tv Oregon Governor Inaugural Address CSPAN February 8, 2017 6:20am-6:59am EST
i'm glad you were able to join us. i was a little worried yesterday that we might have an empty chamber today. thank you madam speaker and thank you for your extraordinary service to oregon. i'm inspired by the leadership that's earned you the speaker's office for a third consecutive assembly. congratulations. exactly 50 years ago today january 9th, 1967, tom mccall stood where i stand and took the oath of office as oregon's governor. oregon has changed in countless ways in the past half century. but one principle that has been endured can be found in the words governor mccall spoke at the beginning of his inaugural address. their words about the importance
of a strong relationship between the governor and the legislature. to the extent it is humanly possible to do, so said grofrn mccall, let us put aside the temptations to be guided by regionalism, factionalism or anything which frag mentes the public interest. may we pledge to one another to work not in partisanship but in partnership. it is in that spirit that i address you, the members of the 79th oregon legislative assembly and in that spirit that i address all oregonians. let me start by congratulating my fellow state widz, dennis retch ard son, tobias reed, welcome aboard.
and ellen rosenbaum, welcome back. congratulations and welcome to all of our legislators. this freshman class includes representatives teresa leon who personally knocked on more than 4,000 doors during her campaign. and senator allen debor who won his election by just over 500 votes. given the fact that i won my first legislative victory by a mere seven votes, i consider 500 votes to be a land slide. congratulations. i know this is a very exciting day for you and your families. and i am so very, very grateful
for your commitment to public service. speaking of public service, i believe it's worth noting that legislative assembly that begins today is the eightage sembly in which peter courtney will preside as president. a number that is unmatched in oregon's 158-year history. nobody loves this building and the legislature more than peter courtney. please join me in saluting him on his historic service. two final notes, i'd like to thank my family and friends which now include governor roberts and governors culengowski for their love and support that mote vaets my every single day.
thank you, i love all of you. courage is defind as mental or moral strength to venture, percent vee veverse veer and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. personally, i define courage and i suspect manufacture you do as well in just three words -- representative vick gilliam. your presideence today inspirdz each and every one of us. members of the legislature and my fellow oregonians, i am so honored to stand before you as your duly lekted governor. i take the oath today in far happier circumstances than i did nearly two years ago in february of 2015.
despite the circumstances, and the fact that the 2015 legislative session was already underway, we work together in the months that followed and achieved some very important accompli 5: 5: accomplishments. we regained the trust of oregonians. we invested in a seamless system of education from krad toll career including all day kindergarten & our community college access program. the oregon promise. we expanded the oregonian opportunity grants to help more students pay for college. we passed paid sick leave so that more workers would no long ver to choose between keeping their job or paying their rent. we also got good stuff done during the short session of
2016. we raised the minimum wage there bs by supporting oregon families struggling to make ends meet. and making the statement that no one working full time should be living in poverty. we responded to the tragedy at the community college by providing $6 million to address campus and community needs. we upheld the tradition of leading on environmental stewardship by making oregon once again a national and global model with a passage of the nation's first coal to clean law, eliminating coal fired electricity for good. as i've often said, future generations will judge us, not on the fact of global climate change, but how we responded to
it. under my leadership, we will continue to move oregon forward. but for me, and i suspect for senator chuck thompson and mark johnson, one of the most memorable days of the session was the day when we passed legislation forever proclaiming march 28th as minoru isua river day. this was the if i ever japanese american to graduate from the university of oregon law school and the first japanese american to be a member of the oregon state bar. he made national history by challenging the constitutionality of executive
order 9066. signed on february 19, 1942, which require persons of japanese ancestry to remain in their homes between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on march 28th, 1942, at the ripe old age of 26 years old, mr. isui put his personal liberty on the line for justice as he intentionally violated the curfew by walking the streets of portland. he was arrested and imprisoned for nine months in solitary confine ment at the county jail before being deported to the relocation center in idaho where he wouldry main until near the end of the war.
mr. isui established a law practice in november. and in his death in 1986, he continued to fight for civil rights for all and for the courts to rule that executive order 9066 was unconstitutional. mr. asui's ashes are buried beneath a pair of giant seed z cedars in hood river. in november of 2015, president obama awarded mr. usui with the presidential medal of freedom, the highest award that can be bestowed upon an american citizen. he is the only oregonian ever to receive this award.
i share this story today because america has just come throughout most bitter and divisive national election and memory, an election featuring rhetoric questioning the very citizenship and civil rights of americans. and i want to make it very clear that here in oregon where thousands have fought for and demanded equality, we cannot and we will not retreat. we must guard against prejudice based on race, ethnicity, religion, or belief. we must not allow the rights of any one person or class of people to be degraded in any
way. we must champion women's rights and fight for our struggling families. we must stand up for our veterans. we must defend the rights of lgbtq oregonians. and we must continue to preserve the oregon tradition of respecting the treaty rights of the nine sovereign tribal nations and work with all native peoples who join us in calling this great state home.
in short, we must always remember the words of mr. usui who said if we believe in america, if we believe in equality and democracy, if we believe in law and justice, then each of us, when we see or believe errors are being made has an obligation to make every effort to correct them. the guiding principle of my public service is to fight, to bring opportunity to all oregonians. especially those who haven't had a fair shot who have been left behind. this has been and remains the guiding principle of my public
service career. this principle can be seen in the priorities and programs i have outlined in my proposed budget. it is a dubudget that prioritiz what's i believe are the requirements central to building a successful life. the opportunity for a good job, the opportunity for good health, and the opportunity for a good education. let me briefly touch boupon eac of these. it seems like the economy is growing like a gangly teenage boy, out of control and overnight. for the first time in two decades, statewide unemployment rate dropped below the national average. news outlets from forbes to fortune to bloomberg are writing
glowing profiles of oregon's job producing economy. but for rural communities such as john day or paul but as republican leaders know so well, there is a disturbing gap between the unemployment rate in urban oregon and rural oregon. for families living in columbia, ko, crook, or any of our rural communities, we must burst open the doors of opportunity so that individuals can find good paying jobs right where they live. to accomplish this, and to ensure the economy is humming in every single corner of oregon, we need to take a multifaceted approach, leveraging enforce ment in workforce develop ment, infrastructure,
collaborati collaboration, and innovation. as i have traveled across oregon, countless employers and business owners have told me that they have struggled to find employees to meet their needs. one way we can help them is to make colombia county with an unemployment rate of 6.3% the national role model for 21st century workforce training. based on a model created in england and bolstered by the determination and drive of the endom inable betsy johnson, we allocated resources at business oregon and partnered with the private sector to build the oregon manufacturing innovation center. it's a place where high school graduates will learn the technical and sought after skills that successful
businesses need, skills that will enable them to find good paying jobs as welders, electricians, and builders. these are jobs that provide financial security that go beyond the next paycheck. the centers not even finished and it's already a model of success. 12 large manufacturers have made commitmentes to the center and some are expressing interest in opening their own facilities. all right, give them a round of applause. >> like colombia county, koos county also knows the struggles of rural oregon all too well. despite efforts to expand access to good jobs and internationally renowned golf course and inveinves in ments in the support, the
region is struggling with an unemployment rate of 6.4%. i believe, however, there is an opportunity to create jobs right now. that opportunity is in the 135 bridges we have on the coast. experts tell us the 100 or so of those bridges will be either totally destroyed or severely damaged and the event of a mathor earthquake that many geologists believe is inevitable. let's create more good paying family wage jobs in koos and curry counties and all along highway 101 by investing in seismic retrofitting of the coastal roads and bridges. just like seismic retrofitting creates jobs on the coast, it can also create economic opportunities and central and eastern oregon. i've heard from truck drivers
who are starting to use 97 as an alternative route to avoid traffic congestion we are facing in the portland metropolitan area. congestion that has led metro commuters spending 52 hours a year in their cars. u.s. 97 is also the alternative route through our state in the vent of that major earthquake. it is a crucial artery for safety that can also create jobs. let's make u.s. route 97 functional right now. improvements to coastal bridges and highway 97 are just parts of a transportation package that i have been working on with legislators and community leaders i'm confident this legislature will have passed and
i will have signed into law a bipartisan transportation bill that will move oregon forward in the 21st century. but it's going to take more than a transportation package to bring economic opportunities that will help rural oregon thrive. it will also take investments in our wear the. we have shown that get water out of the colombia river and on to the ground helps grow crops which in turn helps grow jobs. that's why my budget includes $32 million in bond funding in grants for local water projects which will help meet the needs of rural communities, agriculture, and the environment. we found another path and places such as grant county through the
good neighbor agreement. we have signed with the u.s. forest service. thanks to this partnership, we have seen a 14% increase in timber harvest and a 16% increase in timber-related jobs. we must continue to search for similar innovative programs that are good both for the economy and for the environment. that's why i invested in the rural development initiative. this is a program to help rural entrepreneurs get the capital and expertise they need to build their small businesses and to thriving economic engins. i also invested in the technology that's inspire these entrepreneurs, unmanned areal vehicles and cross laminated timber aren't just the hot tech trends of the moment. they are brilliant innovations
that can't grow without space or trees. two items that rural oregon has in abundance. i believe that by investing in workforce development roads and bridges and innovative partnerships by leveraging the human material and natural resources that once made our rural communities the most prosperous in the state, we have a real chance to tackle the economic fault line that split our state in two. it takes a constellation of approaches and the work of all of us to build a bridge to one another and ensure that our entire economy continues to thrive in every county rural and urban. let me turn from economic health
to physical health of oregonians. we all know that good help sj fundamental to the well-being and self-sufficiency of every oregonian. i am so proud to report that we made great progress in the delivery of health care. over the past several years, oregon has expanded health care to 95% of adults and 98% of children. i think the numbers are worth repeating. here in oregon, 95% of adults and 98% of children now have access to health care. we should not stop and cannot stop until every oregonian is covered.
as everyone in this chamber knows, health care is about more than just seeing a doctor. every child in this state deserves the opportunity to be healthy and successful. the camacho family now has it. they struggled with abuse and addiction which influenced her to make lifestyle choices she knew were detrimental. she was referred to jackson care connect, a coordinated care organization, and in their 12 week healthier new you program, she was able to transform not just her life but the lives of her husband and son. before starting the program, she was overweight and faced a host of health-related problems.
her entire family struggled with obesity. once she had access to care, she took what she learned and taught her family to read nutrition labels. chose what goods were good for them and began to exercise more. they all each lost a significant amount of weight. carlos, her son, was the self described chubby kid who would think nothing of eating a bag of potato chips in one sitting. he began to exercise with his mom and they even grew fresh vegetables in their apartment. carlos gained strength and he became a successful athlete which in turn made him want to be a successful student. he says his wrestling coach is strict about his grades. and he won't let them practice if they have behavior issues or miss class. carlos sums it up by saying the program wants him to make him do good. as impressive as carlos' story
is, we still have more work to do. we still have children and families in our state who do not have access to health insurance. and they don't have access to the services that transform carlos and his family's lives. as their story demonstrates, health care coverage is foundational to health and well-being. that's why i proposed invest ago decisional funds to expand health care insurance coverage to all children in oregon. with this, we can provide the opportunity for good health for every single oregon child and ensure every child is able to reach their full potential.
it was once said that a school is a building with four wall on the outside and tomorrow on the inside. there can be no doubt that the opportunities for a successful life for our children and our grand children dpenld upepend u ability to provide an education of the highest possible quality. and there is no doubt the investments we have made in the past two years in our early learning, k-12, and postsecondary education systems have made a difference. yet, there are still some statistics that should disturb all of us. our schools continue to be among the nation's leaders in all the wrong categories, the largest class size, the shortest school year, and the highest dropout rate. and in some rural communities such as crook, jefferson, despite heroic efforts by local
legislators, fewer than half of young children are meeting early milestones indicating that a child is school ready. to be sure, there are some bright spots. one can be found in the fact that the oregon promise program has opened the doors of opportunity by making higher education more accessible and affordable for more oregon students. >> the financial accept they receive from the oregon promise covers most ever had tuition living $300 to cover books and fees prosecute term. the oregon promise has given her the space to plan for her future. in addition to school, she now
works about 32 hours a week to save money so they can eventually transfer to a four year school. she says the oregon promise is helping her achieve her goal of majoring in psychology and becoming a therapist. let he is and sure that nia's story isn't unique. let's make sure that every student in oregon, especially historically underserved students, have the chance to achieve their own dreams. and let me be absolutely clear my top priority is improving high school graduation rates in oregon. that's why the propose ed budge provides an equity afunneled. it will be used to draes high school attendance, help students experiencing trauma and make investments in underserved
communities. an education system that opens the doors of opportunity to all those who represent the oregon of tomorrow. a health care system that makes sure 100% of oregon's children have access to care. and an economy that creates the opportunity for good paying jobs and portland and port orford and every community in between. these, my friends, are the goals that unite oregonians. these are the goals that we can only achieve by working together. i am and always have been an optimist. i'm not naive. i know there are obstacle that's stand in our way of creating a better future. chief among them, of course, is our $1.7 billion budget deficit.
three fifth of the deficit is the cost expanding health care to our all oregonians. one fifth is the unfunded cost of three new ballot measured approves in november that i voted for. it is only a short term solution. the time for short term solutions and kicking the can down the road has passed. we have cut and we have squeezed our roads, public saist, and our
schools have paid the price. and now we have two modern day oregon trails to choose from. one trail is to continue the endless process of slicing and squeezing. of diminishing our hopes and expectations and shrinking our dreams of what it means to be an oregonian. the other trail is to follow the advice of governor tom mccall to not be guided by regionalism and factualism. to work in partnership rather than partisanship. it is a trail that will involve hard work and painful choices. but it is my fellow oregonians, the only path to follow.
we have to come together and know we're all on the same side, fighting to make oregon a better place for all of us to live. and if we are to win that fight, then there are three actions we must take -- first, we must do everything possible this year and every year to ensure that each and every taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and efficiently. second, we must change our state's tax structure so that we have a fair and balanced system that provides the stable and adequate funding that allows us to properly fund our schools and to meet our critical needs. and third, we must address the on going liability in a way that keeps our promises to retirees and does not put us back on an endless hamster wheel of litigation.
i've been able to improve services in several agencies and my own office. i called an managers to take specific actions to save money such as delaying the filling of vacancy possessiitions and eliminating nonessential travel. i have encouraged them to operate more efficiently and at less cost. a couple of examples, staff at the department of administrative services renegotiated lease agreements saving nearly $64 million in rent over the course of the leases. and oregon state police revamped the training programs, reducing injuries and related costs by 35%. to identify best practices and make recommendations in time
230r9 18 legislative session, i'm appointing a panel to engage with stake holders in both the public and private sector. the panel will make recommendations on how state government can operate more efficiently, streamline the services that support our economy and bolster the services that vulnerable families dpenld on. they will seek out solutions to the institutional obstacles that at times hinder our abilities to serve oregonian. the same goal should be kept in mind when adregs the weight and the liability puts on our resources. i'm proposing we manage our investments more effectively, creating greater returns and innovating practices. my office is working to identify what we can do now such as bringing investment services in house to responsibly carry out our duties to retirees.
i look forward to other solutions to be proposed in the months ahead. as we consider our next steps, let's agree to keep our promises to retirees. let's ensure that no one can take advantage of the system. and let's seek solutions that are legally viable. so that dead ends aren't left to language in the court while the challenge continues to grow. we must also rethink the fairness of our tax system and address the burden our families carry to fund state government. under my direction, my office will work with stake holders on potential options to generate the rev knee we need so badly. we will work with all of you to restore fairness and balance in our tax system. we need solutions that don't unfairly burden working families struggling to make ends meet. we need solutions that support
economic growth in our rural and our urban communities. we learned painfully that there is no painless solution. but we must do this together. make no mistake. the oregonians who elected us put their trust in us to lead. they expect us to roll up our sleeves and get to work. they expect us to work together. i began my remarks today with a great oregonian governor tom mccall. and i end my remarks with the words used by another great oregonian, mark hatfield to conclude i had inaugural address as governor in january of 1959. may these words guide each of us in the chamber in the months ahead. for those of us that make government policy our good and
bad alike live after us. the seeds we sew are children reap. let us prepare them for a good harvest so oregon may have a bountiful future. it is my hope that future generations will look back at this legislative session and say, here's where bright successes were achieved. here's where the seeds were sewn for a good ar harvest. here's where a bountiful future for oregon was planted. thank you so very much. let's work together.