tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 7, 2015 4:00am-6:01am EDT
[applause] >> thank you john for that more than generous introduction. i'm honored to be here with all of you here in this very historic event and appreciate the opportunity to speak not only on behalf of the people of utah's governor but also on behalf of the national governors association a significant bipartisan organization that is serving the public well and the great state of utah and the other 49 states and our territories. people asked me how it is that i was able to get the support of the other 49 governors to become the chair of the national
governors association. i thought long and hard about that and i came to the conclusion that i'm the only governor not running for president. [laughter] has opened up an opportunity for me. i feel it's an opportunity and i'm grateful to be here with a lot of friends and the chamber of commerce tommy berg who does an excellent job with his reporting and the vice president of the national press club. for those of you who i don't know i'm a will rogers sky were a stranger's just a friend i have never met so i look forward to meeting with u.n. chatting about things that are important to you. the national governors association has a significantly important organization and that it brings her governors of our 50 states and are five territories together where we have an opportunity to network, to really share best practices and learn about the issues of
the day that are impacting our respective states in this country. it's an opportunity for us to learn from each other. people are in the trenches doing things solving problems and as i have attended i leave to go back to utah able to be a better governor than i was before so i appreciate the national governors association and what it stands for and the significant role that government plan our nation. one of the blessings of being the chairs have an opportunity to have initiative and as john mention i'm very concerned about what i see a lack of balance. the change that has occurred over many years for a think the role of the state and the role of the federal government are a little bit out of balance the need to be changed and improved. i know as we look at some of the challenges we see in our washington d.c. government and
some of the dysfunctionality i just want to let the people here know and those who listen and watch the states are performing well. they are solving problems. they are addressing the people's needs and so our initiative which we have titled called states finding solutions and improving lives i have a car that i have given the governors and anybody who wants to listen and learn about the initiative and in fact for those of you that are here we'll have them available as you go out if you would like to pick up a card. his finding solutions and states are doing that. states are the laboratories of democracy out there doing very good work in addressing the needs of the people in states have to find solutions. governors are leading in many ways with the help of their own government. i want to assure you it's not a fluke. it's not just a coincidence. it's how the system was designed to be.
when we created this great miracle here of america and our constitution and the miracle of the philadelphia that was the beginning of an opportunity to have a relationship between the states and the centralized stronger federal government which was going to be able to have a sample we needed for the big needs of the overall and the needs that are unique to the states. james madison when he was trying to encourage the states to ratify the constitution and newspaper called federalist 45 said this. the power is delegated by the proposed constitution of the federal government are few and defined. those which are germane with the state governments are numerous and indefinite so states you have been used in independence and a little more autonomy under
the articles of confederation. that will change some of this new stronger federal government but let me assure you you are going to be okay because the powers given are very few in the powers remain with the states numerous and indefinite. that mirrors her 10th amendment of the constitution where it says powers not delegated to the united states by the constitution nor prohibited to the states or birds -- referred to states or the people. that's how was designed to be. states having more proactive roles in solving problems. again we don't have the stagnation that we see in washington today. we see leaders on both sides of the aisle solving many of the people's problems. my initiative is designed to infect showcase those successes. people need to understand things are working well in the states and hopefully change the
paradigm from the people saying let's have washington solve all the problems to saying let's first talk to her governors. let's talk to her legislature, to our local communities and see if we can address these things a little closer to home. my initiative has three objectives. one, to enhance or improve our collective partnerships which i think needs to happen. we can do better and our relationships with states that federal government and to highlight some of the state solutions. we are going to try to compile over the next six to eight months some of the great success stories and put them into a book so we have something to document what's taking place and distribute that to the public for their enlightenment and understanding. we will highlight republican democratic independent success is taking place in our states and also to talk about and share best practices.
those are the objectives. i think we are going to be able to highlight a lot of things and i think the list is going to be significantly long. the characteristics of these will be the successes are innovative and we are breaking new ground in territory and ways of doing things. they will be relevant to the times and put the need to find an address today. also they will be good for the public. there's a positive result that comes and we will highlight those and the governors will submit the suggestion so we can compile this list. let me take a moment to address the idea of our first objective which is enhancing and improving the collaboratives date and federal partnership. i think we have an historic opportunity to do that. again with the challenge we face here in the frustration of public shows congresses at all all-time historic low in its
approval rating. an opportunity to strength and the state and federal partnerships as intended by our founding fathers. governors have long held the understanding that there's a significant role for the federal government but a very significant role for the states to. we are concerned as governors on both sides of the aisle is constant federal over. no governor, and no state likes to have the federal government tell them how and what to do in managing the running of their own states. that's not a partisan issue. we all wanted in fact to appreciate the understanding that there's a role for the federal government to play and to have to work in close harmony in relationship with the states. that was concept of federalism and unfortunately we have gotten away from that sharing coequal responsibilities between the state in the federal government.
we support the federal's role. we know there some things that the states can't do protecting the basic rights of all of our citizens is certainly one of the basic rules we have from the federal government and many issues that are beyond the capacity of the individual states. at the same time we believe the federal government must recognize that most of the problems are best addressed at that state level. whatever the issues of the population as a community and as americans are better addressed most times at the local levels on the state level. a balance of power between the states and the federal government is not only right thing to do but i would submit to you that it's essential to have happen if we are going to have some of the challenges we face as americans. this is not about ideology. this is about result in getting positive results that we have for the citizens of this great country.
federal agencies they find are not equipped. the mentality tends to be a one-size-fits-all approach. uniform standardization. when we as governors note the uniqueness of this country and the reasons of the states have different cultures, different jabber face, different politics and different ways of doing things that are not only laboratories of democracy that pilot programs that are going on all over this country which gives us an opportunity to experiment and test theories. as we learn from other governors and other states we have a chance to emulate and revise and improve or reject altogether as individual states. we see that happening all the time. again let me just give you this stunning fact and statistic. remember we talked about james madison said the federal government has few powers that
are significantly defined. the states are numerous and indefinite and let's look at the comparison of our budgets between the states and the federal government. how you spend your money demonstrates -- demonstrates a priority on what you think is important. i've done the math here with the help of the office of management budget at the nga. if you combine all the budgets of all the states in the aggregate we are spending today at collective amounts run our states of 1.7 trillion dollars. a fairly large number. $1.7 trillion in all 50 states. as you know the budget proposal is before the congress today is $3.99 trillion almost $4 trillion. so more than double the additional $5 billion in washington d.c. is posed to the
combined spending of the 50 states. unless we have some double counting we find a federal taxes do we extract from the states and our citizens to come to washington d.c. and are redirected back to the states for shared responsibility and additional programs is a 500 billion-dollar price tag. so we don't double account you would take that off from the state budget which means the state is spending $1.2 trillion. the ratio is really about three times more money being spent and extracted from our taxpayers as opposed to the fined 50 states. whatever james madison envisioned when he was talking about few and defined compared to numerous and indefinite most people say we have gotten away from that concept. it's more compensated than that i don't want to oversimplify the situation but it does give us an
indication of what i would consider this lack of balance of federalism. i'm proud to say we have a lot of success is going on and for the sake of time i won't spend a lot of time. i'm anxious to see what's going to be submitted by the governors has the compiled this book but the truth of the matter is there's a lot of innovation going on in many places in this country. let me mention a few brief ones. we all know the challenge we are having today and the dynamic change in society particularly when it comes to antidiscrimination litigation. that's been an emotionally charged and i'm proud to see utah has taken that issue head-on and us come together to come to a balance point to provide an opportunity for us to protect religious liberty and make sure there's not discrimination in housing and
employment and other issues. it has not been an easy thing to do but we were able to do it. it's become a model for many states. i've had many governors call me. an example coming together and finding unique ways to solve current issues and problems. we see examples in texas and north dakota of innovative ways to improve the economy. texas tort reform helping us with health care costs and find horrible ways to reduce health and access to good health care and help boost the economy and not be a drag on the economy. we see in education, we have significant examples in arkansas where we are directing monies to medicaid reform. we were just in new york recently and we looked at a new school there in new york city in the great state of new york,
where we have a corporate sponsor. ibm is stepping forward and saying that's helped somebody at risk kids here. from ninth grade for the next six years and have them attend the school, gets six years of education, graduate not with just a high school diploma but with an associate degree and be the first in line to get a job at ibm with salary starting at the $2000 plus benefits. this is what remarkably well and outside the box thinking coming from the state of new york on how we can do a better job with education. welfare reform. the constant issue of government assistance is a challenge that we address in this country and i hearken back to 1996 when president bill clinton signed a welfare reform bill that revolutionized welfare. that came from the states of
michigan and wyoming, wisconsin and utah. again led by the governors and the governors and the nga help the congress write the bill. again a great example of what can do if we combined our thinking and help the congress solves the challenges of the day one of the areas where i'm proud of utah again it's in our innovation for transportation. transportation takes the budget we have as we build infrastructure in the fast-growing state like utah across the country. and how we spend it by having regulation reform streamlining the process allows this and that to save money to build roads. one of the innovations we have had in utah is when they come to intersections and have to build bridges the traditional way is to have construction going on to build the bridge in place and it might take six months or a year and have disruption of traffic flow.
we found a way to in fact build the bridge to the side of the road so it does not disrupt traffic flow and with mechanical devices and transportation with the little joystick you put on your person at the large tract or a flat platform. wrap that into place and bolted down and put in place and do it in less than 24 hours. so what was taking six months or a year to do now we can do in less than 24 hours. we have people come from not only all over the country but around the world to observe our department of transportation and how we go bridges and a a unique way saving time and money is being emulated around the world. we are scratching the surface of all the things going on but the point is states are solving problems and innovative ways and
we don't have the dysfunction we understand is taking place in washington d.c.. let me conclude by saying i know it's difficult for all of us and i think there's frustration with politics in general. we get things done and we don't have good people running for office. i think in many cases particularly here in the city and washington is because we the people are asking them to do more than the constitution ever stood them to do. we are asking for washington to do too many things for too many people when the founders envisioned most of this work could be done in the states. we have different roles and we believe in improving people's lives and finding solutions is not a partisan issue. i think an issue we have here today is an opportunity to bring the discussion to the forefront, reset the balancing point and
see if we can't anymore collaboratively work with our federal partners and really showcase what's being done and reminded people of america the states are finding solutions in improving people's lives. that's going to be at the can of bipartisanship. it's going to be a new way for us and i really do believe the best hope for america is that we can get this balance back in place in this dates have an appropriate role and visions under our constitution. thank you for being here today. i'm honored to be with you and the states are doing it. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you so much governor. here in washington we are talking about a fiscal cliff again, possibly december 11 is the new date and now i guess
it's been moved up. the treasury secretary said congress has -- but there's question on whether congress will act or whether we will have another shutdown situation. was talking with the gentleman on my left about a highway bill and he was saying how congress can't seem to get a highway bill what can congress learn from the lessons you are talking about? how can congress bridge the divides and start working together and get that balance? >> while it's not going to be easy because of what we have been doing for too many years. but don't seem to believe in balanced budgets. states really do live within their means and don't spend more than they take in and don't have unreasonable that at least the vast majority of us live with the tight fiscal responsibility and type budget. utah for example is a aaa bond rating. our rating is better than the
united states. we need to have people in congress on both sides of the aisle understand they need to be fiscally prudent and live within the budget and it should be balance. if that was the case we wouldn't be facing a fiscal cliff. we have got budget and come away with the budget and move on. the fact that we do have regular order in our senate and congress and the fact that we have a continuing resolution is a formula for failure and causes frustration and anxiety. for those of us in the states it gives us a lot of uncertainty subs not just harming what's happening in washington d.c. but for the states we don't know when the money is coming. and the uncertainty causes us pause on medicaid expansion. is the money going to be there tomorrow? it's here today but it isn't going to be there tomorrow?
i know it's been tried and we have had a proposed a number of times a balanced budget amendment. there ought to be some ability for leadership and the white house and the senate and the house and say no more. we are going to have a balanced budget. if we need to cover slow the rate of growth over period of time we can balanced budget. we have done it before but there ought to be the ability to debate issues on the budget vote them up or down and get back to regular order. that's the council i would give to the congress. [applause] he talked about the need to achieve that state and federal balance. where is the best example of achieving that balance or from another state where you think balance is achieved in the way described? >> i don't know that it's balanced anywhere in our country
right now because i think we are out of balance. there probably examples of where we have worked harmoniously with the states and the federal government so it's not all bad. it just isn't all good. i come from the west and some of the challenges we face working with the federal government the department of interior and how we manage our public lands. for example we have lost an entire industry in lumber and it's not unique just to utah but a number of the western states and others because we have not been allowed to spray for the bark beetle. that's just common sense. we have a destructive species knowing away at our trees and it kills the forest and leaves them as a fire hazard. there's a better way to manage that. sometimes we have areas of wilderness that have undergrowth that grows up and they want to be able to in fact be good stewards of the forest but yet they can't go in and start a
fire. we have to wait for a lightning strike to calm and let it burn because that would be healthy for the forest. we are in charge and we ought to allow modifications so we can in fact tend to the forest and the public lands in a more rational way. one last example again we have the clean air act. it was passed 1990. we have unique problem now trying to clean up our air and ozone and other issues in many parts of our country but for example in utah are industry people are not giving credit when they pay for the best available technology. we are going to process natural resource extraction or natural development. they will spend hundreds of millions of dollars for technology to have a cleaner process but get no credit for it. the only credit