tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 31, 2015 4:00am-6:01am EST
representing 65 jobs in richland county, from the ritedose corp., dr. umesh dalvi representing 615 jobs in aiken county, from medac, mr. bijon memar representing 500 jobs in spartanburg county, from toray carbon fibers america, mr. toshiyuki kondo thank you for making south carolina your home. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the state of our state is inspiring. over the last four years i have had the great privilege of traveling far and wide representing our state and her
people. what i've learned is that we're not the only ones who love south carolina. whether i'm in california or connecticut, montreal or minnesota, the story of south carolina's success is front and center. everywhere we go there is excitement - and frankly, not a small amount of envy - over who we are and what we've been able to accomplish. it's a beautiful thing. but last year i got to experience just how far that word is spreading. in november, as many of you know, we traveled to india on a trade mission. india, of course, is the country of my parents' birth. i hadn't been there since i was 2 years old, so the trip was a special one for me - there are few things more impactful than seeing firsthand, for the first time, your own history. but what was even more amazing to me was the connections i found between south carolina and that far-off land.
i visited a workforce training center at rayat-bahra university in mohali. hundreds of students turned out for a talk i gave, and they had so many questions about south carolina. but they didn't just know about south carolina because we have an indian-american governor. the skill development center at their university is modeled after icar in greenville. their school has signed an agreement with clemson university to expand cooperation and allow their students to share in our educational opportunities, and vice-versa. everywhere i went in india - from students to business leaders to government officials - they knew what was going on in south carolina. our state is getting noticed across the country and the world, and we're getting noticed for our triumphs, not our controversies.
i couldn't be more excited. or more proud. together we have built an environment where businesses can and will and want to grow. it is an environment that has enabled michelin, bridgestone, continental and now giti to manufacture tires in our state, with our workers. it has led international giants like ge and bmw and toray to say yes, we want to call south carolina home. it has created a better life for our people, a brighter future for our children. we've worked hard to build a world-class, world-renowned business climate. and we must fight to keep it. any truly objective review of south carolina's business landscape notes the benefit we get from the minimal role unions play in our state. in 2013 we had the third lowest percentage of union workers in america, with just 3.7 percent of south carolina workers choosing to join a union. i cannot express to you the
extent to which this is a game-changer when we are trying to bring new businesses to our state. we have a reputation - internationally - for being a state that doesn't want unions because we don't need unions. and it is a reputation that matters. now, that reputation, and even more importantly, a south carolina company, are under attack. and they are under attack by an organization that has proven it cares nothing for south carolina or our workers. boeing's story - how they came here, their magnificent progress in charleston since 2009, their commitment to their workers and to our communities - is one that certainly need not be told here. we all know it. we're all proud of it. but in light of the fact that the international association of machinists and aerospace workers, one of the largest labor unions in the world, is gearing up to try and unionize
the charleston plant, their south carolina story bears repeating. in stark contrast to boeing, which has invested billions of dollars and the future of what may be their most important project in the people of south carolina, the iam has never believed in us. first, they flatly, publicly stated that south carolina workers do not have the necessary skills to build airplanes. our workers have proven them wrong, but no matter what the iam says today or tomorrow, we should never forget what they really think about our state. and then they sued us. they tried to shut us down. so every time you hear a seattle-union boss carry on about how he has the best interests of the boeing workers in charleston at heart, remember this: if it was up to that same union boss, there would be no boeing workers in charleston.
the truth is the iam cares about one thing and one thing only - its own power. and the successes of boeing in south carolina, and more so, the successes of the non-union workers who populate its ranks, are a threat to the iam. like bullies do, the union bosses will try to cover-up those truths and crush those threats. but we have beaten back the iam before, and with the support of those of us in this room, and the good people all across south carolina, i have every confidence that the boeing workers in charleston will see this play for exactly what it is and reject this union power grab. [applause] >> while boeing and the 787 dreamliners rolling off the
charleston assembly line are an example of what real workforce training success can look like, we don't have those same stories everywhere in south carolina. i have challenged my entire cabinet to get creative about how we put people back to work. whether placing employment offices in our prisons, as we did in manning last year, so that offenders come out from behind the fence with a job, or moving families from welfare-to-work - we are about workforce programs that meet the real needs of real people. think about the single mom struggling to make ends meet that can't afford to pay for the training she needs. think about the young man who just graduated college in liberal arts and can't seem to find a job. think about the father of four whose ability to move up in his company is capped out. they all need opportunities. they all deserve a better life.
we are going to help them get there through a new initiative called succeed south carolina. we have always offered training programs through readysc to train people who want to work in places like bmw, boeing, and continental. it's been tremendously successful, but we're going to expand it. we will now begin working with other companies, companies of different sizes and in different industries, companies already in south carolina, to create programs that will lead to a job. the best part? if that single mom wants to get started, we'll pay for her training. and when she gets the job we've trained her for, which she will, she'll pay us back and pay it forward. this new initiative will not only help those citizens who want to be retrained but also assist our smaller companies, those that represent 97 percent of our employers, by helping them get the workers they need
to keep moving, and keep growing. the economic gains we have made since the end of the great recession are no secret to anyone in this room, but it is not enough for us to simply celebrate them. we must keep driving on. the tens of thousands of new jobs announced in south carolina don't mean anything if it's not our people who are filling them. the massive drop in our unemployment rate over the last five years is amazing, but we must recognize there are still thousands out of work. we can address these issues. we can make sure that, as a state, we are serving the single mom, the twenty-two year old graduate, the capped-out father - and that we are serving them well. we can make sure that any business - small, medium, or large - has a willing and well-trained stable of south carolinians ready to fill all the jobs they can create. and we can make sure that south carolina is a state not just of tremendous growth, but of real,
true opportunity, for each and every one of our citizens. [applause] >> the journey to that place of opportunity doesn't start with any of the three people just mentioned. no, like most things, it starts with their children. it starts with how we educate all our children. last year, i stood at this podium and asked a very simple question: are we willing to look south carolina's children in the eye and tell them that their future will be largely determined by the circumstances of their birth and not the endeavors of their life. and by your actions, you answered, resoundingly, “no. ”
i thank you for that. and, more importantly, years from now, the children of south carolina will thank you for it. for the changes we made are real. we invested in teachers. we invested in technology. we invested in reading. and, for the first time in our history, we acknowledged that it costs more to teach those children mired in poverty than those born into a secure economic situation. we changed the face of south carolina. but as we said last year, this was not a silver bullet. the investment we made must be ongoing, it must continue, and it must touch every school district. so in our budget we have doubled down on our investment in technology. we have expanded our commitment to reading coaches. we have devoted more to professional development, so our teachers are better equipped to teach in today's world. and we've proposed a new initiative that will help our rural schools get, and keep, the kind of highly qualified teachers their students deserve.
first, if a student graduating high school is willing to spend eight years teaching in their under-served home district after college, we will pay for up to four years of tuition at a state school. second, if a teacher who has graduated from college and is burdened by student loans commits to teach in a rural district, we will contribute to their student loan repayment. third, if a teacher has less than five years' experience and begins teaching in an eligible district, he or she will receive a pay bump, advancing his or her salary to the level of a teacher five years further down the road. finally, if a teacher wants to attend graduate school at a state college or university, we will cover the cost of that education, again in exchange for a commitment to teach in a rural or under-served district. and all of this will be done without spending a single new tax dollar.
[applause] >> these options aren't just available to new teachers. they are available to all teachers. we want that shining star teaching in lexington to decide it's time to take on a new challenge and teach in denmark. because nothing can ignite a child's desire to learn quite like a great teacher. we need those great teachers going to our rural schools, touching our most at risk students, and we need them staying there. now, we've given them an added incentive to do just that. last session you joined our call for reform, recognizing that the education of our children transcended the normal, sometimes foolish, constraints of politics and partisanship. i ask that you do the same this year, that you continue to raise the ceiling of opportunity for every child in south carolina.
the spirit of cooperation, the commitment to moving our state forward that defined our shared efforts on education sadly did not extend to the reform of our ethics laws that south carolina so desperately needs. many words have been spoken on this issue and much time wasted in these chambers with no result. i believe i have said all i need to. you all know exactly where i stand. reform our ethics laws, restore the public's faith in our government. let's do it right, and let's do it now. we have also seen our challenges [applause] challenges over the last four years, in many cases due to the long-term neglect of some of our
agencies. and so we went after that neglect. we strengthened our mental health and drug abuse services. we focused not on dollars spent but services given to our most vulnerable, like those with disabilities. and we strengthened agencies that had been heavily burdened by changing and increasing populations. in every case, we have focused on results for those in greatest need. one agency has been more challenging than most, the department of social services. there is no question there were changes that needed to be made, and to understand just what those changes should look like, we went right to the source: our caseworkers. they told us how painful, how difficult it can be to protect children from their own parents. their frustrations became my frustrations, and their passion for children fueled our efforts
to improve dss. we have since added caseworkers, changed processes, added second shifts, improved technology, forged partnerships with law enforcement, created new career paths for caseworkers, and so much more. we have changed dss for the better. it is in a far different place than it was a year ago, but there is also still work to do. we have found the person to lead that charge. susan alford was recently quoted as saying “it's always challenging but we have to do it with openness, with integrity, with humility, and with a lot of determination. ” i couldn't have said it better. i have no doubt that for the department of social services, its dedicated employees, and most importantly, the children they serve, there are brighter days ahead. there is an important economic convergence going on in south carolina today. on one side, we have a growing
economy, with more of our people working than ever before, with unemployment down to rates we haven't seen in many years, with people moving from welfare-to-work by the tens of thousands, and with new companies moving in or starting up all the time. it is indeed a great day in south carolina. [applause] >> how did we get here? there are several factors, including our business-friendly regulatory approach, our right-to-work laws, and our strong economic development and recruitment efforts. but there's also no question that our tax system plays an important part in our economy too. our economic competitiveness as a state is in really good shape, but the nature of competition is that just when you think you're
doing well, your competitors are gaining on you. in order to continue our state's remarkable progress, we must take further steps to improve our standing. we are competing for jobs internationally, nationally, and regionally. where we stand compared to our neighboring states matters. some southeastern and southwestern states - tennessee, florida, and texas - have no income tax at all. georgia's tax is a full percent lower than ours, and just last year north carolina cut theirs by two full points, to below even that. in that competitive environment, our state's 7 percent income tax rate stands out and puts us at a disadvantage. in order to keep the ball rolling in our economy, we must bring down our income tax. at the same time, it is widely
[applause] recognized that we have major infrastructure needs in our state. we have a very real problem with the way our transportation dollars are spent. our system screams out for reform and restructuring. the condition of our roads and bridges is a statewide concern and yet our dollars are being spent with zero statewide perspective. the current system, with commissioners representing congressional districts and selected by local delegations, is the ultimate exercise in parochialism. instead of fighting for the needs of south carolina at large, they fight for the needs of their districts, which means they fight each other. i don't necessarily blame them - until we make wholesale changes to the system, doing so is in their best interests.
the problem is it is not in south carolina's best interest. so i will not support more revenue for our roads and bridges until we restructure the department of transportation. simply shipping more money into the current bureaucracy would be like blasting water through a leaky hose. some of it would reach the right destination, but too much of it would end up in a mess on the ground. i won't do it. that said, deficient roads and highways are an economic issue. that's why we supported $1 billion in new road funds last year, which was the biggest infrastructure investment in a generation. it's why we proposed in our executive budget dedicating an additional $61 million in auto sales tax funds entirely to roads. but we know that's not enough. we still have very substantial infrastructure revenue needs that have to be addressed.
we have studied every option. some have advocated raising the state gas tax. yes, we do have the third-lowest gas tax in america. gas prices are now down to their lowest level since 2009. non-south carolinians who visit our state would pay a portion of the tax. and we would boost the revenue stream that is dedicated to improving our roads and highways. but there are also major problems with it. we have not gotten to where we are as a state, with our strengthening and growing economy, by raising taxes. quite the opposite. if all we do is increase taxes, whether it's the gas tax, or some other tax, we will hurt our citizens, we will discourage job creators, and we will dampen our economy. as i've said many times, i will veto any straight-up increase in the gas tax. that's just not going to happen while i'm governor.
it's the wrong thing for south carolina. so here's the deal. let's do three things at once that will be a win-win-win for south carolina. let's cut our state income tax rate from 7 percent to 5 percent over the next decade. that's a nearly 30 percent reduction in state income taxes. nationally, it will take us from 38th in income tax competitiveness to 13th. regionally, it will put our rate back below those of north carolina and georgia. it will be a massive draw for jobs and investment to come to our state. and it will put more money in the pockets of every south carolinian, letting them keep more of what they earn. it will reward work, savings, and investment - all the things we need to do to make our state stronger and our people more prosperous. next, let's change the way we spend our infrastructure dollars
and get rid of the legislatively elected transportation commission so the condition of south carolina's roads is no longer driven by short-sighted regionalism and political horse trading, and we stop wasting our tax money. finally, let's increase the gas tax by 10 cents over the next three years, and let's dedicate that money entirely toward improving our roads. that will keep our gas tax below both georgia and north carolina, and we can do it without harming our economy because when coupled with the 30 percent income tax cut, it still represents one of the largest tax cuts in south carolina history. now, i hope everyone listened carefully to what i said. this is a three-part package deal. in order to get my signature on any gas tax increase, we need to restructure the dot, and we need to cut our state income tax by 2
percent. if we do all of those things, we will have better roads and a stronger economic engine for our people. that's a win-win. [applause] >> i'd like to personally say thank you to speaker jay lucas for his leadership and his commitment to working with us on this and many other issues going forward. and i'd like to thank (house ways and means) chairman brian white, rep. gary simrill and the other dedicated members of the house transportation committee, who have worked for months to find a solution to our crumbling road system. i appreciate the house taking a formative, thorough lead on this issue. we can all agree that our state's department of transportation must be reformed
in order to bring more jobs to south carolina, and i look forward to working with both the house and senate to solve this very real problem this year. between august of 2013 and this past november, i spent my days and nights traveling south carolina and talking with her people. campaigns are a lot of things, but above all they are an opportunity. an opportunity to hear from our citizens, who act as our state's conscience. an opportunity to look backwards, at where we were and what we've accomplished. and an opportunity to share a vision for where we want to go. i have heard it said that the election results have given me a mandate. i have thought long and hard about what that might mean. webster's dictionary defines the word mandate as “a command or authorization to act in a particular way on a public issue given by the electorate to its representative. ” the way the word has been used since november suggests to me that many think i have been given the authorization to act,
effectively given permission to push through the agenda i desire. that is not how i see it. i never saw the election as a referendum on me, but on all of us, on the direction we have taken south carolina over the last four years. likewise, i don't view the results as anything but a command, a command by the people of our state to continue along the path we have traveled together since i first took the oath of office as their governor. that path has been one of complete commitment to the economic future of our state, where every action we take is one that makes it easier for our companies to do business, expand, and hire our people. it has been one where we jump at every opportunity to restructure our archaic government so as to better serve our citizens. it has been one where we opened
our borders to new businesses and kept them shut to job-killing unions. it has been one where we fight, every day, to give south carolinians the honest, open government they deserve. it has been one where bickering for bickering's sake between branches of government became a thing of the past. it has been one where we placed the education of our children above our parochial and political self-interests. and it has been one where we put south carolina back on the map - for all the right reasons. that is the path i believe in. it is the path the people of south carolina overwhelmingly embraced 10 weeks ago. and it is the path i will continue to follow, for if we do, there is no telling the heights to which we can take the state we all love. thank you, god bless you, and may he continue to bless the state of south carolina. of the great
big welcome to our new lieutenant governor kathy hochul who's doing a great job already. to the new assembly members, welcome you, to the new senate members, we welcome them. we've been joined by controller tom donopoli. let's give him a round of applause. attorney general eric schneiderman, pleasure to be with you, general. senate republican conference leader, dean skellos. to a good year dean. pleasure to be with you mr. speaker. independent conference leader jeff klein, pleasure, jeff. thank you for being here. to senate minority leader andrea
stewart-cousins, pleasure to be with you. assembly minority leader brian cole thank you, brian. we have the members of our fine court of appeals. it's an honor to be with you. thank you, judge. to our host mayor kathy sheehan, thank you very much. to the very tired mayor of the city of new york who went to paris and back in one day, pleasure to be with you mayor. to all the elected officials who are here today, to my colleagues, to our friends, thank you all very much for being here today. let me begin by thanking the senate leader and the assembly leader for their accomodation for my father's passing. the state of the state address
was moved back to accommodate the ceremony around my father's passing, and i truly appreciate their consideration in doing that. i also appreciate all the members of the senate, all the members of the assembly who came down to pay their respects to my father. it would have meant a lot to him. he had tremendous respect for this body and tremendous respect for the process and for the legislature. your attendance was overwhelming. many of you came from distant parts of the state, and i want you to know heartfelt on behalf of the cuomo family we thank you very much for taking the time to come and to all new yorkers, there's been such an outpouring of notes and letters and phone calls. i can't even begin to explain it. so on behalf, again of my father and my brothers and my
sisters, we want to thank all new yorkers for the respect that they have shown to my father. now, if my father knew that we delayed the state of the state on his account, he would not be happy. slowing the function of government is not something that would have been okay with him. so what we've actually done is accelerated the budget by moving the budget up five days. this is going to be the first joint state of the state and budget presentation. it will actually be five days ahead of schedule, which would have made my father happy. now, the good news is since it's a joint presentation budget and state of the state, you only have to sit for one presentation. that's the good news. the bad news is it's a three-hour presentation. i will do my best to move along.
but there's a lot of good work that we've done and a lot of good work that we want to do that we want to talk about today. what is the state of the state? new york state is back and new york state is leading the way forward. none of this would have happened without the work of the people in this room. look at how far we've come in just a short period of time. 2010 we had an 8.9% unemployment. today it's 5.9%. we had chroniclely high credit ratings. upstate was in a state of decay and decline and alienation and upstate is rebuilding everywhere you go today.
taxes and spending were going up, up and up. and today we've cut the tax rate to the lowest in 50 years. property taxes that were go up at about 6% a year are now capped at 2% and then frozen at that rate. when you look at -- you should applaud that. it was a period of historic progress, and it has made our state a better state. it has made life for people in our state better. that's what this is all about at the end of the day making life better for people and that's what we have actually been doing. now, i won't say it was an easy four years. it was a hard four years, and it has taken a toll some greater toll on some of us than others. but look at where we were when we started. look at how good dean looked just four years ago.
look at shelly four years ago he was looking good. we were like saturday night fever dudes. that's what we were just four years ago. and four years later, it's really sad. pictures don't lie. no, it's true. it really is true. but we believe and i'm sure i speak for dean and shelly, it was worth it and we would do it all over again, wouldn't we? new york is now a state of opportunity once again. our goal today is to reach even higher and that's where our 2015 opportunity agenda is all about. economic opportunity, education, public safety, government reform, and fairness for all. we start with the economy because business is the engine that pulls the train.
it's all about jobs jobs jobs. it was about four years ago and it is today. it's about keeping the economy growing and to keep the economy growing we have to keep doing what we have been doing that got the economy running in the first place. in two simple words it is maintaining the fiscal discipline that we have established. remember where we were four years ago. the state of new york was spending more money than the people in the state were earning. just think about that concept for a moment. the increase in state spending was going up at a faster rate than new yorkers were actually earning income. that wasn't one or two years. that was for 50 years the rate of spending was higher than the rate of income. we have reversed that trend and
actually turned it the other way. the state now spends over the past four years 1.3%. that compares to 6.8% over the past 50 years. it's not a complicated formula. because we spend less, we can tax less. we have made historic progress in that regard. last year the lowest middle class tax rate since 1953. lowest corporate tax rate since 1968 lowest manufacturing tax rate since 1917. by controlling the spending at 2%, we can continue to keep taxes down. if we continue to keep taxes down, we keep businesses coming our way. that's exactly what our goal for
this year should be starting with small businesses. small businesses are 98% of all the businesses in new york. small businesses where the jobs are being created. that is the life blood. anything we can do to generate small business is what we want to do. we want to have a tax cut for small business that is dramatic that would:0> take the small business taxes from 6.5% down to 2.5%, the lowest rate in 100 years and send a real positive signal. and that will show that new york is continuing to be a pro-job, pro-growth state. the next taxes we have to attack are the property taxes. here's a quote. the public is at least coming to realize that the increase in real estate taxes is due wholly to the increase in the cost of local and not state government. these taxes on real estate are
too high. local government has in many communities been guilty of great waste and duplication. who said that quote? i'll give you a hint. me. secretary hillary clinton. fdr. ronald reagan. steve acqrario. it is not ronald reagan. it is not hillary clinton. it is not me. it is down to steve and fbr. if it is steve, he is fired. so it is fdr. but that shows how long this problem has actually been going on. it has been new york's chronic problem. when people complain about high taxes in new york, they're
talking about the property tax. just remember this the number one business tax is the property tax. the highest tax we collect in the state of new york is the property tax. $50 billion total compared to $40 billion for everything else. we attacked it over the past four years. 2011 we capped it. 2014 we froze it. 2015 we're going to cut it and really respond to the needs of homeowners all across this@+q state. let's pass a 1.7 -- we have proposed a $1.7 billion property tax relief for 1.3 million homeowners who will save an average of nearly $1,000 per year and $1,000 in savings can make a difference in people's lives. we would also extend relief to
over 1 million renters in this state. when you put the two together, 2.3 million households just under 1 million upstate, 800,000 new york city, 340,000 long island 139,000. this is real meaningful, significant tax relief that will make a difference in people's lives and send a very strong signal that the new york we brought you for the past four years is the new york that we're going to continue. a growing economy also needs to invest in its infrastructure. we have started a very a aggressive infrastructure redesign program down state with john f. kennedy and laguardia airports also with stewart and republic airports, planning our regional airports as one unit. we want to make republic and
stewart, we want to make them tax-free zones so we can bring businesses to republic and stewart and take some of the traffic from jfk and laguardia and move it out to the long island and stewart airport. we also want to build four metro-north stations in the bronx to open up that side of the bronx. i have a name for one of the stations. diaz station we're going to call it. ruben diaz station. we'll invest $150 million to construct vertical parking structures at strategic locations in long island and westchester to assist commuters coming in on the lirr. we also propose using $1.2
billion of the settlement funds to protect throughway toll payers for a year that there will be no increase in the throughway toll for the next year and to help finance the tappan zee bridge. we're also working with our partners in washington to secure federal funding to fund the public transportation over the bridge. the congress woman has taken the lead as has congressman peter king and they've been very helpful. infrastructure today is less about roads and bridges, in my opinion, and it's more about broadband. a state that doesn't have broadband is not going to be economically successful going forward. believe it or not we still have 500,000 homes and 4,000 businesses who have no access to broadband. it tends to be in upstate new
york and it tends to be in poorer communities in new york city. the last place really we should have the absence is where we have it. we want to invest $500 million leverage $500 million in private sector money from the broadcast providers and let's get new york state fully wired so every business every home, can compete and let's start doing that now. there is a new way of thinking about growing jobs in new york state. jobs are coming out of our higher education system. you look anywhere in the country, anywhere in the world as a matter of fact where you see regional job growth and it's always linked to the higher education institutions. we're in the process of taking our suny and puny system and
turning them into commercialization and job generators. you look at stanford university and silicon valley. that was an academic exercise that was actually commercialized extraordinarily well and started an entire revolution in the economy. that can happen here in new york. but we have to make the investment. we have to invest in suny 2020 and puny 2020 so we know we have the best higher education institutions that provide edifications andeducation and we want to continue to do it with another $50 million investment this year. we want to couple that with a new york state venture fund of $100 million so new york state can invest in many of those
young entrepreneurs and many of those startup companies and keep them here in new york rather than finding equity in california or texas or florida. let's invest in our home-grown companies and keep the jobs here now. we also have significant reform for our community college system. our community college system in many cases is charging students exorbitant tuition, running up debt, giving them training and education for jobs that don't exist. the person graduates the community college system has the debt but can't find a job. more and more the community college system where successful is turning into a training
program, almost an apprentice program, for a specific industry. part of the training is they design what they need, the skills they need. you go to that community college, you get that degree. you come out graduate, you go right into that company. and that's what we have to be doing with our community colleges. we want to link them regionally with the employers in that region identify specific jobs that are available, and then educate and train for those jobs to make the community college system more rewarding. past four years we have focused on upstate new york and economic development like never before. i would venture to say there has never been a more concerted
effort at developing new york and what we have done over the past four years. upstate was in a terrible cycle of decline. it was losing economic power through no fault of its own, change in the economy, businesses were moving away, but when you lose economic power, you start to lose people. when you start to lose people you start to lose political power because the loss of population literally relates to loss of political power which results in loss of government attention and now you are in a downward cycle. that's where upstate new york was for many many years. it was not getting the care and the attention it deserved. we reversed that cycle. we made upstate new york a priority. we invested that grew political power. that grew population. and now you see the reverse.
just the way there's a negative synergy, i believe there's a positive synergy. i believe if you go to a lot of these cities in upstate new york, you feel a totally different energy than you felt four years ago, and that is the turnaround that we're talking about. you look at where the unemployment rate dropped. historically the unemployment rate when it dropped would drop in new york city and it would stay status upstate new york. you look at these unemployment numbers and you see how balanced our economy is. the days where downstate flourishes and upstate suffers are over. this is a very balanced picture and a very balanced che. councils are working, they're working extraordinarily well. it was a knew idea that said we're going to organize region
by region across the state because there is no one economy. there are regional economies. put everyone at one table, all the politicians, all the business people all the academics, come up with one regional strategy and then everybody works on that one regional strategy. that's exactly what we've done. it's been a great success a tremendous amount of work. the former lieutenant governor bob duffy served as chairman of the regional economic development councils. he carried the weight on his shoulders. he attended hundreds and hundreds of meetings around the state and he inspired this process. let's give him a big round of applause and a moment of recognition. stand up, bob, come on, stand up.
he's the best. we also embarked on a truly ambitious enterprise to turn around western new york. now, western new york buffalo was the single greatest economic problem in the state of new york. western new york buffalo, north country and pockets of poverty down south in the bronx especially, western new york and buffalo had been down for so long they didn't even believe they could come back. i remember when i first started speaking to groups in buffalo four years ago. i would give them my best economic development pitch, and not a single muscle in a single face would move. they had heard it all before. everybody was leaving. the population was shrinking, nothing was going to help buffalo. nothing was going to turn it around. well, we did turn around
buffalo. buffalo today, the housing market is way up. you have construction billions and billions of dollars in construction. the private market is flocking to buffalo. they're writing about buffalo internationally as a turnaround phenomenon. that's what happened in buffalo. it proved to us if you can turn around buffalo, you can turn around anything, and we're going to. we had a great team that worked at it every day and made the difference, and i'd ask them to stand and let's give them the recognition they deserve. paul dooiser byron brown, howard demps ski.
we also proposed expanding our green jobs and our environmental programs. the sweet spot for the state of new york is creating jobs in the clean energy, clean environment area. that's where we want to focus. we want to increase the environmental protection fund to $172 million. we also propose a $50 million farm land preservation fund $20 million of which will be dedicated to the hudson valley which is one of the most precious assets in this state. it is a tourism asset, and we want to keep it that way. and $30 million to strengthen
the southern tiers rich and growing agriculture industry because they need help in preserving their land. this investment in green jobs in the southern tier we want to hold a $20 million clean energy competition. let's invite companies internationally to bring their best ideas to the southern tier. we will take the best ideas in clean energy companies. we will invest in them if they site and grow in the southern tier. we did this in buffalo. it worked magnificently well. now let's do it for the southern tier. we also want to expand the upstate economy by investing $65 million in ports and hubs from albany to syracuse to the binghamton rail yard. you have to be able to move good in and out, and this investment will help make it possible.
we also want to invest in the state fair. the state fair is symbolically and economically important. the state fair is just that the state fair. it gets a tremendous number of visitors from across the state to demonstrate the state's development, the state's beauty, the state's resources. the truth is the state fair makes money for the state, over $130 million but the state fair in truth reflects yesterday's new york. it does not reflect today or tomorrow's new york. let's reimagine the state fair. let's invest in it. let's be proud of it. let's get a private sector company to come in and partner with us and invest $50 million and really turn around the state fair the way the state is turning around.
fort drum is a great new york country asset. we're going to spend $1.5 million to buy an additional 1300 acres for training and $25 million for improvements along route 26. fort drum is the home of the 10th mountain division which just returned from serving us proudly in afghanistan. i visited the 10th mountain division while they were in afghanistan. i'm the person in the picture with the pen in his pocket. i wasn't on really serious duty. but the 10th mountain division is the most deployed force since 9/11. just think about that. and 323 soldiers have been lost
tourism continues to be a successful jobs generators especially in upstate new york. at one time we had a very robust i love new york advertising campaign. over the years it went away. we started to bring it back. we got more creative in the way we've been marketing the state. we spent over $100 million in advertising over the past four years, and our investment has been paying off exponentially. visitor spending is up $8 billion to $62 billion believe it or not. 8% higher than the national rate of growth. that's watkins glen international by the way and that's a very famous new yorker driving that car on that track. the license plate number 56 is a clue.
our tourism jobs increased by 83,000 to a total of 850,000, double the national rate of growth. that's the walkway over the hudson. we want to continue this international attention to upstate new york. with our challenges and our $25 million investment in the i love new york the challenges, the governor's cup, the fishing challenges, the promotion of our wine industry which is doing great, and we want to continue this effort because it's been reaping dividends. we also want to expand our globe at markets as the next step. we want to set up a global export/import bank. the federal government has one. i worked with it when i was in the federal government but it has a tremendous impact. if we capitalize our export/import bank with $35 million, i believe we're going to see multiples of that as
dividends. we're going to be leading trade missions to new york's top economic partners including canada, china israel and mexico. i'm going to invite the leaders to come with me on these. we want to israel last year and we had a great trip. this year we're going to be our own version of the three amigos. we will ride again. we'll lead a trade mission to america's newest economic partner which is cuba. we would like to be one of the first states to cuba just from a competitive point of view economically. let us be the first one there. let us develop the relationship open the markets, and let us get opportunities for new york companies.
our economic recovery must reach all new yorkers and there are new yorkers who are still left in the shadow of opportunity. the sad truth is with all the growth in the economy, poverty still exists in this country, and poverty still exists in the state of new york. two of the poorest communities in the state of new york and those orange areas are areas where they have poverty greater than 20%. but two of the poorest are rochester andzsumx the bronx. rochester has the highest child poverty rate in the state and the bronx has the highest overall poverty rate in the state. we want to build on our successful efforts, first at employing minority youth. we have a strike force that's been working in the bronx. it's been working very well. we want to add $10 million to get young people jobs jobs
jobs. keep them off the street corner give them a positive path to follow. in rochester we are creating an anti-poverty task force to lift children and their families out of poverty, and we're starting that now. pope paul said if you want peace, work with justice and that's just what we're trying to do. we have the highest income inequality since the '20s. for too many the dream of economic mobility has been replaced with the reality of stagnation. many believe if you were born poor, you will remain poor. that's the exact opposite of the american dream. the american dream was all about mobility. wherever you start you can move forward and move up. that's the beauty of this
country and that's why people came. it doesn't matter if you were rich, poor, white, black, you came here and you could be whatever you wanted to be. you had a chance to do it. this country never guaranteed success, but it did guarantee opportunity. and that promise is slipping away and we have an agenda that will work to bring it back. first, we believe we should raise the minimum wage. we raised it once. we believe the gap continues to get worse. we would raise the minimum wage to $10.50 state-wide and in new york city where it's a high cost city to $11.50. minimum wage is very simple. we believe if you work full time, you should be able to pay
the rent and pay for food and not live in poverty. that's the basic promise of employment, and we're not there yet. we still have a hunger problem in this state in many communities. let's invest $4.5 million to expand our emergency food access because in 2015 there is no excuse why any man, woman or child should go hungry in the state of new york. and to provide housing and affordable housing, we want to increase our investment by $486 million. let's do the affordable housing we need. let's do the community development we need so we don't wind up with homeless people in the first place. on the chronic issue of unemployment for minority men,
we have an urban youth jobs program that provides the employer with a training subsidy if they hire a young person. we'll pay for the training and we'll also subsidize part of the income. we've hired over 20,000 young men with this program. it works. let's keep it going and double the funding and double the jobs. four years ago the state's procurement goal for minority women-owned businesses was 10% which is about $800 million in state contracts were set aside for women-owned businesses and minority businesses. we've raised that 10% to 20%. last year we surpassed the 20% and we went to 25% which was $2 billion in state contracts that
went to women-owned companies and minority-owned companies. this year we want to take it even to a new level a national level, set the highest goal in the nation and go to 30% $2.4 billion for minority and women-owned businesses. many of our new college graduates face high student loan debt as they begin their career and it's a troubling situation because they have high debt and low wages. we want to help them get on their feet for the first two years. if they come out of college with high debt and a job where they earn less than $50,000 per year which is the level at which they probably can't afford to pay off their debt we'll pay the debt for the first two years so they can get their feet under them and they can get on with their lives.
we have a vast array of not for profits in this state that are an untapped potential that we want to bring into the mainstream, and we want to develop to access state programs. we want to grow the capacity to a new office of faith-based community development services led by assembly men and our pastor. let's give him a round of applause. congratulations. he only gets one yay. give him more than one yay. yay! we'll also invest $15 million in the not for profit sector to get
them the technical skills they need to do it. education, the great equalizer. this is the area my friends, where i think we need to do the most reform and frankly where reform is going to be difficult. given the situation of the way education is funded in this state, our education system needs dramatic reform and it has for years. i believe this is the year to do it. this is the year to roll up our sleeves and take on the dramatic challenge that has alluded us for so many years for so many reasons. we will pursue on ambitious p to 12 agenda. professionalized teaching
reward teachers. expeditiously but fairly remove ineffective teachers expand charters schools, pass the etc and the dream act continue support for t>cpñ4-year-olds and pre-k. let's do them one at a time. we want the best teachers in our classrooms. every study says the quality of the teacher makes a difference in the school. we must start treating teaching like the profession that it actually is. in 2013 this legislature put in place a quote unquote bar exam an entrance exam for teachers. last year every prospective teacher had to take a 12th grade literacy test. of the teachers who took it, 32%
failed a 12th grade literacy test. these are teachers who are about to walk into a classroom. these are teachers who we're giving to our children. we need a real set of standards for entering the profession. we also want to recruit the best and the brightest, and i believe you have to incentivize for that. we are proposing that we will pay full tuition for suny or puny for the top graduates if they commit to going to new york schools for five years. we will create a residency program to give teachers early training just the way we do with
doctors. everyone will tell you nationwide the key to education reform is a teacher evaluation system so you know what teachers are doing well what teachers need work and what teachers are struggling. a teacher evaluation system. new york has talked about it for years and years and years. we were supposed to implement the teacher evaluation system five years ago in exchange for receiving federal money called race for the top -- to the top. the schools were reluctant to do it. last year we said if a school didn't complete a teacher evaluation system they wouldn't get state funding, the excess funding. lo and behold, 100% of the teachers now have a teacher evaluation system. 100% of the schools adopted a
teacher evaluation system. that's the good news. we have teacher evaluation systems for every school in the system. the bad news is they are baloney. now, 38% of high school students are college ready. 38%. 98.7% of high school teachers are rated effective. how can that be? how can 38% of the students be ready but 98% of the teachers effective? 31% of third to eighth graders are proficient in english, but 99% of the teachers are rated effective. 35% of third to eighth graders proficient in math. 98% of the teachers rated effective. who are we kidding, my friends? the problem is clear and the solution is clear.
we need real accurate, fair teacher evaluations. we asked the state department of education for their ideas and they gave us their feedback and we accept their recommendations. to reduce the testing of students we will eliminate local exams and base 50% of the evaluation on state exams. second, the other 50% of the evaluations should be limited to independent classroom observations. teachers may not be rated effective or highly effective unless they are effective in both the test and the observation categories. we will stop local inflation which has resulted in virtually all teachers being rated by setting scoring bans in the state law. we propose tenure to only be
granted when a teacher achieves five consecutive years of effective ratings. once we have a fair evaluation system we can incentivize performance. and we will. i believe the teacher evaluation system should be used to incentivize and reward high-performing teachers. if a teacher is doing well incentivize that teacher who's doing well and pay them accordingly. we would pay any teacher who gets highly effective a $20,000 bonus on top of the salary that that teacher is getting paid because we want to incentivize high performance. in 2013 we created the master teacher program which rewards the highest performing teachers
in the system. today we have 552 master teachers. these are the best of the best. these are mentors to their colleagues. they have achieved the highest tests on scores. they are teachers who go above and beyond and give more to their students than anyone has a right to ask. we're joined by them today. let them stand so we can honor them and thank them for their contributions. for teachers who need support after the evaluation we will offer a teacher improvement plan
to get them the help they need. in the unfortunate case where we have a chronically ineffective teacher who despite our help does not improve we must protect our students by removing the chronically ineffective teacher from the classroom. under the current system, it is so hard to remove an ineffective teacher that most districts will tell you that they don't even try. we'll follow the recommendation and reform the process to make it easier, fairer and faster to remove ineffective teachers from the classroom. we propose allowing the district to remove a teacher after two ineffective ratings unless the teacher can show that the scoring was fraudulent. let's remember, my friends, i know these reforms are tough,
but the purpose of the education system and why we do this and why taxpayers give us money to fund education is so that we can teach and nurture our children. this was never about protecting and growing a bureaucracy. it was about helping young people. it was not about creating an educational industry that then supports ancillary organizations. let's remember the children in this process, and then we'll wind up doing the right thing. we must acknowledge that while education should be the great equalizer, education is what made the american dream a reality, my father can go from behind a grocery store and through public education become governor.
colon powell who grew up in the bronx through public education can become head of the joint chiefs of staff. for too many it is now the great discriminator. we have two systems, one for the rich and one for the poor and the greatest symbol of disparity is our failing schools. students in failing schools lag well behind in virtually every academic category. state average for graduation is 76%, failing school 47%. worse, more than nine out of ten students in failing schools are minority or poor students. nine out of ten, minority or poor students. there are 178 failing schools in new york state. 77 have been failing for an entire decade. over the last ten years 250,000
children went through those failing schools while new york state government did nothing. just think about that and that has to end this year. i understand the obstacles. i also understand what our students need to move forward. we should be ashamed of those numbers. the education industry's cry that more money will solve the problem is false. money without reform only gross the bureaucracy. it does not improve performance. state average per student, $8,000. state average in a high needs district $12,000. failing district in buffalo which has been a failing district for many many years, the state spent $16,000 per student student, so don't tell me if we only had more money it would
change. we've been putting more money into the system every year for decades and it7úr.v(áj changed. and 250,000 children were condemned to failing schools by the system. let's end it this year. we'll take another recommendation from sed and propose using the massachusetts model in new york. when a school fails for three years, a not for profit or another school district or a turnaround expert must take over the school and they must create a plan to dramatically overhaul and improve theñ we'll turn each school into a community school and develop a management overhaul plan. the takeover entity will overhaul the curriculum override agreements, provide salary incentives and provide grants for early college high schools, wrap around services so we're giving the students the
services they need but we're making the changes that we have to make. in this mix charter schools provide a viable option for many of our students. we propose giving students in failing schools a preference in the charter school lotteries. the current charter cap is 460. there are 159 slots left. only 24 available slots left for charter schools in new york city. we want to add another 100 to the cap and allow the cap to be state-wide to eliminate artificial limits on where charter schools can open. to ensure that charter schools are serving all of the public we will propose an innovative,
anti-creaming legislation to ensure charters are teaching their fair share of high needs populations, english language learning disabled and free lunch so no one can say that the charter schools aren't taking the same cross-section of public students that the public schools have. all students deserve a fair shot at the american dream, and that's why we want to pass a $100 million education tax credit for public and private sector partnerships, and let's pass the dream act for $27 million in this budget and let's make it a reality. if we're serious about fixing this problem then cities also have to be part of the solution. we're calling on the mayors to
join us. let's extend mayoral control in new york city where mayor de blasio has taken control of the school system. let's give him a round of applause. and let's consider the possibility in other cities where we have chronic long-term problems with the education system and let other mayors step up to the plate and we will work with them in that regard. we know that the earlier students enter a classroom, the more opportunity for success they have. therefore, we've committed $1.5 billion to phase in full-day pre-k for 4-year-olds and we're excited about that. we'll invest another $365 million this year in pre-k for 4-year-olds, but we also want to take the next step and start designing programs not for
4-year-olds, but for 3-year-olds. all the studies say the earlier you get them in, the better. let new york be ahead of the curve by enrolling 3-year-olds who are now making some of the largest cognitive and behavioral gains gains. we're going to start this with a $25 million offering for pre-k for 3-year-olds. we know mentoring programs work and make a big difference, and we know that there are citizens who want to help and will get involved in mentoring. new york once led the way in mentoring has now become an international phenomenon and was started really right here in the state of new york which birthed the idea so others could learn from us. i say we should once again lead the way in mentoring and we will.
we're going to set up a mentoring commission and it will be led probono by mrs. matilda cuomo. my mother worked on mentoring for many many years and she's now doing it all across the world and she's made a great difference. let her help new york because it all starts at home, mom. pro bono. you understand why it's pro pro bono. christopher will subsidize you. we propose if we pass these reforms -- and this is an ambitious reform package and i
understand there are going to be political problems for people on both sides of the aisle and they will be besieged by lobbyists and i understand the political consequence of what i'm asking you to do in making these reforms, but if we want to really invest in the system, then make it the right system and don't ask the taxpayers of new york to throw good money after bad. we've done that for decades. let's make the hard choices once. let's stand up for the kids once. if we make these reforms i am prepared to make a very large investment in education. by our formula this year which is in the budget, our education formula would have the budget go up by 1.7% which is $377 million. that's what we agreed to last year in the budget when we took the personal income growth
formula. by our existing budget it would be a $377 million increase. if the legislature passes these reforms, i propose a 4.8% increase in the budget $1.1 billion investment in education because it will be the right education system. again, that's if we actually stand up and pass these reforms. public safety, 9/11 marked the beginning of our war on terrorism, not the end. if anyone doubted that paris was a reminder to all of us. if not paris the terrorist groups are metastasizing all across the world. it's actually worse than it was in 9/11 and it's only continuing to get worse.
terrorists have evolved and adapted and we must do the same. we doubled the national guard port and mta police and state police in key areas because of the heightened alert. given the recent attacks overseas i believe we should continue our surge levels with state troopers 300 national guardsmen in areas where they have a potent presence which will cost the state $300 million but i believe it's a worthwhile investment to keep new yorkers safe. we'll be conducting a security review of our state's counter-terrorism capacity mta, airports state police how they coordinate with local authorities, and we're asking ray kelly, the special advisor on homeland security to do that
for us. this year we'll be investing $15 million to open the nation's first emergency preparedness college in the country. it will be in albany with a satellite campus. literally the first homeland security college in the united states is going to be right here in new york. we propose creating a $15 million storm online system to coordinate federal, state and local emergency responses and efforts when it happens. this is an online system that when is a snowstorm, when is a hurricane, a town, a village, a county can go online, get a status of what they need. we can track what they need. it also tracks the costs so when we later go back to fema for reimbursement, we have an actual record that was done at the same time.
we're also going to be training all local emergency personnel in albany so everyone is trained on the same emergency protocol. the towns, the villages, the county, the state everybody is trained on the same protocol and everybody knows what the other people are doing. in a weather emergency, we need the right equipment. we've learned that the hard way a number of times. we propose investing $50 million in snow plows to keep our roads open. one of the reasons we close roads is we can't keep up with the amount of snowfall. if we had a higher number of snow plows we could actually keep up with a higher rate of snowfall. i think it's a worthwhile investment. also emergency vehicles and we want to equip the state's fleet with gps so we know where they are at all times and we know how to deploy them.
government reform we've talked a lot about what we can do today, what we have done what we need to do. we is us. we is the committee that they call government. the more people trust government the more people trust us, the more capacity we have to do good work. we need to continue to restore the public's trust. it's an unending process in my opinion. let's pass real campaign finance reform. let's pass public financing. let's pass a paid commission to reduce the influence of money in our government and increase the amount of trust. our social justice agenda has several points. number one, we are proud of the reforms we've made to the justice system including
closing more prisons than at any time in our history. new york is one of only two states in the united states where 16-year-olds are treated as adults for criminal responsibility. one of only two states. a 16-year-old who gets convicted of a crime is now put in state prison at 16 years old. state prisons are no place for a 16-year-old, and any expectation that you're going to put a 16 or a 17-year-old in a state prison and you're going to rehabilitate them or you're going to teach them or they're going to come
out better than they went in is wholly unrealistic. last year we convened a panel on how we should right the injustice. this year the panel came back and said let's raise the age of criminal responsibility to get 16 and 17-year-olds out of the adult prisons where they're being hurt, not helped, and let's have a set of facilities and systems for 16 and 17-year-olds. in terms of justice, the promise of equal justice is a new york promise, and it is an american promise. we are currently in the midst of a national problem where people are questioning our justice system and they're questioning whether the justice system really is fairness for all and whether the justice system
really is color blind. and that's not just new york. it's a problem all across the country. it's a problem in reality and in perception. if it's a problem only in perception it is still a real problem because people have to trust the justice system. the trust has to go both ways. the community has to respect and trust the police, and the police have to respect and trust the community. we have to work to restore that trust and that respect and we're proposing a seven-point agenda to do just that. first of all, a state-wide reconciliation commission on police and community relations so we can have a dialogue community by community where the community can talk to the police and the police can talk to the community in a safe situation and a safe setting with
frankness and candor to work through issues. number two the state should help police forces state-wide recruit more minorities into law enforcement. the more the police force looks like the community they're policing the better the job the police can do. third, we believe we should provide race and ethnic data on police actions state-wide. we have nothing to hide. transparency works. let's give people the actual facts. number four, we need to do everything we can do to keep our police safe. these are dangerous, dangerous jobs especially during these times. we should fund replacement vests, body cameras, bulletproof glass for patrol cars in high
crime areas. fifth, district attorneys may issue a grand jury report or a letter of fact explaining proceedings if there is no true bill on a police fatality. so people know what actually happened in that proceeding and in that grand jury. sixth, i will appoint an independent monitor who will review police cases where a civilian dies and no true bill is issued and the independent monitor can recommend a special prosecutor be appointed. the independent monitor should have access to the grand jury information which will be protected, but this way the independent monitor can actually make an intelligent recommendation because they'll have all the evidence and they'll have all the facts. i think these seven points will go a long way towards restoring
trust, restoring respect both ways from the police to the community and the community to the police. let's start now. we'll be working on this over the next several months. it's a good start. that is our justice agenda. as i mentioned, it's a work in progress and we'll be working with all parties. women are still not treated equally to men. we must pass the full ten-point women's equality agenda. it's been too long. new york state now has more schools being investigated for sexual assault than any state in the nation. 11 colleges being investigated on how they handle sexual assault, believe it or not.
this is just wholly unacceptable and repugnant to our basic belief that women have equal rights and we protect women equally. let new york take the lead in protecting these young adults and these students. last fall suny passed a really leading proposal which requires affirmative consent for sexual relations to ensure -- and ensures a woman's access to law enforcement. all too often when a woman is victimized on the campus, the recourse is campus police and the tendency is to keep it private because it's embarrassing for the university and all too often justice is not
done. the statistics show one out of four young women will be sexually assaulted while she's in college. one out of four women. and the rate of reporting is in the single digits. and to make matters worse, the experts believe it's a small number of men who are committing these acts but a high level of sa sid vichl because they're not being reported. that's the trap we're in. what we did on suny campuses women need to affirmatively consent and then women are assessed of their rights. they can go to the campus police or they can go to the local police or they can go to the state police. they can treat it as a crime as it is. it's working on suny.
it has been working on suny. we want to make it a law that covers every college in the state of new york and we want to be the first state to do that. we have more homeless today than ever before in the history of the state of new york and that is just simply a disgrace. we want to increase our homeless budget by $403 million, a 20% increase in light of the increase in homelessness. on the numbers, this is what the agenda looks like. this is as simple as the budget is. we've discussed before when it's done right the budget is a fairly simple exercise. the state total the budget would go up 1.7% total. we have a 2% spending cap, so we are under the 2% spending cap at
1.7. state agencies are at .06. that means state agencies are&xñz basically flat. parks, state police department of transportation, et cetera. they're basically flat. they're flat because we give a 3.6% increase to medicaid which is the formula amount and it anticipates the 4.8% to education. for us to afford a 4.8% increase in education and 3.6 on medicaid and stay under 2%, the rest of the state budget basically has to be zero. and that's our budget, zero percent increase with the agencies 4.8 for education, 3.6 for medicate and it comes out to
1.7%. the state initiative within the budget which we went through and how they're funded property tax relief is $350 million. affordable housing 150. suny, puyn. startup new york not for profit. i love new york, the initiatives that we just went through. they are funded from the normal state budget. this year we have settlement funds. these are funds that were basically a gift from above. they were settlements with law enforcement agencies where the state received a penalty. it comes out to 5.4 billion dollars. our proposal is as follows. $850 million is money that we owe the federal government for a
discrepancy in past billings which we have been working through for years but it's going to come out to $850 million. we would spend $1.5 billion on upstate revitalization. those are the three $500 million grants and then $3 billion on infrastructure and other investments. the other investments are as you see here freeway stabilization fund, protects the toll for one year and invests in the tappan zee high speed broadband, upstate hospitals which are in terrible need of repair and reconstruction. metro-north stations. the long island railroad government efficiency grants,
emergency response upstate ports, state fair and the southern tier farm land initiative. comes out to the $3 billion and that resolves the settlement funds. that is the budget in a nutshell and the state of the state in a nutshell. one last point if i might. one of my colleagues who's an assemblyman and he said this is going to be really hard because these issues are not new york issues. these problems are all national problems. that is true. failure of schools are a national problem. struggling older cities is a national problem. questioning of our justice system is a national problem. so he's right, they are national
problems but he's wrong if he thinks that we can't solve them. because, my friends, that is precise ly precisely what we do here together as new yorkers and that's what new york has always done. new york is the state that leads and it always has. we were the first state to stand up for freedom of religion. this state passed an emancipation law before abraham lincoln was even born. we passed the first housing reform to guarantee living conditions in tenements. we passed the first law protecting women's property rights albany county first
county in the nation that allowed women to sit on juries. that is new york. while washington fights and gridlocks, we find compromise and we move forward. why? because washington defines itself by their differences, and we define ourselves by our commonalities. their politics divide and our politics unite. that's the difference between albany and washington. we have a different belief. we believe in community and we believe in the concept that we are all connected. we don't believe we are all individuals on our own. we believe there's a connection that binds us. that there's a cord that connects me to you to you to you
and that cord weaves and fabric and when one of us is raised we are all raised and when one of us is lowered we are all lowered. those are not just words. that's the way we live. that is the way we operate. lieutenant governor was talking about the snowstorm in buffalo. 7 feet of snow. it was an impossible situation. it overwhelmed everything. people from all over the state dropped everything and came to buffalo to help. i went up to the national guardsman to shake his head and say thank you. he said, governor, you don't remember me, we met in the north country, no need to say thank you. you came to help us when we had hurricane irene. there was a plow truck from nassau county and i climbed on the step and shook hands with the plow truck driver. i said how long did it take you
to get here? 13 hours to drive a plow truck from nassau county to buffalo. i said, wow, we are so grateful. he said no governor everybody came to us when we had hurricane sandy. everybody came and we're just repaying the favor. new york city sent up 100 -- mayor de blasio sent up 100 firefighters and all the equipment, and the same thing with the fdny. i said thank you for coming. the firefighter said after 9/11 when the entire world showed up to help us, the new york way is one for all and all for one.
i thought, you know what it is that simple and it comes down to that simple wisdom and the buffalo coins we made for the people who helped during buffalo say exactly that. putting the differences aside that's how we've been governoring. we believe despite our differences we are one state. we're upstate and downstate but we're one state. we're democrats, republicans, but we're one state. we're gay we're straight, but we're one state. we're black, we're white but we're one state and that's how we govern and that's how we come together and that's how we forge an agreement and that's what makes this state so special and
that's why i am so honored to be the governor of this great state, because the farmer who is struggling to make ends meet, that farmer is our brother. the child that lives in poverty in rochester today is our child. that's how we govern because that's how we live. the man who said this best was a new yorker and a former governor. he was a state's man and a visionary and a giant. he was your friend and he was my father. he said, and i quote, those who made our history taught us above all things the idea of family,
of mutuality, the sharing of benefits and burden fairly for the good of all. it is an idea essential to our success and no state or nation that chooses to ignore its troubled regions and people while watching others thrive can call itself justified. we must be the family of new york feeling one another's pain, sharing one another's blessings, reasonably fairly without regard to geography or race or political affiliation. my father was right then and he is right now. that is the new york spirit. that is the new york essence. that is what makes us special and makes us the greatest state in the nation. that is the philosophy that has brought us four years of balanced budgets and four years with this state that's seen more
progress than in the past 40 years, and that is the philosophy that's going to take this state to new heights with the good work of this body working in partnership, working together, and working with respect for all of us. we're going to make this state a better state. and pop wherever you are and i think i know where, for all the ceremony and the big house and all the pomp and circumstance please don't let me forget what makes new york new york. thank you and god bless you.