve the state of oklahoma, and may god continue to bless our great state. thank you. [applause]
>> mme. lt. gov. mdm. pres., mr. speaker, leaders, justices, judges, elected officials, distinguished, judges, elected officials, distinguished guests friends, family, fellow islands, good morning. it is my art to stand before you today and this great chamber in front of this joint session of the iowa legislature to deliver the message the condition of iowa is strong. welcome. i also want to welcome returning legislators to return to the capital after receiving a a vote of confidence from your constituents. i am eager to continue working with you to serve our state as we returned for another legislative session we return without a military veteran and dedicated public servant who we will be duly messed in this great chamber
i know now more than ever that the work we do here together matters in the lives of hard-working iowa families and our main street business, to farmers and farm land, to public safety and our state parks tyler children counting on us to give them a world-class education are now benefiting from the phase-in of the most extensive teacher system in the nation. nation. it matters to the veterans completing their tour of duty instead of worrying about where they will find the career they're comforted to no that iowa has thousands of careers available for them right here now because of homebase iowa. it matters to the hard-working machine is on the line.
rather than thinking that industry had given up on them they are eager to the opportunity to sharpen their craft and demonstrate their skills. it matters that we work together. these successes should serve as guideposts for familiar journeys of coming together to help islands create more jobs, live better lives i and grow prosperity throughout our state. our work together has iowa on the rise. [applause] in the past four years 180 -- in the five in the past four years 168,700 jobs of been created /by nearly 30%
and never 99 billion in private capitol investment being implemented throughout the state. we invested historically historically and our children's future. transformational education reform, and we did a working together. together during the 2014 legislative session working across partisan lines to pass historic homebase iowa package that attract veterans leaving the military service to come to iowa to fill high-quality careers available here. our actions are working. today over 600 veterans have been matched with jobs in iowa through homebase iowa initiatives. eight cities and counties are standing ready to embrace veterans and their
families as they transition to civilian life and date of our college and universities have earned the distinction of homebase iowa chance for the designation and for the commitment they have made to welcoming service members to the campus. already all work together has resulted in 24,000 jobs being posted on the homebase iowa jobs bank. our work is bringing new business to the state as well. this month i met with one of the owners of capitol armament company a former united states marine will who informed me that the company is relocating from minnesota to iowa in part because of homebase iowa and the friendly business climate that we offer. [applause]
simply put, working together we have ensured that veterans leaving the service of boundless opportunities to live, work, and prosper and iowa demonstrating that no veteran should have to worry about finding a job after sacrificing so much for our state and our nation. our work the skilled iowa initiative in the national career readiness certificate among other initiatives helped hard-working iowans moved forward. unlike past years years when tuition was raised by over 17 percent we work together to pass a tuition freeze for iowa students in our region's institutions. [applause]
our work has put us on a bright and sustainable path. our budget is balanced. our economic emergency accounts are fully funded and our unemployment rate is the 10th lowest in the nation, and we have done it together. [applause] with our continued progress we must continue to be mindful of the prudent budgeting that brought us the opportunity to reinvest our children and to return taxpayers hard-earned money through careful management we can continue to grow. we must continue following the lead of our fellow islands like the nearly 40 farmers who came together with a combines and a dozen trucks to help harvest the
beans of the fallen friend the message that rings out today and always, together we can make our schools safer continue implementing transformational education reform while passing new measures to protect our students from bullying and harassment in schools. together we can strengthen rural infrastructure by connecting every acre in iowa to high-speed internet, better internet, better access to broadband meaning ensuring modern farming methods can flourish in all iowa fields as part of a modern infrastructure strengthening our infrastructure also means we must come together and strengthen the roads and bridges that connects iowa farmers, schools, and mainstream businesses in the world. we can make college more
affordable and accessible renew our commitment to providing affordable world-class education by offering select degrees for $10,000 $10,000 freezing tuition for iowa students. [applause] we can provide more assistance to students with financial means is continue to invest in community colleges. a better trained workforce means better opportunities for families. simply put no position to be left unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers. together we can we can make iowa the most transparent government in the land we
have these opportunities to improve the quality of life in our state because together we made it possible lieutenant governor kim reynolds my wife kris and i have the opportunity to visit sioux city. teachers, parents, school administrators. what we heard at each school was clear, students are ready to stand up and say let's end bullying in iowa. now it is our turn.
students in these districts and throughout our state have told their stories of learning being disrupted and feeling unsafe. we know some are even being physically and emotionally harmed. community leaders and parents share that it is time for the state to act and i agree. every day children are tormented by bullies who lurk not just in the corner of the schoolhouse but also on snapshot, instagram facebook, twitter, facebook, twitter, yet the act and through text messaging. common sense tells us that they deserve to go to school each and every day my classroom and community that allows them to dwell in 25 grow and flourish we cannot
however,. however, i also propose an extra layer of protection for students. this year's anti- bullying legislation allows if they believe the parental that parental notification could lead to abuse, neglect, or rejection allow a student a student to immediately participate in athletics. the year that iowa acted to protect her children and grandchildren by ending bullying in our schools. [applause]
moving iowa forward pictures family stay safe. we must do more to protect victims of domestic abuse. they can serve only a a fraction of the sentence and return to demonizing the victims. this is wrong. it is wrong for the victims, and it is the wrong policy for the safety and well-being of violence. ensuring that victims do not live in fear of their abuser returning from prison long before the sentence is completed. i propose legislation classifying anyone convicted of domestic abuse three times as a habitual offender. this would triple the mandatory minimum sentence. the legislation holding criminals counsel for their views allowing them ample time to rehabilitate and
protect our communities. while victims and communities will be protected from habitual offenders, together we can protect vulnerable islands from individuals making criminal threats. often times iowa courts order a threatening a threatening individual to stay away from potential victim should the order be violated the victim and authorities are not notified until after the fact and sometimes that is too late. together we can give authorities and the victims the power of knowing when and abuser is in close proximity. together we can enact legislation that expands the use of gps monitoring on dangerous domestic abusers protect victims of domestic violence, together we can end bullying and iowa. [applause]
the 80 mainstream businesses and and we passed measures to increase the skills of iowa workers. those measures helped attract great companies creating high-quality careers all of the state. space bar just finished its 1st iowa data center and deltona and is already working on an expansion. google is growing again and microsoft is expanding in west des moines. just opened in fort dodge and are bringing even more good jobs to the region.
in sioux city industries will be expanding production of nitrogen fertilizer for iowa farmers. the iowa for liza under construction will produce both nitrogen fertilizer and def to reduce pollution and increase mileage. made america's historic when the project are all growing right here in iowa. across our state. farming operations provide the lifeblood of our economy this continued success depends on their ability to connect, not only to the ground but to the internet
to mow with the global marketplace to sell their goods, connecting to main street across iowa. the the fabric of our state is woven together. in this day and age it must also be connected through access to broadband as well. this legislative session let's come together and passed legislation allowing rural iowa to experience continued growth and connection to the rest of iowa and the rest of the world. together let's put partisan politics aside and give rural iowa to broadband legislation that connects every acre and connects communities to the careers of the 21st century. [applause] are connects every acre plan focuses on providing more
broadband and in rural iowa and encourages service writers to build out networks not just to the ending.but to the rural communities in between davenport and des moines, mason city and sioux city and all across iowa. we are enriched by many find rural communities. that's we them together with the fiber of high-speed internet connecting every acre and covering our state with broadband internet. we can accomplish this by focusing on increasing access to reasonable regulation and encouraging growth and by fostering expansion by creating the iowa farm schools and community broadband grant program adopting these measures demonstrating an ongoing commitment to our state's continued growth. citizens with exceptional work ethic and a strong sense of community pride rural iowa has found the
opportunity 3-acre and given yet another reason to believe their best days are ahead. [applause] this means building for the future, investing in our state's infrastructure. so let's invest in broadband internet and also invest in iowa's roads and bridges. [applause] over the past three years rhetoric has trumpeted results when it comes to action on infrastructure funding for iowa.
a recently completed study demonstrates the need for us to take a hard a hard look at adequate road funding. without action funding will fall short of what is needed to remain competitive. without action this is an industry that they we will look elsewhere when considering where to invest in growth. sound infrastructure remains a prerequisite. this is our opportunity to pave the road to iowa's strong future. together we can find common ground and passed a bipartisan plan to fund the systems critical to our streets vitality. roads and bridges and broadband infrastructure.
a story is the future that we want want, it must be a bipartisan priority. [applause] i am confident we can find a solution together. we always do. the exceptional work ethic commitment and dedication are recognized across the country and around the world last october i toured omaha standard in council bluffs an international company that produces voice service grains and lift gates and more. a more. the council bluffs manufacturing facility was buzzing on the day i visited
the production floor was full with boulders and machinists. i saw the passion for trade and commitment to a superior product for years with gates and service cranes have been produced overseas. now they are are being manufactured in america, produced in council bluffs, iowa. after our tour company leaders shared with me they are eager to hire more workers if only they can find those that have the right skills. long-term high-paying careers that should not be left up. together we can establish the center for human capitol in richmond from a public-private partnership dedicated to aligning education and job training programs for workers with a stronger workforce in place we will been to for bring more manufacturing and i still jobs our state. ready to expand and fill more jobs.
3rd consecutive year is a bold step to providing affordable higher education but a path is not in there. that is why we challenge the state board of regents to develop a set a set of degrees and they can earn for $10000. i offering legislation to create the iowa student debt reorganization tax credit. this tax credit allows individuals to volunteer for worthy causes in exchange for having contributions made to the student debt. we have worked together to freeze tuition. let's continue to take the right steps to make iowa a leader in reducing student debt. they rightly expect high-quality. a government that reflects their shared values. together we work to increase transparency in government making it as open and honest as the people of our great
state. they created the iowa public information board to give the public a resource when seeking information from local and state government. i am pleased to report the iowa public information board has responded to 643 cases in the past fiscal year. the inquiries are not complaints but questions for policymakers about how they could be more transparent. the iowa iowa public information board is making every layer of the more open this year i am recommending that iowa establish a government accountability portal, one-stop shop for citizens seeking information the portal houses in the public information board will field requests and respond within one business day. as state employees we are here to serve the taxpayers.
we can do more to improve transparency. for many years the people of iowa and fun state government have been kept in the dark on personal decisions because of a loophole a loophole in iowa's open records law. legislation that would shine light on his personal files. only government employees being paid by taxpayers should not be hidden in the shadows. together in the best interest of iowa taxpayers we can shine light on these records were open honest, and transparent. as i travel the i travel the state i marvel at the endless beauty of our landscape. when i visit on monday nine counties, i never cease to be amazed at what local
communities are doing to continually improve on main street quality-of-life. from the lewis and clark state park near the banks of the missouri river to the historic millwork district near the mississippi river land between two rivers offers are citizens high quality of life and our visitors many attractions. as we continue to work to bring more business and industry to her state we are the companies are interested not only in our welcoming business climate but in the high quality of life for employees. this year i am proposing iowa next a holistic plan for quality-of-life initiatives. let's bring together state agencies that have a shared interest in quality-of-life initiatives and invest in
our parks trails, lakes, and museums. the proposals outlined today we will impact every island. they will help to create jobs, protect students and families and open a part of. many hands make light work. back in june of last year to racial rains pummeled northwest iowa. the sioux county town of raw crowley, a rock, a rock river surged over into the streets and homes of residents. a few short weeks citizens and community leaders were wondering if they would be able to recover. when i arrived i have little doubt 1700 people showed up
to help sandbag. members helped evacuate a local assisted living home, emergency manager stayed up throughout the night to ensure the safety and well-being of locals homes and the town's infrastructure. when when the cycles from around the globe arrived the city was ready. we get to work. the 86 general assembly is upon us. an opportunity. let's come together again and make our school stronger and safer from a communities connected, families that are
projected protected, workers better trained, our universities more affordable and our government the most transparent in the united states. now is the time to get to work. [applause] now is the time to get to work. we can build a better iowa, thank you, got busted coed got bless all the people of the great state of violence. thank you very much. >> tonight senate debate on
the presiding officer: without objection. mr. markey: thank you madam president. madam president, when the new ngress onshere's >> mdm. madam president, when the new congress opens there is choice as to which issues we should start to work on, infrastructure jobs, clean energy jobs minimum wage increase for all of america, no. that is not what the new majority decides to bring up instead it is a canadian
oil export pipeline. so next week i am going to offer an amendment that the senate will consider task whether we we will put americans 1st oral company's first whether we we will keep the soil and gasoline here for americans or send it to foreign nations. if my amendment is defeated it we will make clear that this is not an energy plan that is all the above. it is oil above all. if if we build the keystone pipeline, we keep that oil here keep that gasoline here, keep the diesel, the jet the jet fuel the heating oil keep it all here because if we send to the broad what are we doing? are helping where helping canadian oil companies get a higher price for a world of
acting as the middleman between 34 and dirty foreign oil and thursday foreign markets. without my amendment there is nothing in the bill for united states law that would prevent the soil from being exported. 80 percent of our refined fuel exports go out of the gulf coast, exactly where keystone wouldn't. and foreign crude oil including that from canada can be freely reexported, and reexported, and we no what transcanada's plan is because i asked him at a congressional hearing, asked a senior transcanada official whether he would commit his company to keeping the oil and refined products from keystone in the united states of america and he said no.
why the oil companies want to export this canadian persons will? because they can get a higher price and make more profit. tar sands crude and candidate trees with $13 less than the us group benchmark. could benchmark. the international prices of $3 higher than our purses. if we do all of this build this pipeline we send this world of foreign countries and have turned uncle sam into uncle sucker because make no mistake about this bill it we will not do anything to help at the pump pump up profits for oil companies. we should not export oil, even as we are forced to send young men and women to defend oil interest in the
most dangerous parts of the world. let us have that debate. as we import oil from the middle east coming into the middle east on tankers this proposal that we are debating next week will actually export oil already in the united states. we still import millions of barrels of oil every single day. what you here from the canadians, the oil industry is that this is all about energy independence. energy independence cannot by definition includes the exportation of oil while the united states of america is still importing millions of barrels of oil per day. that is setting us away from rather than toward the goal of energy independence. .. must understand about
this keystone pipeline debate. we want lower prices for consumers lower prices at the gasoline pump, lower prices for home heating oil lower prices for diesel lower prices all across america. it's like a tax break that is going into the pockets of every single plern american, giving them more spending money because they're paying much less for oil in all of its forms in the united states of america right now and it is giving an incredible incentive for economic growth right here in america. what makes america great? what makes america strong? what makes us strong is when we're strong at home. and what makes us strong at home is our economy because the stronger our economy is, the stronger the united states is in projecting power across the planet. and so that's why this debate on the exportation of oil is so central.
it goes right to the heart of what it is that we must be discussing and debating in our country. this is an incredible opportunity for our country. and let's take it to the next step. the next step includes what is the taxation on the canadian oil? well there is a loophole, believe it or not, in the american tax code that allows tar sands oil from canada like that that would flow through the keystone pipeline to not pay into the federal trust fund to respond to oil spills in the united states. understand that? canadian oil the dirtiest in the world coming through the pipeline that the canadians want to build through the united states, in the event of an oil spill, will not have paid into the oil spill liability fund for oil spill accidents in the united states. i wrote to the treasury
department in 2012 urging them to close this loophole through executive action, but their response indicated that they do not believe that they have the authority to close this loophole on their own and they need legislation to do so. yet, there is nothing in this bill that would close this tax loophole for keystone tar sands oil. tar sands oil can be more difficult to clean up than regular crude but receives a get outf canada regular crude. but receives a get out of canada had free card which makes absolutely no sense. already importing more than 1.2 million barrels a day of tar sands oil but oil companies don't have to pay into our cleanup fund to import that dirty oil. there are roughly 30 oil companies importing tar sands crude into the united states.
if you are one of those 30 companies you are getting a great deal, but if your one of the hundreds of order to cover other oil companies that do pay into the oil spill trust fund you should hate this new poll, and the american people should as well because the canadians and their oil companies are not paying their fair share of dues to be able to participate in our great american society. they want to build a pipeline like a straw and send the dirtiest oil right down that straw. if the straw breaks the canadians have not contributed to the oil spill liability fund. does that make any sense? of course it does. that is why this debate is so important. this is going to
cost the united states of america hundreds of millions of dollars because the canadians escape the responsibility of paying for the actions. so senator wyden and i are working here to make sure that we have an ability to close this loophole working with the ranking member on the community and we are going to make sure that we have this important debate out here on the senate floor i know he was out here earlier raising this issue highlighting this issue, pointing pointing out how unfair and unjust it is to the canadians that they escape the responsibility to pay and it is just another giveaway to the oil industry ensures that this is nothing more than a giveaway a giveaway to those canadian companies, and i say this on a day when it is being
reported that their are now 140,000 people in america employed in the solar industry, 140,000. another 50,000 that are employed in the wind industry. nearly 200,000 people employed in industry for the most part but did not really even exists in a meaningful way seven years ago. that ago. that is how quickly our own domestic wind and solar industries have been developed creating growth and opportunity so this is really what we should be debating. once again when the republicans are in control we do not debate all of the above. we don't we don't debate when and solar and biomass energy efficiency and oil and gas and nuclear the republicans always make it
one subject oil above all. so i am looking forward to this debate. it debate. it goes right from the heart of the security of our country,, the economy of our country the environment of our country the dirtiest oil in the world going to dangerously contribute to the warming of the planet. 2014 was the single warmest year of record of the history of the planet. 2014. this is a problem that we are passing on to next generations without the debate that this institution must have if we are going to discharge our responsibilities to those next generations. keystone pipeline is the central opportunity that we are going to have to raise this issue of global warming the national security of our country
making our economy stronger and ensuring we discharge of responsibility for the next generation. mdm.. madam president, i yield back the balance of my time. >> it is good to be here on the senate floor talking about where we are in the process to finally move toward approval of a permit to construction of the keystone xl pipeline. it has been interesting. the past couple speakers of mention that they don't understand why the 1st order of business should be this measure. there are a lot of issues. there always will be. this is what we do. i will i will remind my colleagues at one of the
reasons we're moving early to the keystone xl pipeline legislation is because in many ways this is a bit of unfinished business it was just six weeks or so ago that we have this measure before us on the floor of the united states senate before this body for debate led by our former colleague from louisiana who was absolutely passionate in her defense of why this was timely, why this was important, why this was critical that this measure be approved. we have that debate, and unfortunately the final vote shy by one who did not see passage. but it was a measure that was in front of us because it was timely and also because of the work this
body had done to help advance in the energy committee. we had had hearings and ability front of us. .. sion and we have a lot of measures that we will be taking up that are extremely important. but they are perhaps not as primed, if you will, for action on the senate floor because that legislation hasn't been drafted up. the committees have not met to to -- to really work through some of the legislation that will be before us and so yp why not move why not move to advance the keystone x.l. pipeline? a measure that will provide for good-paying jobs in this country, a measure that will -- will work to enhance that retionship with >> it is a measure that will work to enhance our relationship
with our closest friends and allies to the north canada, it is a measure that will help with an energy security perspective, when we were able to talk about oil coming in from places like venezuela and canada. that is the relationship that this another would much rather enhance. and so there are a host of different reasons and we are here on this measure in now this second part of this new congress. and i am pleased that we are at this place where we have reached unanimous consent earlier to continue consideration of amendments on this bipartisan bill. it has been interesting because i have talked to not only colleagues and reporters out in the hallway just people that
are, people that you are having a conversation went. and i think there is a fair amount of skepticism that if republicans were to regain the majority, that we would return the senate what we know as a regular order where there is a process and an amendment in the regular committee process and how we get back to where we are actually processing. but that is what we are doing. those who are observing what is going on really are beginning today and it is something that really has not been seen around here in a number of years. that is unfortunate that we have not had that prospect. it is never too late to do the right thing and never too late
to miss out on this process that is deliberative, that allows for the open exchange of ideas and consideration of that on the floor. when we talk about an open of an amendment process, i think that it needs to be cleared all that it's not just those of us that are on this side of the aisle but it is an open amendment process for the full senate so that members on both sides can offer their ideas and work to get votes. the majority leader has said several times that this process is going to be open but it will not be open ended. we are not going to be on this measure for a full year or even a full month. but we will be taking the time to do the deliberation that i
believe is important on this. and i think we are spending enough time on it, it is kind of a mixed message and it's not timely that we shouldn't be taking it up and almost complaining and it is important for members to know that we are expected to see more amendments filed and we are expecting to see them come to the floor and bring them those up and don't wait until the last minute to use the majority leader's words it is not going to be open ended. so let's get to our business and let's get it done. we do have three amendments that are currently pending before the body right now and i think each
of those three that i would like to very briefly addressed my support for the underlying bill from the perspective of alaska. and from being one who is immersed in alaska's energy process and politics. whether it's on c-span or in the media, i have been asked. and is it really in alaska's best interest? and back home we are a little worried right now we are seeing oil at lowe's that we have not seen and it certainly had impact
on our state's budget dramatically so. and it's kind of a double edged sword at times. i think that the questions are being asked to home are legitimate and so how does this fit with the alaska peace. maybe it is not somewhat unique, but it is certainly grander in scale with large scale infrastructure projects, particularly energy products of a curious magnitude. we have a world-class oilfield and the connector that the trans- alaska pipeline provides down to this area, it is a
silver ribbon that the sects the state and it is very a modern marvel. the oilfields of their are providing the resources that they have to alaska and again, you can have the resources. but if you don't have the infrastructure to move the resources it doesn't do your state much good. it doesn't help your economy and it does not help to fund education if you cannot move it. and it's a little bit nervous right now and it's something that describes what is happening in alaska and a journalist described it as economic anxiety that hangs over the date. and again, it is because we are seeing a drop in price per
barrel for oil and when we rely on oil for about 90% of the revenue to fund the budget, you notice it dramatically. and there's one way that we can deal wiatically. and there's one way that we can deal with and that is where alaska is suffering from this economic anxiety. this production was over 2 million barrels per day and has dropped sadistically over the past couple of decades. we are now talking about an oil pipeline that his last than half full. and so what does that mean to a state like alaska?
especially like states revenues when it's not pumping to the level which you would hope and so what can we do to make a difference when it comes to production as long as opec is in play, there will be those price variables that are not able to assess as much as we would like. we have nearly 40 billion estimated barrels of oil in our federal area and this is offshore in these areas, on a coastal plain within this area, we are not looking at a
situation in alaska where we are running out of oil or about to run out of oil. our problem straight up is our limited ability to be able to access it. and that includes the pushback from our own government but this could be our challenge. back to the keystone xl pipeline don't get a mixed message here. we have a pipeline for that. it is just waiting to be filled back up. and that includes consent from the federal government to access our land and access our waters
to achieve that energy potential. until i'm talking about this i'm talking about the imperatives and how it intersects with alaska. there are a couple of messages here and the first one is a pretty simple one there is plenty of demand within just the united states for all of the oil that canada can produce and all of them that can produce all at the same time. the demand is there. even with the surge that we have seen coming out and the increased amount of production that we have seen domestically in this country, we are continuing to import that oil. so again, if we can rely upon us it's better for us. the worldview that supports this is the same one that leads to
new production in my state of alaska and that is the recognition that affordable energy -- and this is kind of my mantra, if you will i have a bumper sticker that says energy goods, affordable energy is good. and understanding that low prices result when world markets are along with the desire to achieve north americans energy independence and this is something that i feel very strongly about. and so approving the keystone xl pipeline is not going to eat into the markets for alaska's oil. and i think that that is an important message for a lot of individuals who understand. in fact, it is going to help us preserve those markets that we have. because right now our situation up north -- the crude is predominately shipped to the
west coast. it makes sense, it's closer in proximity. it is there that it is refined into gasoline and other petroleum products for use in the lower 48 states. so we take it down the pipeline we put it into tidewater, it is refined on the west coast and then we enjoy the benefits of it here. but this crude as we call it it is now finding itself in competition from out of the area. so what we are seeing is the oil that is being produced out of the balkan is finding a home somewhere and it is not just sitting there. it is being moved. so where is it being moved to? it is being moved to homes that it can find, refineries that have that capacity. so it is going west.
it is going west to the west coast refineries that are used to getting that alaska crew. and so we need to keep in mind that if you don't have that pipeline how are we moving a? we are moving at predominately and then we will have that russian about the environmental impact of rail or truck versus a pipeline. it is a safety issue. it is an emissions issue. you want a cleaner way to transport and it is going to be in a pipeline. if you want a safer pipeline it's going to be in a pipeline. and so we have this discussion and again for alaskans to understand, the keystone xl pipeline is going to benefit us in terms of being able to continue to send the crude oil
to the west coast refineries. we have heard repeatedly and i think very wrongly at times of the keystone xl is a foreign product. a foreign project that is going to carry canadian oil to the gulf coast. trans canada we know where the name is derived from and we know that much of the oil can be transported and will be from alberta. but i think it is important with knowledge that we have about 100,000 barrels of crude that will come from north dakota and montana down through the midcontinent. and they will come down and they will avoid the west coast if we have a keystone xl constructed.
[inaudible] and so with this issue i think that the keystone xl is a test for us. it is a test of whether or not we as a nation can still review and can license and permit and build a large-scale energy infrastructure project. now, we are looking at. now. we are looking at just that in alaska. we need to know that i can continue to be done in this country. because if we cannot do it even here in the lower 48 states where the costs are lower and where you have existing infrastructure that you tied into which the keystone xl will we are to have this completed. if we cannot demonstrate that we
cannot even get beyond this process of permitting a leg on this pipeline over the canadian border into the united states, what confidence do we have that we will be able to do other big energy infrastructure projects? and that worries me a great deal. so when people say well you know, we are rushing this to quickly. it is premature we need to let everything play out and we need to remind ourselves that six years which is a pretty long time, most companies do not have the wherewithal to wait something out six years because the cost of constructing the pipeline hasn't gone down in this timeframe if anything they
are going up and we know that they are. and so we are working on the keystone xl pipeline right now, but it is the first step of many that i believe we need to take in order to improve our energy politics and i will continue my conversation with members to explain that in my state we have a lot to offer the country whether it is increasing the flow in our trans- alaska pipeline or getting our production of so that we are not half full, but that we can share that with people throughout the country, and that as we look to move our natural gas, the amazing quantities of natural gas that infrastructure project, a massive
infrastructure project that we can work to advance that we have so much to offer the country and we need to have the chance and the opportunity to do so. and so our pipeline of north is already built and it was completed just after i got out of high school and in fact i was privileged to be working up in the bay at that time and to see what actually happened out there in the oil field. it has operated successfully safely, and officially for decades. it has surpassed what we believed that it would be able to shift through. but it remains surrounded surrounded by billions and
billions of untapped oil that can be brought to market generating revenues, keeping prices as low as possible because we all know i'm fat and increasing our security as well. and so this is a conversation that is going to continue until the condition of alaska's statehood, those things that were promised to us back in 1959 when we became a state that we are allowed to produce resources as a state. watching what is going on with the keystone is of great interest to folks back home and we will continue to watch it and hopefully be encouraged that we do the right thing from a jobs perspective and from an energy security perspective. and so i wanted to take a little bit of time this morning. we have three amendments three
amendments and i'm full of it is to be sitting where the virginia senator spoke to his amendment and this relates to the exports from the keystone xl pipeline. my colleagues from massachusetts, and they are not from a big oil-producing state but it's fair to say that they care a lot about the cost of energy. and they have infrastructure challenges, absolutely, they have other issues as they relate to energy. i appreciate that. but it's important to understand what my colleague's amendment would do. it would specifically prohibit the export of oil brought into the united states through the keystone xl pipeline as well as
the export of the finished product made from that oil. so it is not just the raw crew that is put into the line but it's like going down to and it is refined into product, whether it is diesel or other products and prohibit the export of that. and it essentially says that all every part of this canadian resource will be brought into the united states and it will stay here. my colleague has raised a concern that the united states shouldn't be that kind of