tv Washington This Week CSPAN February 23, 2013 12:30pm-3:00pm EST
this on to next generation. we also created jobsohio because the government agency that was created 50 years ago for the purpose of business development, it became antiquated and it became slow. you know, in the 21st century you must move at the speed of business. you cannot move at the speed of the statute. you must be out there every day understanding what the job creators are saying, and jobsohio has allowed us to think about defining our economy and, in fact, we are. think about ohio. when you leave ohio, you say to people, "what do they do in ohio?" well, you know, they're all manufacturing. well, we love manufacturing or agriculture, we love farming, but jobsohio has led us begin to think about things like bio- health, automotive, advanced
manufacturing, polymers and chemicals, financial services -- number two in property and casualty in the country. there's nothing that's happening more exciting than in the area of it. aerospace, where we're now beginning to work in the dayton area thinking about being able to fly unmanned vehicles. in the area of agribusiness and, of course, energy, which has us all excited, and logistics. you see, if you have many different areas that you target, when one part of the economy goes down, it doesn't mean it sinks your state. and so jobsohio has been able to work to diversify us and it's clearly working. and now that we're funded, we think we're even going to get more out of jobs ohio than we've seen so far. we also moved directly in the direction of common sense regulations. mary taylor -- mary, stand up -- our lieutenant governor of the state of ohio. mary's husband, mary's husband is a small businessman.
he knows about the regulations and how they can kill small businesses, particularly the smallest businesses that are really fragile. mary runs the common sense initiative. and let's just talk about our philosophy in one area - - oil and gas. we believe in having an environment where we can prosper the oil and gas industry, but we also believe that in the process of doing it, we cannot endanger people and we cannot endanger the environment. and if you use common sense, you, in fact, can protect the public safety. you, in fact, can protect the environment and you can create jobs, and we are doing it in ohio. thank you, mary, for your efforts at bringing common sense. for me, there was always something unique about ohio, something special. i can't help but smile when i think about coming to ohio as a kid, as a little boy, seeing cleveland.
cleveland rocks. literally. been to the hall? lake erie. every time i fly up there, i look at that lake and i say, boy, are we lucky to have that lake erie right here in ohio. we've got to take better care of it and we have to tell people more about it. you know, i loved ohio then, but then my father took me to columbus to visit ohio state university. a lot of dads, a lot of moms took their kids to visit ohio state. i fell in love. you know, i sensed ohio's excitement then, i felt its opportunity. i knew ohio was going to be my home, and nobody was going to drag me away from this place because it's just so, so awesome. but, folks, we have all seen our state drift over time.
we've seen it get old. we've seen it begin to misfire and fall behind. but like a great old home, i knew ohio could be restored to its grandeur, to its greatness. you see, ohio is a land of hope and opportunity -- realize dreams for our families. we're safe, we're friendly, we're filled with the potential to pursue our passions. we take care of our neighbors. you know, ohio is a place where we can work, contribute, build a better community. we can be a shining example of how when people get together, they can get it right. and not just for ourselves, but for our children, of course, most especially. but, folks, the rebuilding has to continue. we can't rest on our gains, we haven't tapped all of our potential. there are too many challenges
that haven't been met and we move forward with this vision in mind and therefore, we must continue to build our economy, continue to build the new and exciting 21st -century jobs, and we must rebuild our roads, and our highways, and our bridges. we must provide for our children the opportunities that we all had. we need to lift, we need to lift the poor, we need to lift the beleaguered, and we need to have america follow us because i think they're beginning to, and perhaps one day they may even join us here in the great state of ohio. [applause] this is our vision, and our budget is the next step in that vision, but i would ask all of you to keep your eyes focused on the mountaintop. don't get distracted or discouraged by the twists or the turns or the detours along the road.
i really believe our legacy depends on what we do. you know, ohio is getting it right and it's being noticed. as most of you know here and some that are watching may not know, i recently traveled to davos, switzerland for the world economic forum. i really wasn't that excited about going until i got there because i had the chance to meet with scores of job creators, ceos. you know, they all wanted to meet with me. and you know why? because they couldn't figure out why we were figuring it out. all over the world, things aren't working. there's so much dysfunction. there's so much falling apart, and they asked me one simple thing: how are you getting these jobs created? what are you folks doing in ohio? and not only that, they're saying how can you go from $0.
89 to a $2 billion surplus, from $8 billion in the hole to a surplus? how is it happening? because this is something we have to pay attention to because we may want to come to ohio. it was so fantastic to be there and to be a person that could represent everyone here. i wish you were all there. because we think some of them are going to come to ohio. we think we do have them excited because of the work that all of us have done. well, what do we do now? should we rest on our laurels? that's what most people think when you pull out of the depths of where we were -- just, you know, kind of relax. should we put the state on cruise control? oh, i got another one for you -- why don't we just spend the surplus? things are good, just go ahead and, you know, take your foot off the gas. well, we're going to keep our foot on the gas here in this administration, and we hope you will join us. and when we look at the great companies around the world, companies that continue to
innovate, continue to embrace change, companies that have leaders with vision -- think about this, folks -- the ones that are the most exciting in the world today: apple, cardinal health, amazon, google, the cleveland clinic, ibm, and right here in northwest ohio, marathon. these companies strive for change every day and the state of ohio must do it as well. we cannot rest on our laurels. these companies don't fear big ideas. we must not fear big ideas. we must embrace them. oh, yeah, let's debate them. and that's the fun part of being in the government, debate them without the personal attack, debate them on the merits, but embrace them, because at the end of the day,
big ideas, it will renew us, it will restore our youth, it will give us excitement. we will have a sprint in our step because big ideas renew people. the only thing that can stop us, ladies and gentlemen, is the fear of change, the fear of big ideas. let's not go there. we're starting to hit on all cylinders. our program of innovation and common sense policies, we believe, does create success. just like the first budget helped us to dig out of the hole and set the stage for growth, this allows us to shift into higher gear. our budget is designed to come together and create jobs and let's not forget, to provide help for the most vulnerable. first and foremost, ohio's taxes are too high, and they are particularly punishing to our small businesses. we punish our small businesses with too high of taxes in our state. flat out, end of story. they are the engine s of job creation in our state. and let me be clear, this is a comprehensive program to cut taxes by $ 1.
4 billion, and i'll talk about a few of the specifics. we propose lowering the sales tax from five and a half to five percent. we've also proposed broadening the base. and we've done -- and in doing so, we will be able to provide a 50 percent tax cut to our small businesses, a 50 percent tax cut. for example, if a business has $40,000 worth of income, they will only pay taxes on $ 20,000. what a shot in the arm. and remember something: these are the people who create nearly 50 percent of the jobs. you know, when we think about job creation, we tend to think about all the, the big companies, the big operators.
over 50 percent of the jobs that are created in our state and across our country are those small business people. a 50 percent tax cut for them will spur economic development in our state and we have also proposed cutting the personal income tax by 20 percent over the next three years. and look around the country and see how many states are trying to wipe out their income tax. yeah, it ' s a race to see who can create the best business climate . you know, and we did all of this with the income tax to avoid driving some of our best and brightest out of our state. believease you don't me, talk to your friends. see how many people escape ohio to go to a place where the taxes are lower. we don't want to drive our best and brightest out of our state. we don't want to drive them out because they take their charity and their ideas and their innovation. we need to stop it, and it will breathe new life into ohio's economy.
you know, we've also proposed modernizing the severance tax so that all ohio can benefit from the oil and gas discoveries in our state. i know many of you are concerned about that. since we started talking about it, i think the amount of money invested in our state in our reserves is about $4 billion. people are coming here. the state of north dakota has a severance tax of eight or nine percent. they're exploding. they can't even find enough worker s out there. the problem is oil companies only pay two dimes of tax, 20 cents, on a $90 barrel of oil. it's not sustainable. and i want us to think about that. what does it all mean? well, maybe two business owners said it best in regard to this program. kathleen dewey from the mt. carmel brewery in cincinnati said, "these tax cut s mean a lot to us. what means more to us at mt. carmel brewery company is that our government is behind us." and cindy woodward of early
express in dayton said, "the real thing this means to me is it brings hope because we have someone in power who cares about small business, who understands that we are the engine that fuels the economy, and i haven't felt that way in a while." look at our tax cut plan, and keep that family sitting around that table in mind as we move forward on this issue. i'd like to talk about another job creation program, our plan to improve the infrastructure, our roads, our highway, our bridges. we're within 600 miles of 60 percent of the country. it is an incredible economic advantage when i talk to ceo, i said you want access to the north american market, you want to be in ohio. we've got the size, the skill, the people, but we got the location. we can move things so quickly through our state because we're improving our infrastructure. you know, the fact is when you make things here, you got to be able to move them. but here's the problem. we have significant infrastructure needs.
under the current system, we fall way short of funding those needs. so we figured out a creative way to leverage one of our great assets, the turnpike. by bonding against the tolls of the ohio turnpike, we're going to be able to raise one and a half billion, and when combines with other federal, state, and local funds, we will have $3 billion, $3 billion to fix our roads , our highways, and our bridges. and we will bring some projects that were going to be executed 20 years from now into a six- year window. and at the same time we do all of that we estimate that this will create a minimum of 65,000 jobs for people who help to rebuild our state. [applause]
folks, jobsohio just went into the market and did a bond deal at four percent money. members of the legislature, we're going to debate all these different things, let's try to move it as quickly as we can. because we have a window out there, we have a window out there of cheap money. we got to go and get it, and as quickly as we can move it. i know what's going on, i know the debate about where's all the money going to be. you know, we work through all this to make sure you get what you expect, and we'll work together and we'll get it done, and we'll capture some of that really good money to help put people to work and make ohio an even stronger state. you know, in the 21st century when we have job opportunities, we need to make sure that we have the skills to take advantage of them and nothing's more important than our k-12 education system. we're going to reflect on the school reforms that we've achieved before we get into the details of what we're doing next.
we enacted third grade reading guarantee. i really want to thank you all for that. look, in my opinion, you can't have a kid that can't read, a student that can't read at the third grade level pushed to the fourth grade. you just can't do it. okay. now, it's not good enough just go test them. you got to start early. you got to make sure that they have the skills starting, you know, pre-k, kindergarten, first, second, third grade. we will intervene and we will help to make sure these children can pass, can really have good quality. because, you know, in the early years, when you go to school, a young child learns to read so that later in their lives they can read to learn. and the studies indicate that if a child does not have good reading skills by the tenth grade, going to drop out. it's like going to a country and not speaking the language.
thank you for what you did on this. we also have created the a through f report card, and also a building by-building comparison. so, look, not only do moms and dads know how their school's doing, but also inside the school, school boards, teachers, administrators. we can figure out where we're strong and where we're weak, and then get about trying to fix it. that's why we need this a through f. and i want to thank the legislature for giving it to us. and we delayed it for a year because i thought your request was reasonable, and so we're going to move forward with this program, and we're going to monitor it, and i want to thank you for what you have done there. we've also, of course, expanded school choice for parents with children in failing schools. and in our new budget, we have proposed expanding school choice for kindergartners who live in poverty. it is an expansion, this program, and we're excited about it. [applause]
we know about education. you got to have it. it unlocks your future. you don't have it, it's not going to work. you're going to fall behind. and you think about geds and that's great, we've got to take care of that problem, but we've got to have good education. we have proposed a plan i want to be clear about this, and i will put this out so you can read it we have proposed a plan to help every boy and girl, regardless of where they live. our plan provides a total of $1. 2 billion in new funds over the next two years. that means that by the end of the next budget cycle, ohio will actually be providing our k-12 system more in state aid than they received at the height of the one-time federal stimulus money in 2011. that is an unbelievable amount of money according to anybody's calculation. [applause]
when it comes to school funding, we have one common sense guiding principal: ohio must help those schools that do not have the resources to help themselves. schools that are poor, or schools that have growing student enrollment, they need more help than those who are getting richer, or those that are getting smaller in terms of student population. every school deserves help to meet the individual needs of its students, because on top of the basic formula we know that we've got to help schools who have children who are disabled, students who are poor, students who are learning to speak english, students who are gifted, or students who have limited access to early childhood programs. this school funding plan does all of this. under our plan, ohio's poorest and urban districts get more money than ohio's wealthiest districts. they get a bigger share of overall school funding than the wealthiest districts. they also get more per pupil
before funding guarantees are factored in. additionally, the poorest schools in ohio receive $1. 1 billion while the wealthiest receive less than half of that. the very poorest district will receive $7,500 per pupil-- $7,500 per pupil in the very poorest districtand the wealthiest will receive $110. it's an objective plan that applies equally to all districts based on their property tax wealth and residents' income, as well as the individual characteristics of the students they serve. and most important, this is driven by the needs of students, not by the needs of adults. [applause] this is driven by the needs of students, not by the needs of
adults. the simple fact of the matter is -- -- now, this plan also guarantees that no school district will receive less state formula funding than they did last year. no one receives less, even if they have fewer students or growing wealth. you see, we would believe it would be destabilizing for schools to suddenly allocate funds strictly by the formula where all dollars follow the student. and districts only receive funding for the students they are teaching. we're not moving on this now, but we're in a period of transition, and over time, ohio must begin to look at this guaranteed funding to find a way forward that delivers resources in the way that helps our boys and girls the most. the simple fact of the matter work're going to have to together to make sure that we are moving our resources to those districts that have unique students, that are not as
wealthy -- those districts that do not have the population -- we've got to do it together, because the current system is not serving the boys and girls in our state as effectively as we could be doing it, but we're going to have to do it together. also critically important, we're giving a significant increase to vocational education. [applause] and somewhere jim rhodes is smiling. you know, he came up with the whole idea of vocational education and somehow we got away from it. we're going to give a 16 percent increase to vocational education. and we know this -- look, if a student has a passion to make things or do things, and doesn't want to follow the traditional academic route, god bless them. i like to say my plumber makes more than my lawyer. okay. the fact of the matter is, feed kids' passions. whatever they want to do, let them have it.
if they want to go home at 4 o'clock in the afternoon to work on a car, let them work on the car in school, and teach them about advertising because they're not going to sell their services if they can't write english. talk to them about math because they're going to want to charge for the work that they do, but don't cut them off from the possibility of a two - year or four - year education. we're going beef up the academics in those vocational schools so you can have it all. higher education. these community college president s and four-year presidents, they're heroes. you know, what they decided for the four-year schools that only 50 percent of the money they get from the state to run their operations will go to them upon a student's graduation, not on enrollment, on graduation, because we want kids to graduate.
that is something they stuck their necks out on. it would have been easy to try to say no, we don't need to do that or come up with excuses. they're saying when a child, a student, or an adult enters our schools, our hallways, we want to make sure that they're going to graduate. and the same is true for our community colleges. when they go there, you get reimbursed on, on completion of courses, not just walking in the door. because can you think of anything worse, two or three years in a four-year school, huge debt, you quit. you got big debt, got no job, got no certificate. it doesn't work. and so these community colleges and university presidents have stepped up and they have answered the bell. you know, a lot of places in this country, they cut this higher education. we love higher education. it is one of the great assets for the state of ohio, and i never talk to a job creator where i don't stress the fact that our colleges and
universities can pinpoint and prepare our kids for the 21st - century jobs. they need an amazing amount of credit for what they have done and we are now leading the country in stressing graduation over enrollment. it is going to strength en the economy of the state of ohio. we got to integrate business with academics. i mean, this is a big challenge and it's a big challenge worldwide. some countries get it better than others. germany does a pretty good job at this. america's floundered on this. you see, if we can bring our business community, our job creators in to k-12 and the two- year and the four-year schools and help to design the curriculum and help to give people a view of what it means to work in those different entities, we're going to turn kids on for education.
and it's all this business of job training, and all of you in the general assembly, you get it. i appreciate and thank you for your attention. i understand the first two bills of the ohio senate are on job training. and we're going to work on this day and night until we fully integrate it. we are making great progress, but we have a way to go. and it involves changing the culture of our state, changing the culture of academia and convincing businesses that working with us, we will produce the kind of worker that can answer the bell in the 21st century. thank you for your work in this area, and we are going to stay on it, and we're going to be aggressive and together, if ohio solves this problem of having skilled workers, it will be another incredible arrow in the arsenal of what we do to attract jobs and bring companies, not just expand in ohio, and not just somebody in indiana, but somebody that might even come from india. let's do it together. okay?
[applause] let me remind you of my background. i was in congress for 18 years. of those 18 years, i spent 10 years fighting to balance the budget. tom sawyer was there during some of those years. i even worked against the president of my own party when i thought he wasn't being aggressive enough. it wasn't comfortable. but i felt we needed to balance the federal budget. because of all that work i became chairman of the house budget committee. pretty amazing. and in 1997, i was one of the architects of the balanced budget agreement, and our budget was truly balanced for the first time since neil armstrong walked on the moon. we had large surpluses, we paid down large amounts of the publically - held debt, and we
were growing jobs. it was bipartisan. a lot of meetings, a lot of long hours, a lot of yelling and shouting. we all kind of liked one another though, respected one another. and we got it done. and i'm proud of it. i understand programs like medicaid and medicare. i worked on them. i understand the issues that are involved in reforming medicaid and medicare. my staff helped create some of the direction that we were going to fix some of the problems. i know that medicaid and medicare have to be transformed, there's no question. and transformed in some ways along the lines of what we have done with medicaid in the state of ohio. and when they finally, the federal government, finally figures out how to begin to
solve the problems of medicare and medicaid, we will be ready to navigate those changes. but in the meantime, while we're waiting for answers, we should not shoot ourselves in the foot and send our tax dollars to another state to be spent. it is not fair to the taxpayers of the state of ohio, plain and simple, because if we don't do what we should do on medicaid, they'll be spending it in california. you count on it. we have unprecedented opportunity to bring 13 billion of ohio's tax dollars back to ohio to solve our problem. our money coming home to fix our problems. it's a unique opportunity. we've never gotten our fair share. well, i think it makes sense to bring this money home.
and this money can provide health coverage for the poor, a great number of them who are working poor individuals who make less than $15,415. they can't afford health care. what are we going to do, leave them out in the street, walk away from them when we have a chance to help them? the program provides a pathway for these individuals to get basic health care from a doctor. you know where they get their healthcare now? they get it in an emergency room. try going getting primary care health care in an emergency room. first of all, it's not efficient, it's effective. it costs everybody more money when they do that because the emergency room's the highest cost operation you can get for health care.
and it's not fair for them because they don't get healthier, so they're sicker and we pay for that as well. we need to get them primary care basic coverage. furthermore, the federal government's going to end this aid to hospitals that serve the uninsured right now. the federal government's going to phase this out. you know what this is going to do to rural hospitals? do you know what this is going to do to urban hospitals if we turn this down? i come into lima today, one of the first building s i see is the big hospital up there. we don't want to take a chance on wrecking that place. going to make sure that they're healthy, they're an integral part of our community. you know, i'm not a supporter of obamacare. we rejected the federal government telling us to run the state - run exchange.
they didn't give us the flexibility that would have been best for our state. mary and i sat down, we weren't going to go for that. didn't make sense for us. we - - i don't believe in the individual mandate. i don't like a lot of the programs that are going to drive insurance rates up. but in this case, extending medicaid benefits will help us on many levels, including the positive impact this decision can have on the mentally ill, and the addicted. some of them live under bridges, some of them live on streets, some of them are in our jails tonight. one of the sheriffs that i was with the other day told a story of a man whose life had gone really pretty perfectly. he got sick, started living in the woods. he's now in the jail. he wraps scriptures around his fingers to ward off evil. the sheriff told me, he doesn't belong in our jails.
it's a chance to rebuild the safety net that we've all wanted to since we have released people from, from these mental hospitals. my personal faith in the lessons i learned from the good book, they're like, run my life. i mean, i'm serious, they're very important to me. not just on sunday, but just about every day. i got ta tell you, i can't look at the disabled, i can't look at the poor, i can't look at the mentally ill, i can't look at the addicted and think we ought to ignore them. for those that live in the shadows of life, those who are the least among us, i will not accept the fact that the most vulnerable in our state should be ignored. we can help them. and i want all of you to think about this. i know it's controversial. i just want to take you one
place. one day your son comes home, your daughter comes home, says, mom, my brain's not working right - - put it in your family. put somebody that is in your family who becomes the way ward child. they come home one day, they can't get a job - - put it on your doorstep, and you'll understand how hard it is. i respect the decision you're all going to make. i know it's controversial, just please examine your conscious, keep an open mind, and i think we can work and get there. i sure hope so. you know, we're an administration that thinks no one should be left behind. and, look, i think what's so great is we're growing jobs, our economy is stronger, we're running surpluses, our credit is up, we've got industries thriving, but we're not ignoring the weak. jim buchy, the lord doesn't want us to ignore them. i want to thank the legislature for agreeing to mandate the autism coverage for families. i called a lady right before we announced it.
she burst into tears, she was the joan of arc of fighting for autism coverage. she made me cry. you know, these families are under so much stress. they all play by the rules, and they're hurting. they called it the christmas miracle. kevin, thank you. where's the mayor - - right here - - thank you. they called it the christmas miracle, didn't they? thank you for helping the families who have children with autism. they are better in the state of ohio now because of what the legislature has done. we gave $ 5 million to the food banks to alleviate hunger. oh, my wife, god bless her. she goes to the backpack program, think about this, on a
friday night, for kids who are embarrassed to take food home on friday night, stick the food in the backpack. they go home and they can eat because when we didn't do this, they went to school on monday - - am i right, senator lehner - - they went to school on monday, they couldn't learn. five million dollars for food banks. two million dollars in that special grant for children's hospital. i mean, what a great organization that is, and they're working together all over the state. i think we have the best children's hospitals in the country, if not the world. and i also want to tell you, i remember the day we announced that, and the look on the parents' face, these moms and dads who have the severely disabled children, and you know what we did, we said your kid doesn't have to work in a sheltered workshop, they can work in a normal business setting. oh, these moms and dads were so excited. i'm just excited thinking about it. last year we gave teresa flores the governor's courage award for what she did on human trafficking. i want to thank the legislature. we passed a bipartisan comprehensive human trafficking
law. thank you, representative fedor. and i'll tell you, it's been only six months, there have been five traffickers indicted in central ohio alone. we are dedicated to surrounding the victims and they're pretty awesome people. again, my wife works with them at the catch court in franklin county. and these ladies, i'll tell you, you ought to hear them talk, they're fantastic. and some of you, the press was there over christmas and i had them tell their stories unannounced. they can heal and they can have a chance, too. big agenda, isn't it? a lot of stuff here: turnpike, and higher ed, and k - 12, and tax reform, and, wow, right, wow. i mean, thing s are happening in ohio. you may not like it all, but it's pretty cool and look at the total picture. it's a big lift, it's a big lift to get this done.
and we need inspiration, and we get it from people right here in our state. you know, i started this governor's courage awards - - i just love this thing to tell you the truth - - because what it does is recognize a lot of people that would never be recognized if we hadn't created the awards. this year i hold up the example of wapakoneta's own neil armstrong, who's an inspiration to all of us. remember? some of you are too young in the legislature, but remember, "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." but what people will tell you about neil armstrong, he never looked for the limelight. he never wanted to get on the top of the mountain and shout, you know, "look at me."
i met him once. he was so gentle. if you talked to his neighbors, he was just as good a guy as you could ever find, and he had the gift of humility. i think it was because he realized that even though he walked on the moon, and it was so historic, he stood on the shoulders of thousands of other people. that's what he did. his sons, rick and mark, are here tonight. and they are here to accept this award on the basis of that fantastic achievement, but also on the basis of what we can learn from a great man's humility. please join me in welcoming rick and mark, the sons of neil armstrong. well, this one, this is going to get you out of your chairs, too.
sondra williams, she spent a large portion of her life being misdiagnosed and misunderstood. as an adult with high - functioning autism she fought through the uncertainty and the lack of understanding that surrounds autism spectrum disorders, and established herself as an advocate for the condition. her mission has been to break the mold of ignorance, to educate the public, and offer guidance and support to those who are deal ing with similar
struggles. she's not only talking the talk, but, you know, she's walking the walk, let me tell you. she is currently the director of autism, research institute's youth division. she mentors young people who have as autism and gives them hope and courage and strength. she's a member of the ocali advisory board, she's on the autism society's panel of advisors, she's even an author. she wrote a book called "reflections of self." this is a special lady, ladies and gentlemen, and she's getting the governor's courage award for what she has done to serve all of us and particularly those that have been in need in the state of ohio. please welcome sondra williams. >> [applause]
later this month, ohio commemorates the first anniversary of a school shooting that took the lives of three students and injured three others in chardon high school. i was there for a couple of days. the principal, the superintendent, the teachers, the guidance counselors, the staff - - what a privilege for me to be able to have a chance to spend time with them and learn from them. they're unbelievable. it's not easy there, even today. it's still tough. and they're trying to put the
pieces back together. some of the pieces are gone. we know they're never going to be quite the same. i went there and i could sit there with them because as many of you have in this auditorium, i've looked in the black hole. the tragic and sudden death of my mother and father put me there, but i've healed. the lord's grace has healed me. and when i pray for this great, incredible group of people, and when i think about the staff and the students, some of whom are still struggling, and i think about the people of chardon, i pray they're going to heal, they're going to heal. they're going to because they are tough and compassionate and smart.
they're going to make it. but what courage they showed on that fateful day, and what courage they have shown ever since. it was appropriate to honor today, with the governor's courage award, those leaders, those staff members who've worked day and night to bring peace, to bring understanding to all the people of chardon so that at the end of the day, those killing s and that shooting will not be lost in vain. it's going to make them somehow through the tragedy better for it. but we will remember those who have lost their lives and those who have been injured, and we'll pray for them. but in the meantime, i'd like to take a second to honor the great staff from chardon high school for their great work.
a lot of ohioans feel it. you know, we can debate the details, but we can never lose sight of the vision. if we look around the country, we see so much dysfunction, so much anger, anger. i've been in politics a long time. i've been the target of some this anger. i got to tell you, fortunately, it doesn't bother me, it just doesn't. because when you're about a mission, you don't get stuck by it.
but what does bother me is the tone we communicate to our children, the tone we communicate to each other. too many people are losing faith in our government. they're tired of the name calling and the personal attacks and the partisanship, and i'm right and you're wrong, and that's okay to have that debate. but it starts to get into name calling and personal. let me tell you something, the public's sick of it. they reject it. you know, in, we see it sometimes in ohio, but all across america if anger, vitriol, partisanship prevail, our children, our state, and our country will continue to suffer. people never remember positively those who tear down. un - huh, they don't. i've been around a long time, folks. they don't remember those who seek to destroy or tear down.
do you know who they respect? those who buildup. the builders are what's remembered. people sent us here to solve problems and improve their lives. that's why they sent us here. what a unique opportunity that we have to do that. you know, i walk outside the state capital - - i can't wait till the birds are chirping out there - - and i look over the north, and i see a man in a hurry over there carrying a briefcase, a big statue of a man carrying a briefcase who was always in a hurry. he was one of ohio's greatest men and greatest problem solver s. his name was james a. rhodes. i knew him, he was something. you think i'm something with all these things, you should have met him. he was a guy always on the move. and then when i go in, you know, i go up those escalators to where my office is located,
"pawdnah" is there - - the big statue of vern riffe. vern was something, he was really something. and as i got older and as he got older, we became friends. i got to know him better and better and better. rhodes and riffe - - they worked together, they solved the problems, and they built a stronger ohio. there have been time s when we worked together. some don't like to think about it, but it's true. collateral sanctions where we're giving a person the chance to redeem themselves and get work, a chance to redeem themselves and have another chance.
cleveland schools plan. boy, i haven't see n two groups of legislators work harder together than that little group, that little cabal that put that plan together in the house and the senate, and struggled. and i remember bursting into your office that night, bill batchelder, and how excited everybody was about that plan - - it's going to fix cleveland in my opinion. human trafficking, i've mentioned. sentencing reform - - can't lock them up, can you, forever? can't do it. so we're giving them another chance there as well. and i want to thank the prosecutors for working with us. and jobsohio, too. who would have ever thought that at the beginning of jobsohio, that jobsohio, too, would receive bipartisan support. and the energy bill where we put the regulations in place. old sean o'brien, i mean, i got ta a call, they said, well, o'brien wants all these amendments. i said, well, give them to him, let's pass the darn thing. and we've got the best rules and regulations in the country on fracking. you know, we've got to look for ways to work together. if we do, we can reduce poverty, give opportunity, we can grow jobs, we can educate our children. and you know the great thing is, when they find out about
ohio, when they come here and they spend the weekend, they start thinking about moving here. and it's because we get it right. if we unite and we stay together, nothing, but nothing can stop us from becoming the greatest state in the greatest country in the world. god bless you, god bless ohio, and god bless the united states of america. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] at c-
span will be back later for a discussion of cyber security. martin o'malley will have that discussion. we will hear from a security risk management firm for the state of michigan. live coverage at 3:00 eastern time. >> i am sure you are more are less familiar with malcolm x. at the time, he was supposedly the man in favor of "violence." it was not the issue. he supported the right of armed self-defense. he did not promote aggressive
violence. power against power. we are not going to convince the white segregationists to except us. we have to build our own forces until they have no choice but to recognize our demands. that is power. he called this a black nationalism. he built a whole etiology about it. the black communities, the northern ghettos, should be run with blacks instead of the absentee white owners. he believed community control of school. he believes in black autonomy. he said it is up to us. it is our struggle. >> howard break looks at black power in the struggle for african american equality tonight a.
>> at age 25, she was one of the wealthiest with those in the colonies. during the revolution, she was considered an enemy by the british who threatened to take her hostage. latest -- later to become the nation's first first lady appeared meet mark the washington and the first program. we will visit some of the places that influenced her life including colonial williamsburg and philadelphia and be part of the conversation with your facebook post. live monday night at 9:00 eastern. >> during his recent state of the state address, earl ray romblin said he would oppose
the petition to register the coal industry. this is currency of west virginia public broadcasting. bill -- this is courtesy of the west virginia public broadcasting system. >> please be seated. members of the board of public works, justices of the supreme court of appeals, members of the state board of education, members of the legislature, distinguished guests, and my fellow west virginians: in 1921, when architect cass gilbert drew the plans for our state capitol, he put time and attention into every detail of this beautiful structure.
he incorporated lavish trimmings of priceless gold, rare found in the people of west virginia.this -- natural wealth -- is visible in almost every inch of this capitol, including the house and senate chambers. above our heads, you can see the bronze-colored plaster leaf arrangements representing west virginia's hardwoods.also above, lining the frieze, you see eagles carved into the structure. prepared to take flight. eagles' wings are rising -- and in position -- ready to take action.
the task the people of west virginia expect of us: to prepare for our future by taking action. we should take action to keepwe should take action to create build upon opportunities for the next generation. i'm excited about the state of our state. working together, we've accomplished great things, and as i stand before you here this evening we are well-positioned to do so much more. tonight i present to you a plan -- a plan to make this great state even greater for future generations. strategy for making state government better and smarter. it's a plan to tackle some of
our most critical issues. and, it will ensure our financial house remains in order and continues to keep us moving forward as we build upon our accomplishments. during the last regular session, we took action that made west virginia a safer, better place. because of our work, texting while driving is now illegal and on july 1st talking on a hand- held phone while driving will be against the law. we've kept our promise to make eliminating substance abuse a top priority -- and now -- laws are on the books to shutdown -- pill mills -- and stop -- doctor shopping. we listened to our communities and invested in drug treatment programs -- and we told those who need free job training that they must pass a drug test -- first. we are building a registry online to help make our seniors safer and give west virginia families the peace of mind they
for a caregiver for a family member. we've lowered taxes for our families and our businesses. taxes will go down by $40 million this year alone. we told families of children of suicide -- you are important to us. and we dealt with our state's liability, with the passage of the opeb bill. together, we put a plan in placetogether, we put a plan in place to pay down this last unfunded liability. our state has worked hard to foster job creation by
cultivating an environment where employers can offer good paying jobs. our hard work is paying off. last year, we celebrated as gestamp, an $8-billion dollar company, re-opened the south charleston stamping plant. this international company is investing more than $100 million in west virginia and in the future of hundreds of workers, like andrew blatt. andrew is a 24-year old cross lanes native and an engineering graduate of west virginia university institute of technology. andrew is overseeing gestamp's new $22 million dollar laser cutting project. tonight, i'm happy to be joined by andrew and another gestamp employee david underwood. david, along with all of us, is excited to see this south charleston landmark revived again. andrew and david, please stand and let us thank you for showing the world that west
virginia has an outstanding workforce, and that the mountain state is an amazing place to do business. d[applause] west virginia has created opportunities to welcome international companies like gestamp by establishing clear rules and lowering the cost of doing business. and while we have achieved success, we have more work to do. too many people have stopped looking for work, and too many people are unemployed.
not only do we continue to feel the effects of a worldwide recession, but significant declines in the production of coal have battered west virginia's economy. this, in turn, has resulted in declining tax revenues and employment. as leaders of our state, we have a responsibility to fight for jobs, to foster job creation, and to be good stewards of taxpayer resources. we must continue to keep our taxes and cost of doing business low, and this is particularly true when times are tough. it all starts with our obligation to adopt a budget for the state of west virginia. mr. speaker, mr. president, the budget i present to you is balanced, with no new taxes. [applause]
this time last year, we predicted a deficit that totaled nearly $400 million. staying true to the hallmark of our fiscal responsibility, my administration began the task of closing that shortfall. unlike the federal government, we did not kick the can down the road by borrowing money or allowing deficits to mount. we told our agencies, almost a year ago, to do more with less. we challenged them to be smart, be efficient, and be prepared to cut their budgets. in tightening our belts, we
realized that some of our programs and services should not face budget reductions. the budget i present does not cut any scholarship programs, including the promise scholarship, and it does not cut -- y[applause] and it does not cut state aid to our public schools. [applause] our budget does not take money away from mine safety programs. [applause] it does not cut medicaid or the state police. [applause] while we protected these services, we asked other areas in state government to make a 7.5 percent targeted reduction,
allowing us to cut over $75 million from our state's budget, including over $450,000 from my own budget in the governor's office. these reductions are not easy, but they are the right thing to do -- for future generations. in addition to these cuts, we examined our accounts in state government. we identified over $135 million in unused monies that can be re-directed and used to meet our obligations in the coming year. while our economy recovers and revenues get back on track, i'm proposing we use these monies, along with almost $140 million in accrued and expected surplus money, to balance the budget for next year. balancing our budget sends the right signal to businesses -- that west virginia is stable. but we must do more. we must continue to focus on job creation, lowering the cost of doing business, and
eliminating inequities in our system. we also need to help our small businesses. as we know, sometimes it's simple fixes that make the biggest difference. under our law, employers are required to pay employees within 72 hours after leaving or face significant damages and lawsuits. small businesses do not need the hassle of re-running payroll every time an employee moves on. employers should be permitted more flexibility to pay these employees. it's a simple fix -- but it's one that will make a big difference to our small businesses. west virginia also needs to identify and remediate land available for development. west virginia has a strong history in manufacturing and mining, and a number of unused sites have great potential for future development.
so tonight, i propose the state form a public non-profit corporation to identify, promote, and oversee programs that will foster economic development and environmental remediation. working together, we can put these sites back to use in west virginia. we also need to find innovative and creative ways to enhance our infrastructure. and while we have a blue ribbon commission examining our road system, one thing i know we must do now is explore and foster public private partnerships to develop our roads. in 2008, the public-private partnership act was passed and signed into law. the act allowed the west virginia division of highways to partner with a private company on the design and construction of otherwise public transportation facilities. this current structure, however, has limited usefulness.
tonight, i'm proposing legislation to make the act permanent and streamline the approval requirements to allow the commissioner of highways the flexibility to enter into these public-private partnerships. this will allow us to take greater advantage of this innovative tool for the construction of infrastructure. [applause] we cannot talk about jobs in west virginia without talking about our energy sector -- the long-standing foundation of our economy. as one of the nation's top energy producing states, west virginia shoulders a lot of the responsibility when it comes to fueling our state and our nation. together, members of our energy sector share this responsibility to increase energy independence. we are making the most of the opportunities associated with our abundant natural gas, and
we are working with the private sector to take advantage of our natural gas resources by converting more vehicles to compressed natural gas. we also cannot forget an industry that has been an integral part of west virginia -- and that is our coal industry. this industry continues to enable west virginia to be a national leader. the dedication of coal miners is the work that built our state and the work that sustains it. i believe in the production of coal, its value to our country, and i will continue to do everything that i can to fight the epa and its misguided attempts to cripple this industry. [applause]
as important as the energy industry is to our economy in west virginia, there is something more important, more important for our future, more important for our economy, and more important for creating good-paying jobs -- and that is education. [applause] i am from chapmanville in logan county, a coal town where hard work and long hours provided many families with good incomes. my parents saw to it that i received a great education in high school and at wvu and marshall. i was the first person in my family to receive a college degree, and i know i would not be standing before you today without it.
every child in west virginia deserves this same opportunity. i want to speak to all parents in west virginia tonight. you are the greatest cheerleader your child will ever have. please take their education seriously and help them realize their potential -- there is no greater force for educational achievement than a dedicated parent. [applause] i will work with the department i will work with the department of education, the courts, and dhhr to coordinate our truancy reduction efforts -- because
every child should have an opportunity to achieve greatness. the release of our education efficiency audit has stirred discussion and reaction. we have studied every aspect of the audit and reviewed responses from our citizens, from community groups like a vision shared, the state chamber of commerce, and our valued teacher representatives. we have learned so much. first, we learned that there are numerous good things about our education system. we have countless examples of not just good but great teachers in west virginia. we have one of those teachers joining us here tonight from hardy county. michael funkhouser, who teaches english in the eastern panhandle, is one of the great educators who works within our school system. michael, please stand as we congratulate you on being named our 2013 west virginia teacher of the year.
michael. [applause] i also want to thank president yogi suzuki and millie marshall from west virginia toyota motor manufacturing and fred earley and cathy mcalister from highmark blue cross blue shield for your long-standing commitment of celebrating our west virginia teachers. please stand so we may thank you. [applause]
we also learned our state is full of bright children who want to learn. earlier this year a first- grader from pleasants county named ben called my office -- all on his own. ben wanted to inform me about continued traffic delays between his home and school. [laughter] ben wanted to make sure i knew, and i quote, -- first grade is a pretty big deal -- and kids need to be on time for school. [laughter] this isn't kindergarten, you know. [laughter] ben wanted to get to school, and get to school on time. just like michael and ben, there are other positive things we can say about our education system: like having an improved
teacher evaluation program, high ranks for funding and equity, and a nationally recognized 4- year old preschool program. even with all the good things happening in our schools our student achievement is falling behind -- and that is not acceptable. education week, in its annual survey, quality counts, gave us an f for student achievement, ranking us 49th nationally. that is not acceptable. the only true national test, the national assessment of educational progress, ranks us below the national averages in 21 of 24 categories, and many of our scores have slipped lower over the past decade. that is not acceptable. our graduation rate is only 78 percent which means almost 1 in 4 high school students do not graduate on time. that is not acceptable.
we have the highest percentage of young people ages 16 to 19 not engaged in school or the workforce. that is not acceptable. education in west virginia must change. and that change begins now. [applause] this change must begin with our youngest children. through the 3rd grade, children learn to read. and after 3rd grade, children read to learn. if a child cannot read at grade level by the end of the 3rd grade, bad things happen. they will remain poor readers in high school, and they will be more likely to become high school dropouts. thirty-five percent of children in poverty who aren't strong readers by the end of 3rd grade do not graduate on time. we can make sure every child can read at grade level by the
end of the 3rd grade by: first, working with our state board of education, we will ensure every new elementary teacher is specially trained in reading. we also must make sure all current elementary teachers are prepared to helping all students learn to read. second, although our 4-year-old kindergarten program has high ratings, only 68 percent of eligible students attend. i will introduce legislation requiring every county, within 3 years, to offer full-day 4- year-old preschool. [applause] third, i will support the efforts of the benedum foundation to help establish a process for defining, once and for all, the components and costs of a quality -- birth through 5 program.
[applause] and finally, because of declining federal dollars, we have a shortfall in childcare subsidies. access to childcare not only assures young children receive quality early childhood development, but it helps parents keep their jobs. i believe in this program, and for that reason, i propose a supplemental appropriation of $17 million to preserve the current program. [applause] we want our youngest children to read on grade level by the end of the 3rd grade. but this is just a start. we also are working hard to ensure every child who wants to attend college is prepared to do so -- but not everyone is destined for college.
in fact, many of the best- paying jobs now, and in the future, will require skills our vocational schools should provide. we know most students who decide to drop out of school make the decision in middle school. they decide to drop out because they have not made a connection between their education and getting a job. most students learn best through real hands-on experiences -- which is not what the current academic model offers. there are a number of actions we can take to engage more of our students at an earlier age. first, all students should be motivated to stay in school and be prepared for a good job. workforce education should begin in middle school and more vocational training should be made available to students not planning to attend college. second, we need to make sure our students understand the opportunities available for good jobs in our state.
some of our largest employers tell me they want to meet with our students, and share with them what they need to do to be prepared to secure a good job. in order for our students to understand their opportunities, they should have access to counseling from our community and technical college staff and be engaged with employers who are prepared to hire qualified graduates. finally, quality vocational courses that prepare students to meet the high demands of today's job market must be a part of every school curriculum. [applause] to assure the needed quality, we must require every vocational school to have at least one program that meets the rigorous requirements of the -- preparation for tomorrow -- program of the southern regional education board.
whether it is mechatronics in the eastern panhandle, flooring in central west virginia, or drilling in the northern panhandle, we will insist on quality certified programs. if our schools prepare students for college and a career, every graduate will be ready to go to work in west virginia. [applause] more than two decades of research show the indisputable connection between teacher quality and student achievement. the overwhelming majority of our teachers do an outstanding job in their classrooms, but we must guarantee every student is taught by a great teacher. west virginia is already blessed with almost 700 teachers who have earned national board certification in their areas of expertise and that number continues to grow.
our state rewards teachers who seek and gain initial national board certification, but we do not provide the same rewards for those who re-apply at the end of their ten-year certification. that must change. and the state will pay for teachers who seek re- certification. [applause] education for our teachers does not end when they enter the classroom for the first time. quality professional development for our classroom teachers must be provided on a continual basis. governors and legislators have struggled over the years to make sense of our system of professional development for teachers. the education audit found, and few would disagree, that our current system remains inefficient and ineffective. the state board of education should have the flexibility to oversee professional
development. however, it should be delivered at the local level. teachers should have a say because they know what critical skills they need to become successful in the classroom. good training and professional development are critical elements for having great teachers in our classrooms. but they are not the only ones. current hiring practices in our state do not guarantee the best teacher is the one actually selected for the job. in fact, in many cases, it prevents otherwise good teachers even from qualifying for the job. the state board of education currently is developing a new system of accreditation, so all schools will be held to higher standards. if we are going to make schools more accountable for their results, we must give teachers and principals a greater role in selecting the colleagues with whom they will share that responsibility. our laws should require that superintendents give more
credence to recommendations from principals and teachers about who they believe is best qualified to raise student achievement. in the end, it is not about the adults, it is about the kids. [applause] additionally, seniority always must be an important consideration, but seniority should not be the only decisive or controlling action of hiring practices. other qualifications must count as well. finally, there are areas of
critical need in west virginia where qualified teachers are not available to hire, especially in the subjects of science, math and foreign languages. where qualified teachers can be hired, there is no need for programs that provide these alternatives. but where we are unable to staff our schools with qualified teachers, we must make every effort to provide our students with the best possible teacher. the education audit found no other state has so many laws that limit local initiatives including districts, principals, and teachers. there is no area where this is more pronounced than our school calendar. it has been the goal of governors and legislators for decades to assure our students have adequate instructional time. but it's just not happening. there are a number of reasons this does not occur, including the restrictions in state code that provide little flexibility
for school boards and communities to establish school calendars that meet their needs while guaranteeing adequate time. as an example of the type of things we need to change in our code, under current law, a snow day counts as an instructional day. we need to get back to a place of common sense in our approach to education. otherwise, we will never get to an adequate level of instructional time. instead, we will be stuck, like we were last year, where our students only averaged 170 days of instructional time. several schools in west virginia already have addressed this problem by going to a balanced calendar. they have found students remember more, they have more time for enrichment and
remediation, more opportunities to get a good meal, and teachers are less likely to become burned-out. let me be clear, my bill will not impose a new calendar on any school. it simply will free our local boards of education, in consultation with staff and the community, to design a calendar meeting the needs of adequate instructional time. beyond the school calendar, there are other issues we must consider. over the past 30 years we have seen a 26 percent decrease in student population. i believe the community, especially parents, should always have access to locally elected officials who oversee their schools. but that does not mean we can and should provide all the current administrative overhead to each of our 55 county school boards. we must become more efficient. finally, we must have a comprehensive and consistent way to integrate technology and digital learning into our
system. we must embrace opportunities like project 24, an effort led by former governor bob wise, that will enable our state to make the best use of technology to unleash our true potential. i am asking the state board to embrace this opportunity. during this legislative session, let's work together and take bold action so the next generation of west virginians will have the passion, skills, and knowledge to change our world. [applause] for over 40 years this country has wrestled with drug abuse. this is more than a social problem, it's an economic problem. too many people who can't pass a drug test go somewhere else -- somewhere where they don't test -- somewhere where it doesn't
matter. they're running out of options and so are we. building a workforce that is not only educated, but clean and sober is something only our people can do for themselves. beginning today, we will carry the message: if you get high, you won't get hired -- drugs aren't working. [applause] i've setup a website: faceyourfuturewv.com. west virginians who need help with substance abuse, we want to help. joining me tonight are kenny perdue with the afl-cio and steve white with the affiliated construction trades foundation, who for the past 20 years have been strong advocates for a drug-free workforce. i'm also joined by steve roberts, president of the west
virginia chamber of commerce and jan vineyard with the business and industry council. they are just a few within our labor and business communities who are showing their support for a drug free workforce. please stand and be recognized for joining us in this fight. [applause] we must continue to support our law enforcement officers and give them the tools they need to protect us, our families, and our communities. we know that driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious problem, but so is driving under the influence of drugs. tonight, i'm proposing legislation to make it clear that officers have implied consent upon reasonable cause. when drivers who are under the influence of drugs are pulled
over, they can be properly identified, tested, and removed from our roadways. as governor, i'm fortunate to have the opportunity to witness firsthand the dedication that our law enforcement officers provide to the mountain state and her people. this past year, the entire state of west virginia grieved when we lost two beloved state troopers. these two men lost their lives protecting us, and they will never be forgotten. tonight, we are joined by a hero -- deputy sheriff john westfall. as you all know, deputy westfall worked that tragic scene at the wallback exit. john was injured, but he is recovering, and it's my pleasure to have him and his wife, emily here with us this evening. deputy westfall, on behalf of all west virginians, please stand as we thank you and every other law enforcement officer in the state for keeping us safe.
us watched in shock when flames ripped through a community near sissonville leaving houses leveled and a part of our highway charred when a major pipeline exploded. it was a true blessing no one was injured or killed. we have learned from that explosion and the investigation that followed, that west virginia's pipeline safety statutes are outdated -- with weak penalties and enforcement measures. in fact, west virginia is currently out of compliance with federal guidelines. tonight, i am proposing legislation to bring our state into federal compliance. i propose a maximum penalty of up to $200,000 per violation, per day. it is my hope by increasing penalties, we will meet federal standards and ensure overall public safety. [applause]
it's no secret that west virginia's correctional system is overextended. statistics now show the number of people in our prisons is increasing at three times the national average. last year, i brought together my colleagues in the legislature, as well as judges, prosecutors, state and local leaders and research professionals as part of an effort to find a solution to our outdated and overcrowded prison system. the council of state governments has succeeded in increasing public safety and reducing recidivism in states like texas, pennsylvania, and ohio. i asked them to help me construct a plan -- keeping public safety as our number one priority. what we learned was simple: substance abuse is a huge part of prison overcrowding, and the high re-offending rate intensifies the problem. we must act now to address these challenges.
we must work to increase public safety and reduce habitual offenders. their recommendations are projected to save the state of west virginia over $116 million over the next six years while making west virginia a safer place. this past june we saw a storm like no other we'd ever experienced before. the derecho left a record 688,000 homes and businesses without electricity. volunteer fire departments, 911 centers, local officials, and the members of the west virginia national guard were there for us during those storms. and since the terrorist attack on september 11th, the west virginia national guard has deployed over 11,500 men and women overseas and we still have many members deployed today. these brave men and women
continue to serve and protect. tonight one of those soldiers is with us, sargent sara yoke. sargent yoke was on a humanitarian mission to a village in afghanistan where she and her fellow soldiers came under enemy fire. because of sara's bravery she received a bronze star and a combat action badge for her service to our country. please help me recognize sargent yoke, adjutant general james hoyer, the men and women of the west virginia national guard, and all veterans here tonight. please stand and be recognized for your outstanding service to our nation. [applause]
west virginia experienced an amazing and unforgettable year. it was not unlike our equally amazing and unforgettable history. the mountain state was born during the national firestorm of civil strife; 150 years ago this year, west virginia set out on its own journey, with hope and promise. we survived many challenges to get to where we are today -- a place we call home. as we come together to celebrate our state's 150th anniversary on june 20th, let's celebrate our history knowing some of her best days lie ahead. as cass gilbert's masterpiece rose on the kanawha river
testifying of an amazing breed of strong west virginians, it also speaks of our remarkable past. and as mr. gilbert's final touches were put on this beautiful capitol there was much debate about the inscription of words that would forever frame our hallways -- and our philosophies. in a letter gilbert wrote to governor william g. conley dated, july 1, 1931, gilbert wrote: "i think we would all agree that the great factors of good government are wisdom, patriotism and diligence, and the most these would be wisdom . i would prefer wisdom to knowledge, for one who is truly wise gets knowledge from others." let's again work together as we begin this legislative session and share these great factors of good government; wisdom, patriotism and diligence as we prepare and take action to move
our great state forward. thank you, god bless you, god bless america and god bless the great state of west virginia. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> sees an will be live leader from me -- c-span will be live later from the nga meeting. gov. martin o'malley will be in charge of that meeting and we
will hear from the chief executive of zappos and that is today at 3:00 p.m.. >> i think it is pretty accurate they do not play by the will and in most cases. i think they bend the rules to fit their circumstance. i think americans and a lot of westerners tend to be legalistic. we want things on a contract. once we see things written down on a contract, that is the be all and end all, whereas the chinese will do any trade agreement, and when the ink is dry, they will interpret a way to get around its requirements. >> where does that come from? >> it is just a relentless drive to get ahead. it is the relentless drive to get better, to improve. they see some of the structures we put on them in terms of trade
these agreements, they see that from the perspective of we are going to hold china down. we operated in a world without rules for years, and now that we are at the top, we are trying to hamstring them and hold china down. >> keith richburg on 30 years of reporting and in sites around the world sunday at 8:00 p.m. on c-span's q&a. >> at age 25, she was one of the wealthiest widows in the colonies and during the revolution, she was considered an enemy by the british, who threatened to take her hostage. later she would become our nation's first lady at the age of 57. meet mar thought washington. we will visit some of the places
that influenced her life, including colonial williamsburg, mount vernon, valley forge, a philadelphia. be part of the conversation about martha washington with your trees and facebook posts. [applause] >> now pennsylvania gov. tom on the's annual address state budget. >> i know you all want to get to lunch. [laughter] >> lieutenant governor cawley, president pro tempore scarnati, speaker smith, majority leader -- thank you for allowing us to come in your house. majority leader pileggi, majority leader turzai, minority leader costa, minority leader dermody, members of the house and senate, distinguished guests, my fellow pennsylvanians, thank you.
the dick thank you for this opportunity to speak with you today. before i do, i am going to go off script very early on. would you all please join me in a moment of silence. which to preach -- please rise in a moment of silence. in the past year, we have lost eight of our servicemen and women from pennsylvania -- nine firefighters, five police officers, 2 ems people who know suffered -- served their commonwealth and their country with great service. i would ask for a moment of silence. thank you. i have just had the pleasure to
spend a few months -- moments back in the governor's office. now, the treasurer, everybody here has had an opportunity to see you, so i will not ask you to stand up. but i will ask the attorney general, and our new attorney generals, will you stand up and be recognized by this body? [applause] thank you very much. i stand here today proud to have worked with you over the past two years to make pennsylvania a better place to
live, work, and raise a family. the results we have accomplished make me optimistic about our future. and i'm pleased to say, i believe pennsylvania's best days are ahead: we are a state blessed with a wealth of natural resources. we are and always will be the keystone state because of our unique location in this country and the world. we are, most of all, home to the hardest-working people in the world. pennsylvania has unlimited potential. two years ago, i talked about creating a brighter future for all pennsylvanians. and, over the last two years we have worked together to make that a reality. we have worked together to bring spending under control. we have worked together to reduce taxes, putting more money in the pockets of our hard-working taxpayers and small business owners. we have worked together and learned that our potential is,
and continues to be, greater than any challenge we face. together we continue to seize every opportunity to create success which leads to more success and more success. we didn't create our success by raising taxes. we created it by expanding our opportunities. with the leadership shown by you we have kept spending within our means. our energy industry continues to expand providing tens of thousands of new jobs for hardworking people in all regions of our state. in the west, it promises thousands more new jobs when we succeed in attracting the new petrochemical plant and the hundreds of new businesses that will spring up around it. in the north, it is delivering thousands of jobs as the economy expands.
we passed a law that further safeguards our environment, addresses the impacts of new industry and helps bolster our economy. for example, residents in bradford county will see their property taxes reduced by six percent this year. in the southeast, three refineries survived almost certain closure when their owners, and most of the industry, had given up on them. but we didn't give up. working in a true bipartisan effort that is all too rare today, i joined with elected leaders like congressman pat meehan, congressman bob brady, senator dominic pileggi, representatives bill adolph and bill keller, and marcus hook mayor james schiliro. with business leaders like brian mcdonald, gustavo valverde, and pat killion.
and with union leaders like jim savage, leo gerard and john defazio to find new owners and a new future for those refineries. we were able to show new investors like phil rinaldi, david marchak and jeff warmann, the skill, work ethic and limitless potential of the pennsylvania worker. and we were able to share with those new investors the vision of pennsylvania's energy future as a world leader. please join me in applauding all of these people for showing their faith and commitment to pennsylvania. they are in the back of the room to my right. [applause] today, those refineries still employ thousands and support
thousands of more jobs, from the truckers who drive in and out with deliveries, to the lunch counters and small shops that will continue to thrive in the shadow of those plants. i want to read you a letter i received from one of those business owners. while this letter was written to -- in that letter he says two years ago when they said the refinery was going to close, it might as well have announced i was going to close. how was i going to be able to keep my doors open and keep my staff employed? i was thinking of expanding my business. with the dreadful announcement,
i was wondering how i would keep my business afloat. by saving refineries, he saved my business and dozens of others as well. i want to take this opportunity to thank you, governor, for all that you and your team did for small businesses are in the region and. business owners like me have been unable to continue our dreams of being an entrepreneur's while providing for our families and contributing to our communities. few think of the ripple effect. but you did. thank you for taking action at. this is signed -- some of you may know this area. wallace letter was written to me, -- well this letter was written to me, it was meant for all of us. getting that letter, now, that makes it all worthwhile. i will never forget the look on the faces of those employees at
braskem the day i visited in july. when they knew their jobs would be there tomorrow, they broke into spontaneous applause. with tears welling in the eyes of many, they knew it was more than a job. it was being able to continue providing for their families and loved ones. the spontaneous show of emotion in that moment affirmed my belief that anything is possible when we put aside our differences and work together for the good of all pennsylvanians. but isn't this really why we're all in government? isn't that why we're here, to work together to help people? i hope so. and we've succeeded, not only by preserving jobs like those at the refineries or by creating new jobs, but maybe more importantly, by preparing people for existing jobs. i'm talking about people like greg vasquez.
greg and his wife, teresa, live in dillsburg, york county, with their son, kyle, and daughter, rachel. a marine corps veteran, greg worked for 30 years in the printing industry until the day in august of 2011 when he was laid off. he found another job. different industry, but same story: greg was laid off last summer. around that time we, working together, republicans and democrats, passed legislation creating the keystone works program. this program is built around a worker's ambition, not bureaucratic rules. keystone works provides on-the- job training to allow displaced workers to train for open positions. here's the great innovation: those trainees don't have to give-up their unemployment benefits while learning a new skill on the job. greg became a trainee at schugt manufacturing in york.
dave schugt was the first businessman to put the keystone works program in place at his plant. and greg was the first worker to enroll. today, i want to introduce you to two pioneers: greg vasquez and his new employer, dave schugt. they are here today because they, their families, and i, want to thank the general assembly and its prime sponsors representative stan saylor and senator john gordner for passing keystone works. dave and greg, would you please stand in the back of the room? [applause] thank you, thank you. but even as we celebrate this progress there is more work to be done. there are promises to be kept. i'd like to share with you my
experience on a visit i made recently to vision for equality, a social service agency in philadelphia. i met with families who had adult sons and daughters with severe intellectual disabilities. because of their conditions they face challenging lives. and it became even more challenging because they "aged- out" of the services the state provides for children. they were put on a waiting list a waiting list that delays their access to the help that would allow them to work, to live at home, to enjoy a full measure of life's experiences. but these families would not let these disabilities and the waiting list stand in the way of their dreams. brittany stevens is here today with her mother, harlena morton. harlena wakes up at 4:30 every morning. she makes sure brittany has physical therapy.
she makes sure brittany has a lunch ready for later in the day. all brittany wanted was a chance to work, to have the same opportunity as the rest of us. she might have needed our help, but because we gave her that help last year, she is ready to chart her own course. a course fueled by courage, passion and an independent spirit. because of our commitment last year, brittany is now off the waiting list. her story and those of so many parents and sisters and brothers are tales of the every- day heroism shown by the families and friends of our neighbors with special needs. that waiting list is a powerful metaphor for what has gone wrong in our society. we need to act now and we must not turn our backs on all the other brittanys who are out there currently on the waiting list.
that is why i am counting on the general assembly to join with me to make certain we pass this next round of funding for expanded services for people with intellectual disabilities. please join me in a round of applause for brittany and her mother, harlena. [applause] thank you. thank you. we are now at a turning point. because we are regaining our financial footing, we now have a chance to fulfill our obligation to help more moms and daughters like harlena and brittany. we now have it within our grasp to create more jobs for people like greg; we now have the opportunity to make every young persons job search a local one; and it is now within our power
to make pennsylvania's products, and not our young people, our greatest export. but great challenges must be met if we are to continue strengthening our commonwealth and fulfill the promise of a brighter future for all pennsylvanians. now is not the time to be timid in our approach. now is not the time to cling to old ideas and the status quo. now is not the time to make small changes and expect big results. now is the time to be truly innovative. now is the time to embrace new ideas. and now is the time to be bold. pennsylvanians deserve this from us now. every one of us has come here to make things better for all pennsylvanians. nobody in this room ran for -- at least i believe that. nobody in this room ran for office on a promise to keep
harrisburg the way it is. nobody displayed a campaign bumper sticker that read: "vote for me i want to keep harrisburg the same." no one ran on the promise to bind harrisburg to the status quo. we all come from different backgrounds, various philosophies, but we share the common goal of a better pennsylvania. our job isn't to explain why things can't be better. our obligation is to make things better. we ran on the promise to change harrisburg. leave it to the historians to write our history. our job is to make history now. public education is entering an -- and so let me talk about education. public education is entering an era of transformation. ageless subjects math, reading and science have seen new strides in how we teach them. we have moved beyond the age of the blackboard as new technologies tie every classroom to the world and have the potential to link every
young life to a bright future. my budget works to provide our public schools with enrichment funding to help them achieve academic excellence at all grade levels. it provides for enhanced learning opportunities, career- focused training and most importantly, a safe learning environment. for the past two years, the commonwealth has invested more pennsylvania tax dollars in basic education than at any time in our history. it is true that we no longer -- for the past two years, we have spent more pennsylvania tax dollars for basic education than any time in our history. it is true that we no longer have one-time federal "stimulus" dollars money that should never have been put toward school operating costs. yet once again this year, we will be putting a record amount of state funding into basic education, $5.5 billion dollars, starting with early
childhood programs and going all the way through grade 12. children enter this world as students. from the time a child opens their eyes, the world offers a wealth of learning. those formative years, the ones before kindergarten, those formative years, the ones before kindergarten, are crucial. pennsylvania currently spends more than $348 million dollars each year in early childhood programs. my budget reaffirms that commitment. i propose adding another $6.4 million toward our pre-k counts and the head start supplemental assistance programs. this money gives an additional 3,200 children, and their families, access to quality full and part-day programs as well as summer kindergarten readiness programs. why do we want to spend more on these programs? because every child in
pennsylvania deserves an equal start in life, and i intend to see that promise kept. [applause] as we lay this foundation, we must also continue to expand funding for k-through-12 education. this budget adds nearly $100 million dollars to be distributed to our school districts. that is over and above last year's record funding levels. we intend to maintain full funding levels for state and state-related universities. that is $1.58 billion that will go towards these institutions. at the same time, the leaders of these universities have promised to work to keep tuition increases as low as possible for students. our commitment allows schools to plan their budgets for the coming year and make the best use of their resources.
their commitment should allow students and their families to plan their own budgets. some of these university presidents are here with us today. please join me in offering our thanks for their commitment to hold down costs while lifting up the cause of available higher education. [applause] our message to college students today is that both my administration and the leaders of your state and state-related schools are committed to making the dream of higher education attainable. finally, i recently unveiled the "passport for learning" block grant, an unprecedented $1 billion dollar program enriching our public schools over the next four years.
it provides maximum flexibility for school districts in four general areas. one is called "ready by 3." the funds can go toward supporting and enhancing a quality kindergarten program that meets our academic standards and enhances elementary reading and mathematics through third grade. the second program acknowledges that every child learns differently at his or her own pace. when it comes to education one size does not fit all. schools can establish customized learning plans that allow our students to learn at the pace and manner that best suits them. science, technology, engineering and math remain critical to the continued advancement of our students, our state and our nation. that is why they comprise the third area to receive a share of this new revenue. the grant will provide funding to invest in programs and equipment that support science and math in grades six through twelve.
there is a fourth component to this block grant. it is one that earlier generations did not anticipate and which our generation dare not disregard. children cannot learn if they do not feel safe. pennsylvania schools continue to make great strides in safety. this grant ensures that local schools can invest in the necessary safety and security measures to make certain that when our children sit down at their desks the only thing they need to think about is how bright their futures will be. senator scarnati has already made this issue a top priority, and i look forward to working with him to help make our schools safer. i can think of no better use for the proceeds created by getting us out of a business we should never have been in than to put those dollars toward the essential responsibilities of state government.
that is why i have proposed that, as we phase the commonwealth out of the liquor business, we put that money toward education. selling liquor is not a core function of government. education is. [applause] we need to put our liquor system into private hands. pennsylvanians have waited too long for the day they could buy beer or wine at the grocery store or choose from a greater variety of offerings at privately owned liquor stores. this is our opportunity and our children's. we have another opportunity to make things right for the future. the entire system of state pensions has become a mountain of debt, and the avalanche could
bury our economic growth, swallow up benefits for our elderly, education for our children, and transportation for our economy. we cannot let that happen. we cannot allow hard-working teachers and state employees to be threatened by the loss of their pensions. nor can we allow the burden of saving those pensions to snowball into a nightmare of economic hardship for our children. resolving our pension crisis will be the single most important thing we do for decades to come. i will not allow any cuts to any benefits of our retirees. let me repeat that: no cuts to any retiree benefits. they earned their retirement. they earned their guaranteed security. nor will i allow any pension dollars already earned by any current employee to be diminished in any way.
through meaningful pension reform, this budget will provide another $140 million dollars in pension savings for school districts across the state. what we need to do, going forward from this time, is to create a new 401(k)-style retirement benefit for our future employees consistent with the retirement packages currently enjoyed almost universally by private sector employees. my plan also suggests some adjustment in the way future benefits are calculated for current employees in order to maintain the solvency of our pension system and guarantee all current and future employees a worry-free retirement. the surest way to guarantee the solvency of our pensions is to make certain that our pension systems can deliver what they promise. we can do that with very little disruption, but only if we act now! the longer we wait the more disruptive the solution will
become. let us act now. with some imagination and some cooperation, we can find a way to preserve our existing pensions and allow the next generation of state employees and teachers a chance to shape their futures.i know many of you will be interested in this next subject. pennsylvania sits within a day's drive of 60 percent of the nation's population. every year, nearly half-a- trillion dollars worth of goods and services move through our state transportation system. transportation is the bloodstream of our economy. if it fails, our economy fails. however, the average bridge in our state is 51 years old. more than 4,000 of them are now deemed structurally deficient.
in rural areas, some roads have been essentially cut in half because failing bridges have been closed to traffic, interrupting emergency services and threatening public safety. each day, one-and-a-half million pennsylvania students travel in school buses across those very same bridges and roads. our mass transit system has staggered under growing demand, aging infrastructure, and a lack of funding. mass transit is crucial to sparing our highways from congestion and providing a reliable environmentally friendly and affordable means of moving around a region. yet our customary way of funding transportation has fallen short of our needs. travel patterns have changed. cars have become more fuel- efficient. people buy less at the pump. coupled with rising construction
costs and a lack of serious action from the federal government this drop in revenue threatens our roads and bridges and with them our safety and our livelihoods. i am proposing two adjustments to the way we provide for our transportation needs. i am calling on the legislature to pass a 17 percent reduction in the flat liquid fuels tax paid by consumers at the pump. second, i am asking the general assembly to begin a five-year phase out of an artificial and outdated cap on the tax paid by oil and gas companies on the wholesale price of gasoline. this cap was put in place at a time when experts assumed the price of a gallon of gas would never go beyond $1.25. it has gone to more than triple
that rate in recent years. this is not a new tax, nor am i proposing to increase the rate of the existing tax. i am simply saying the time has come to apply it to the full value of what the company is selling. it is time for oil and gas companies to pay their fair share of the cost of the infrastructure supporting their industry. [applause] our most costly option would be to do nothing. it will cost us in repairs, it will cost us in rebuilding, and it could cost us in tragedies we might have avoided. this budget makes it clear that we are committed to providing pennsylvanians with the best health care options at the most affordable price for the taxpayers. as we planned our budget, we took great care to analyze the
requirements of the affordable care act and its impact on the lives of pennsylvanians. in 2009, at a white house reception for senate democrats, president obama said, and i quote: "as we move forward on health reform it is not enough for us to simply add more people to medicare or medicaid to increase coverage in the absence of cost controls and reform." he went on to conclude, "another way of putting it is, we can't simply put more people into a broken system that doesn't work." he was right. we cannot afford to expand a broken system. right now, without expansion, the cost to maintain our current department of public welfare programs will increase by $400 million dollars. the main driver in that cost increase is medicaid and long-
term care. washington is asking us to expand medicaid as part of the affordable care act without any clear guidance or reasonable assurances. today, i sent a letter to secretary of health and human services kathleen sebelius advising her of our position. we need to work together to provide access to greater and affordable health care for all pennsylvania families. however, washington must provide a clear answer about what this expansion would cost the taxpayers of our state. the federal government must authorize real flexibility and innovative reforms that empower us to make the program work for pennsylvania. we also should not permit the federal government to take away millions of dollars from our hospitals as leverage to implement their one-size-fits- all policies.
at this time, without serious reforms, it would be financially unsustainable for the taxpayers, and i cannot recommend a dramatic medicaid expansion. [applause] in the last two years we have transformed the state's health and human services programs, making them more efficient and better able to respond quickly to the needs of all pennsylvanians. this budget reaffirms this commitment to helping individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. it seeks to help senior citizens, children and low- income families. earlier, i mentioned the need to serve more pennsylvanians who have been on waiting lists. when i think of young people with intellectual or physical challenges, i don't think of
them as disabled. i see them as differently-abled. i think of youngsters like a little girl named chloe kondrich of allegheny county. i have known chloe since she was three years old. i know her mother, her father and her grandparents. in fact, some of you may know her grandfather, ted kondrich, who served in the house of representatives from 1989-1990. i visited with chloe this past wednesday.and earlier today in my office. she is a bright 9-year-old who takes theater classes, plays baseball, and is in fourth grade at eisenhower elementary school. one other thing about chloe: she was born with down syndrome. right now, she can expect the aid and support of our many programs for children as well as the love of her parents. chloe has a wonderful life.
she adores her brother, nolan, and he adores her. along with the love of her family, chloe receives the benefits the state has in place for children with special needs. as her dad says, "you want your kids to be healthy and happy, and safe and productive members of the community. she's on track to do all that." but eventually, chloe will become a young adult and "age out" of that benefit system. her mom and dad will, like all of us, someday grow old and be unable to support her. i am determined that by the time chloe, and the thousands of other young people with disabilities, have reached adulthood, they will be able to step into a full and active life as citizens of this state. these young people and their families have waited long enough. we will find a way to erase this waiting list. i asked chloe and her family to be here today so i could make
that promise in person. and i hope you in the general assembly will help me keep that promise. [applause] if she doesn't put a smile on your face, i don't know what will. my budget will dedicate $40 million to provide critical services to an additional 3,000 men, women and children with physical and intellectual disabilities. this will allow them to live independently in their homes and communities. it means we will help more people with autism and down syndrome and serve more people living with physical disabilities.
when it comes to children, we must spare no effort. my budget proposes that we assist more than 210,000 low- income families and enable 1,400 children now on waiting lists to receive child-care assistance. this budget includes more than $8 million dollars in additional resources to provide health care coverage to more than 9,300 additional children through chip. at the same time we also need to reach those in rural and underserved areas of the state. we have many great hospitals and local clinics that provide first-rate health care to our citizens. but not everyone can reach those clinics. some of our health clinics get few visitors, but we know there are people out there who need their services.
if they can't reach us, then we need to reach them. i am proud to join with senator ted erickson in proposing to invest $4 million in the creation of the community-based health care program to bring care to those citizens. this budget will also expand the primary health practitioner loan repayment program. it will assist us in recruiting more physicians, dentists, and other health practitioners, to work in rural areas and in communities that lack sufficient medical care. right now, pennsylvania has the fourth highest percentage of seniors in the united states and their number is growing. in 17 years, one pennsylvanian out of four will be 60 or older. that might include a couple of
you here in this room, including me. that is nearly one million more senior citizens who will depend on the services funded by our state lottery. as a result of changes in the management of the lottery, changes publicly discussed over nine months and explained in public hearings both last april and last month, we can meet the future needs of our seniors. because of these changes, in this budget alone, we are now able to add $50 million for our senior programs. this money will expand care for older pennsylvanians in their homes and communities. it will help to modernize programs at centers. it will, in short, keep the promise we made to older pennsylvanians the day the lottery sold its first ticket. [applause]
while we work to honor our commitment to older pennsylvanians, we must not forget our obligations to another one of pennsylvania's precious resources - our agricultural community. a few weeks ago, a record number of people visited the pennsylvania farm show. including some of you. i hope the milkshakes were pretty good. they were making a bit of history, while exploring an industry that is at once part of our future as well as a vital tradition. our agriculture exports now approach $1.7 billion annually. farming in pennsylvania is a business but it remains, inherently, a family business. centuries ago families who left their native countries began farming the fields of william penn's colony. today, their descendants do the same.
every time a plow cuts into the soil of pennsylvania, it deepens the roots of our heritage. we must keep it that way. that is why we worked together last year to end the inheritance tax on family farm land. the value of land for housing and commercial centers is very high. the value of the tradition and contribution of agriculture on that same land is beyond calculation. no farming family should have to bury their father or mother and their way of life at the same time. nor should we lose our farm land to uncontrolled development. that is why my budget contains more than $35 million dollars to fund the nation's best farmland preservation program. it offers $10 million dollars to continue a system of tax credits for the resource enhancement protection program that rewards farmers for best environmental and management practices.
this budget also continues funding for four more agricultural programs: - $17 million to fund the state food purchase program providing critical help to pennsylvanians who are at risk of having too little to eat; - the pennvet program at the university of pennsylvania; - the agricultural research program at penn state; and, - in keeping with a pledge i made when i first sought this office, we are increasing our commitment to county fairs by putting forward $2.5 million to fund them. we understand that any event that brings farming people together results in progress. one of the greatest challenges we continue to confront as pennsylvanians is the threat of crime. public safety remains a top priority in my administration. without safety, society cannot long endure. that is why, once again, i have
announced plans for new cadet classes at the pennsylvania state police academy. over the next fiscal year, we plan to train 290 new state troopers to protect and defend our citizens and our rule of law. we will also add 90 new civilian dispatchers, freeing our troopers to get out on the roads and into our communities, where they are most needed. much of that expansion has been made possible by enhancing our justice system. it costs $34,000 a year to keep a man or woman in prison. that is $34,000 that doesn't reach our schools, pave our roads, or care for our poor. while prisons are necessary, they are not necessarily the only answer. our justice reinvestment initiative gets eligible offenders out of the system and works to re-introduce them as productive citizens.
it also will save us $139 million. this money is being moved to the "front end" of the justice system -- victim services, local policing, county-based offender treatment, improved probation services. and some of it will be reinvested into our budget, our schools and our communities. we need to be tough on crime and smarter about preventing it. justice reinvestment does both. [applause] justice reinvestment does both. i want to thank you all for working with me to bring about these important changes in the way we address public safety. in particular, i would like to acknowledge senator stewart greenleaf and
representative ron marsico for all their hard work in ensuring justice reinvestment became a reality.thank you.
[applause] over the past two years, we have worked together to reform and remake pennsylvania. we, working together, eliminated a $4.2 billion budget deficit without raising taxes. [applause] we took the first steps toward reforming our tax code to attract new businesses and jobs which has already resulted in more than
100,000 new private pennsylvania in the last two yerasaars.
[applause] we, working together, republicans and democrats, saved the unemployment compensation system, saved three refineries, and are close to winning a $4 billion dollar petrochemical plant in the state's west. [applause] we ended the inheritance tax on family farms, while preserving more farmland. we passed the most comprehensive environmental and safety regulations on gas drilling in the nation. this progress is even more remarkable when we see what has happened at the federal level. washington has driven the nation to the edge of the fiscal cliff and seems intent on keeping us there with its inability, or
unwillingness, to address exactly the kinds of issues that we have solved here in pennsylvania. we solved our own "fiscal cliff" before it even had a name. over the past two years, we have saved the average pennsylvania, two income family of four, more than $2,500 in state taxes by holding the line on spending. [applause] meanwhile, the federal government is raising the payroll tax by two percent, costing the average family an additional $1,000 each year. if we keep faith with one more round of reforms, we can move from a time of recovery to an era of growth and prosperity. we can make certain that our pension plans are sound and that hard working employees, when they retire, will receive the pensions we promised and they earned. at the same time, we can free up
hundreds of millions of dollars to care for pennsylvanians in need and to educate our young. we can begin a program to rebuild our roads and bridges, a program not for this moment alone, but for future generations, so governors and legislators years from now will not face a crumbling infrastructure. we can make certain our workers, our economy, and our public safety are protected for our lifetimes and those beyond. we can bring pennsylvania into the 21st century by giving choice and convenience to consumers of spirits, wine and beer, at the same time generating $1 billion for our schools. and.we can do all of this without abandoning the basic principle that i know majority leader turzai and i agree on: that we spend no more than we have. [applause] [applause]