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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 23, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm EST

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enges . of course, trust itself is based on respect. our trust relationship means modernizing the way native to this reason i want to address an issue of the national congress of american indians which has worked on for almost 50 years, i want to talk about the negative stereotypes that native people continue be subjected to in our society, in particular i want to talk about the name of the washington
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to this reason i want to address an issue of the national congress of american indians which has worked on for almost 50 years, i want to talk about the negative stereotypes that native people continue be subjected to in our society, in particular i want to talk about the name of the washington football team. "the state reward the dead indians has been increased to $200 for every redskins centre purgatory. this psalm is more of dead bodies east of the dead river are worse" history is clear on what that vile word meant, it was a scout head of an american indian, man
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woman or child that trappers and hunters sold to the government like beaver pelts the money. let me be very clear the single most offensive name you can call an american indian is red skin. thank god today the majority of people agree, in a recent national survey 83% of americans said they wouldn't use that r word to an american natives face. you know the team owner stands on the wrong side of history,
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he has dug in his heels and refuses to change but why do you do it fedex, you play with pride to your policy yet your name on the stadium how do you defend perpetuating every kind of racism that 40% of your workforce has faced in one form or another. why do you do it coca_cola, the generations you have been the company that taught the world to sing, why do you defend a name that teaches the young generation to hate. why do you do it best by, or hp or united airlines . many of us associate your companies with great american
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success stories, but think about it, doesn't your defence of this name harken back to the worst of america's failures? as american indians we are appropriately honoured as soldiers and teachers, students and first responders, ceos and community leaders. there is no honour in the name of that team, it's long past that washingtonians see their fellow persons to the eyes of respect and not as mascots for a
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football business that doesn't even have a fraction of the resilience, pride or strength of character that any tribal nation in the united states. (applause) nnow i know many of you say there are endless issues that indian country should focus on. my response is simple. this issue is no different than any issue that we work on on the national congress of american indians. since 1944 we stood for the right of native people and in every corner of our society whether it is under the bright lights of the nfl or in the voting booth of south dakota. it is this is an an issue of political correctness. we are not trying to make news noise, we are trying to make progress.
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we are standing up with partnerson civil and human rights, the" a pc the national council of morale's.__ we stand with tribes in native organisations, elective officials and former nfl star's, and we are calling on all their like_minded americans to stand with us. to sustain our progress and build on it, we must with our selves in the old ways of thinking. we must modernise our trust relationship and the next
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step in strengthening that relationship, it is more than tried having a seat at the table where decisions are made, this is about having policies and procedures that treats tribal nations as partners in governing while we have a unique relationship with the government it that will never end, it is time our relationship reflects the true meaning of the word trust. it needs to update its laws and regulations to reflect the 21st century partnership, in fact i got a call last week from the
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19th and 20th century saying they wanted their rules and regulations that. we need a relationship that is based on support, not paternalism and control. whether policy related to the keystone pipeline of renewable energy, health care or education, privacy rights are immigration to offer and policy makers failed to surround themselves with people who understand tribal perspective or seek input from tribal leaders and citizens. they don't want the federal
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government to solve our problems or dictate our futures we want to solve our own problems, we want to build our own futures, we strongly believe that the greatest source of solutions that work the indian countries, is the indian country itself.. in fact, we are already charting the future, the native vote is influencing important elections, electing republicans, and democrats. a growing number of native people hold office, i'd like to take a moment to congratulate a good friend, an alaskan natives, alaska's new lieutenant governor. by wren, not only embodies that
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culture but also the idea that native issues aren't partisan issues. the power of the native vote shows that when we base our work on the principle that the voice can and must be heard, we can work together to tear down the barriers to grow the tribal economies, we can give the next generation a better chance to work hard and see that work pay off. to that end i see three important ways that we can modernise the trust relationship, simplifying and streamlining government regulations, improving education and focusing on the talents of tribal nations to create economic growth .
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let me start where ronald reagans started by simplifying government. part of frustration today is similar to the frustrations dealt by state governments forced to live under regulations that were written for another age and time. i often speak about how our tribe lost a major contract with a large retailer, congress
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and the administration to bring federal agencies out of the 19th century and into the 21st_century. we need them to be partners for growth, and not bury us to growth. take access to capital, the ability to issue tasks exempt bonds and to fund construction projects is the bread_and_butter of every state yet this economic developmental is not available to tribes. the eye are as only allows tribes to use tax a good bonds. it's time to update the tax codes.
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the same goes for adoption. the state courts say that the parent who adopts a child with special needs is eligible to receive a tax credit to help with the care of that child. sadly, if a parent lives on a reservation and adopts a child with special needs they do not get a tax credit. it is not an oversight it is bad policy, it is outrageous and discriminatory and it needs to change. we take law enforcement this bite and act of congress the
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fbi continues to deny tribal police to the same national crime database that they make available to states, to local cops to police, so what does that mean? it means that if a protection order in a domestic violence case, the tribal courts often cannot enter that order into the federal database, it means that protection might not follow the survivor off the reservation. that needs to change. the same goes for the census of the government, every five years 70,000 government entities are survey, right down to the local school districts but unfortunately tribal governments have never been included in this process so
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when we appeal for federal resources, we do so without any of the data that every other government uses to receive funding and that has to change. taking an especially close look at technology, the broadband regularly reviews the technology in america but the last technology sensors in tribal nation took place before google and twitter, even before smart phones existed. this highlights an ongoing individual divide.
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in spite of these barriers tribes are maintaining their place as the first american innovators. just last week president obama highlighted a public_private partnership that brought high_speed internet access to a community where access was once non_existent. today the tribal council has a new tool to engage citizens, the chapter school of languages offering education courses and broken both school districts. over 1000 students are using smart pads and online lesson plans and tools that increase parent engagement.
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i urge congress and the administration to excel rate works that are underway to partner private sector to expand broadband connectivity in indian country, we also need a comprehensive and updated study of our technology needs, to rig knowledge more common initiative. i want to focus on two important areas whereby parts and solutions exist, education and economic growth. no resorts is more important in america than their continued success in growth of tribal nations in the united states and our children. education is a truly right, the greatest way to invest in this
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precious natural resource is to provide a high quality culturally appropriate education, one that benefits all native children and gives native students the same chance to succeed. focusing on tribal controlled schools promises to improve outcomes from our students, and creating greater accountability for public schools on reservation lands will ensure that native students receive the quality education that they need and deserve. we call for the inclusion of tribal provisions to encourage
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tribal state partnerships, strengthening local control of education and beginning to help every school deliver a high quality education. we also call on congress to enact legislation that supports native language programs so that education children is used in our history and our culture. together, as a team, we should also take a hard look at the bureau of indian education school. congress can do more to make sure that native schools have high quality teachers, modern technology and the facilities to deliver excellent education along the way we must continue
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to seek innovative solutions, that is why i applaud president obama's proposal to make the first two years of tribal and community colleges free. it will finally make education in america reality. i look forward to working with congress and administration. after all, when you think about it, the relatively few dollars we spend on education today will save hundreds and thousands and even millions of
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dollars for the generations to come. statistics prove that education destroys poverty and drug and alcohol abuse in all of our communities. likewise when it comes to economic growth, what's good for americans is good for indian americans. growth that has ripple effect far beyond our borders. we can do when indian country has the flexibility to develop ideas at the local level, when it comes to infrastructure, options and housing just like the rest of the country when it comes to revenue tribes need the authority to raise tax
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revenue free from overlapping state taxation. i urge congress to take up significant tax reform this year, tax reform that includes tribes and recognises tribal sovereignty is so we can better provide essential governmental services and later groundwork for growth. i also urge congress to pass an indian energy legislation like that proposed. this legislation would provide flexibility to develop their traditional and renewable energy and will create capital in indian country and to further improve access to capital i urged the
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administration to remove hurdles in the bond guarantee program to ensure tribes are included in the new markets tax credit program.. with these tools in hand tribes can solve local demands and local solutions. i have reviewed and discussed the opportunities and challenges before us, and cia continues to work to build the policy ideas that inspire and guide tribal nations today. today, is in the past we are releasing a report reporting self_determination and modernising the trust relationship, the report outlines our priorities this year and identify specific ways the united states can uphold these commitments. i urge all members of congress
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to read it, review with your staff and use it as an occasion to continue the necessary conversation about how nations can move forward. in the end the relationship that we have inherited, like any good relationship depends on two things, respect and trust.. here i have a replica, the nations of the confederacy can continue to exchange belts like this one as a sign of peace and friendship. this belt symbolises the inherent sovereignty of tribal
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nations, from time immemorial we have made treaties among ourselves, treaties with european nations and treaties with the united states of america. many generations ago, we did not share a common language but we did share a relationship of mutual respect and admiration. a belief that our futures will be closely intertwined. in 1744, represented from the earthquake confederacy had a recommendation from maryland, pennsylvania and virginia. he said "what ever befalls you, never fought out with one another, in this all of those
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who share common progress and prosperity may be work together to make progress together and build a brighter future for all americans together. when we uphold this trust we uphold what our nations have always upheld. god bless the tribal nations and the national congress of national americans and god bless you the united states of america and go seahawks. (applause)
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thank you for that powerful speech and i guess that you can probably recognised the line that we were prepared for this speech, as we do every year we invite a member of congress to do a regression of response and this year really pleased to be joined by the new chairman of indian affairs. he has a long distinguished career in both medicine and public services and liz said the __ has said the people since 2007. please help me welcome the senator.
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well thank you very much that will welcome, unlike president obama state of the union, everybody stayed awake and everybody paid attention. i did have a chance to speak this morning with the former chairman of this community from your home state, she said congratulations and like you she also said go seahawks. i want to welcome my friends from the eastern tribes, vice chairman clinton wagon and of course councilmember jodie met adam so it is good to be joined by each and every one of you and this is a privilege to be here joining all of you.
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i am also privileged to be the new chairman of the committee on indian affairs in the night it state senate and the last time i came to this meeting in this room was with senator caca. he said i would love to see all of my friends and they can come to hawaii to see me. i also want to thank because you also talked about this, i
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want to thank sense of tester who was the chairman and i was the vice chairman. he will be working as my vice_chairman but we are equally committed to so much of what you have raised, we have much to be done and we want to do in a bipartisan way. it is the way we honour our history and relationship with the indian country. the relationship has not always been positive and serve the people of the indian country you well. we are not where we used to be we still have a long way to go. there is still much work to do. this deal will mark the
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anniversary of president nixon's special message. his message sent a new tone which is still an agenda item and a high priority. so, we have moved on from where we used to be that still much work needs to be done. indeed mr president you noted there has been remarkable moment in our shared history, it has been eight years since republican majority was elected to lead the senate so no matter which party is charged everyone deserves actions and solutions. as a for __
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the various leaders of the tribes have stated to me how important it is to have good jobs, healthcare and public safety in each of their communities. addressing these fundamental needs can contribute significantly to the lies of the indian people. my top priorities jobs, energy and natural resource development, healthcare, juvenile justice and tribal self justice. the more progress we can make on these issues are more progress we can make helping these families.
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we have today remarkable leader, he had came today and i'm an orthopaedic surgeon, he added canas said of a motorcycle but he is now applying the 7070 rule. if you are over 70 years of age the only days you ride your bike is when it is over 70's heat. all of us firmly believe that the best solutions being come from congress they come from indian country. it is indian country when we must engage the federal indian policy and legislation. with that in mind the first
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hearing, i'm impressed by the commitment expressed today, the commitment to finding innovative solutions even if it is as modest as simplifying regulations so i look forward to hearing additional views of this first hearing which will be held next week. too often i hear tribal rules are complicated. in some cases these birds so regulations have held back commercial development. it is counter_productive for washington to impose rules which inhibit tribal economies and growth. washington should be empowering tribes, not restraining them.
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i appreciate the words spoken today that there must be a way to simplify regular implications i'm dedicated to working with the indian country to achieve these goals. this legislation will cut the bureaucratic red tape and allowed try to develop energy sources. it is bipartisan legislation, it will facilitate renewable ng as well and in the words of the president these are the things that are going to provide for careers as well as capital, careers as well as capital and
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they are based as you said on respect and trust and that is the way we ought to be working. the goal of this bill is to empower tribes for generations to come. it puts a decision_making back as the hands of indian tribes that they can control their reason also is and not washington. the bill has been around for four congress is now so i urge indian country to join me in getting this bill signed into law this year. empowering tribes not only means lifting regulatory board burdens it means accountability. good governments is vital to continue this tribal determination.
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we should expect no less from the tribal agencies as well. more importantly the community will examine these programs to ensure that they are working efficiently and productively the native americans, empowerment also means providing tools for economic development and many tribal economies are agriculturally_based which means water. careful management of water in indian country is essential if we are to ensure a reliable supply in the future. many farmers still depend on the bureau of indian affairs to develop water for their needs, the department initiated several irrigation departments.
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in most cases the federal government did not even complete the projects, today there is a serious backlog of deferred maintenance to the two of over $500 million deferred maintenance means in efficient water delivery and damage infrastructure. these are perpetual problems but the department has not developed a long_term strategy in managing these systems. i thank the national congress of american indians to support both the indian energy to the
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resolutions passed last orders are thank you forgetting that done. these measures are small but important pieces to several tribal economies and i don't plan to stop at this point and continue throughout this whole congress. today we had many examples of how tribes are engines of economic growth and innovative governments. while we tried the indian country we cannot forget those that still need attention and help. president franklin roosevelt once said "detested progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much is whether we provide enough to those who have little"
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i cannot think of a more deserving of our attention than the most vulnerable indian children. indian country will be critical in reversing policy that have worked to the detriment of indian children. 2010 i co_sponsored a act, to examine various aspects of criminal justice in indian country notably juvenile justice. it was highlighted alarming juvenile justice issues. they held in detention at higher rates and longer periods of time than any other juvenile population in the united states, too often these young people are not provided the educational or rehabilitation occasional services to help them turn their lives around.
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tribal leaders have expressed terms that a lot of their users being lost to the juvenile system. this matter to me has two long been overlooked. we need to find a path forward these young people. the indian population is increasing and becoming younger. on the wind river reservation the average age of death is 49 years old.
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this type of low life expectancy is similar to other residents so we should not be satisfied that congress passed a law called the indian healthcare and law act, we must remain diligent in ensuring that these measurements are working for the benefits of indian countries to address these troubling death rates and juvenile issues. i recognise that the pollution of the federal tribal relationship remains a work in progress and i intend to lead these efforts in a continued government to government relationship respecting the power of each indian tribes and government itself and i'm confident we will find common ground which improves the lives of indian people. together we can make progress in helping indian country succeed and celebrating the promise that our shared values. thank you for inviting me to be with you today and i look forward to working with you in years ahead. thank you.
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thank you senator. if you have any questions a staff member will come and bring your microphone. if you could please state who you are with. if you could make sure we can keep your questions briefed that would be helpful. good afternoon i am at levi native news online this is for the president, you mentioned the emphasis that nci would put
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on de washington nfl team and you mentioned fedex. do you think it's time for tribes around united states to bowie cut the bed exes of the world and the coca_cola's of the world? >> once again i said we have to tell our story too often and many people do not understand the history of it, let them know how harmful turbulence to us and is connected to a genocide of our people. we haven't got to the point yet where we have started talking to that boycott but is stephanie going to be in the conversation. >> their arch tribes and making personal choices already and organisations saying i stop using fedex last year, i know a lot of other tribes have stopped.
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next question. >> i spoke with senator danes just after the state of the union and his immediate concerns would be to your community college proposal that he is not sure how that would really support the programs that they already have, also be wondering if your comments on the story that was in the economist this morning about the northwest tribes and the gaming funds leading to increased unemployment in the north worse. so thank you for your comments.
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>> the first question, the statistics don't lie in any country, when you have a room full of educated people right here, people in this room who are productive members of society, people who are not in the court systems, maybe not all of you, people and not in the prison systems people that are not in the treatment centres, these are educated individuals right here and when you give an individual of opportunity and the statistics don't lie, high school graduates, master degree holders anyone who has had an opportunity to be educated they
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might break that cycle and that is what we're all about in the indian country. because of that time in our history we created a generation of alcoholics because they are treated in the schools and the physical and mental abuse and verbal abuse and the sexual abuse, so education is the key for not only native americans but for all america. it is criminal that we have $2.1 million in s student debt right now.
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this small investment in our children will create dividends for the next generation i can guarantee you. i haven't had a chance to read that story with regards to your second question. >> discouraging people from finding work because they break even by what they would receive that minimum wage was a comparable position. >> once again i cannot comment on that but once again we are breaking a cycle and it would be unfair to me not to be able to see how they conducted the
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survey and who was the participant in the survey and how many tries were collectively treating this so i will get the chance to read that today. >> i'm going to take a question from online, one of our online watchers, he would like to hear how we are going to help medical funding. we have many states where indian country does not have access to the expansion programme because of the state's choices and one of the things indian country is looking at these alternative options. we have looked interesting concepts that maybe should the indian country should be its own 51 state. i would like to see if there are any other questions hear
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from anyone over here? over that yes? >> hi, mr president we have been doing so much the native viewers, we have someone doing a bipartisan bill right now, so much in indian country going on to help our children and so many good things the obama administration just went to standing, how can we keep the cement going and stop children from taking their lives in saying indian country has a lot to offer. what can we all do collectively? i have to say i
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am honoured to have you as a president. >> thank you, is safe to say that every tribal leader sitting in this room today and member is aware callers had use in their communities that had children die from suicide. once again it goes back to us as leaders, working with our use to break that cycle of historic trauma, it still plagues our community today, it is very very sad, we all have programs, we all have councillors but we have to continue to work not
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only with them, it's going to take a team effort and it's all about breaking that cycle. it's all about giving our children the opportunities. i don't thinkwill be able to fix this problem 100% but with so much drug abuse and alcohol abuse and high unemployment rates those are all part of the things that arthur's leaders need to work on to make our community a better place. it's a sad issue. what was the second question?
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>> good afternoon, you were just talking about trauma and how it affects our communities. i attended college in an urban area where they have an extremely high dropout rates. i'm also studying sociology but i wonder what is your opinion on addressing historical drama directly? do you believe that it can help or is a double edged sword? >> i am so proud of the fact that i can go to any indian communities across the nation and asked the question how many
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few children or parents of raising kids in a drug and alcohol free zone. i asked that question of the parents and the use sitting in that room, there were about 2 to 300 how many of you are breaking the cycle? how may view of great thing those kids in a drug and alcohol free environment and more than a quarter of those were raising their hands. it starts at home. i encourage all to use that are still waiting to be parents to make that promise today that the way we break historical
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trauma is breaking the cycle of drug abuse and alcoholism leave and dropout rates. and i would like to say that my great_grandfather, my great_great_grandfather all abuse alcohol and they are the first ones not to be raised in a drug or alcohol environment. my grandchildren, college
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education is part of their lives, so that's a great question thank you. >> there was a glaring issue that i didn't hear in your speech and that has to do with the cartier six, we have 556 tribes it took us 32 years__ it took us 32 years to go through this process and when we get to the end of this process we are faced with this issue. i didn't hear anything in your speech about that and i just like you to comment on thatam how you are intending on moving on that over the year? >>it's a great question and we
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were able to get every single issue into the speech. we work very aware that that is important goal for the indian country and we will be testifying next week. once again we need help from indian country right now, last year when we closed congress we only had 13 senators that had signed on for a clean car cherry fix we need 60 senators to make it happen so we are going to continue to work hard on that. i believe congressman cole
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already dropped their bills on the house side so we just need to continue to look for those champions on the senate side to get a clean fix because it does create two groups of tribal nations in the united states which is unacceptable. we are going to continue to work hard on that. >> i have another question from the website. is there and not the approval on the adoptive parents case? >> yes once again the indian child welfare act was passed in 1978 and just like the car
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cherry case you're seeing court decisions that are rolling that in. we need to continue to be diligent because in my parents generation and i've heard this story is of children being ripped out of their homes for unbelievable reasons. i was saddened to hear that, children were ripped out of their family's homes, the reason on the paper was they were dirty. hard to believe, isn't it? i encourage all tribal leaders congress, the senate, to make
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sure you make those indian child welfare laws stronger so our kids are not being taken out of our communities. >> any other questions in the room? yes. do you have a microphone? we will go to chairman stevens and i can grab something online. several questions regarding why we are waiting --urban health for our youth. >> i am part of the cherokee nation tripod of northeast oklahoma. i a turned the university of oklahoma. i am a student in finance and accounting so my big emphasis is economics. my question is what are we doing about requesting tried members into being self-sustaining financially? can we invest now that
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companies? how do we get are not -- our members a deliberate offices? what incentive do we have for a large company do hire a native american rather than another applicant? are there any health care laws we can manipulate in order to maybe get these large companies a break on health care or are members -- for ourmembers? >> we are excited to see our youth wanting to expand their horizon and bring back some of that to our tribal communities. some of the incentives we have now on financial education, we have a staff member who has been working on that and been on the committee. we have been providing training and workshops or tribal leaders.
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in our atlanta meeting, we had a full day meeting on billing financial capacity and tribal leaders were sharing examples of the programs they are able mentoring and their own communities, programs to help them with teaching investment with their youth, programs they are doing with their youth. they have an investment game that we offer to high schools across the country to compete against each other. our stock impeded against them once and i will not tell you where we ranked. [laughter] we do encourage drives to develop partnerships with corporate alliances where they believe they will have future investments so we can learn in those skills and bring them back. the energy industry is a great place to do that. we look for those incentives like we have had with the other programs and the federal government such as the teachers assistance programs and the health assistance programs that allow us to be part of those programs.
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thank you. over to arnie stevens. >> quickly, i want to say, i just watched bill mendoza walk out of here. very young men can mind standing next to the new vice tear. these are -- and vice chair. i am looking at young people that are so powerful here. we talk about an ncai. my son is on the tribal council. he is a young man who grew up with challenge but while he was getting ready to speak, he said, it is my 15th anniversary. i am now call and drug-free for 15 years today -- alcohol and drug-free. [applause]
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we have so many young men and women warriors doing so much for indian country. those are the ones. we try to steer away from future leaders. young people are our leaders today. the zen people are leaders today. it is empowering young warrior men to learn how to be big brothers, fathers, powerful rolemodels and their community. there are very strong women leadership roles in our society. i think it is important that we understand we have powerful young people and those are the ones that help us deal with matters like suicide prevention, alcohol and drug abuse because those evils are out there. on the issue of her capital, --
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opper capita. for the most part, we educate our young people to deal with those. per capita payments generally are very small. these tribes that you have them are usually because they have very small populated drives. -- tribes. we are doing well. we are working together. the only way we help our pyongyang communities, we work good, stand strong and listen to your words today. thank you. >> thank you. >> we are out of time. i want to let people know submitted questions online we will be responding to come if
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you still have questions, our staff is here and before we leave, i want to think everybody who was out there in cyberspace. thank you to the press who helped reverberate our message. thank you. >> this afternoon, president obama speaks to a number of the nation's mayors. he and your winter meeting of the u.s. conference of mayors wraps up today here in washington. city residents remarks live in these the room of the white house at oracle and 40 5 a.m. eastern dutch -- at 4:45 p.m. eastern. >> speakers include potential 2016 residential candidates governors rick perry, scott walker, and chris christie former governor mike huckabee, donald trump and then carson --
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ben carson as well as sarah palin. the iowa freedom summit. >> the more of our coverage from the nation's estate of these data dresses with nevada republican governor. this comes to us courtesy of the nevada broadcasters association. [applause] >> we welcome you to the assembly chamber and we look forward to your message. >> please be seated. mr. president, mr. speaker distinguished members of the legislature, honorable justices
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of the supreme court constitutional officers, my fellow nevadans i am incredibly grateful and honored that i have the privilege of serving as her governor. -- your governor. i wish to speak with you, not just about the state of our state but about a plan to modernize and transform nevada for its next 50 years of success. before i begin, let me take a moment to recognize nevada's first lady. the most amazing first lady and the united states of america. [applause]
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as well as my daughters maddie and marissa. also with me tonight are my parents and my sister. [applause] tonight, we welcome 20 freshmen legislators. it brings back great memories or may because it was 20 years ago when i first was a member of this naughty -- body. will all of the legislators stand up and be recognized? [applause]
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sadly, since we last met, a great many former legislators have departed. we lost a nevada giant and speaker joe dini. a total of 90 legislators will long be remembered -- 19 legislators will be remembered for their service. lisa join me for a moment of silence in their honor. thank you. one month ago today the event of the nevada centennial, i helped seal a time capsule that is now buried at the capital. the contents capture a snapshot of the nevada emily today to be -- nevada family today. i wrote a letter to nevada's
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bicentennial governor. as i wrote, i realized success or earlier of -- failure of the governor and people in nevada and 2064 will largely depend on our decisions today. ladies and gentlemen, we stand at a unique moment in time. having just completed the centennial, we have probably -- proudly celebrated our state's history. tonight we begin writing the next chapter of that story. we must decide if that chapter is about getting through the next two years or about creating a new nevada for the generations to come. now, the most recent chapter of our story required strength and perseverance. as we weathered one of the worst economic storms in our history.
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these times were even more challenging because they coincided with two long and difficult wars. even of a said it could not be done, we laid the foundation for a new nevada. nevada became one of only six national training sites or -- for unmanned training vehicles. we attracted tesla in one of the most competitive selections in our nation's history. [applause] we became home to dozens of other national brands who now employ nevadans in the industries of the future. cybersecurity, medicine, aviation, renewable energy manufacturing, data storage, and more. during my first "state of the state" message in 2011, nevada
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led the nation in unemployment. we set a goal of 50,000 new jobs. we have almost doubled that. [applause] today, nevada's job growth is third strongest in the country. we have cut our unemployment rate in half. we have the second fastest-growing population in the united states of america. [applause] we're adding good jobs in almost every sector with business services manufacturing health services and tourism leading the way. and yet, the success of our state is inextricably linked to the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens. i believe we have made
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significant progress in this regard. two years ago, 23% of nevadans lacked health insurance, the second worst ranking in the nation. today, that number has been reduced by more than half to 11% and we are the fourth most improved state in the country. [applause] even better, the uninsured rate for our children has dropped from 15% to 2%. [applause] nearly three fourths of our medicaid and nevada checkup is covered by management which saves the state $13 million and
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ensures that nevadans receive timely, cost-effective, and appropriate health care. in 2013, our behavioral health system was in a crisis. individuals waited days to access inpatient psychiatric treatment, and emergency rooms were overflowing. through the work of the department of human and health services, the specially created health and wellness council, and many others, there have been dramatic improvement. for all of you that have been associated with that, i thank you. [applause] we also focused on education. we expanded full-day kindergarten, we created programs for english-language learners, we increased funding for special education, supported school choice in the creation of a charter school authority, and
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dedicated ourselves to college and career ready standards and assessments. our colleges and universities modernize their funding formula , rewarding performance, and success. [applause] we accomplished much in the worst economic crisis since the great depression. because of our collective effort, i believe that we stand at the threshold of a new nevada, a nevada prepared to take its place among the most innovative, visionary, and well-educated states in the nation. [applause] and although we can never lose our focus on job creation in the economy, we must now turn our attention to nevada's generations to come, the youth of our state. now i featured them in my
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inaugural for a reason. they are incredibly talented hard-working, and determined. it is they -- it is they -- who will live with the decisions we make during this legislative session. i know this view is shared by all of you assembled. i am relying on the leaders of this institution assemblywoman kirkpatrick, to work with me on what must be done. we have already started, and i thank them for their leadership. [applause] it's no mystery nevada's new companies will need a highly skilled workforce. our historic industries will as well. improving our public education
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system must therefore begin with modernization. and modernization requires investment. but our investment cannot be by more of the same. we have to own the fact that our k through 12 system must improve. rapid enrollment growth spurred voters to implement the first state sales tax in 1955. governor russell, with the assistance of the legislature, went even further, consolidating over 150 school districts into the current 17 based on county lines. this made sense in 1955.
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nevada's entire population at the time was just 237,000 people, roughly two thirds the number of students in the clock -- clark county school district. in 1967, educational needs are again required leadership. the legislature enacted a nevada plan for school finance. this plan sought to stabilize state funding to local school districts. in that year, nevada's population was roughly 450,000 less than today's total enrollment in all public schools. not only was the silver state less populated 50 years ago, nevadans were financially better off. from the end of world war ii until the late 1960's, nevada's per capita income was among the highest in the west.
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in contrast, today almost one out of every four children and nevada lives in poverty. our population is also much more diverse. nevada is a different place. america is a different place. the world is a different place. yet we rely upon the same public education governance and financing models established 50 years ago. i submit to you this evening that an education system for this century requires bold new ideas to meet the reality of our time. i am asking the legislature to join me in beginning the work of comprehensive and modernization of our education system to meet the needs of today's students and the new nevada. this work begins with our youngest learners. nevada has the lowest preschool
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attendance of any state in the nation. thanks to a recent federal grant and matching funds provided in my budget, we will improve this worst in the country statistic by doubling the number of seats for those children. [applause] my budget also finishes what we started two years ago. the expansion of all-day kindergarten to every school in the state of nevada. [applause] these two efforts provide a foundation for the future success of all our children. but we also must improve children's reading skills. studies show that a child's chances of graduating from high school are cut in half if they are not reading at grade level by third grade.
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i will therefore work with senator becky harris and the senate committee on education to introduce a bill to help ensure every student is reading by third grade. [applause] my budget includes nearly $30 million to support this literacy effort. [applause] my budget also begins modernizing our classrooms through instructional technology. today, we invest less than $4 million over the biennium in school technology. my budget will launch the nevada ready 21 plan. this plan will put digital devices in the hands of middle school students throughout nevada and ensure teachers have the necessary training for this new environment.
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nearly $50 million will be invested. [applause] as we expand technology we must take steps to protect privacy. i encourage this legislature to work with various stakeholders to enact legislation protecting student data. [applause] our most troubling education statistic is nevada's worst in the nation high school graduation rate. we have to do better. my budget includes a new grants program designed to ensure students are college and career ready by graduation. [applause]
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as well as a significant expansion of career and technical education, jobs for america's graduates, and stem education. [applause] in total, this effort will make over $20 million available to our high schools. [applause] now, we must remember that the new nevada will be different in other ways from 50 years ago. our students are different. and their needs are different. the 40-year-old nevada plan for school finance must be modernize d to consider the needs of individual students. [applause] a better alternative uses weighted formulas were students with different needs would receive additional dollars based
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on a percentage of the base amount. in the second year of the coming biennium, my efforts will establish the first of these funding categories in special education and then work toward a final weighted formula. other categories will follow in subsequent years. last session, we introduced for the first time additional resources for nevada's english language learners. we created the zoom schools. an early indicators point to the kind of success we expected. my budget doubles the original investment, and we will put a total of $100 million in the zoom schools. [applause] but english language learners are not the only school population with different needs.
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my budget includes $50 million for students in the most impoverished parts of our state. [applause] these schools require a solution to win the struggle that students face every day. i propose calling them victory schools, signifying our commitment to help the students overcome diversity. [applause] we have also historically neglected our gifted and talented learners, allocating less than $200,000 per year for the students. my recommended budget provides $10 million to establish a true gifted and talented learner allocation.
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[applause] these initiatives represent a down payment on total modernization of a nevada plan. increased transparency in the funding model ensure money reaches the classroom, and modernize equity allocation. the hard reality of nevada schools today is that they are simply overcrowded and need maintenance. imagine, imagine, sitting in a high school in las vegas with over 40 students and no air-conditioning. the need is real. therefore, i will support legislation for the construction and maintenance of our local schools with state oversight. [applause]
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>> while some must recognize the hard trust that our education system will not improve without more funding others must accept the reality that improvements will not be made without accountability measures. collective bargaining reform and school choice. [applause] our new investments must come with performance measures and accountability.
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we will only pay for programs that make a difference in the lives of students. [applause] i will again support opportunity scholarships, giving tax credits to businesses that provide tuition-based scholarships for at-risk students to attend private schools. [applause] to the leadership of assemblywoman melissa the assembly committee on education will introduce this legislation, and i will sign it when it reaches my desk. [applause] i support legislation that increases the quality of public charter schools. [applause] my budget provides $20 million
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in matching funding to encourage successful, proven charter school organizations to open more schools in nevada. [applause] and based on recent events, i have concluded that local school boards should be appointed, not elected. [applause] although well-intended, some of these boards have become disconnected from their communities. i will therefore support legislation to provide for the appointment of members of local school boards. now, we must also recognize that nevada school districts may be too large or too small. today they range in size from 74 students in esmeralda county to over 318,000 students in clark
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county. i will introduce legislation that allows local governments to create smaller school districts in our urban counties and consolidate school districts in our rural counties. [applause] i will also support legislation to enact true, collective bargaining reform in our school system. [applause] in 2011, i asked the legislature for a more balanced approach to contract negotiations. most bills never received a hearing. i again stand ready to work with you to ensure that employee compensation is fair but also recognizes the need for reform. [applause]
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we cannot expect that governance and financing models alone will address the underlying issues that prevent many students from learning. achieving meaningful public school reform also means addressing the environment in which our children learn. our first lady has long been a champion for our youth. and in recent months she has focused her abundant energies on hunger in our schools. responding to the recommendations from the food security task force, my budget includes $2 million to expand breakfast in the classroom and legislation -- [applause] and legislation will be introduced to leverage federal spending in this area.
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the onset of the internet, texting, twitter snapchat, facebook and other technologies has introduced new stressors in the lives of our youth, without necessary coping skills. many have nowhere to turn resulting in lower grades, school absence, and in worst cases, violence and tragedy. the price paid by some is staggering. with us tonight from las vegas are mary brian, amy heir and jason lambert, whose children were the victims of bullying. applause[applause]
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unfortunately, these parents are not alone. over 4,000 incidents of bullying and cyberbullying were reported in nevada during the last school year. i will work with senator parks and assembly woman speagle to propose legislation to reform nevada's antipeuling antibullying laws. in addition, a new office will administer $36 million in grants for social work in our schools as recommended by the behavior and health awareness council.
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[applause] teachers and principals who lead our schools also deserve our support through investment and accountability. we must empower them. that is why i'm introducing legislation to strengthen the current pay-for-performance laws. we will require districts to set aside money to reward the very best teachers and principals and attract them to teach at underperforming schools. [applause] i have also substantially increased the state's commitment to professional development through a great teaching and
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leading fund. these funds will be used to improve the teaching profession attract new teachers and train the kind of school leaders that we need. [applause] finally, we must acknowledge that far too many of our schools are persistently failing. tomorrow our department of education will release a list of underperforming schools. the list includes 10% of the schools in our state. many have been failing for more than a decade. we must draw a line in the sand and say, no more! i'm therefore requesting the creation of achievement school district. this unique school district will
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manage failing schools without regard to location. i have asked former washoe county superintendent pedro martinez. [applause] i have asked former washoe county superintendent pedro martinez to help with this initiative, as a superintendent in residence, in the nevada department of education. [applause] pedro, i thank you for your leadership on this issue. ladies and gentlemen this is my plan to improve education in the
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state of nevada. we will make investments from early learning through high school graduation. we will support enhancements in technology, students at risk gifted students, teachers and principals, school choice and construction. we will tie those investments to performance, with targeted grants wherever possible. there will be no blank check. we will revise -- [applause] we will revise collective bargaining laws. we will also modernize and transform the system. and we will ensure that all, all of our students are ready for success in college and careers every single one of them. [applause]
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today only one out of three nevadans have the benefit of education or training after high school. yet we know we know that the jobs of the future will require two-thirds of us to have post-high school credentials. the new nevada will need more scientists machinists, engineers, computer programmers welders and other s.t.e.m. workers to grow our new industries. our colleges and universities are the key. [applause] last session we took steps to introduce performance funding to the nevada system of higher education. the institutions responded. and tonight i am pleased to announce additional investments in our colleges and universities. [applause]
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my budget includes new operating funds in the amount of $76 million for higher education plus $24 million in bond funding for capital construction. the nevada system of higher education sees a growth of over 8% in state support over the next budget cycle. [applause] a unlv hotel school is funded with $24 million. there is no reason why the best hotel school in the nation shouldn't be in the greatest city in the nation, las vegas nevada. [applause] las vegas also needs a medical school. it is the largest metropolitan
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area in the nation. [applause] the board of regents has recognized this need. and i am pleased to provide the first $9.3 million for the initial cost of establishing the new unlv medical school. [applause] although we will establish a medical school at unlv, nevada needs more doctors now. my budget includes $10 million in new funding for graduate medical education to attract and retain the best new doctors in america, to train and stay in nevada. [applause]
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all in all in, from preschool through graduate school, the proposals i have outlined tonight will invest $882 million in education in our state over the next two years. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, i do not make these proposals lightly. i know that they change the way
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that we approach education. but i also know that our system must improve and that every child deserves a chance to succeed. the investment in our children and transformation of our education system is absolutely necessary, and so tonight i ask for your help in creating the funding base to pay for it. for four years, we've held the line on spending. temporary revenue measures, cuts and efficiencies were necessary. we sought to get nevada working again. and we did it. businesses were able to get back on their feet and plan for the future. we also cut red tape and improved state government. yet caseload growth, school enrollment and infrastructure needs place new pressures on
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state spending every single day. in the current fiscal year, despite an improving economy and record job growth, we would be unable to pay our bills without significant adjustments to the approved spending plan. this year alone, we are $150 million below forecast, and this is in a time of economic recovery. our current revenue structures do not keep up with growth. the economic forum set available fund revenues by the next biennium at approximately $6.3 billion. our current biennial budget is $6.6 billion dollars. for the coming budget cycle, the form projects general fund revenues will only be slightly more than the to 2005-2007 budget,
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ten years ago. by contrast, during that past 10 years, our population has increased by 335,000 people, k-12 enrollment has increased by over 55,000 students and the number of nevadans in many social service programs has more than doubled. the budget that i am proposing includes $7.3 billion in general fund spending, significantly less than agency requests. but it begins the strategic investment in the education that we require. i believe that this is necessary and even critical for our future. we must also consider sensible reform to the public employee
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retirement system and the way we pay state employees. my budget will no longer require state employees to take furloughs. [applause] state employees have made great sacrifices, and i want to personally thank them for their service to the people of the state of nevada. [applause] tonight i'm asking this legislature to work with me to ensure that nevada moves forward, 20 close the gap between proposed revenue and projected spending, i'm offering a two-part solution.
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like so many of these new proposals, it provides an opportunity for modernization. first, the so-called sunset taxes must be continued to cover basic expenditures. they provide revenue not only for the general fund but also the distributive school account. it's time. it's time that we be honest with ourselves. these revenues are now part of our comprehensive budget. second, we must identify new sources of revenue. $132 million can be found through changes to existing state law, and this will help some of the structural issues. but we must we must fully fund the education initiatives that i have outlined. i'm therefore proposing a broad-based solution that asks nevada business to invest in our
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education system by modifying the existing business license fee to a graduated scale, we will generate over $430 million in the next two years funding equal, equal to the investment in pre-k through 12th grade that i am proposing in the budget. now, i realize that these decisions are difficult. i know that i'm asking for a lot, from the business community. but i've explored every option and find this to be the broadest least complicated and fairest solution. business license fees will be immediately available, something that is critical for our budget. and this revenue will grow as the economy grows in the years ahead. i know that this approach will
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cause debate. [laughter] you will all find -- you will all find that there is no perfect solution. but what we must, what we must all agree on, that another generation of young nevadans cannot move through our schools without more resources, choice and reform. and that we must modernize our revenue system. [applause] together we must establish a plan to continually improve the silver state. we have an opportunity to show that nevada leads. nevada is poised to lead the nation in the technology sector.
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my budget includes funding to reignite the governor's office of science innovation and technology. it will bring focus to our s.t.e.m. strategy and coordinate broadband connectivity so that our schools, telemedicine and communities have the necessary access to fiber technology. the office will also administer s.t.e.m. workforce challenge grants as envisioned by the recent brookings institute report. [applause] and tenant, tonight, i am pleased to announce the expansion of one of southern nevada's homegrown technology companies. switch. the world's largest data center is poised to expand to northern nevada bringing $1 billion of investment with it. [applause]
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switch also plans one million square feet of new data center space in las vegas, for a total investment of $2 billion. [applause] this will make nevada the most digitally connected state in the united states of america. applause[applause]
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the list of companies wanting to do business in nevada keeps growing. but nevada's unemployment rate is still too high. much of the persistent unemployment can be attributed to construction jobs, which were cut in half in the last recession. getting housing construction back to pre-recession levels would create thousands of new jobs. i'm calling on the legislature to pass reasonable construction defect reforms to revive our housing market and bring jobs back to nevadans. [applause] we can lead by spurring construction in other areas as
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well. the department of transportation's project neon will invest $250 million to improve southern nevada's interstate 15, reduce congestion, and create construction jobs. other -- [applause] other statewide projects will use another $230 million for construction, maintenance and future planning. in las vegas, the convention and visitors authority is helping us remain competitive with the proposed global business district. this district will add crucial new technology that conventions demand and it will add new trade show space that could generate $700 million in new revenue every year. [applause]
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this project is critical to maintaining las vegas as the entertainment and convention capital of the world. threats to the system and the resulting potential impacts to nevada's wildlife, agriculture and mining offer another area where nevada can lead. i will continue to support nevada's cutting-edge plan to protect our habitats and avoid a listing of the greater sage grouse. [applause] our long history of cultural preservation provides another opportunity for nevada to lead. my budget includes funding to begin planning for the stewart native american historic experience. [applause]
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now, this project will restore the stewart indian school in carson city and create a one of a kind cultural welcome center focusing upon our nevada tribes. [applause] tribal leaders are with us this evening, and i thank and welcome these heads of state to these chambers. would you please rise. [applause]
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i'm keenly aware that autism spectrum disorder impacts one in every 68 children. estimated projections indicate that nearly 6,000 children in nevada have autism spectrum disorder. we must meet the needs of these children as early diagnosis and treatment have life-changing consequences. through increased state support and better use of federal resources, funding will increase from $1.8 million, when i took office, to $73 million. [applause] my administration is also proposing to centralize 11 agencies within the department of business and industry into a convenient one-stop shop. the nevada state business
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center. this las vegas -- [applause] this las vegas complex will reduce costs and provide better service to our business community. nevada also leads through service. i proclaim 2014 to be the year of the veteran. this was part of the green zone initiative nevada's nationally recognized veterans services effort. over the last two years our veteran cemeteries have received millions of dollars in grants to continue to provide dignity honor and respect for our fallen heros. we doubled, all of us, we doubled the number of veteran service officers. and as a result, nevada veterans have received an additional $50 million annually, tripling the
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amount from three years ago. [applause] unfortunately, our southern nevada veterans home is at capacity. and northern nevadans have no veterans home of their own. my budget includes $14 million in bond funds to build the northern nevada veterans home. [applause] our veterans deserve nothing less. seated among us tonight are six veterans, each representing a different conflict from our nation's history.
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and they embody the spirit of how nevada leads. radioman first class bill parsons of sparks served in the united states navy submarine service during world war ii [applause] retired first sergeant chuck harden of reno served in world war ii in korea. please stand, sir. [applause]
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irwin mcqueen of elie served as an army infantryman in vietnam. [applause] air force master sergeant served during the gulf war, iraq and afghanistan. [applause] >> amy wallen of reno served in the coast guard during the global war on terrorism. [applause] national guard captain denise ramos of las vegas

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