Connecticut 93 Weicker
Honorable ladies and gentlemen of the Connecticut General Assembly, good afternoon and Happy New Year. The outset of any new Congress, state legislature or town meeting is a time of anticipated change, untempered courage and limitless vision. Whether first-termer or veteran, those emotions are with all of us on opening day. When we lose the passion and the butterflies that go with it, then public office is a job rather than a love. There is too much opportunity and challenge, too much success and failure, too much joy and anger in government to achieve routinely. You've got to love Connecticut to serve it. And that's why all of us are here.
I want to pay tribute to each of you in this chamber. For winning an election -- for sticking your neck out on behalf of neighbors -- for being in politics. Politics in a free society is what articulates the national, state, or local will. It is to be revered, not disdained. Thank you for doing politics.
Now to business. Fiscal year 1992-1993 should mark the second straight year of Connecticut living within its budget. There is every reason to expect a small surplus with any such monies going to a further pre-payment of old debts. As you know, last year 110 million dollars was used in just such a fashion. That prepayment meant that 7 million dollars in interest costs stayed in Connecticut rather than in bank accounts on Wall Street. Connecticut's two - year fiscal experience, borne of the enactments of the 1991 legislature, is unique in the nation. Unique in terms of responsibility, job creation, debt retirement and reorganization. Yet I am well aware that one of politics's unfair demands now comes into play -- i.e. "What did you do for me today?"
In a month's time I will bring before you a budget proposal for the biennium that will be balanced; will not raise income taxes, sales tax rates or corporate taxes and will continue to downsize state spending. That budget process will be tougher than what confronted the 1991 legislature. Old habits die hard whether they are habits of taxation or habits of spending. But it is the intention of this administration for the foreseeable future to keep the focus where it belongs - on jobs - on children - on the cities. Whereas the budget is in balance, these matters are in deficit.
In tough times, we must use our brains not other people's money. My wish for Connecticut is the same now as two years ago - to attract and keep success within our state, to build a broad tax base. Jobs, which were driven out of Connecticut even before the recession, remain Connecticut's number one commitment. Any hint of a return to the past philosophy of penalizing success, private or corporate, will be looked upon askance by this administration. Those in need don't pay for those in need - be the need job creation, education, health, cities. As long as people and corporations of worth can decide with their feet their locus in forty-nine other states and the world, I want Connecticut to be the best in its quality of life and fairest in the assessment for that life.
I realize these comments go somewhat beyond the amenities of the moment, but it is not too soon to comprehend the enormity of our problems and the restrictions devised by the constitutional and legislative process that make solution difficult indeed. We are going to do that budget job together and in a way that will once again bring affirmation of integrity at the polls in 1994.
Now, ladies and gentlemen assembled here and throughout Connecticut, I need your counsel and assistance. Today we must face an issue as pressing in nature as was our fiscal crisis, and as important to the future health of our state. That issue is the education of our schoolchildren.
The wise have always spoken of the importance of education. Aristotle said the "fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Jefferson said "if a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." Henry Ward Beecher called "ignorance the womb of monsters."
Historically, we have known the value of education here in Connecticut. Though small in geography and population, we have achieved world-wide a reputation far greater than our size or numbers because or the emphasis we have placed on education. We are one of the few states in the nation that guarantees the right to education in its Constitution.
The Constitution of the State of Connecticut declares "There shall always be free public elementary and secondary schools in the state." It instructs the General Assembly to prescribe the appropriation of funds "for the equal benefit of all the people thereof.. as justice and equity shall require."
We have much to be proud of in our education system. Our teacher salaries are the highest in the nation, which is as it should be given the importance of the task we invest in them. Our teacher to pupil ratio is also the best in the country. Our per pupil spending is in the top five. Many of our schools have been nationally recognized for excellence. The tribute for this goes to the men and women of the General Assembly who have made education a priority. It goes to those who work in our local districts on the front-lines of education, and to parents who have played an active role in the education of our children.
Despite these achievements, we are failing many of our youngsters, particularly in our cities. Today, despite all good intentions, there are two Connecticuts when it comes to the education of our children, Connecticutís separated by racial and economic divisions. There is a Connecticut of promise, as seen in its suburbs, and a Connecticut of despair as seen in its poverty-stricken cities.
These are the simple facts: Students in our city schools perform lower than the state. average in all measures--math, reading, writing, even physical fitness. Students in wealthy suburbs perform higher in all categories. 80 percent of the state's minority students live in 18 urban districts. Hartford public schools have a 92 percent minority population. Bridgeport is- 86 percent, New Haven's 82 percent. At the other extreme, 136 of Connecticut's 166 school districts have minority-student populations of less than 10 percent. 98 have minority populations of less than 5 percent. * In 1985 of all children living in poverty in Connecticut, six percent were white, 32 percent were black and 62 percent were Hispanic. The concentration of poverty is in the cities. Today, 19 percent of elementary schoolchildren state-wide qualify for the federal school lunch program, which is available to children from families with low incomes. In Hartford, 63 percent of all students receive this assistance. In Bridgeport 62 percent. In New Haven 49 percent. * The drop out rate for white students is 17 percent. It is 37 percent for black students and nearly 50 percent for Hispanic students. While there have been efforts over the years to correct this situation, including programs like Project Concern and the development of magnet schools, the numbers continue to speak for themselves. If you are poor, if you are a minority, and if you live in one of our cities, you start the game at a disadvantage. While you are born with an equal capacity to learn, the odds are you will go to a school with fewer resources and with a greater proportion of at-risk students. The helping hand, the attention, the examples of success, the guidance will not always be there.
Jonathan Kozol, in his book Savage Inequalities, which describes the devastating effects of segregation on schoolchildren, writes: "We are children only once, and after those few years are gone, there is no second chance to make amends. In this respect, the consequences of unequal education have a terrible finality. Those who are denied cannot be 'made whole' by a later act of government."
When we walk the streets of our cities and look into the eyes of our children and see hopelessness, it is our loss and our failure. From innocence, bitterness is born, and at great cost. The demographer Harold Hodgkinson notes that "Between now and 2000, Connecticut will build far more jails than schools. Each prisoner costs the state more that 20,000 dollars a year - enough to provide a Head Start-type program for 10 kids. Consider the fact that 80 percent of all jail cells are occupied by high school dropouts, and we have completed the circle."
That was written in 1988. The cost per inmate is now closer to 24,000 dollars.
The racial and economic isolation in Connecticut's school system is indisputable. Whether this segregation came about through the chance of historical boundaries or economic forces beyond the-control of the state or whether It came about through private decisions or in spite of the best educational efforts of the state, what matters is that it is here and must be dealt with. The history of this country, and this state, is the history of the triumph of individual rights whether they be based on religion, race, sex, or disability. From Concord Bridge to Selma, Alabama, to The Americans with Disabilities Act, from Nathan Hale and Martin Luther King to the countless ordinary citizens who took stands for justice, it is a history that both stirs us to what we are capable of achieving, and reminds us that victory is never permanent. America will forever remain what can be. Its work is never finished.
Today, while the nation watches, a debate on opportunity continues in a Connecticut courtroom. The plaintiffs in Sheff vs. O'Neill, nineteen Hartford-area schoolchildren, are pressing the case that they and other Hartford children have been deprived of their rights to an equal educational opportunity by school districts divided sharply along racial, ethnic and economic lines.
And under our constitutional system, it is the courts who can be the final arbiter. Yet courts act only when the Executive and Legislative branches of government fail to uphold their responsibilities in addressing fundamental issues of justice. In Connecticut, education is an established constitutional right putting the issue way beyond what is fundamental or even what is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Recognizing the inequality that exists not just in Hartford, but throughout this state, it is our job to make the fact of that right the reality of our classrooms. The question is not whether, it is how. If we fail to act, the courts, sooner or later, will do that which by election was entrusted to us.
It is not my intention to handicap the result of Sheff vs. O'Neill. Either way the court decides, there will be no winner. If the decision is for the plaintiffs, the courts, in the absence of any initiative by us, will run the schools of Connecticut and the children lose. If the decision is for the defendant, in the absence of any initiative by us, the children lose. We were elected to make the decisions. In our form of government, if we don't do so or do so badly, then decision will prevail -- in this instance decision will take the form of a court order. A court-run school system is not for Connecticut -- its children or its adults. A school system created by you, by local school boards, by the executive branch, will work better than the divinings of one or more jurists no matter how knowledgeable or sensitive those individuals might be. And believe me, as one who led the fight against court-stripping in the U.S. Senate, I will take second place to no one in my admiration of the judiciary. Much of the public dismay over court decisions of the past several decades is due to the unwillingness of the executive branch and legislature to make the tough calls. Such a moment is now upon us; Here then are the details of what I am proposing.
Connecticut will have six educational regions--regions that recognize the way we live and do business in the state today. These are the regions that were mandated by the General Assembly in the effort to create uniform districts to improve and integrate the state's delivery of human services.
Each region will develop a five-year plan to reduce racial isolation in the region's schools and to provide all students with a quality, integrated learning experience. Every community in the state will participate in the development of the region's plan. The first stage of the planning process will be local and will include the participation of the community's Chairman of the Board of Education, the superintendent of schools, teachers, union representatives, parents, and community leaders. The second phase will be regional and will include the chairman of each community's Board of Education. Public hearings will be an integral part of this phase. The final regional plans will address the issues surrounding curriculum, staff development, finance, facilities, equipment, and students with special needs. They will also deal with the integration of education with health and human service agencies- a step, not done before in this state, which will greatly enhance the delivery of vital services to our children.
Within five years of the implementation of the plans, local school districts in the region will reflect the racial mixture of the region within limits to be established during the planning process.
Options the regions may want to consider include inter-district magnet schools, a school choice program, and the development of regional schools.
* The state will provide support during the local and regional planning process, and following approval of each plan, will provide resources to support implementation. * Local districts will maintain control over program, fiscal, and personnel operations in their districts. The proposal does not require the disbanding of any school district, although with study, some regions may decide that to prevent wastefulness, it may be a good idea to combine certain districts. Local decisions and local involvement will guide the process.
Following adoption of the legislation, local planning will begin, with regional planning to begin shortly after. The plans should be ready by the summer of 1994 for approval by the State Board of Education with implementation to begin in the 1995-96 school year. The economic arguments behind quality, integrated education are basic. Our workforce in the year 2000 will be made up of the very children who today are at risk of not fulfilling their potential. When we speak of our ability as a state to compete. it is our workforce that will provide the key to success or failure. Our number one product must be our children. Far rather invest in them than in the shattered adult lives found in Connecticut's penal institutions. By exposing all of our students to a diverse world, in which they will spend their lifetimes, we enrich them and better prepare all of them for success.
This issue of segregation has been grappled with unsuccessfully by many states and communities since the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education ruling. Our approach is unique and workable.
The regional process recognizes the differences from area to area of our state, and that there can be multiple approaches to creating opportunity. The wisdom of what works is sought at the local level. This process gives the communities of Connecticut a voice and a choice. I am confident we will not let the moment escape.
I don't want to miss the opportunity of also enlisting the support of Connecticut's private and parochial education system. You have become leaders in breaking down barriers of educational deprivation. We in the public sector can benefit from your learning curve. Please continue to innovate and challenge tradition especially at this critical time in the life of our state.
In the wake of the Horton vs. Meskill decision, we were able to adopt a fairer way of financing our schools. Today, we can take the necessary second step to providing an equal educational experience by providing our students with a quality, integrated education. It would be a salutary achievement for government to do in 1993 by legislative and executive action what twenty years ago was left to a court.
At the outset of my address I mentioned those butterflies as affecting veterans as well as rookies. Well, I've got them today. But the game is on and like the first tackle, first run, or first-caught pass for the player, the unknown is replaced by reality. In this instance the reality is a fight against too many wasted lives -- too much hopelessness. We in Connecticut are no longer going to live with the illogic of "acceptable" levels of crime, disease, drugs, and joblessness -- all borne of ignorance. As research cures, rather than cares for disease, so good education obviates the expensive repair work on people's lives.
This is not a matter where anyone can pretend to a higher ground than anyone else. We need each other, not each other's criticism. Marian Anderson of Danbury, Connecticut, one of this nation's great singers, was denied access to performing in Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., back in the forties. Whether from that experience or other acts of an unequal society, her words are wisdom for today: "As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might." There's not enough money in all of Connecticut for the jails that will be. There's more than enough for the education that can be. God bless us all.
Delaware 93 Carper
I am honored and privileged to have this opportunity to carry on an important Delaware tradition by speaking before this Joint Session of the General Assembly.
Sixteen years have passed since I sat in this chamber with many of you and heard a new governor -- also fresh from Capitol Hill -- address a Joint Session of the General Assembly on the state of our state and what he believed we should do about it. The first few months of that administration were rocky ones -- as indeed they are for most new administrations -- but that Governor assembled a quality team which ultimately governed this State well -- in concert with Democrats and Republicans in the General Assembly.
We haven't had a real transition in State government since that time. This week, as our nation emerges from winter into spring, my young administration emerges from a period of transition to begin the real work of governing -- in cooperation with each of you. My team is now in place and I believe it's a good one. I want to thank Executive Committee Chairman Thurman Adams and the entire Senate for their support in the confirmation process. I look forward to seeing it completed. Next week, I will send to the Senate my nomination for Adjutant General.
Today, I would like to talk with you about what my administration will concentrate on this year. I want to focus on six issues: the State's FY 1994 budget; building a vibrant economy; promoting clean air for a healthy environment; improving the effectiveness and integrity of our government; strengthening families; and revitalizing our schools.
Though the elements of my agenda are diverse, they are linked by common principles:
that Delaware must leverage its limited resources through partnerships among governments, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector; that some old ways of doing business must give way to more effective means of governing; and that State government should be open to citizen input and be accountable for its performance. let me say from the outset that I will not ask this legislature to take on extensive new initiatives this year. I will not ask you to pass legislation for the sake of legislating. But hat I will ask from you, in my view, will be critical to our State. A number of the goals I Lve established can be achieved during this legislative session -- others will take longer.
Relative to neighboring states, we start from a position of strength, born of a tradition fiscal integrity that this General Assembly, and the governors who have preceded me, Iíve made possible.
Today, we are one of only 12 states with a AA plus bond rating or better. That anding saves our State millions of dollars each year in interest charges and further iderseores our financial well-being.
I believe that we can pursue important new initiatives and keep the budget balanced.
FY 1994 BUDGET
I want to commend the Joint Finance Committee, under the leadership of Representative Rich Davis and Senator Nancy Cook, for their hard work thus far. The budget presented by the Castle Administration in January left little room for ianuevering. While it is one that I largely agree with, I will begin to outline this ~rnoon some ideas that reflect my priorities.
I do so, recognizing that the latest numbers from DEFAC on projected revenue are
not encouraging. The March figures predict only very modest revenue increases for FY
1994. Both the Administration and the General Assembly must avoid building into the
base of future budgets spending that may not be backed up by available revenue in the
years ahead. We have inherited several major fiscal problems: a vastly overcommitted Transportation Trust Fund; an adult corrections system that is again bulging at the seams; and a Children's Department in need of an overhaul and significant additional resources. We are reshaping policies and priorities in each of these areas, and will continue to do so throughout the coming year.
I would also like to improve upon the one percent increase provided in the Castle budget for State employee salaries. I do so, bearing in mind that every additional percent will cost more than $6 million.
let me mention two other aspects of the Castle budget which have drawn public attention -- the 10 percent local share for pupil transportation and the responsibility and cost of dog control management.
I recognize that neither proposal meets with widespread support in this chamber today, but both represent areas where State government has assumed too much of the responsibility for what are entirely, or in part, matters of local jurisdiction.
Working under these tight budget constraints is a pointed reminder that our state's financial health, and the financial health of every Delaware family, depends on the strength of our economy.
Making our economy strong is a priority of my Administration which is second to none.
This Administration had not yet taken wing when we heard the news of the scheduled closing of the General Motors plant in New Castle County. Our response has been quick. I have already traveled to Detroit and Kentucky to visit with top management from General Motors, Ford, and Toyota to discuss options for the Boxwood Road plant. The first legislation I signed as Governor -- introduced by Senator Patti Blevins and Representative John Van Sant, and co-sponsored by all of you -- created the GM Task Force. I am pleased to announce today that the Task Force will be led by Irv Shapiro, former Chairman of the DuPont Company. We will do all we can to keep those workers employed, while aggressively pursuing a strategy to secure Delaware's manufacturing base. One element of that initiative will be the creation of a manufacturing extension service, similar to the successful agriculture extension service, capitalizing on a half-billion dollar proposal from the Clinton Administration.
During the campaign, I outlined a four-part strategy that emphasized a top~notch workforce, responsive government, infiastructure development, and a "grow our own'. philosophy to create new jobs. The strategy is designed to keep Delaware competitive in the new global economy, by focusing our resources and partnering with local governments, universities, businesses, and labor organizations.
We are already implementing that strategy in several important ways:
In the area of workforce development, Delaware will be ready to participate in the $270 miffion national youth apprenticeship initiative announced by President Clinton.
Development Director Bob Coy, Labor Secretary Darrell Minnott and Superintendent Pat Forgione are collaborating on a youth apprenticeship program that will emphasize strong technical and academic training to prepare students to succeed in the workplace of the future, where continuous learning and retraining will be the norm.
The Development Office is also negotiating with Chrysler to provide training to the workforce at the Newark plant to prepare for building the Dodge Intrepid later this year. This is in addition to retraining efforts already underway at Delaware Technical and Community College. To improve government responsiveness, I have asked DNREC Secretary Christophe Tulou, DelDot Secretary Anne Canby, and Agriculture Secretary Jack Tarburton to work with the Development Office to streamline the State's permitting processes, and to develop legislation for expedited permitting for high-priority economic development projects.
I have also directed DNREC to use an approach to environmental enforcement which relies more on education and helping people to comply with our environmental laws. DNREC and the Department of Agriculture have already begun exploring ways to help the agriculture community meet State environmental standards in more cost~ffective ways.
To help "grow our own" Delaware businesses, several important initiatives are underway.
The Development Office has begun to redirect its staff to emphasize helping existing businesses grow.
With your help, the State's Small Business Development Center plans to expand to Kent and Sussex Counties, with offices at Delaware State College and DelTech's Gwrgetown campus.
The Development Office and the Department of Agriculture are collaborating with the Port of Wilmington to assist farmers and food processors as they seek to maximize export opportunities. I believe agriculture will continue to be a growth industry in Delaware, and can help "grow" blue collar jobs at the Port, as well.
The Development Office and the State Housing Authority are working on a comprehensive strategy to help revitalize distressed neighborhoods which links economic development and housing activities. Our State has already benefitted from millions of dollars flowing into low-income areas from investments spurred by the federal Community Reinvestment Act. I believe we can build on past successes and, with the help of our state's financial institutions, grow communities from within by combining housing initiatives with capital access and technical assistance programs which nurture small business entrepreneurs. In anticipation of the Clinton Administration moving research and development money away from defense and into commercial applications, I will create a Delaware Technology Advisory Committee. This group will be comprised of representatives from business, government, academia, and our Congressional delegation, to identify and seize opportunities for federal research and development funds.
Finally, our economy cannot grow without adequate infrastructure. This Administration has begun a serious review of the State Chamber of Commerce's report on water and wastewater infrastructure. That report supports my call for careful review of State-funded projects to guarantee that tax dollars are being used wisely. We now must agree on how to fund our growing needs in this area. I will work with the State Chamber and the General Assembly to develop a consensus this year.
CLEAN AIR ACT IMPLEMENTATION
Maintaining an adequate infrastructure means more than water lines, sewers and highways - though each is critical. Our infrastructure needs also include maintaining the natural beauty of our beaches, parks and open spaces, and even clean air to breathe.
This alternoon, I want to discuss an issue that concerns many legislators, and very soon, will confront every Delawarean -- the federal Clean Air Act.
The Clean Air Act isn't just another federal mandate unfairly imposed on the states.
Congress passed the Clean Air Act, and President Bush signed it into law, because we have serious air pollution problems in this country -- problems that are damaging our environment and damaging our health.
Northern Delaware is in one of the seven worst areas in America for ozone. The rest of Delaware also falls below safe standards for ozone pollution. To ignore these air quality problems, and to reject these federal standards, means more than the loss of $73 million dollars in federal transportation funds -- though I would point out that we would have to raise the gasoline tax by roughly $18 per gallon to compensate for that loss.
Our dirty air poses a special risk to our children and to the elderly. Kids at play are more likely to develop respiratory problems and lung disease because of ozone.
Implementation of the Clean Air Act~will mean changes in the lives of every Delawarean, and those changes will take some getting used to. We will have to drive our cars less and commute more with colleagues to work. Car inspections will cost more and take longer. But I believe these sacrifices are worthwhile for cleaner air.
I have heard some say that the Clinton Administration or Congress will roll back the Clean Air Act. Don't count on it. Neither has shown any inclination to reopen the issue. In fact, the EPA is already holding up nearly $2 million of our federal transportation money because we are moving too slowly.
To rectify that, I am reconstituting the Clean Air Task Force. It will be chaired by Transportation Secretary Canby.
I will also ask the General Assembly to pass legislation required for Clean Air Act implementation. The first will establish an air permitting program for major facilities emitting air pollutants.
The second will impose a fee schedule on those facilities for the purpose of administering the permit program and related activities. The fees will also fund a business assistance program to make compliance easier. A third piece of legislation wrn establish enforcement provisions necessary for the EPA to approve Delaware's employee commuter plan.
Finally, I will need your help in developing a workable plan that will allow the enhanced inspection requirements of the Clean Air Act to be performed outside of State government. I understand the difficult issues that are involved, not the least of which are the State employees who may be affected. We need to work together to make that transition smooth, and to minimize the disruption in the lives of Delawareans, including those employees.
The Clean Air Act not only makes sense for our health, but it helps us to focus on the complicated -- and often contradictory -- challenges of land use planning, infrastructure, and economic development.
I believe we need a statewide vision and plan for transportation, land use, air quality and development which involves all levels of government. It is not something that will happon easily or overnight, but with groups like WILMAPCO and the newly formed Dover Metropolitan Planning Organization, some of the pieces have begun to take shape.
I will ask leaders in all three counties and the City of Wilmington to work with my Administration to begin developing a long-range plan this Spring.
From this effort, we can realize tremendous long-term savings in infrastructure costs, preserve more open spaces, and reduce traffic gridlock.
GOVERNMENT REORGANIZ~ON AND EFFECTWENESS
I think we all realize that various levels of government in Delaware can function more effectively by coordinating their efforts. The same can be said within State government.
Across America, state governments are taking a hard look at themselves; rethinking their purpose; refining the way they do business; and yes, sometimes even ~~reinventing~~ themselves. Last month, I appointed a 12-member Commission, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Ruth Ann Minner, to begin the task of examining how we might make changes in our government structure to help us perform our jobs more effectively. Delaware taxpayers deserve no less.
Each of us has questioned whether we might be able to make government operate better in some way.
Is it time to rethink the organization of our public education system?
Are we properly coordinating the delivery of social services in Delaware?
Do we have land use, transportation and other infrastructure policies that preserves open space, reduce air emissions, and promote long-term economic growth?
These questions, and many others like them, are critical to our State's future.
Of course, this Commission won't solve every problem facing government today, but it can help us redirect resources and enable us to do more -- without a great deal more revenue.
I have no intention of raising personal income taxes on Delawareans. We must rely on making better use of the resources now at our disposal.
Some changes we have already identified:
-- For years, the Bond Bill for our capital improvements program has been the responsibility of the Delaware Development Office, the State's economic development agency. I believe it makes good business sense to have the Bond Bill handled by the Budget Office so that our Development Director can devote his full attention to promoting jobs and economic growth. I will send to the General Assembly legislation to make that change. - Our State passenger fleet of more than 1,600 vehicles is too large, too old, too costly, and inequitably distributed among State agencies. At my direction, Administrative Services Secretary Vince Meconi is developing a plan that can save the State millions of dollars; reduce the fleet by half; cut the average age from six years to less than three; reduce maintenance costs; and contribute to the State's Clean Mr Act compliance.
- And government effectiveness goes beyond the Executive Branch. With your help, I will sign into law legislation to add two new judges and Court Commissioners to the Superior Court, funding them with increased fees in our Justice of the Peace Courts. But, adding new judges is not enough. Several distinguished committees of the Bar have recommended the consolidation of the Common Pleas and Superior Courts, and other efficiencies to help unclog the Superior Court's docket. I want to work with the Judiciary and the General Assembly to implement these recommendations.
These changes are a downpayment on what I believe will be a productive and thorough review of how our State government operates.
In looking for new and better ways to govern, we need also to look at ourselves and ways we can better uphold the trust of the people we serve.
Last Friday, my Cabinet and senior staff held a three-hour ethics seminar at Buena Vista in which we discussed the rules of proper conduct for the Executive Branch. I will soon issue an Executive Order on meals, gifts and travel by Executive Branch officers.
When the legislature returns from its Easter break, I will send to you a legislative package that includes important reforms on lobbying the Executive Branch; gift limits; strengthening Delaware's campaign finance laws; establishing a public integrity commission with adequate resources to do its job; and improving public access to financial disclosure and campaign reports about public officials and candidates.
And when you send me a "motor voter" bill, I will sign it.
Most of all, I want my Administration to be accessible and accountable to members of the Legislature and to every citizen. It's time, as Transportation Secretary Anne Canby likes to say, to upop the hood" on State government.
She is already beginning to transform her Department, long identified as a place where many decisions were made behind closed doors, into one that treats citizens like valued customers and takes the concerns of communities seriously.
I want every department of our government to do the same.
I do not want anyQne to leave here today thinking that this governor wants change for change's sake -- but some change is long overdue.
The Children's I)epartment has languished for too long, and it's time for change.
Last December, I asked Tom Eichler to take over this troubled Department, taking on what I viewed then, and view now, to be one of the toughest jobs in State government.
Secretary Eichler has already begun to take a fresh and systematic look at the service delivery and capacity of his new department.
I am committed to developing the capacity of the Children's Department, and that of our entire Administration, to partner with families in a proactive and preventive way. We need to get beyond the point of reacting to individual crises, to the point where we are actively working with families to keep them together whenever possible.
There are some issues that must be addressed now. We must find a lasting solution to the problems at the Ferris School. The inadequacies of our Youth Rehabilitation Program have been debated for years. When I selected Tom Eichler to take his new job, I told him that his fffst mission was to forge consensus behind a youth rehabilitation reform proposal. He is already making headway with new dispositional guidelines -- being piloted in New Castle County -- to provide children with services tailored to their needs.
This spring, my Administration wrn present a plan to the General Assembly to address a whole range of youth rehabilitation issues -- from the lack of alternatives for kids who don't need to be in secure care facilities, to problems at Ferris itself. I am confident that, with your help, we can implement that reform plan this year.
I must be candid, however. We will need additional resources to make the Children's Department run the way it must. I need the General Assembly to work with me to find the money to pay for it.
Despite the daunting task at the Children's Department, I am heartened to find others who share our commitment to strengthening families. The BusinessiPublic Education Council has already shared with me their desire to help us better address the needs of families to assure that youngsters showing up for school are ready to learn. Programs like Parents as Teachers, and others throughout the State, are working to teach parenting skills and to train parents to be their children's first teacher. Both are critical undertakings if our kids are to enter the first grade ready to compete and succeed.
What's lacking is a coordinated effort to ensure that all these efforts complement each other. In the end, what we seek to create are strong and effective linkages between community partners, schools and the State's network of service centers -- to serve families in a new, "family-friendly" way. I will soon sign an Executive Order creating a Cabinet Council, comprised of Health and Social Services Secretary Carmen Nazrio, Children's Department Secretary Tom Eichler, and State Superintendant Pat Forgione. They will be responsible for, among other things, coordinating Delaware's social service efforts and bringing them closer to our schools and to the many youngsters who need them.
Four years from now, I want us to ensure that every elementary school has a counselor and that every high school has a wellness center for its students. As revenues become available this year, I will ask the General Assembly to fund additional weilness centers and counselors.
In the arena of health care reform, we have already undertaken some important changes. In much the same way that we are considering "reinventing" our government, the Health Care Commission is now, in a sense, reinventing itself to prepare for the next step in health care reform here -- formulating a comprehensive strategy for our State. We are committed to charting a course which is consistent with the national health care reform plan being developed in Washington, and which may serve as a model for other states to emulate.
The Health Care Commission, under the new leadership of Sally Gore, will begin to lay the groundwork for systemic change in the months ahead. As they do so, they will work closely with the Nemours Foundation to get their proposed children's clinics up and running, while evaluating the managed-care demonstration project that has already been launched. STRENGTHENING THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
Just as we are committed to ensuring that children have healthy bodi~ as they enter school each morning, we are equally committed to ensuring that they enter an environment which is conducive to quality interaction and learning.
We are entering an exciting new era in education. Under the leadership of the State School Board and the Department of Public Instruction, Delaware is implementing a coherent education reform agenda that encompasses issues from early childhood to workforce readiness. The centerpiece of New Directions is holding all students to the same high standards and measures of performance, and ensuring equity for all Delaware children.
I want Delaware's education system to be the envy of this nation.
To continue moving forward, we need for the General Assembly to require that local school districts provide assured funding for New Directions.
Other education initiatives that I want our State to undertake this year include:
-- Developing a vigorous mmority teacher recruitment effort to help local school districts attract and retain talented minority teachers;
- Using recommendations from the School Discipline Task Force, created by the General Assembly, to increase the uniformity and fairness of school discipline codes and make schools places that are free of violence and conducive to learning;
-- Holding schools accountable by publishing individual school profiles which benchmark the achievement of schools against the new assessments being used in New Directions; and, finally, -- Increasing the Governor's flexibility to appoint the best State School Board possible. Certainly, the State Board should have representation from local boards of education, but it doesn't necessarily need four of its seven members to have local board experience. HB 17, sponsored by Representative Liane Sorenson and Senator Dave Sokola, would provide for at least two members with local board experience, but would also allow for greater diversity on the State Board. I request its swift passage, so that I can make new State Board appointments this spring.
I cannot leave education reform issues without speaking directly to the desegregation case in New Castle County.
In recent months, I have been working closely with the Attorney General and School Board President, Paul Fine, on the issue of federal court supervision of the New Castle County Schools. I want to share with you the direction we are taking.
In many respects, we have a proud history here in Delaware. But like every other State in the union, the history of our treatment of African-Americans and other minorities has often been characterized by unfairness.
The unequal treatment of African-Americans in Delaware was visited upon black children as forcefully as it was upon adults. When the United States Supreme Court decided the historic case of Brown v. the Board of Education, it also affirmed a Delaware case requiring school integration.
But more than 20 years later, another federal court ruled that Delaware schools in New Castle County were still violating the rights of black children. The desegregation order that resulted is one that most of us remember well, and one that much of New Castle County lives with to this day. Fifteen years have passed since the desegregation order was implemented. Thousands of Delaware children have been educated at fully-desegregated schools.
I want to say very clearly that it is the policy and the Constitutional responsibility of this State to provide an excellent education and an equal opportunity for a better life to every child - regardless of skin color, regardless of whether that child lives in Greenwood or Greenville.
I will not waver from that responsibility.
We will meet our responsibility to provide an equal education without a federal court's supervision. We intend to move forward later this year with an initiative to lift the federal court order.
But we will not turn back the clock. We will move forward, fully committed to racial equality and with the flexibility to give our kids the best education possible.
Our goal is to improve the education system for everv child in every county of our State.
Let me close by saying that in the weeks to come, we will be sending to the General Assembly legislation enabling us to do many of the things I have outlined for you today. We also want to work with the leadership of both chambers and with individual members on your ideas to improve our State.
As we learn and grow, I want each member of this General Assembly to know that the members of my Administration value your insight and guidance, and we respect your constitutional prerogatives as a co-equal branch of government. I intend for our Administration to work in a cooperative and bipartisan way to serve, with you, the people of our State.
Together, Delaware can move confidently toward the 21st century. The talent and experience in this room, and in this State, can surely meet any challenge the future may hold for us.
Florida 93 Chiles
Speaker Johnson, President Crenshaw, Chief Justice Barkett, and members of the Supreme Court, my friend and colleague Buddy McKay, members of the Cabinet, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and fellow Floridians.
Early on an August morning, five months ago, the face of Florida was changed forever. The savage winds and raw power of Hurricane Andrew cut a path of destruction from Miami through the communities of Coral Gables, Kendall, Perrine, Cutler Ridge, Goulds, and down through Homestead, Florida City, Key Largo - and through Southwest Florida, too.
A new chapter was added to our history in just a few short hours as we survived an event that will shape our lives for months and years to come.
South Florida suffered the damage. But, all of Florida felt the pain.
In the hours and days that followed, I walked through those storm-ravaged neighborhoods and talked with the people whose homes were left in shambles. Through the medium of television, the nation shared their staggering sense of loss.
South Florida was in shock. Never before has a natural disaster brought so much damage and devastation to any part of America.
When the winds and rains died down, more than 28,000 homes had been destroyed and another 100,000 suffered damage. In all, 175,000 Floridians were homeless.
Eighty-two thousand businesses were either leveled or in need of repairs. Hospitals and schools were closed - or open only as emergency shelters. All of these - homes, schools, places of work and worship - were suddenly gone.
For so many people whose lives were shattered, shock and disbelief turned to anger, frustration and blame. But the faith of people helped them realize that balme does not rebuild anything.
We accepted what had happened. We committed to get past this trauma - and to do more than just survive it. The people who lost the most said this was not the end - that it would be a new beginning.
In the days and weeks that followed Hurricane Andrew, we have witnessed a most remarkable triumph of the human spirit.
It started with the stories of everyday heroes and heroines - like Susan Johnson, a nurse from Homestead.
I met Susan when I walked into Homestead Hospital in South Dade. Her face and hand had been badly cut by flying shards of glass. She was struck while rescuing an elderly patient who was crying for help as the windows blew into her hospital room.
Susan received more than 25 stitches in the emergency room - and then went back to work for hours - because there were others who needed her help.
In the aftermath of Andrew, courageous acts were the order of the day. Countless people reached outside their own problems to help others.
Through all of the sadness, we saw people helping people regardless of race, religion or station in life. Rows of houses became became neighborhoods; strangers became friends. There would be only one home with a phone in several blocks, but all in need were welcome there - everyone shared. In short, crowds became communities.
Florida's businesses rallied to the cause, raising millions of dollars. Hundreds of health care workers and law enforcement officers volunteered to serve in the relief effort. And our own National Guard -which performed with such distinction - saw the largest mobilization in its history.
Added to this was the response from the hundreds of thousands of Floridians who wanted to help - even though they lived far away. The storm did not touch their lives - but the needs of other people did.
The rebuilding of South Dade County is now underway, with the people there working side by side. Houses and businesses are coming back through their labor - and a community is coming together through their spirit. Throughout Florida and across America, no one doubted the urgent need to come to the aid of our neighbors. From board rooms to classrooms to living rooms - and in these rooms, too.
Last December, during a three- day special session, we made sure that hurricane victims did not become political victims. We saw needs so overwhelming that our only responsible choice was to take decisive action.
We didn't do it as the Governor, the House or Senate, Democrats or Republicans. We did it as Floridians and we did it together.
Under the leadership of Speaker Johnson and President Crenshaw, we were united and focused on getting results - because we put the needs of the people first. We agreed on important basic principles - and we succeeded in working out the differences and details.
We didn't allow the special interests to get in the way of the people's interests.
We did it only one month after the election of the largest class of freshman House and Senate members that anyone can remember.
How memorable for you new members to have had the experience of last December's extraordinary special session - when there was no partisan posturing and no gridlock. The blame game was not played.
The people won.
And because the people won, the institution of the Florida Legislature won -the House and Senate won.
Republicans and Democrats won. Each of you won.
And we all won - together.
In that special session. Florida had problems that we had to deal with: hurricane - related needs - and the need to re- regulate parimutuels.
No one tried to say, "These are not really serious issues" or "We don't need to do anything about these right now."
We all worked to see how quickly we could get the job done - instead of acting as if no emergency existed.
We decided to trust each other and share credit rather than level blame. And we took decisive action together.
As a result, the people of Florida saw their government work for them.
Can we do it again?
Can we use this model, together, and solve other problems confronting Florida? They're just as real, they're just as urgent, and if we work together, we can solve them, too.
Healthy Homes Florida has the highest percentage of uninsured people in the United States. More than 70 percent of these uninsured are working people or members of their families.
Two - and- a - half million Floridians go to bed every night, and they're literally afraid to get sick.
Last Friday, I walked through the emergency room at Tampa General Hospital. It was late afternoon - and it was like a MASH hospital, with a battle in progress. But the doctors and staff said it was a typical day at Tampa General.
Philmore Bryant's daughter was sick with a virus - and the emergency room was the only place he could bring her because he had no insurance.
Across the hall, Lois Earl was sitting in a wheelchair waiting for a check- up on her heart problems. Like Mr. Bryant, she told me insurance is too high to afford - and ll she can do is come to the emergency room. She asked me if there's any ehlp for people like her.
The good news I share with you today is "Yes" - there is help on the way.
Yesterday, after meeting with President Clinton and other governors in the White House, a major obstacle was removed from our path to provide all Floridians with access to health care.
The President said that e would expedite the process to allow Florida and all the other states to experiment with better ways to deliver health services to more people at lower costs. That's exactly what we've been asking for - the freedom to build a national model here in Florida.
That was the purpose that united us in support of the Health Care Reform Act last year. That landmark action commits us to providing care to all Floridians by the end of 1994.
We have talked with all of the players in the health sector - form patients to providers - and we have learned what needs to be done.
I want to personally thank everyone involved in this process - especially the business community.
The plan we're sending you seeks voluntary participation from everyone involved. Managed competition - the pooling of resources among state employees, Medicaid patients, and business that will help us buy the best quality care at the lowest cost.
We can't wait for a national plan that will delay our ability to provide access to people who need it. We can show the way. We can make dust - or eat dust.
We can make Florida the national leader in providing affordable health care to all our citizens in a partnership that's not controlled by government.
I ask you to join me in making this issue a priority in the first 30 days of this session.
Tax Fairness I know you and I share the same vision for a better Florida. And it's a vision that is totally opposite of what we see in Florida today.
We rank last among the states in the overall health of our people. Every four hours, a baby dies in Florida. And we're 18th in the percent of children who live in poverty.
Our education spending is the fifth lowest in the country - and our drop-out rate is among the highest.
We're a national leader in violent crime - and juvenile crime is on the rise, with no space in the system to help troubled youth.
And we're in danger of becoming the minimum wage capital of America - at a time when we desperately need clean, high- tech industry and the high- paying jobs it brings.
Our country couldn't put men on the moon with the conventional engine - we had to design a rocket. And we must redesign our tax engine if we want to move Florida forward.
Every serious study of our tax system - by the Florida Chamber, the Council of 100, and the recent Tax and Budget Reform Commission - has reached the same conclusion.
If we don't change the tax system - make it more fair, broader - based - and if we continue to just patch - we won't change Florida.
To take this out of politics, we've proposed a revenue- neutral process that will require us - the Legislature and the Executive - to examine and test all of the sales tax exemptions.
Legitimate ones - like food, medicine and religious activities - should be retained. But, those that exist solely for the benefit of special interests must be eliminated. As we weigh the value o closing those loopholes, we can lift a burden off the people by providing property tax relief.
Our corporate tax laws need revision as well. Right now, only a small handful of our more than one million businesses are paying any corporate income tax. We want to form a partnership among all Florida businesses.
Our "Package for Progress" builds a stronger economy by growing our own businesses, and by attracting new businesses with good jobs.
It also protects a fragile environment by providing a permanent funding source for Preservation 2000.
Safe Streets Floridians expect the law to protect them, their families and businesses. And the criminal justice system should protect the individual even as it works to preserve neighborhoods and promote safe streets.
A few weeks ago, I walked the beat with Orlando poice officers John Martin and Norris Butler. They truly have made a difference in Carver Court, a neighborhood that used to be plagued by crime.
On and off the job, these two men have built community pride. They've organized neighborhood youth and channeled their energies into sports and community service, rather than gangs and drugs.
They've enlisted the support of local merchants to sponsor beautification projects, meals for the elderly, and healthy pursuits for children. Officers Butler and Martin proved to me that solutions to many of our problems can be found in cities and towns and neighborhoods across the state.
But our state system has been broken for many years. We found a system so crowded that the federal court - not Florida - determines how many inmates we can hold and how long.
When most people work hard 50 weeks a year just to earn two weeks off, they don't understand why violent criminals get a free vacation through early prison releases. They're outraged that someone like child- killer Donald McDougall nearly walks to freedom after serving less than one-third of his sentence.
At my request last session, you changed the law that would have allowed this to happen. But, without action before October, nightmares like this could be repeated.
Our Safe Streets initiative includes 3,600 new prison beds for violent criminals. We can eliminate basic gain time and shut down our prison "time machine""that quickly sends inmates back to their future. We can divert non- violent offenders into less costly programs - so that violent offenders will spend more time behind bars.
But we have to start working for success long before the prison doors close on our failures. We must strengthen Florida's juvenile justice system with a focus on reclaiming young lives - not giving them a graduate degree in crime.
Last week, we brought all of the partners in our criminal justice system to the table during our Safe Streets conference in St. Petersburg. It was the first time they've all sat down together to search for solutions.
And now I'm asking you to do that , too. Jimmy Johnson had a game plan for the Super Bowl. Florida must have a game plan for criminal justice. Help us put it together.
Lottery Justice Five years ago, the Florida Lottery was launched with the promise of enhancing education - funding education "extras" that can make good schools excellent schools. The promise was broken.
That money should have been used to make our schools better. Instead, it is being used just to keep them running.
Parents, teachers and students all over the state have told me they don't think it's right to use lottery dollars simply to replace the money schools should be getting anyway.
I read where you and your leadership want to get out on time - and the main reason was to restore the confidence of the people in the legislature.
If that's what we want to do, restoring the lottery dollars back to the schools for enhancement - as was promised - would be the best action we all could take. That would be Lottery Justice.
Workers' Compensation Reform It is impossible to build a strong economy if small businesses can't succeed. But soaring workers' compensation rates are putting small businesses out of business every day. Small business is demanding our help.
We have to return the system to its original purpose: serving employers and their workers - not lawyers - not doctors - and not insurance companies.
Welfare Reform In our welfare system, too many of our families are entangled in the welfare net, unable to break free. We need to create a system that provides welfare dependents with the work skills they need to achieve independence. A system in which people who have been tax takers can become taxpayers.
I applaud the bipartisan approach for welfare reform.
Campaign Finance Reform Money has too loud a voice in Florida's election process. Despite our sweeping reforms in 1991, there is still more work to be done if we are to win and keep the people's trust. Our campaign and ethics reforms strengthen the reporting about who gives, who get, how much and for what. Just as the salaries of everyone in this chamber are a public record, it's about time the people learned about the fees of the people out there who are trying to influence our vote.
The only contingency that should guide our debate on public issues is good public policy.
Last year, too much time and goodwill was consumed by the rancor over reapportionment. We learned that no party has a lock on wisdom when it comes to drafting a plan that is fair. We can put that process behind us by standing on common ground for a Constitutional amendment for a Reapportionment Commission. There are many plans out there - and I'm flexible on the details.
Florida's business leaders have now realized that our state must have a healthy environment for them to be successful.
Florida's environmental leaders have now realized that to protect and enhance our state's environment, we must have a strong economy.
Business needs to know what our rules are - to get a straight answer without great delays or undue costs.
Our environment needs a state agency with the talent and resources to properly shape the land we have and protect the quality of life that we are so blessed with.
We can accomplish both these goals with the merger of the Department of Environmental Regulation and the Department of Natural Resources.
DPR / DBR Merger In that same spirit of making our government work better, we're looking to merge the Department of Business Regulation and the Department of Professional Regulation.
Last year, we proved that combining agencies with the similar functions will save us the costs of duplication - and pay us dividends in better service to the taxpayers.
The Smart- Dollar Budget In fulfilling my duties, I have proposed a budget to meet the essential needs of our people. After painful study, I determined that it required requesting $630 million in new taxes.
Let me assure you and the people of Florida that I don't love to raise taxes or even talk about taxes. But Buddy and I made a commitment - to talk about the things the way they are; to call it like we see it.
Yes, we had growth revenues of over one billion dollars - but our increased caseload for Medicaid, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, and the thousands of new pupils in K through 12 used up all that money.
We had to ask for additional money to fund community colleges, universities, law enforcement, prisons, community and economic development, and expanded access to health care.
We required our agencies to make cuts and savings of 200 million dollars. Look at them. If you can find more savings, please do.
The one law we must pass this year is a budget which provides a way to pay for all the programs we prescribe. I am required to propose a budget that meets Florida's essential needs. You are required to exercise your judgment and take action on that budget.
We call this our Smart- Dollar approach - putting our first dollar toward preventing problems from getting worse and more expensive. Smart- Dollar spending recognizes that every dollar should count. Spending wisely now prevents spending more later.
These are the issues facing us over the next few weeks. And we must address them.
Will we delay and deny them - or face up and solve them?
Conclusion The first Sunday after Hurricane Andrew, I visited several churches in South Dade County. I was amazed to hear a lady refer to the hurricane as "Saint Andrew."
She said: "Saint Andrew paid us a visit and blew down our walls and our trees so we could see each other and help each other. Now, we've become neighbors again."
How could she look at the storm that way? But, in the days that followed, I began to understand.
People did act differently. They found they needed each other.
You and I acted differently toward each other, too. We worked together.
We know South Florida will never be the same - it will be better.
Today, I ask you to join me - to make all of Florida better.
Together, we can do it.
Georgia 93 Miller
Lieutenant Governor Howard, Speaker Murphy, Members of the General Assembly, Members of the Consulate Corps, Members of the Judiciary, ladies and gentlemen. I thank you for this opportunity to once again come before you and report on the state of this great State of Georgia And I will tell you this up front: Its state government is serving more people and is leaner and more streamlined than at any time in our history. As Dizzy Dean used to say, you can look it up.
In the past two years, state spending rose much faster around the South than it did in Georgia. And nationally, the average growth rate for state spending was five times higher than it has been in Georgia. The revenue estimate I gave you last week for FY '93 is only 4 percent higher than the revenue estimate I inherited for FY '91 two years ago.
Four percent! Yet during the same two years, our public school enrollment grew by 5 percent; our University System enrollment grew by more than 10 percent; our AFDC cases grew by 26 percent; and our Medicaid recipients grew by 30 percent. Careful management and improved efficiency has enabled us to offer a consistent level of state services in spite of these dramatic increases in the number of our citizens being served. Two years ago, I pointed out that the state payroll had grown by 12,000 jobs between 1987 and 1991. And we cut 5,000 positions from the state budget during my first year in office. We have continued to prune the state payroll, with a net decrease of nearly 1,500 employees during fiscal year 92 - an exception to the rule around the South, where most states increased, not decreased state employment. Georgia also has one of the lowest debt levees among thc 50 states - ranking 46th in debt per capita and 45th in debt relative to budget size. Needless to say, we continue to maintain top-level bond ratings. November's revenue increase broke into double-digits for the first time in two and a half years. And December was another good month, even without the tax amnesty income. And now, even as revenues improve, we are continuing to carefully prune and trim away any excess we can find in state government. Because of this careful financial management, we have saved enough money to allow us now to meet our mid-year funding needs for our schools and Medicaid, and at the same time to reduce this year's revenue estimate by 75 million dollars, which, added to the 44 million dollars from the tax amnesty program, gives us a cushion of 120 million dollars. Last year on this occasion l outlined a comprehensive legislative package called Georgia Rebound, and I thank you for adopting it. It addressed the education, economic development,
public safety and environmental needs of this state. Georgia Rebound contained a number of economic development initiatives, like the tax credit for new jobs, which brought a major Cargill poultry processing operation to the Dooly-
Macon County area almost immediately. But the Georgia Rebound initiative that may mean the most in the long run is one that got little attention - the reconstitution of the Governor's Economic Development Council into a
working public-private partnership. This Council, made up of some of Georgia's most able business leaders, has begun the task of reforging Georgia's economic development strategy to meet the needs of the 21st century. We are expanding beyond our traditional approach of just recruiting businesses from other places, to supporting existing industry, expanding our exports, encouraging new technology companies, promoting unique regional strengths within the state and developing the broader infrastructure that modern industry must have. Preservation 2000 is another public-private initiative of this administration to preserve an additional 100,000 acres of natural recreational and wilderness area.
We have already preserved scenic wilderness from Tallulah Gorge to Little Tybee and Cabbage Islands, from Buffalo Swamp on the Altamaha River to Sprewell Bluff on the Flint. The total acreage identified for protection is nearing our goal of 100,000 acres. And more than half of it is either already preserved or presently under negotiation.
In the area of public safety, we have created 2,172 boot camp beds in the past two years. And even as the skeptics were shaking their heads, Georgia's boot camps were becoming thc model for the rest of the nation. They separate young drug offenders from the influence of harder criminals in prisons and put them through a highly disciplined, basic training regimen combined with drug treatment and education to prepare them for a successful time of supervised probation. Not only are these boot camps effective, but they are also much cheaper than prisons. It costs 2,500 dollars a bed to build a boot camp using inmate labor, compared to 27,000 dollars a bed for a prison. It costs 42 dollars a day for each prison inmate, but only 25 dollars a day for an offender in a boot camp. Our goal is to make sure that our prison beds are used for criminals who really need to be behind bars and stay behind bars. And during the past two years we have brought 4,300 prison beds on Line and ended the practice of early release of inmates This session, I will propose giving our courts the option of imposing a sentence of life without parole if aggravating circumstances warrant it. Right now, as all of you know, our so-called "life" sentences are one of the greatest frauds ever perpetuated on the public. I think it's time we had a sentence that means what it says - life in prison. I am also proposing a bill to allow victim impact statements in court in cases involving capital felonies. We already allow victim impact statements in all but capital felonies, and this bill simply fills in that missing piece. Georgia is the only one of the 50 states that does not have such a provision. For the third straight year, I am continuing my efforts to crack down on drunk driving. Some of you have seen the portrait of a lovely and intelligent young woman on the table beside my desk. She is not my daughter or granddaughter. In fact, I never met her, I never had the chance. She was killed a year ago by a drunk driver, snuffed out on the threshold of becoming a leader among the next generation of Georgians. After her death, her father asked me to put her picture in my office. And it reminds me daily of the devastating cost we pay by allowing drunk driving on our highways. So here I come again - I'm back with a bill to require immediate driver's license suspension for first-time offenders. I also want to give judges the option of requiring ignition interlock devices that lock a car's ignition until the driver passes a breath test. Because the best way to stop drunk driving is to stop drunks from driving.
There is nothing more important in my administration, nothing more critical to Georgia's future, than education. During the past two years, we have made some significant strides: . we have moved to elected school boards and appointed superintendents; . we have begun a new program of fewer but tougher student tests; . we have created Georgia 2000 to support local community partnerships as they work toward the six national education goals; we have streamlined teacher certification procedures; . we have undertaken the largest construction program in Georgia history for our schools; . we have provided computers to begin to ease the paperwork for teachers and administrators; ø we have expanded the Governor's Scholarship Program; ø we have placed counselors in all middle schools; . we have established the School Leadership Institute to teach school leaders how to bring about innovation and positive change in their own schools; . we have piloted the Family Connection to coordinate family social services for at-risk kids, so that students and teachers can focus on learning in the classroom. Thc initial funding for this innovative program came from a private foundation, and Georgia is now a finalist in a nationwide competition for a prestigious Pew Grant. Last year, we also began a telecommunications initiative that included Distance Learning to bring world-class educational resources into every school, no matter how small. Two thousand Georgia students are now taking courses by interactive satellite or fiber-optic networks, and I am proposing that we use lottery proceeds to put a satellite dish in every single school, technical institute and University System college in this state. While I'm talking about telecommunications, Let me mention our Telemedicine program, which is so sophisticated that a medical specialist in Augusta can look inside the ear of a patient in Eastman. The New York Times reports that it is the most sophisticated program of its kind in the nation.
It has the potential to completely revolutionize health care in rural Georgia. The lottery is going to make some significant new things possible for our schools. The law provides that we use the lottery proceeds for pre-kindergarten, tuition scholarships and loans, and special equipment and capital needs. Let me tell you briefly why these three programs are so important.
First, pre-kindergarten. Because that is where it all starts. A recent study by the Carnegie Institute shows that 40 percent of Georgia's five-year-olds are struggling in kindergarten. Our first priority will be these at-risk kids, and we have already begun to target them with pilots. Then, we will expand pre-kindergarten as communities are ready and lottery proceeds are available. I want to emphasize that pre-kindergarten will be voluntary - voluntary by the parent and voluntary by the school system. We will invite individual communities to develop a plan that would be efficient and effective for them. It could be part of the traditional school system. But it could also be an expanded Head Start program, or even a new or expanded private, non-profit program. Second, I propose a unique and far-reaching scholarship program called HOPE - Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally. There will be nothing else like it in the United States. It has never been more important for our students to go to college, but it has never been harder for their families to pay for it. HOPE would give any high school student with a "B" average a certificate good for free tuition at any University System college where they are accepted, if their family income is less than 66,000 dollars a year. If they have a "B" average in their freshman year, then they could get a tuition loan for their sophomore year. And if they keep a "B" average for their sophomore year, the loan is forgiven. HOPE would also provide free tuition for all the diploma - granting programs at our state technical institutes. And for those Georgians who go back to get their GED - there were 16,000 last year - I propose a 500 dollar certificate for books, materials or fees at a public college or technical institute. Finally, our private, independent colleges save us the cost of University System funding for their Georgia students. And for 20 years now, we have given tuition equalization grants to these colleges for Georgia students, helping to offset the higher tuition they must charge. I propose increasing these grants from 1,000 dollars to 1,500 dollars for freshmen and sophomores at our independent colleges. The third lottery program for special equipment and construction gives us the "chance of a lifetime" to bring technology into our schools. Our classrooms should be in the forefront of technology - the place where our children encounter technology and learn to really use it. Unfortunately, the exact opposite is true. Of all the places in our children's lives, our classrooms offer the least technology. There is more technology in a supermarket check-out line than in the average classroom. There are 10 times more Nintendos in our homes than computers in our classrooms. Banks have automatic teller machines. but classroom math is stuck in the days when human tellers wrote in passbooks by hand. I propose an early learning computer lab for every single elementary school in this state and regional computer centers to train our teachers in how to use technology in their classrooms. I propose a computer lab at each one of our 32 technical institutes to train students in job related computer skills. And I propose more computers for adult literacy programs, because more than half of Georgia's work force is either illiterate or has only marginal skills. And for our University System - a trust fund for equipment and construction that would provide a one-for-one match for private contributions. I'll elaborate on these programs a little more in my budget message on Thursday. Right now I want to simply emphasize that this money from the lottery does not supplant let me repeat, does not supplant - one single red cent of existing educational funds. But it provides a whole range of new and exciting enhancements and improvements that address critical needs in education - improvements for our children that go into every single school, college and technical institute in the entire State of Georgia. Too many of our schools are caught in a time warp. That's why I want to create an environment that allows for experimentation and dramatic change in how we educate our children. I am proposing a program, that will allow local schools more freedom than they've ever had before to create better, more up- to-date learning environments for children. These schools will operate under a charter agreement with their local system and the state Board of Education to work toward the six national goals in education. They will be free from state regulations, state restrictions and limitations, and instead will be held accountable to performance-based evaluations and measures. To provide their funding, I propose a unique public and private partnership that includes some of this state's top business leaders. We call it the Next Generation Schools Project. It will pool private, state and local education funds in a one-third / one-third / one-third match. All these new educational initiatives are geared toward keeping children in school so they are better prepared to enter the work force.
That is why I believe we should increase the compulsory school age from 16 to 17 next school year, and then from 17 to 18 the following school year. Six other southern states have already raised their compulsory age to 17 or 18. We cannot allow Georgia to continue to drag along at the tail end. Georgia has some of the best teachers to be found anywhere in this country, but we still need to recruit even more highly qualified teachers. To help that situation, I will soon execute an agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense to allow Georgia to fast-track military personnel who have the necessary skills to make the transition into teaching careers. Senator Nunn has been the leading proponent of this idea on the national level, and I am proud that Georgia will be one of the first states to put it to work. I also propose we create a Georgia Council for School Performance, a neutral voice made up of business and professional leaders, to offer an annual, impartial evaluation of the progress we are making in our schools.
Georgians have always valued family, individual responsibility and hard work. Our present welfare system undermines every one of those values. It promotes single-parenthood; it promotes dependence. While AFDC may be a "hand up" for some, for far too many it has become just a "handout." A full 25 percent of the Americans on welfare remain there for more than 10 years. I believe that welfare recipients should not be immune from the realities and the personal obligations that face hard-working Georgians every day. We must offer opportunity and incentives for people to take responsibility for their own lives, not encourage them to surrender their lives to a faceless bureaucracy, where the check just shows up automatically in the mailbox each month. Congress has recently changed the requirements governing AFDC to allow for some state level reforms. And I believe that we must take advantage of this opportunity, as other states are doing, to create a welfare system in Georgia that is both more effective in achieving its goals and more efficient in using the tax dollars that support it. The money for AFDC comes out of the pocketbooks of hard-working Georgians, and I cannot recommend simply taking more of their money. We must try to make the system more efficient, more effective and free from abuse. First, I propose we expand the PEACH program to give welfare recipients education, job skills and help in finding jobs.
I propose that we bring the Georgia Labor Department into AFDC and food stamp offices to assist able-bodied persons in finding work and identify those who refuse to work. We've had an all-out effort going to crack down on absentee parents who fail to pay child support And as a result, the Office of Child Support Enforcement last year increased its collections from absent parents by 22 percent. But we can do even better. I will propose a new reporting system that will give the Office of Child Support Enforcement better and more up-to-date information. And, yes, I will propose that we not increase benefits for a recipient who, while on the AFDC rolls, has another child. Welfare families should assume the same sort of decision-making responsibility that everybody else faces in deciding whether or not to have an addition to the family. I will propose that unwed teen mothers continue to live with a parent or guardian to receive AFDC benefits, encouraging families to stay together and teenage mother to stay in school. But while we are shifting the focus to a second chance for parents, I, like you, do not want their children to suffer. And that is why I will propose an expansion of Medicaid benefits for dependent children.
We all know the growing problems with our health-care system. Roughly 1.5 million Georgians have no health insurance, and millions more fear they may lose theirs. This is not just a problem for our people; it's a problem for our economy. Georgia employers are paying an average of 3,600 dollars per employee for health insurance. It's also a problem for every single Georgia taxpayer. Because the state buys health care for nearly 1 million Medicaid recipients and insurance for state employees and their families. The state is being hit just as hard as every private sector employer. Some might argue that 1993 is not the right time to take strong action on health care at the state level, with a new administration taking office in Washington. I think they're wrong. Every signal coming out of Washington since election day indicates that the states will be given a key role in managing health costs and expanding coverage, no matter what specific plan is adopted. There are six elements to my package of health care proposals. The first two build on the hard work of Insurance Commissioner Tim Ryles in promoting both greater access and lower costs for private health insurance. Most of you are familiar with this plan already. It authorizes the state to work with health insurers to develop three voluntary statewide plans, aimed at making affordable health insurance available to all Georgians regardless of age, medical condition, place of residence or job status.
It would enable Georgians to retain their health coverage while changing jobs. It would help control costs. It would encourage preventive health measures. And, very importantly, it would not require any new taxes. Second, I will propose legislation to enable the Insurance commissioner to develop a variation of the low-cost, no-frills Basic Health Plan he has already worked out with insurers. This variation will be aimed at the specific health needs of children. I want to target families with children between the ages of 1 and 6, and incomes between 100 and 185 percent of the federal poverty level. These children are not now eligible for Medicaid coverage. I intend to seek a waiver from the federal government to permit us to use dollars from the Indigent Care Trust Fund - plus federal Medicaid matching money - to purchase this new basic coverage for these children. Third, I am proposing an immediate step to make health insurance available to about 108,000 Georgians, most of them children, through Medicaid. Beginning in July, I want to make Medicaid available to pregnant women and infants in families with incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level - the maximum allowable under federal law. At the same time, we would cover under Medicaid kids up to age 19 from families with incomes up to 100 percent of the poverty level. Now we cover them only to age 9. This initiative will mean more healthy babies and more healthy children ready to learn. Wc cannot continue to bear the human and financial costs associated with lack of access to prenatal and preventive care for these Georgia children. It will be financed through payments into the Indigent Care Trust Fund by disproportionate share hospitals, a system that we believe the federal government will approve. Fourth, I propose that Georgia begin a pilot "Primary Care Case Management" program, based on a successful system pioneered in Kentucky. This initiative, recommended by the Williams Commission would place doctors in charge of decisions on procedures and referrals for Medicaid patients. By avoiding unnecessary referrals and high-cost visits to emergency rooms, these physicians can help make sure Medicaid patients get the care they need, while significantly cutting costs.
Fifth, I will propose funding for our Office of Health Data Collection to make its comparative data on medical charges broadly available to the public. This will help individuals and employers to choose the most cost-effective providers, ultimately reducing costs. Sixth and finally, I will create by executive order a Governor's Commission on Health Care. It will develop a broad plan for reforming health care financing in Georgia, with special emphasis on preparing our state for the new responsibilities we will inherit under a national health care reform effort. The commission will be composed of representatives of the state agencies involved with health care; our cities and counties, and the business community. It will be served by a panel of distinguished health-care experts and will be charged with soliciting advice from consumers, providers and insurers. I am pleased and proud to announce that former Congressman Ed Jenkins has agreed to serve as the commission's chairman. I cannot imagine a more qualified individual to head this effort These are just a few of the legislative recommendations I will be making to you during these busy 40 days. They continue the central priority of this administration - to prepare Georgia for the 21st century. But in addition to the primary task of preparing our infrastructure and our programs for a new century, we should also be preparing our hearts and our attitudes for a new South. Next week, Bill Clinton will become the third consecutive Democratic president from the South. And for the first time since 1828, when Andrew Jackson and John C. Calhoun took office, two sons of the South will assume the top two positions in the United States government. The South is the fastest growing area in the country. And our dominance in national leadership and the economy reflects our growing prominence in the world. Yet, at the very time when all southerners may rightly take pride in this region's current success, some Georgians persist in believing that the pride of the South is bener defined by a symbol of defiance and intolerance - the Confederate Battle Flag, which was imposed on our state flag in 1956. Of all the arguments that have been made for keeping this flag, thc most infuriating to mnc is the contention that if we don't, we will somehow forget the sacrifices made by those who fought for the Confederacy. We will not forget. We cannot forget. Our graveyards, our literature, and many of our own family histories will forever kecp alive the memory of those who died for the Confederacy - and the memory of those whose freedom from slavery depended on the Confederacy's defeat.
I certainly cannot forget my own Confederate ancestors. I will never forget my great- grandfather, Brantley Bryan, who was wounded while fighting with Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville, then wounded again and more severely at Gettysburg in the same battle that took his brother's life. But I also cannot forget the many millions of Georgians, my ancestors and yours, who also made sacrifices in other wars both before and after the War Between the States. And in reverence to their memory, I cannot accept the idea that the brief, violent and tragic period of the Confederacy is the only part - the only part - of our long history that defines our identity and our traditions. Georgia will be 260 years old next month. For 43 of those years, we were a British colony; for 11 years a sovereign state under the Articles of Confederation; and for more than 200 years a member of the United States. For four brief years - that's 1.5 percent of our state's entire history - Georgia was a member of the Confederate States of America. Yet it is the Confederacy's most inflammatory symbol that dominates our flag today. We all know why. And it has nothing to do with the bravery of the Confederate troops. You may quibble all you want about who said what in 1956. It is clear the flag was changed in 1956 to identify Georgia with the dark side of the Confederacy - that desire to deprive some Americans of the equal rights that are the birthright of all Americans, and yes, the determination to destroy the United States if necessary to achieve that goal. The legislators who voted to change the flag in 1956 were prepared to defy the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. They were prepared to eliminate our public schools and even prohibit our college football teams from competing in bowl games - in order to maintain segregated schools, segregated public transportation, segregated drinking fountains and segregated recreational facilities. We have long since repudiated every element of those shameful 1956 days of defiance except for the flag they created. We now proudly send our sons and even our daughters abroad to defend the United States of America. Yet we maintain as a symbol of our state a flag that challenges thc very existence of the United States of America. And a flag that exhibits pride in the enslavement of many of our ancestors. Where is one, and only one, argument for maintaining the current flag: the polls. The polls say it is popular. I submit to you that this one issue, by its very nature, transcends this particular session and this particular climate of opinion. It goes to our identity as a state, and it goes to our legitimacy as public officials. Very probably this one vote will be the only one for which this General Assembly is ever remembered, and the one vote for which each and every one of you will be held accountable, not just by your constituents, but by posterity and history. You will have to live with this one decision far beyond the next election - 10 years from now, 30 years from now, to the end of your public career, to the end of your life. If you don't believe me, think about those Congressmen who followed the polls of their day and voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Some were ruined, and the rest forever regretted it. I submit to you that you cannot escape this individual decision. You cannot hide in the crowd. This issue will not go away, and I do not believe a single one of you in this chamber really believes that the present flag will survive for very long into the future. So, that brings it down to a matter of sheer guts. Will you do the easy thing, or the right thing? When your grandchildren read about this in school and ask you how you voted, will you be able to answer in a forthright manner, or will you say, "Well, you see, the polls looked bad back then"? Or, "I wanted a referendum first''?
Will you proudly act as an individual, or will you just go along with the crowd? My all-time favorite movie is To Kill a Mockingbird - the Academy Award winner based on Harper Lee's story about life in the South in the early 1900's, with Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, a lawyer raising two small children. In that movie's key scene, Atticus is defending a black man unjustly accused of rape, and a lynch mob tries to take justice into its own hands. As Atticus confronts the mob at the jailhouse door, his daughter, Scout, joins him and sees that the leader is someone she knows. And she calls him by name. "Hey, Mr. Cunningham - remember me? You're Walter's daddy. Walter's a good boy. Tell him I said hello." After a dramatic pause, Mr. Cunningham turns and says to the mob, "Let's go, boys." A group bent on injustice, turned aside by one small girl who appealed to them as individuals. Well, my friends in this chamber, I know you. And I appeal to each of you as individuals - as fathers and mothers, as neighbors and friends, most of whom were taught in Sunday Schools to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Leaders of this General Assembly - I know you. I know the love and dedication you have exhibited over the years to your children and grandchildren - and so often to the underdog in a fight. Let that love manifest itself now in a way that will crown your proud careers with the glory you deserve - not with the scorn of posterity that will obscure forever your proper respect. Veteran legislators - those who remember the segregationist frenzy that changed the flag before - I know you. Rarely does one have a chance to rewrite one's own personal history and erase one great blot. You do. Take it before it is too late. Rising stars who aspire to future leadership- I know you. I know you are doubly tempted to hedge on an issue where both popular opinion and the powers that be blow harsh against your principles. But, my friends, you cannot lead with a finger raised to the wind and an ear to the ground it's an undignified position. Lead now, or you find it very difficult to lead in the future.
Republicans, believe it or not, I know you. I respect your traditions, and the rebel yell of the lost cause sounds especially harsh and awkward in your throats. Your vote on this issue will say much about where you aim to take the party of Lincoln in a changing state. Freshman legislators - I don't know you yet, but I do understand the desire for change that brought you here and the unlimited horizons you face. If you vote against changing the flag, then, no matter what other innovations you may promote, you will forever be cast as a member of a rearguard faction that refused to hear change knocking on the door. Oh yes, you can be reelected, not just in 1994 but, perhaps, again and again. But in your quest for change, you will never overcome this one retrograde vote. I know you, members of the General Assembly. And I hope you know me well enough to know that I am dead serious about this issue. And, to paraphrase Rhett Butler, frankly, my dear friends, I do give a damn. Since 1789, Georgia's motto has been: Wisdom, Justice, Moderation." There is nothing wise, just or moderate in a flag that reopens old wounds and perpetuates old hatreds. Our battlefields, our graveyards, our monuments are important reminders of our history, both the proud and the painful. They will and always should be there. That's history. But our flag is a symbol - a symbol of what we stand for as a state. I want to see this state live by the words of George Washington to the sexton of the Rhode Island synagogue: "Ours is a government which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance." If you're truly proud of the South, if you're truly proud of this state, and all its 260 years, if you look forward and want to play a significant part in what Georgia can become, then help me now to give bigotry no sanction, and persecution no assistance.
Hawaii 93 Waihee
President Aki, Speaker Souki, members of the Seven-teenth Legislature, honored guests, ladies and gentle-men:
lam honored to be here today for my seventh State of the State Address. While the years have passed quickly, I can't help but think that January 1987 was a long time ago.
Gone are the days of huge budget surpluses, of picking and choosing from a generous menu of govern ment services, and of an economy that seemed to expand without end.
My friends, we have entered a new era.
We saw it during the Presidential Campaign, as the electorate-the generation "who hated politics"- resolved to once again claim ownership of the American political process.
We saw it here at home where our people's call for reform and change was reflected in the words of President Aki and Speaker Souki on Opening Day.
And we saw it in the quest for sovereignty by native Hawajians in their efforts to assume greater responsibility over their own future.
The changes are evident all around us.
But so are the opportunities for reinventing, reshaping and refocusing government.
That's why I have td chuckle when political pundits talk about 1994 and about this administration closing up shop.
The truth is, we cannot afford to talk about "closure" and wrapping things up, because the business of government is never finished. And we've got business at hand.
That's what these changes, this current revolution in American politics, are all about: the desire to break the mold and to grab the future with our own hands and shape it to conform to our dreams and our hopes.
One of our first jobs is to stimulate our economy. With the cumulative impact of the national recession, the deterioration of the sugar industry, and the devastation of Hurricane Iniki, our response must be courageous and extraordinary.
Last year, I announced the start of an accelerated capital improvement program. By expediting 1.9 billion dollars worth of projects authorized by you, we blunted and stabilized the downturn in our construction industry.
This year, we've got to get tourism, our most powerful economic engine, up and running again.
Travel from Asia and Europe is up, while our mainland traffic is down-by nearly 13 percent. Of all our new markets, Europe offers bright potential. There is no reason why we should not be able to double the number of European visitors by 1994.
We need to promote and promote aggressively-to tap these new markets and re-introduce Hawaii to markets that have traditionally been strong for us.
Therefore, I'm asking for your continued support of our tourism marketing efforts, through an increase in the annual budget from 21 to 30.5 million dollars.
The lack of a convention center is not helping our efforts.
The Convention Center Authority has submitted a list of sites to you for consideration. I strongly encourage you to immediately address the issues in this session so that construction can begin as early as 1994. DIVERSIFICATION
Though tourism often dominates the spotlight, Hawaii pulsates with economic vitality. And we have worked hard together to foster this diversification.
This year, we will break ground for the Sand Island Marine Education and Training Center, part of our overall Honolulu Waterfront master plan.
We've fostered business development in film production, travel industry management, ocean sciences, Hawaii-grown or manufactured products, and nationally televised sporting events.
Our renewed five-year Pro Bowl commitment and the recently announced Hawaii Sumo Tournament add to an important economic niche for world~lass sports and exhibitions. THE BUSINESS OF GOVERNMENT
It's no secret that in tough times, the demand for government services escalates.
Butjust as every family in Hawaii struggles to live within its means, our state government must do the same. We must create new ways to do more with less.
Last fall, every State department was directed to stream-line.
That means planning better, working smarter, and deriving greater results from committed resources.
In December, I submitted a budget and indicated that four major issues-health, education, tourism and OHA-warranted further discussion and funding.
I am also submitting a package of program adjustments and revenue enhancements-things not normally included in the budget. Here's the bottom line: If you accept our package in its entirety, we should be able to do it all and have a 70 million dollar balance.
We must also initiate action to cut government waste. Sometimes in pursuit of lofty goals, it seems unglamorous to concentrate on tidying up the shop. But when we are increasing services on a fixed, zero-growth budget, cutting waste is a necessity.
In fact, why not give our own workers and citizens a chance to tell us where it exists.
One idea, which I stole from my fellow Governor, Ann Richards, is a successful program, where citizens call in-anonymously if desired-to report on government waste.
In Texas, the "hotline" generated suggestions saving more than 200 million dollars just in the first few days. Ultimately, the program saved 19 billion dollars.
Of course, Texas has a much larger budget than we do, but if they can accomplish such a feat, we can make it work in Hawaii. Therefore, we are implementing our own "project hotline" and it will be operational by mid-February. PROCUREMENT REFORM
No one in or out of government is happy with our current procurement setup.
Therefore, I will be sending you a proposal to substan-tially overhaul major provisions of the State's procurement law with two basic goals.
First, we need to make the process open, accountable and fair. That's why we will be asking you to enact reforms in policy, implementation, and enforcement
· Our policy must be consistent for every level and every branch of government.
· We must match the levels of expenditures with the kind of controls and guidelines they warrant.
· We must insist on uniform standards of enforcement utilizing a new office of an Inspector General.
Second, these reforms must allow our government employees to do their jobs more efficiently. Many are struggling within today's system.
Let me give you an example. Not long ag6, I was at the Kona Hospital to see how renovations of the facilities were going.
While visiting the new operating room, one of the doctors noted that the use of the room was delayed for seven months after its c6mpletion because of the complex bidding process to purchase lighting.
The doctor turned to me and said, "You know, if I did it myself, we would have been using the operating room seven months earlier." FAMILY
Where compassion, not profit, is the bottom line, government must fulfill its responsibilities with understanding and fairness.
In my first State of the State, education was a top priority, and you and I have been consistent ever since.
Last summer, we created an ad hoc committee co-chaired by Senator Mike McCartney and Representative David Ige. And what this committee discovered is that great things have and are being done in our schools. In fact, we are currently undergoing some of the most extensive education reforms in the country.
Yet four things appear to be missing to make these reforms truly work.
First, we discovered that despite a lot of activity, most people were unable to relate these activities to our educa-tional and reform goals. If we are going to succeed with educational reform, we need more than a catalog of objectives. We need a united crusade.
Therefore, Mike, David and I along with our DOE and private sector partners are inviting the leaders of Hawaii back-back to the classroom for a day in February-to learn what contemporary education is all about.
Second, we must develop a comprehensive, coordinated system of early childhood education and care by the year 2000. That's why the ongoing work of the Early Childhood Project is so important.
The third missing piece is the lack of a results-driven system. The Commission on Performance Standards is critical to the overall success of our reforms. Ultimately, it will be the yardstick by which we measure the success of educational reform.
Fourth, we must have the right facilities. To do so, we must: spend wiser, leverage existing dollars, and explore alternate sources of funding.
To get this started, I propose we lift the drop-dead date on the facilities special fund, to ensure a permanent, open-ended commitment to the quality of our school facilities. HEALTH
Hawaii's health care system is a role model for much of the nation. But it is not yet the seamless garment that will protect all of our citizens at reasonable costs. Our limitations are clearly presented by the report of the Blue Ribbon Panel jointly commissioned by you and me.
The Panel's report presents a wealth of sound and bold ideas, and we will be submitting to you a number of initiatives.
One of the most important of these is the creation of a Hawaii Health Care Commission which will be a joint public/private task force designed:
· To control health care costs while maintaining high quality and attaining universal access; and
· To guarantee the community rating on health care coverage for all of Hawaii's small businesses.
The need to meet our long-term care challenge is still facing us-and so is the problem we confronted last year. How can we work out the Federal relationship that penalizes Hawaii for taking the lead?
We have a classic "catch-22" here. Federal approval is necessary to reallocate Medicaid funds to help finance our program. But we are also told that we can't get such approval unless we set up the program first.
I propose that we push forward by putting a structure in place, whose authority would be activated when you vote to fund it. In this way, we can go after the Federal assurances we need, while preparing for a well-coordinated startup. MEDICAID
Last year, I spoke of the Medicaid Pacman that was devouring our resources. One reason is that Hawaii is on the short end of an unfair Federal compensation system.
On one hand, the current Federal formula, which sets eligibility for Medicaid, takes into account our higher cost of living. On the other hand, the formula that establishes the amount of Federal matching funds does not.
In other words, while more of our families rightfully qualify, we are not receiving Federal dollars to support that added burden.
We are seeking Federal legislation to correct this inequity. If successful, we will be able to adjust our share of Federal funds from 50 percent to more than 60 percent.
Increasing Federal support is precisely the goal of our proposal to implement a provider tax on hospitals and long-term care facilities. The revenue generated from the provider tax will enable the Medicaid program to earn a larger share of Federal matching funds without causing undue hardships on our providers.
At the same time, we propose to move on two other fronts:
First, we intend to combine Medicaid, the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) and the State's General Assis-tance Programs. This will provide a standardized benefits package, a fairer allocation to our Medicaid users, and expand c6verage for SHIP.
Second, we will incorporate a managed care system, which will move closer to ensuring equitable, quality health care, at less cost, to a greater number of people.
To move us in this new direction, we are proposing a Federal waiver to begin by July 1, 1993, as a national demonstration project. EMOTIONAL & MENTAL HEALTH
The physical health of Hawaii's people is important, but so is their emotional health. On any given day, approxi-mately 1,400 of Hawaii's kids are in the State's care. These are children who could be home if their families had a little help.
That's why I am sd pleased to announce the start of the "families together initiative" program. It was developed with the help of the National Governors' Association, nine of our executive agencies, the family court and the private sector. It is truly a model of cooperation.
These agencies will pool resources and leverage Federal dollars to make intensive, home-based services available to families at risk of losing their children.
I also want to thank all of you for your continued support of Hawaii's mental health system. Our new State Hospital is a serene and supportive place. We've opened new psychiat-ric units at Hilo Hospital and at Maui Memorial Hospital.
But we cannot let up. We must continue toward full accreditation of our psychiatric hospitals and community mental health centers. To do this, I ask your support for an additional 6.6 million dollars for care and treatment of children and adolescents who are at risk.
Finally, I am recommending an additional 1.1 million dollars for each year of the biennium to help victims of domestic violence.
Housing for our families has and will continue to be a high priority. In the last few years, we together jump-started housing production in Hawaii with numerous innovative programs.
The action taken has paid off. Together with private sector partners, we've completed more than 17,000 units over the last four years.
That is why we must keep our initiatives on track. To do that, I will be asking you to extend Act 15-to expedite the development approval process for affordable housing.
I'm gratified by President Aki's and Speaker Souki's commitment to help create affordable rental housing. Fifty percent of a proposed increase in the Conveyance Tax, if approved by you, will add both momentum and additional money for rental units.
Through HFDC, we have provided land, zoning, and infrastructure-the foundations for the private sector to move in and begin to produce affordable homes. We should accelerate these public/private transactions, selling State lands designated for housing to the private sector.
This will not only stimulate the private sector to develop many more affordable units, but it will free up resources to launch new developments.
In the same spirit of partnership, we are proposing to develop a State office building at Kapolei. Campbell Estate would build it, and the State would lease it.
This will propel Kapolei closer tQward its destiny as a true second city. And it will support our continuing efforts to decentralize government offices from the Capitol District, bringing both jobs and government services closer to where our people live.
One of the biggest potential obstacles facing our families' ability to purchase homes is the availability of homeowner's insurance.
The future of homeowner's insurance in our state has become cloudier for two reasons: First, in the eyes of the insurance industry, Hawaii is not the same risk environment it was before Iniki. We are now placed in the category of areas prone to violent storms.
Second, insurance companies, themselves, are faced with severe shortage of re-insurance, that is, the kind of insurance an insurance company buys to reduce its risk.
This shortfall in the supply of insurance is national in scope. It will affect some 70,000 homeowners in Hawaii who will seek to renew policies over the course of the next 12 months. lam told we can all expect substantial increases in what we pay for insurance.
Resolving the property insurance problem will, in some ways, be like reducing the nation's budget deficit: It will take time, it will hurt, but is must be done.
Consequently, we are taking the following actions:
· We are providing short-term relief by expanding the Hawaii Property Insurance Association coverage to include all islands.
· We have triggered the mechanism for payment of all HIG subsidiary claims and are working to put the surviving HIG back into the market.
· We are working with financial institutions and the lending industry to implement short- and long-term soluti9ns to minimize the impact on lenders and on the mortgage market.
· We are communicating directly with the international reinsurance market to rekindle their interest in Hawaii.
· We are working with other state, federal and industry officials to create a Natural Disaster Insurance Program on the federal level, similar to the Flood Insurance Program.
And the Insurance Commissioner has appointed a Task Force to seek long-term solutions, including the creation of a windstorm pool to cover future hurricane damage.
As we proceed to work through these very complex issues, we will do so with an eye to minimizing the burden on each individual rate payer, insisting that past obligations be honored, and working toward sound long-term solutions.
In recent years, we have made great progress toward improving conditions at the Oahu Community Cor-rectional Center and the Women's Community Cor-rectional Center.
One of the most persistent concerns has been overcrowd-ing. Therefore, I will be submitting a bill to establish a Corrections Population Management Commission.
This commission will recommend initiatives relating to sentencing policies and practices; pre-trial services and bail programs; probation, parole and intermediate punishment programs; case management strategies; prison construction; and setting population caps.
It costs us over 100,000 dollars to build each medium security bed, and approximately 80 dollars per day to keep one prisoner there. While those who are violent or repeat offenders require secure incarceration, for many offenders a secure prison is not necessary. We will more aggressively pursue alternatives to incarceration.
One of our most sacred trusts is the stewardship of our environment. Our job is two-fold:
First, we must provide a means for people to learn about it, experience it, without destroying or abusing it.
Last November, proud of its beauty, we opened the first 30 acres of the Kakaako Waterfront Park. With your support, we will add an additional 40 acres, including an array of cultural and educational centers.
Second, we must protect our environmental resources from exploitation and neglect.
Two years ago, we took action to make it possible for private landholders and the State to jointly manage impor-tant private and public reserves.
To secure permanent funding for these programs, I propose that we dedicate the remaining 50 percent of the increase in the Conveyance Tax I mentioned earlier.
In addition to our conservation efforts, we are focusing resources on real rather than perceived risks to our environment. Too frequently Congress mandates programs with little or no money. Too often budgets are shaped more by the last opinion poll than by scientific assessment of risk.
So I have requested the Department of Health to develop a strategic plan to identify problems which pose the greatest environmental or public health threats, and then to imple-ment a program to address those risks.
At the same time, I am proposing new funding mecha-nisms based on the principle that the "polluter pays." The funds generated will be used to support recycling, water quality monitoring, environmental education, and pollution prevention programs. HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS
A few years ago, I stood at the Bishop Museum, re-acquainting myself with the depiction of the struggles of plantation contract workers. But in the midst of rare photographs, what took my breath away was a chart.
There, marching across the wall, black lines followed the growth of the various ethnic groups in Hawaii. Black lines that increased as more Caucasians, Japanese, Filipinos, Chinese and others came to our islands, and flourished.
A single red line represented Hawaiians. And this red line, so high on the chart in the early years, diminished, grew smaller, until it almost disappeared.
As I followed the red line, the black lines, I thought of the changes that had occurred: Of the economic upheavals, the imported diseases and the thousands that died; of the political chicanery that stole a nation.
More than any history book, those lines made time stand still. My eyes filled first with sadness... then surged with pride. For in spite all of the trauma that had been inflicted on the Hawaiian people, we had endured.
And so in 1993, we celebrate the strength of the Hawaiian people, who have endured for 100 years, against all odds.
Nineteen hundred and ninety three is a year of recogni-tion, commemoration, and renewal of the longstanding quest for sovereignty.
It is also a year that will test the foundation and our commitment to justice, tolerance and change. Having overcome disease, politics and greed, we-Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians alike-could still lose the battle to intoler-ance, ignorance and prejudice.
In 1917, Queen Lili'uokalani wrote:
"I could not turn back the time for the political change, but there is still lime to save our heritage. You must remember never to cease to act because you fear you may fail The way to lose any earthly kingdom is to be inflexible, intolerant and prejudicial. Another way is to be too flexible, tolerant of too many wrongs and without judgement at all It is a razor's edge. It is the width of pili grass. My friends, we are on a razor's edge. We are an island community, and it is impossible to turn our backs on the injustices visited to our host culture, who are now one in five among us.
As citizens of Hawaii and of the United States of America, it is right that we expect the injustices to be corrected and reparations made. The challenge before all of us, is how to right the wrong and re-create sovereignty in our contemporary multicul-tural, island society.
· Therefore, I am asking you today to move beyond the discussion.
First, I ask you to join me in aggressively seeking political recognition from the Federal government for Hawaiians as a native people, just as all other native people throughout America are so recognized.
Second, the State must continue to clean up~ uphold, and transition our own trust responsibilities.
We have made significant progress in recognizing past breaches and fulfilling broken promises. Last year, you authorized payment for the public's past use of Hawaiian Home Lands. This year, we commit to resolving other claims, especially illegal alienations of Home Lands. We will vigorously press our charges of Federal breaches-this time, with a more sympathetic Federal Administration.
We also have a proposal to pay our debt to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for its share of the ceded land revenues, bringing to closure 12 years of dispute.
Both Federal and State governments have a rare second chance to do what is right for Kaho'olawe- which will soon be returned to us. I propose we set aside Kaho'olawe as a cultural reserve, to be healed and used only for those purposes that are consistent with the island's history and well-being. In this endeavor I call upon the Protect Kaho'olawe Ohana to continue their role as stewards. I further ask that we declare our intention to transfer Kaho'olawe to the Hawaiian nation, once it is formed.
Third, we can and must take the step and support the sovereignty of native Hawaiians, without imposing a particular form or body. Across America, native governments and states govern side-by-side. But too often in the past, these native governments were imposed upon states by the Federal government, engendering hundreds of years of distrust and separation.
We are island people. Our many cultures, histories and common geography cry for a different solution. Why not take that first step?
In this state, we have six sovereign entities-the Federal government, the State, and the four counties coexist, side- by-side. We govern in partnership, by law, and by social agreement.
We are a state, not a national government. We cannot confer sovereignty. But we can embrace self-determination.
To what entity should the State turn over management of Hawaiian Home Lands? How do we separate the Office of Hawaiian Affairs from the State? Who should choose the leader, or leaders that will guide this entity? How do we remove the divisiveness of the blood quantum while protecting the rights of native Hawaiians? These and a host of other questions should be answered by the people who are most affected. That is the essence of self-determination.
So I call upon you to support a proposal by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to convene a Hawaiian Congress. For all Hawaiians to elect their representatives, and to meet in convention.
To talk, argue, deliberate and ask and answer hard questions. And upon conclusion and ratification by Ha-waiian voters, to petition me and the Legislature, and in turn we will petition the citizens of Hawaii through passage of laws and constitutional amendments.
My friends, we have an opportunity to improve our entire society. By making Hawaiians whole, we make our entire society whole- we enrich the life of the land for all of us.
In conclusion, let us reflect on the words of the inaugural poet Maya Angelou:
History, despite its wrenching pain, Cannot be unlived, But if faced with courage, Need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon this day breaking before you.
Give birth again
to the dream.
Idaho 93 Andrus
Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, members of the judiciary, distinguished elected state officials, ladies and gentlemen of the First Regular Session of the 52nd Idaho Legislature, my fellow citizens. I am proud of our Idaho, deeply proud. So it was with a mixture of humor and humility that I accepted on your behalf a rather extraordinary compliment several weeks ago. I was meeting with leaders of President-elect Clinton's transition team, and the discussion turned, as it has so often over the past year, to the economy -- and to the performance of a few select states that stand in such sharp contrast to a nation in distress. "Why is Idaho an island?" I was asked. Tongue in cheek, I told them, "Strong management." Of course, all of us know Idaho's resounding success is much more than just management style. It is hard work. It is timing and good fortune. It is understanding how to empower people, and how important it is to consciously protect a quality of life unknown to other Americans. There is an ancient Chinese proverb which says, "A kind word warms for three winters," and that may be true. But in Idaho, we understand that we have distinguished ourselves not by dwelling on our laurels but by aggressively addressing difficult questions and tremendous challenges.
I. The State of the State It is my great honor and responsibility to come before you once again to assess the state of the state of Idaho. It is a report of optimism and hope, a landmark pointing us along a path toward our highest aspirations, and a reminder that as the ascent steepens, we must prove our fitness for the climb by stepping boldly. It is a challenge to be unconventional. That should not be hard for us because unconventional is the Idaho style. My call is for us to seek out the invention in our midst. It will be important, particularly in these weeks of your deliberations in the inaugural session of the 52nd Legislature, to store convention away and consider the validity of new ideas. Our highest hopes and aspirations -- which I believe are practically universal among Idahoans -- can only be achieved by finding creative answers to vexing questions. President John F. Kennedy said: "As every generation has had to disenthrall itself from an inheritance of truisms and stereotypes, so in our time we must move on from the reassuring repetition of stale phrases to a new, difficult but essential confrontation with reality ... "Too often, we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears ... We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." Ladies and gentlemen, I believe the surest way to mishandle a problem is to avoid it. There is peril in ignoring reality. Let us be guided by reality and by the principle that the people of Idaho, our people, sent us here to lead, not to bicker over mere politics. They sent us here to chart a correct and forward course built upon cooperation. We must never forget that we have been sent here to represent their best interest. My commitment to you is openness and goodwill in ambitiously carrying out this bidding.
II. Accomplishments of 1992 When I reflect on what we have accomplished together in the recent months and years, I am sometimes awed. In a nation faltering in recession, Idaho has taken the road less traveled. We are at the head of the nation's first rank of states in personal income gain and in job creation. Since December of 1987, total retail sales in Idaho have grown by 26 percent. Nonagricultural employment has grown by 27.5 percent, the highest rate in the nation. And personal income has grown by 36 percent. These numbers are directly reflected in the strong performances of Idaho businesses and in our solid tax revenues. In spite of a stream of new arrivals from states where life is not as good, our 1992 unemployment rate has held a full point below the national average. And, in a late 1992 event little noted but very revealing of our success, Park River Homes, Inc., of Post Falls became the 100,000th Idaho corporation. Any acknowledgement of our great success must note that progress has come because we have built lasting partnerships, partnerships between you and me and between business and government. These essential partnerships were never more valuable than in 1987, when I asked for and the Legislature granted an appropriation of 1.8 million dollars to turn a caretaker office into an aggressive, competent Department of Commerce equipped to capitalize on Idaho's extraordinary business climate. Our confidence has been more than borne out. We are further strengthened by the fact that women have taken their place at the head of the Idaho judiciary. Two years ago, I selected Cathy Silak as the first woman on the Idaho Court of Appeals. Then last summer, I was honored to appoint Linda Copple Trout, a person of rich experience and qualifications, as the first female justice in the 100-year history of the Idaho Supreme Court. In her place, I was granted the opportunity to provide a seat on the Second District Court to Idaho's first African-American female jurist, Ida Leggett. To these judges I say, Godspeed in your work. Finally, you have been given your chance to serve. May the door of opportunity be forever open to other outstanding women, and may we Idahoans in this new year rededicate ourselves to the fundamental principle of equality, tolerance, and justice for all. Let Idaho always stand for fairness, and let us always reject the forces of division and hatred.
III. Accountability in Government To keep the Idaho experience rare and special, we must bravely confront the obstacles in our path. That is why it is prudent for us to seize this moment to examine how we might restructure government to help us reach our objectives. We should attend to the lessons in the three R's: re-think, refine, re-invent. It is a way for us to go even further to meet one of this administration's highest principles: accountability to the public. All of the fair - minded people of Idaho, whose dearly-earned dollars support government's ability to extend important services, deserve no less than our maximum effort in making sure that our programs are run efficiently by people who are willing to go the extra mile. It is a fact that Idaho spends less per person on government than almost any other state. But that is of little consequence to Idahoans. They want us to cultivate and protect their good lives and to refrain from building empires to do it. I propose we begin by seriously undertaking the business of consolidating and improving government. I ask you to consider these questions, and to ask some of your own: Is it time to merge the responsibilities of the Lieutenant Governor and the Secretary of State to create one full-time elected position? The men serving in these two offices have said they will not seek re-election, so we are afforded the opportunity to consider this question from the perspective of logic, organization and economy. Such a move would allow a seat on the Land Board for the state Treasurer without expanding its numbers. Is it time to change the governance of education so that separate boards oversee the public schools and the colleges and universities? I have long supported such a move and endorse it again along with efforts to streamline administration in the Office of the State Board of Education and on each of the campuses. Is it time that the Superintendent of Public Instruction be appointed in a nonpartisan manner? Does every county in the state really need a prosecutor, or could the people be served more effectively by a system of district attorneys? How about coroners, law enforcement agencies and emergency services? Could consolidation save us money without sacrificing service? We must determine which services are redundant and eliminate them, and we must merge systems so that the people are paying for performance, not administration. Refining state government is one reason why I support efforts to establish a bipartisan oversight of our operations, the so-called performance audit. Agencies need to understand what the expectations of them are, and the public needs to hear from an unprejudiced voice whether those expectations are met. I offer for your consideration several other initiatives that will reduce the cost of government, privatize non-essential or inefficient services, and more logically organize our operations: First, I propose we consolidate all vocational rehabilitation services where logic directs them to be -- inside the Industrial Commission. This reorganization will eliminate a tier of management overseeing vocational rehabilitation in our schools and colleges, save money and improve service to our clients. Second, I recommend that the Idaho Office for Children be formally recognized by statute. In 1991, I created by executive order this office to coordinate and fully integrate all state services for children. It is clear that parents need one-stop access to the bewildering maze of children's services. Third, I propose that we push state printing services into the private sector while retaining ownership of equipment to perform routine projects, which can be adequately performed by our correctional industries employees. Fourth, I believe we should close the Department of Administration's Bureau of Supplies so that agencies can let market forces work to the taxpayers' advantage in the purchasing of paper and office equipment. These steps to restructure the way we do business will reduce state government overhead, make services more efficient, and save tax money. Now is the time to restructure Idaho for a new century of progress. Let us begin today to strengthen, streamline, and stimulate efficiency so that government continues to help opportunity thrive. Idaho's achievements are notable, indeed. America could do as well. But there is more to be done: to educate and protect the children; to ensure that most basic family value, the ability to earn a day's pay for a day's work; to be good and wise stewards of our resources; and to grant fairness and equity for our taxpayers.
IV. Goals for 1993 1. Relief for Idaho's Homeowners Let us begin our task of innovation for Idaho by providing tax relief to the overburdened homeowner. Fairness is all anyone really asks of government. And the one-percent initiative, defeated in the 1992 election, was a homeowners' shot for fairness sent across the bow of government at every level. I say again today that it would be foolish not to heed the concerns of the 474,000 people who voted on the initiative, or those of the 163,000 voters who supported it. Idaho needs meaningful tax reform, and the wellspring of change should be the property tax. Today, I stand eager to work with you to cut property taxes for homeowners -- just as we did when we removed the eight-mill school levy from the property tax, when we established and then expanded the circuit-breaker, when we established the 50-50 homeowner's exemption, and when we enacted the level-pay provision. In my executive budget, I will present to you a comprehensive plan to remove tens of millions of dollars of tax burden from homeowners, and I hope you will have the courage to help make these ideas reality for Idaho's future. You know that I believe establishing the proper role of the property tax in our tax system is our collective responsibility to the people of this state. It is no less our obligation to find ways to deal with the inevitably higher costs of growth -- more and more inmates in the penitentiary, swelling student bodies on every single college campus in this state, and thousands of fresh new faces in our public schools. Under state jurisdiction today are 1,351 more prisoners and parolees than in 1991, a 21-percent increase. Since 1989, school enrollment is up 11.5 percent, and on campus the number has jumped by 38.5 percent. Medicaid caseload has grown by 327 percent in five years. These relentless forces of growth are demanding ever greater accountability of government. "Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer but the right answer," John Kennedy said. "Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future. "
2. Restructuring Education Ladies and gentlemen of Idaho's 52nd Legislature, in answering the question, "How do we make life in Idaho better than it is today?" I ask you to consider the overwhelming decisions faced by State Police Sergeant David Cordova last spring as he scrambled to save the occupants of a motor home that had plunged over a cliff and into the swift current of the Salmon River. Sergeant Cordova saw a man, a woman, and a little girl floundering helplessly in the water. His actions in that desperate moment were heroic and instinctive. He thought first not of his own life but of the child out in the current. Experienced in water rescue and guided by the hand of God, Sergeant Cordova saved Danica Oviatt's life. He was also able to rescue Danica's father before the churning waters swept him away. I believe that every one of us, if we were placed by fate in such a predicament of high risk, would react to save our children first. In sculpting an Idaho of the next century that is equal to or greater than the Idaho of today, we must do what Sergeant Cordova's reflex directed him to do. We must never rest until we have accomplished our duty to our first priority, our children. Idaho's children are depending on us to provide them opportunity and to help prepare them to seize it. That is why we must inject fresh enthusiasm into the effort to restructure Idaho's schools, retool the system so that we may give our best to boys and girls, men and women, who we soon expect will give us their best. Questioning the old ways, fostering innovation, and freeing the exchange of fresh ideas will take us there. We must continue to sow the seeds of change by creating and adequately funding pilot projects in schools throughout the state and then create a mechanism so that they can share the experience of reform with partner schools. We must enlist the help of business in injecting the elements of high technology into each classroom so that Idaho graduates will be prepared to become the achievers of the 21st century. In the past year, state government has become a leader in parent activism in school. Hundreds of state employees, given the opportunity, have taken time out of their workdays to help in school. Some news accounts have focused on the so-called cost of this program, but that emphasis badly misses the point; the gift of time and enthusiasm of parents is as valuable as any investment we can ever make in our schools. I am happy to report to you today that this spirit is catching. Businesses are establishing similar policies. As I have said, I believe we in Idaho should undertake an initiative that is well in progress throughout the world -- extending the school year and pushing more academic substance into the classroom. I stand prepared to consider any idea you may have to raise the competitiveness of our schools. The executive budget I will submit to you this week, while keeping Idaho apace with the growth of our student bodies, contains other important initiatives in public education: Placement of counselors in every elementary school in Idaho's 113 districts. Establishment of a gifted and talented program designed to foster the development of our most promising elementary and secondary students. Idaho has taken important steps to assist other special-needs students, and in 1993 we have an opportunity to help our best and brightest reach further. Extending Idaho's reach is also our most important challenge in higher education. So today I ask you to address two critical needs: first, access to health care for the tens of thousands of rural Idahoans; and, second, a better-trained and more capable professional workforce to respond to the fast growth of our high technology industries. I propose establishing a master's level nurse practitioner program at Idaho State University with class offerings in Pocatello and Boise. The nurse practitioner, I believe, will become a rescuer of the rural health care crisis in this state where vast distances separate populated areas. Nurse practitioners can provide family health care to people whose homes may be many miles from a physician. And to address Southwestern Idaho's rapid growth as a center of high technology, I advocate expanding the University of Idaho electrical engineering program on the campus of Boise State University. More immediate access to this curriculum will give people working in the electronics industry professional growth opportunities and will provide their employers with a highly qualified workforce.
3. Child Protection There are critical strides we can make outside the classroom for Idaho's children, and this administration has never been more committed to protecting our most vulnerable citizens from the sometimes heartbreaking realities of life. Sadly, in this age of express-lane divorce, there are parents who are not living up even to the financial obligation of raising their children. I stand before you to ask that we join together today to make Idaho the nation's standard-bearer of child-support enforcement by enacting tougher laws. One of the proposals I ask you to consider would prohibit a person from receiving a driver's license or hunting and fishing privileges if he or she flees from or ignores this fundamental obligation of parenthood. The flight of parents from their child-support obligations is a growing national problem, and we have earned a reputation of one of the leading states in stemming it. But we must do more. We must also do more to protect children from the despicable crime of child abuse. In spite of the continued increase of this crime, last year the total number of prosecutions declined statewide. Attorney General EchoHawk is proposing legislation to further our joint efforts to get more serious about this crime, which is devastating the lives of too many little children.
4. Getting a Grip on Health Care In Connecticut, Illinois, and Virginia, state governments have been forced by soaring costs to reduce provider reimbursements for Medicaid care. Whole programs in the Medicaid systems of Michigan, Kansas, and Florida have been eliminated. In neighboring Washington, the projected Medicaid deficit is 1.2 billion dollars, and in Montana it is more than 300 million dollars. We cannot permit Idaho to fall into this bottomless cavern of fiscal ruin. I have directed the Department of Health and Welfare to take all appropriate steps -- including a reduction of reimbursement to providers -- to check the so far unbridled growth of Medicaid costs. We will use every means at our disposal to cut the costs of Medicaid without creating a hardship on people who need the services. What we are doing is applying proven business principles to the management of a public health program that is growing explosively. These are not incidental bills. In the first 11 months of 1992, the state paid St. Luke's Regional Medical Center 15 million dollars in reimbursements for Medicaid service. In the same period, we paid a physician in Twin Falls more than 220,000 dollars. A Nampa dentist was reimbursed 210,000 dollars for Medicaid services in those 11 months. Congress has refused to recognize that we need a national solution for the health care crisis. Its answer has been to relax eligibility and mandate state-provided services without providing adequate funding and without insisting on cost-containment. It is not Idaho's intention to turn out the poor and the sick. We are not denying coverage to anyone now receiving it. We are not asking doctors and hospitals to do any more than they have ethically pledged to do. But we are taking steps to curb the spending spree before a bill comes due that we cannot pay. I refuse to look on passively as an out-of-control federally-mandated program damages the quality of life we in Idaho have worked so hard to achieve. I do seek to improve the quality of life for Idaho's senior citizens, who have contributed so much to our state, by establishing an innovative, cost-effective volunteer respite program. Such a move will encourage the elderly to stay in their homes by providing essential help to family members who are currently caring for them.
5. Vigilance Over Nuclear Waste One of our most unwavering responsibilities is protecting life in a place that is what America was. That is why I will ask you to take action this session to prohibit the storage in Idaho of high-level nuclear waste from commercial utility reactors in other states. As you know, Idaho has been engaged in a court case over the federal government's intentions to store at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory waste generated at a commercial reactor in Colorado. What you may not know is that there are dozens of other commercial utility reactors scattered across this country soon to be decommissioned. The chief executives of these utilities, I can assure you, are sizing up the Idaho desert as the perfect place to send their waste, which they call "spent fuel" but which will remain radioactive for 25,000 years. And the Department of Energy, which has been so far hopelessly engaged in trying to find a willing recipient for these reactor cores, will be under immense pressure to give its utility clients an out by opening the doors of federal sites, like the INEL, for storage. What makes this issue even more compelling is that the secretary of energy just announced what he calls a "new strategy" to store spent commercial fuel at the INEL. My adamant opposition to the government's intention to turn Idaho into the nation's waste dump for this radioactive garbage is well known. Now it is time for our Legislature to send a clear message to the federal government that we don't want it, and we will not stand idly by while they try to force it upon us. The INEL is unique in two ways: it is the nation's leading center for nuclear research and development, and its land covers the largest freshwater aquifer on the continent. We must make it clear that Idaho will not permit this laboratory to become the nation's de facto waste dump and put its most vital natural resource at risk. Just as Idaho's ban of waste importation from nuclear weapons plants spurred action to open a transuranic waste site in New Mexico, legislative action to prevent storage of this commercial spent fuel in Idaho will go a long way in our establishing a coherent national policy to store waste where it is generated until a permanent repository is opened.
6. Land. Air and Water The trust of stewardship of this remarkable place is profound. Let it be our mission for the generations to follow that we will use prudently, that we will protect devotedly, that we will be vigilant enough to pass on an Idaho as naturally extraordinary as the one we inherited. Let us move together to give permanent protection from hydropower intrusion to the great Henry's Fork of the Snake River and the still pristine north and middle forks of the Boise River. Let us take the necessary steps to cleanse the ailing middle reach of the Snake River. Let us continue our aggressive advocacy for the salmon. Remember, Idaho is the only state to have set forth a plan to restore this magnificent creature, a plan that safeguards existing water rights yet deals with the critical issue of getting the juvenile fish to the ocean. Only this passage will allow them to return from the Pacific to perpetuate their species in the waters of the Idaho high country. And let Idaho become the national leader in developing a comprehensive strategy of water conservation so that, as long as dry conditions prevail in this arid land, we will preserve our stores of the fuel that drives our economy.
7. Partnership with Indian Nations Idaho and its Indian nations do not agree on the question of casino gambling, but that is only one of many pressing issues of mutual concern that require us to keep our lines of communication open. Today, I ask you to create a Native American Commission to take on the challenges of economic development on the reservations, and the many environmental and social issues that confront the Shoshone-Bannock, the Coeur d'Alene, the Kootenai, the Nez Perce, and the Shoshone-Paiute.
V. Conclusion Today, I have placed at the disposal of the people of Idaho a program of innovation, which will chart a course of hope. We must ask ourselves, what can we be? How can we make Idaho's achievements of tomorrow eclipse those of today? It may be natural, even comfortable, to have something of an emotional attachment to the tried and true, but, to steady Idaho for the 21st century, we must challenge every assumption, scrutinize every expenditure and organization, study every policy, and hold every rule and method up to the light of the modern era.
We must check the growth of federally - mandated medical costs. We must craft fairness into the tax structure. We must restructure Idaho education to enable our children to master a global marketplace. We must demonstrate accountability and create efficiency in government. And we must begin the important process of rethinking, refining and reinventing government at all levels. We are compelled by the realities of the day and by our own urge to govern with wisdom to dispense business as usual and step boldly toward a future that is undeniably bright. What I have described to you is an agenda of change. it is an agenda of progress. Let us fuse our energies to make it an agenda of achievement for the people of Idaho - for 1993 and a coming decade of challenge. To those who will be tempted to say that these are not the times to be bold, it has been said, "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir one's blood." I say join with me. Have the courage to be bold. Have the vision to make grand plans and the dedication to accomplish great things.
Illinois 93 Edgar
Speaker Madigan, President Philip, my fellow Constitutional officers, members of the judiciary, members of the 88th General Assembly, and my fellow citizens of Illinois,
As I stood at this podium a year ago Illinois was faced with making hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency budget cuts midway through our fiscal year.
We were caught in the jaws of a recession that drove our state revenues down and our unemployment rates up.
Today I can give you better news. Illinois is on the rebound and moving ahead. More of our people are working; more of our people are prospering.
A year ago, more than 9 percent of our labor force was out of work. Today, our unemployment rate has dropped to a little more than 7 percent.
That is below the national average and the third lowest unemployment rate among the 11 largest states.
A month ago Illinois posted an all-time high of 5.8 million people on the payrolls of our factories, our retail stores, our corporate offices and our small businesses.
Our labor force grew 1.4 percent in 1992 outpacing the nation's growth for only the second time in the last decade.
Indeed Illinois is setting a pace of economic activity that will bring more good news, more development and more prosperity to communities from Galena to Golconda.
Still if you are unemployed or just out of school and looking for a job your unemployment rate is 100 percent.
we all must understand that. And we must continue to do everything we can to make sure there are enough good jobs for capable Illinoisans and enough capable Illinoisans for good jobs.
For while we can take pride in our progress we cannot neglect our needs.
Illinois must not be a state that forgets those who with some nurturing and their own dogged determination can sometimes succeed against overwhelming odds.
Illinois must be a state where eleven and a half million people and their leaders recognize that we have a common destiny and focus more on what does and must unite us and less on our differences.
By working together we can command change instead of merely struggling to keep up with it.
In fact by working together we already have taken great strides to assure that Illinois has what it takes to assure a good standard of living and a good quality of life not only for today's generations but for those that follow.
And so before we look toward the tremendous challenges that lie ahead let us be inspired and motivated by what we have already achieved.
Illinois has built highways for the future.
In the last year we completed Interstate 39 between Rockford and Bloomington establishing at long last a modern transportation artery through the center of this state.
We completed the Central Illinois Expressway linking our eastern and western downstate borders.
And we opened Interstate 155 connecting Peoria and Springfield with an up-to-date avenue for economic growth in the heart of Illinois.
And we have completed the first phase of rebuilding the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago.
With these highways we have linked the markets of Illinois with the markets of the world.
At the same time we have taken vital steps toward establishing state-of-the-art airports to serve the people and spur the economy of this state.
The first ground has been turned to allow for a joint civilian-military use of Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County a project that will boost the economy of southwestern Illinois with 15,000 new jobs.
And we are now poised to prepare a master plan for a third major airport in the Chicago metropolitan area, an airport to alleviate congestion and noise problems at O'Hare International Airport and to build a solid economic base for the entire south suburban area. -
That project would create more than 46,000 construction related jobs in the first phase and about 35,000 permanent jobs at the airport and in spinoff businesses when it becomes operational.
And on another transportation front we are paving the way for high-speed passenger rail service linking Chicago St. Louis and Detroit.
Illinois IS moving forward.
Because of our support we will break ground this spring for a $1 billion expansion of McCormick Place which will generate 5,000 construction jobs and ensure Chicago remains the foremost convention city in America.
We will continue expansion of Navy Pier to make the historic lakefront site a recreational magnet for the entire Chicago area when it reopens next year.
And we also will see the cooperation of the state the city of Chicago and the private sector pay dividends with the grand opening in 1994 of the new stadium on Chicago's west side.
I believe the new United Center in Chicago should be the home for both the Republican and Democratic national conventions in 1996 to showcase the progress and spirit of a great city and a great state.
And I want to work with the city and with the convention and tourism industry to see the job gets done.
Illinois is planning ahead and moving forward. State government is working with the private sector to develop a winning advantage for Illinois.
The key components are a favorable tax climate a modern infrastructure community environments that are family-friendly and perhaps most of all a workforce that is ready and able to master dramatically changing technology.
One of the major thrusts of my administration has been to help small and medium-sized Illinois businesses grow and stay in Illinois.
And I am pleased to say our efforts have produced results in every corner of Illinois.
In Granite City American Steel Foundries is reopening a plant shuttered for more than a year and creating jobs for as many as 1,200 workers.
Tesa tuck announced last month it will build a new 25 million dollar plant in Carbondale rather than relocate its manufacturing operations and workers to Texas or North Carolina.
In Rock Island, in Paris, and in East Dubuque, companies based outside Illinois are building and expanding in Illinois.
Because of our commitment to providing infrastructure Abbott Laboratories is building a new plant and expanding in Lake County, creating 2,500 new jobs.
Illinois agri-business is ready to expand assuming the Clinton administration keeps faith with a Bush administration policy to encourage the use of ethanol.
In Chicago, when the employees of Midway Airlines lost their jobs, state government helped them sharpen their skills and find new jobs in the workplace.
And then we helped Southwest Airlines fill part of the void left in the state's air transit network.
Business is investing in Illinois because state government is investing in business by providing basic, essential tools through fresh programs.
We have broadened our job training efforts reaching thousands of employees of small and mid-sized companies through pioneering partnerships with the private sector.
We have moved toward the 21st Century and a new era in telecommunications by enacting new policies that allow businesses and individuals to take full advantage of Information Age technology.
This administration, with the cooperation of labor and management, has developed a stable unemployment insurance system that provided for increases in worker benefits and curbed the growth in tax payments by employers.
- Through an innovative pollution prevention program we have shown business that increased recycling and environmental awareness does not need to ruin its bottom line and, in fact, can enhance it.
Indeed we have moved boldly to protect the environment and preserve our natural resources to foster a quality of life that increases the allure of doing business and raising a family in Illinois.
This administration, with the help of the Legislature and community leaders, has acted to force the removal of tons of radioactive hazardous waste from West Chicago.
Statewide we have reduced the amount of solid waste going into our dwindling landfills each of the years of this administration.
In the last two years the state of Illinois has collected $12 million from environmental polluters, twice the amount collected during the entire decade of the 1980s.
And the number of environmental pollution cases referred to prosecutors has risen nearly 40 percent.
Last year I called for a stable funding source for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites throughout Illinois and today I am renewing that call. We are moving ahead but I need your help.
This administration has demonstrated its commitment to preserving our heritage.
We are purchasing more than 15,000 acres of prairie habitat and woodland in Cass County, land that will be preserved and protected, land that will add to our treasure of natural area and recreational opportunities.
We are working to protect the thousand acres of wetlands in Lake County and we have acquired the Lowden-Miller State Forest along the Rock River.
Illinois is moving forward.
But we must be inspired and propelled by these achievements instead of resting on them. There is much more that we can and must do.
We have demanded accountability from our public schools requiring them to show they are teaching our students what they will need to know in the workplace of tomorrow.
We are the first state in the nation to guarantee employers that students in occupational programs at our community colleges are either proficiently trained or allowed to repeat a course at no cost if employers are dissatisfied with the results.
But we need to recognize and further emphasize the important link between education and economic development.
I was disappointed when the last General Assembly failed to pass my proposal to harness our far-flung job training and adult education efforts under the community college system and I urge the new General Assembly to approve it as quickly as possible.
Today I am also calling on the State Board of Education to launch initially on a pilot basis a workforce preparation program similar to one that has met with tremendous success in Germany.
The program, known as the Student Apprenticeship System, would marry education in the classroom with learning in a high performance workplace beginning in the sophomore year of high school and intensifying through the junior and senior years.
Its focus would be students who are not poised to pursue a four-year degree. Its graduates will possess a solid education, valuable skills and proven performance on the job as apprentices, in other words, they will be ready for a career in high-paying technical jobs.
Reform is also long overdue in another area vital to economic development and quality of life in Illinois.
We need to move now despite the opposition of some special interests to change laws in the product liability and medical malpractice areas.
We can and should compensate victims. But the tort system today is out of whack needlessly draining profits from business, boosting prices for consumers and limiting access to physicians in order to fatten the wallets of lawyers.
We also must be ever watchful for barriers that would inhibit or threaten a growing Illinois economy.
For that reason I soon will be announcing the membership of a Commission on Regulatory Review to address unjustified and unreasonable regulatory barriers to business expansion.
We must and we can continue to implement a new agenda for economic growth in Illinois without growing government.
We must not stifle growth through unwarranted intrusion into the private sector or through higher taxes.
Indeed we together held the line on state taxes even during perhaps the toughest fiscal times state government has faced.
And we together achieved that by bringing about dramatic changes in state government.
We have downsized state government.
There are thousands fewer state employees.
There are dozens of areas where we have slashed spending and increased efficiency.
And we have had the discipline to set priorities.
Essential state services remain in place for the truly needy.
We have implemented innovative programs that make better use of our limited resources and lead to greater benefits for society.
In partnership with the General Assembly we launched a creative program that has provided permanent jobs for many employable adults who had depended on a government check.
The success of Earnfare is testament to what is achievable when we dare to change by ending failed government programs and adopting new approaches.
We are giving people the confidence and experience they need to succeed in the workplace. We are giving them independence and dignity. And I want to see this new, exciting program expanded in the year ahead.
I also want us to expand another fresh initiative that will save lives and tax dollars.
Through our "Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids" program, we are preventing major health problems by helping poverty stricken mothers and children establish regular relationships with physicians.
Colds need not become pneumonia. Proper diet can prevent major health problems. And care in a physician's office is a lot less expensive than care in a hospital emergency room.
But even as we in Illinois have taken steps to control Medicaid costs, we have also bolstered our resources by aggressively capturing federal dollars that otherwise would go to other states. ,
By working with the federal government, we developed a program that has brought 740 million additional Medicaid dollars to Illinois.
We have rescued financially strapped hospitals and nursing homes that treat the poor, and we have expedited payments to Medicaid providers who still have to wait too long.
And if we do not continue that program or find a realistic alternative, we will see health care for the poor suffer dramatically in Illinois.
To be sure funding of health care for the poor will be one of the major challenges you, and I face this year. But there is another challenge perhaps even more daunting the continued reform of our child welfare system.
we have made strides in protecting our children from the terrible abuses too many of them face every day.
We have increased the budget for our child welfare programs by more than 40 percent since I became Governor.
We have expanded community-based programs.
But we all know money alone is not going to save the children from the tragedies of child abuse and the trauma of child neglect.
The changes in our society over the last few decades especially in the inner cities have been monumental and catastrophic.
We can and should hire more caseworkers. We can and should increase child welfare funding.
But we should also recognize that our child welfare system is not broke it is broken.
And we must dare to change how we approach this vital mission just as we have done in other areas of state government.
Today I am pleased to announce that the Casey Foundation is awarding Illinois a $200,000 grant to help us launch a massive re-evaluation of how services are delivered to children and families in Illinois.
And the foundation has pledged to help us implement the reforms that are certain to follow.
Meanwhile we must have the courage the compassion and the resolve to continue our reform of the mental health system in Illinois.
With the appointment of a new mental health director and new inspector general to serve with him I signaled last year that this administration is committed to providing the best treatment and care possible for those who have mental illness or disabilities.
We are determined to make sure that our state hospitals are adequately staffed and provide high quality care.
But we are equally committed to developing a comprehensive system of community-based programs that will allow those who need not be treated in state facilities to lead productive and dignified lives in their own communities.
On this and many other fronts state government is moving forward.
At the same time we have responded to the cries of homeowners that their local property taxes had soared out of control.
Eighteen months ago we put a cap on skyrocketing property taxes in the collar counties of metropolitan Chicago counties in which the growth had been especially astonishing.
We provided relief where such relief was most sorely needed. And we made an important public policy statement by doing so.
Government at all levels must do what we have done at the state level. They must streamline their budgets. They must spend wisely.
Many scoffed. They said caps would not work.
But guess what? They have.
Caps have cut property tax growth by nearly half in DuPage and Lake counties where homeowners had been socked with doubledigit increases year after year.
And now we should extend that protection to homeowners and small businessmen and women throughout Illinois.
I am not calling the General Assembly into specia1 session to enact tax caps as I did two years ago. But I strongly urge you to act before March 30, so that homeowners throughout Illinois will see the savings on their property tax bills this summer.
We also should ensure that we do not place extra burdens on local governments.
I have vetoed all legislation to impose unfunded mandates for local government since I became Governor, and I will continue to do so as long as I am Governor.
We also should work in partnership with local governments in other ways, realizing that many problems in this state require the skills and commitment of all of us.
Crime obviously is one of those problems.
For years politicians have talked about getting tough on crime. It's time some of us started talking about getting smart on crime.
Last year, I proposed and signed a new law establishing civil penalties for gang activity so we can go after the profits of ganglords.
Illinois enacted the nation's first law making stalking a felony, and we have streamlined the process for evicting drug dealers from public housing.
Our pioneering Instant-Check firearms identification program, which I believe will be a model for the nation, has kept guns out of the hands of more than 500 people who were potentially dangerous because they had criminal or mental health histories.
But we've got to become even more innovative.
We have one-of the nation's fastest growing prison populations. Our penitentiaries now hold one and a half times the number of inmates they were designed to house. We have constructed 15 prisons in 15 years, and it is becoming painfully obvious we can't build our way out of this problem.
We must still put violent, dangerous people behind bars.
But we need to look for alternative ways more boot camps, for example of handling convicted criminals whom we believe pose relatively little threat to society.
And we should also be trying to prevent crime.
This administration already is funding two pilot programs in Chicago that identify criminal hot spots areas where gang and domestic violence are mostly likely to flare.
Police, social workers and community leaders are teaming together in those neighborhoods to stop violence from spiraling out of control.
They are making a positive difference. And so will the Illinois National Guard.
Today I am announcing that members of the Guard will be called upon to work with disadvantaged young men and women high school dropouts ... to show them a lifestyle different than one they can learn on the streets of our cities.
It is far better -- far better -- to have the Guard members teaching self-discipline, fitness, family responsibility, and other life skills than to have the guard restoring order to neighborhoods torn asunder by civil war.
These are but two examples of what we can to prevent crime. But even as we escalate our efforts to prevent crime from happening we must continue to crack down on the criminals.
Those who mastermind the violent and deadly competition for lucrative drug markets should face the death penalty. I want that legislation passed so I can sign it into law.
And those who buy drugs must be held more accountable. The user as well as the seller must bear responsibility.
First-time drug offenders should not be given supervision and have their records wiped clean after a year or so.
They should face a mandatory minimum penalty of a $1,000 fine or community service and that conviction should be kept on their records for at least ten years. I want that legislation passed this year too.
Until we choke off the supply of drugs and the demand all of us will pay a price but especially the young.
They represent the future of this state and hundreds of thousands of them will not reach their potential if we don't win the war on drugs and if we don't insist on drug-free schools and excellence in our educational system.
We must ensure that the next generation of our citizens the children entering the classroom and the youth entering the workplace will prosper.
As Abraham Lincoln once suggested, a child is someone who we teach to take our place when we are gone.
It is our responsibility today to ensure that place is worth taking. It is our obligation to ensure that child is prepared to take our place a generation from now.
We must make every effort to touch every child to encourage that boy or girl to praise them when they succeed, to counsel them when they fall short.
Our future can be only as bright as our students. And their future is directly tied to the capability and dedication of those who teach them.
Fortunately there are thousands of brilliant, committed teachers making a positive difference in the lives of millions of young people throughout our state. But we need more of the best more of the brightest.
We should reform our system of teaching our teachers.
We have discouraged many of our brightest college graduates from teaching in our high schools because of our outmoded approaches to training teachers.
We have a system that prevents a Ph.D. in mathematics from teaching a high school algebra class because he or she did not take the necessary classes for teacher certification.
We have a system that prevents a master craftsman from teaching students in our schools how to repair a television or to operate a drill-press simply because he was not an education major" in college.
Today I am proposing we build on the models in Chicago and Glenview and develop an Illinois Teacher Corps that will allow those individuals and others dike them to move into the classroom and share their knowledge and expertise with a new generation of students.
We can do that with an intensive program that gives those professionals training in teaching methods and practices rather than requiring them to complete hours of class time for certification.
And today I am proposing that high achievers in the fields of science, math, foreign language and history likewise be given the opportunity to teach in our high schools without completing the traditional education course work.
In exchange for a teaching commitment we will offer tuition assistance for them to earn their master's degrees at any university in Illinois.
Some will say that is throwing away the rule book. So be it. And while we're at it there is another area where the rules ought to be rewritten. We need to do a better job with the Chicago public school system.
Throughout the Chicago school system there are pockets of excellence.
Learning happens in Chicago as it does throughout the state. But a scant 43 percent of children in the Chicago public schools graduate from high school.
The reading skills of the city's third-graders are deteriorating not improving.
If we are to reform urban education, and we must, it is time to break down the barriers in state law and local bureaucracy that stifle innovation, that block local decision-making and that prevent students from learning.
We need to give the Chicago schools some flexibility to do the job better. We need to try some new approaches. We need to try new things that are not bound by the limitations of Illinois law books.
I propose we create the educational version of enterprise zones for a significant part of the Chicago public school system.
I challenge the General Assembly, the organized educational establishment, the Chicago Board of Education and the local school councils of Chicago to join with me in creating a Learning Zone for the city of Chicago.
We should organize a cluster of schools and classrooms under a set of principles and a budget that has but one overriding concern - the direct improvement of our children's tomorrows.
If an expenditure does not directly enhance a child's learning, it should not be made. If non-traditional spending will help a child learn, spend it. If a rule stands in the way of a child's education, set it aside.
Again, by daring to experiment, by daring to move away from business as usual, we can find new ways to educate the children of Chicago, and we can carry those successes to other Chicago public schools and to schools in other parts of Illinois.
Meanwhile, we need to spur more parental involvement in schools across our state. Too often we simply turn our children over to teachers we do not know and to school buildings we do not visit.
So today I am announcing that a Governor's Conference on Education and Parenting will be held with the co-sponsorship of the State Board of Education.
I want that conference to develop suggestions and recommendations that will encourage greater involvement by mothers and fathers and show parents that their involvement can make a significant difference in their child's learning.
We are quick to blame our schools for all the problems and frustrations when our children do not meet our expectations. We need to realize that we, all of us, should share that blame.
No matter how good our teachers are, no matter how good our educational programs are, a child who is malnourished, sick or troubled by family problems at home will not perform to his ability and learn.
Each year we spend more than $6 billion in state resources -and more than that when you include local resources on behalf of the children of Illinois. That is more than $6,000 for every child in this state.
But we have fragmented our spending into specialized health services, anti-drug programs child welfare assistance and dozens of other self-contained, uncoordinated social programs.
We have failed to integrate that spending in the one place where children spend most of their daylight hours the school building.
Through Project Success a program we launched last year on a pilot basis with Lieutenant Governor Kustra playing a leading role we have integrated programs assisting children in six communities from Chicago to Joppa.
Now I am proposing to expand Project Success to 50 schools throughout the state so we can reach thousands more students who are now teetering between the edge of success and the brink of failure.
We need to spend more on education in Illinois, and I am prepared to present a budget in March that will provide more.
But we need to remind ourselves constantly that money is not the only answer, and money without reforms is no answer.
Not in elementary and second education. Not in higher education.
We have some of the most respected universities in this nation, but let's face it: They are operating under a system that encourages duplication and discourages innovation and productivity.
I commend the Board of Higher Education for launching a sweeping re-evaluation, along with the state's universities, of the priorities and quality of their programs.
We must shed the notion that every university should offer degrees in all educational areas. We must eliminate programs that exist to serve only a handful of faculty and an even smaller number of students.
We must upgrade our undergraduate instruction, and we must work to make sure that our undergraduate students can- complete a four-year degree in four years.
Our universities should have classes available for the students who are enrolled, and they should eliminate classes for which there is little if any demand.
It is also time that we restore accountability to those universities by e-liminating the Board of Regents and the Board of Governors.
And allowing the universities to have their own governing boards as the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University and private colleges and universities throughout the state now do.
That is the recommendation of a task force headed by Lieutenant Governor Kustra and Art Quern, chairman of the Board of Higher Education.
And I concur. The individual governing boards will not require the bureaucracies that now spend millions of dollars and make it difficult to fix responsibility.
I also agree with the task force's recommendation that the Board of Trustees at the University of Illinois be appointed instead of elected on a partisan basis.
We need to make changes in Illinois higher education and we need to look to higher education to be in the vanguard of change we need throughout Illinois as it already is.
Today I am committing the state to an initiative by the Illinois Community College Board and the Illinois Board of Higher Education to use new telecommunications technology to link classrooms throughout the state in a network for long distance learning.
When I look out at this Assembly today, I see lots of new faces. We have an opportunity in the next few months to explore your fresh ideas and new approaches to build on what we already have accomplished.
Over the past two years the Legislature and I have worked together to resolve the challenges facing Illinois.
There is little question that Illinois is a stronger state today than it was a year ago, and little doubt that our citizens are better off today than they were a year ago, or ten years ago when another recessionary storm hit Illinois.
Our conditions are improved, our revenues are growing and coming in on target. But our revenues are not growing as fast as many of the programs that were enacted in the last decade which will require us once again to make tough fiscal decisions.
So, we must continue to review existing programs and dare to change to innovate.
Our challenges are great, but our resolve must be even greater. Our responsibility is serious, but the consequences of shirking our responsibility are even more serious.
We have a solemn obligation to leave this state an even better place with even greater opportunities for our children and our grandchildren.
That has been the test of every generation before us. That has been the legacy of nearly every generation before us.
We should not be the first generation in many to fail that test, to fail our responsibility, to fail our children.
How well we prepare this state for the trials of the 21st Century will be the measure of our success. How far we fall short will be the yardstick of our failure.
Together, we must turn challenge into opportunity, apathy into involvement and adversity into advantage.
Together, we must work to build a tomorrow for Illinois that will allow future generations of Illinoisans to look back at our work with pride and gratitude.
Together, we must transform areas of despair and decay into areas of dreams and determination, where all our children can grow, prosper and rightfully and capably take our places in the world.
Indiana 93 Bayh
My friends, we meet at a time of fundamental economic change for the world, for our nation, and for our state. Workers and businesses are threatened by technological change at home and low wage competition from abroad. New plants and factories are built without regard to state or national borders. Revolutionary ideas, information and products transform the marketplace with lightning speed. Our world is being divided between those with high skills and high-paying jobs and those with low skills who must settle for low-paying jobs - or all too often, no jobs at all. My friends, let us resolve to preserve those things we cherish by making economic change our ally, not our foe. For Indiana, the implications of this changing world economy are profound. The ideological and military struggles of yesterday have given way to a battle for economic growth and prosperity today.
At stake is nothing less than the character of our country, our quality of life and the kind of future our children will inherit. Also at stake is our ability to help those less fortunate and more vulnerable, providing them their share of an increasing prosperity. And so, tonight I issue a call to economic arms, asking each of us to enlist in the fight for Indiana's future, a fight for good jobs at good wages in growing businesses and a growing state. The battle will not be easy. The days of simple solutions and success without sacrifice are long gone. But if we stand united - not as Republicans or Democrats, rich or poor, black or white but as Hoosiers and Americans - then we have reason to hope, for the tools for economic renewal are squarely in our hands. Our economic future must rest upon four cornerstones: fiscal stability; aggressive economic development; improved public education; and meaningful health care reform. It is about these four cornerstones that I speak to you tonight. The foremost cornerstone in assuring economic growth and prosperity is maintaining fiscal stability. It is no accident that Indiana's economy has fared better than most during the recession - ranking second in the nation in new jobs created and first among industrial states in new manufacturing plants. Over and over again, business leaders mention our bipartisan commitment to fiscal responsibility as a primary reason for choosing Indiana. Last year, we broke ground on the largest job creating project in the United States, the United Airlines maintenance facility, generating 6,300 good jobs averaging 45,000 dollars per year. In explaining why Indiana was chosen over dozens of other states, United said, " ... We were impressed with the financial viability of the state, and the fact that the state has been running a surplus with no noticeable loss in the quality of government services." With the strong help of many in the General Assembly, we have maintained budgetary discipline. We have not raised taxes. There have been no significant reductions in state services. Public investment in education has grown. And state financial reserves have remained healthy.
Our situation is particularly attractive when compared to the disastrous results in other states - massive tax hikes, huge layoffs, slashed services and shrinking economies. We have seen what debt and deficits have done to the federal government, national economy and other states.
It must not happen here. The question before us in this session of the Legislature is whether this cornerstone of fiscal stability can endure in the face of a challenge even more profound than the recent recession: our nation's health care crisis and the financial hemorrhaging it has caused in the state's Medicaid program.
Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that pays for health care for the poor; it is not the same as Medicare, the federal program that pays for health care for the elderly. Fueled by payments to health care providers far above the national average, by increases in health care costs two and three times the rate of inflation, by optional services not provided by other states, by federal mandates adding hundreds of thousands of people to the program, and by a host of other factors, our state's Medicaid costs have been increasing 20 percent per year and more. Just in the last four years, Medicaid spending has increased by 529 million dollars per year, enough to hire 15,000 new teachers for our schools, provide 284,000 full college scholarships for our students, and train or retrain 230,000 adults for new and productive jobs every year. Spending on Medicaid has grown faster than aid to local schools, faster than higher education funding, faster than mental health support, faster than job training assistance, faster than environmental protection programs, faster than anti-drug efforts, faster than technology funding and faster than infrastructure investment. It has grown so large and so fast that Medicaid now severely limits our ability to fund these other areas that are vital to Indiana's future. Clearly, we must act.
There are only three options: We can ask for further sacrifice from taxpayers by raising taxes. We can cut other major parts of the budget, such as aid to education, or we can dramatically restructure the financing and operation of Medicaid. The choice, while not easy, is clear. Taxpayers have already made a major commitment to Medicaid by increasing spending more than half a billion dollars during difficult economic times. Asking Hoosiers to pay more in taxes for Medicaid, particularly with the national economy still weak, is not the right approach. And our ability to compete in the new world economy depends upon improving public education. Now is no time to retreat. We will not cut aid to our schools. We must therefore commit ourselves to a complete overhaul of the way Medicaid is financed and operated. We are doing much already. Our administration has: - established a new Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning, under the able leadership of Jim Verdier, to intensify Medicaid cost control; - taken numerous steps to save 30 million dollars annually in lower state Medicaid costs for chiropractic, transportation, psychiatric and nursing services; generated 200 million dollars in new federal Medicaid support; ordered implementation of managed care for Medicaid patients; - beefed up our efforts to crack down on the 50-70 million dollars lost annually to Medicaid fraud and abuse; and ensured that quality of care will be preserved by involving the state's chief health officer, Dr. Chris Bailey, in our Medicaid restructuring efforts. Unfortunately, the magnitude of the problem demands that more must be done, and all options must be on the table. Let me be specific: Number One: We must decrease the amount the state pays for Medicaid services. Indiana pays many health care providers well above the national average. This contributes to our spending per Medicaid recipient being 8th highest in the United States and more than any neighboring state. If we reduce what Indiana spends per Medicaid recipient to just the national average, we will save nearly 300 million dollars annually. If we reduce our spending to that of Ohio, we will save nearly 300 million dollars annually. If we reduce our spending to that of Illinois or Michigan or Kentucky, we would save nearly 400 million dollars every year. In fact, if Indiana's spending per Medicaid recipient was the same as that Michigan, Kentucky or Illinois, we would have no Medicaid problem today at all!! Our neighbors have found a way to provide quality, compassionate care to their Medicaid patients. They just do it for less. Now, so must we. Number Two: We must curtail Medicaid coverage for optional services not essential to good, basic health care and must more strictly regulate abuse of those optional services we keep. Number Three: We must consider using money currently in other health care programs for the poor to pay Medicaid expenses. Number Four: We must consider imposing co-payments on Medicaid patients to discourage unnecessary treatments and help offset costs. Number Five: We must stop the manipulation of Medicaid eligibility rules by patients and their attorneys. Number Six: We must consider limiting eligibility for the Indiana Medicaid program only to those individuals who are required by the federal government to be covered by Medicaid. Number Seven: We must consider using only providers of health care services willing to give taxpayers the best price. Number Eight: We must consider setting limits on the kinds and number of health care procedures for which Medicaid will pay. Number Nine: We must consider changing from a fee-for-service Medicaid system to a fixed payment approach. This would give both health care providers and recipients an incentive to provide only medically necessary care in the most cost effective way. Number Ten: We must consider, as in Illinois and many other states, imposing access charges on the health care industry to assist taxpayers in paying the state's share of Medicaid. While this is controversial, and I consider it a last resort, it is undeniable that those in the health care industry have done well financially in recent years. We must consider whether, in return, they have a special responsibility to help pay for health care for the poor. My friends, I am confident that if we work together and examine all the options, we can achieve consensus and resolve Indiana's Medicaid crisis. I am willing to do my part. At my direction, studies are under way to determine how much the federal government and courts will allow us to reduce payments for Medicaid services. Once they are done, we will act. Our goal is to save 100 million dollars a year or more. I have ordered the Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning to develop reasonable restrictions on the use of both mandatory and optional Medicaid procedures. When finished, they will be adopted. Our goal is to save another 100 million dollars each year. In addition, I have: ordered that disproportionate share payments to state psychiatric hospitals be increased, saving 15 million dollars annually; ordered implementation of managed care for Medicaid patients, saving 5 million dollars more; Of course, we will continue to fight the attempt by some nursing home owners to get more than 150 million dollars in unjustified payments from the taxpayers. If successful, this will save another 18 million dollars per year. Altogether, these actions will save 514 million dollars over the biennium, solving somewhat more than half of the Medicaid problem. But even when all of the options at my disposal have been exhausted, a yawning gap will still remain. And so weekly meetings with the Legislature have begun to examine every option, calculate the savings, set priorities and build the consensus needed for a complete solution. This can be done. We can change this system for the better, but to do so, we must also change ourselves. Providers and suppliers must not seek excessive profit at taxpayer expense. Recipients must know that there is no such thing as "free" medical care, and must act as if the dollars they spend were their own. And all of us must remember those who pay the bills, the wage earners and businesses of our state. There is a limit to the sacrifice that we can ask of them, and for every tax dollar we devote unnecessarily to Medicaid, that's one less dollar for education, job creation and the other things a bout which we so deeply care. So let us work together to develop a consensus on the best approach, understanding that none will be easy. Let us demand sacrifice from ourselves and responsible behavior from all. And let us, together, maintain the cornerstone to Indiana's economic future, fiscal stability, firmly in its place. The second cornerstone for business and job growth must be aggressive economic development. Here, too, we have an impressive record. Under the able leadership of Lieutenant Governor Frank O'Bannon, our bipartisan state and local partnership has brought us favorable national attention not only on United Airlines, but on a host of other projects. I want to thank this Legislature for expediting our special legislation for the Defense Finance Center and the thousands of jobs it may mean for our state. I look forward to having that legislation on my desk in the next few days, and I will sign it immediately. But we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. The competition from our fellow states is intensifying as never before. To our south, Kentucky is using an aggressive new package of economic development incentives to lure new businesses and jobs. To our east, Ohio has met the challenge by enacting sweeping new economic development legislation. We cannot afford to sit idly by while our neighbors step up their efforts in the battle for jobs and growth.
And so, tonight I ask this General Assembly to join with me to give us the tools to compete with these new programs, in persuading businesses to locate new jobs in Indiana I ask for passage of our Indiana EDGE (Economic Development for a Growing Economy) Initiative. Our Indiana EDGE initiative will be used to eliminate incentive shortfalls between Indiana and other states. It will be available only for new jobs paying wages above the community average. And it can be used only where local government has demonstrated its commitment to a project by maximizing the use of local resources. This legislation will be a powerful weapon in Indiana's arsenal: - it targets only good-paying jobs, and the more the jobs pay the more the credit is worth; it is flexible and can be used for whatever a company needs; it will attract good-paying jobs in both manufacturing and non- manufacturing industries; and it helps existing Indiana businesses and new businesses alike. My friends, in the battle for new jobs and economic growth, we cannot afford to disarm unilaterally and watch Ohio, Kentucky and other states pass Indiana by. Let us level the playing field by giving Indiana the economic EDGE. But to truly win the battle for new jobs and growth, we must do more than simply match other states. We must break new ground. And so tonight, I request this Legislature to: assist small companies get the financing they need by enacting our Capital Access Program; - fund an expanded trade initiative with offices in Canada and Mexico; - promote growth in depressed areas by expanding Indiana's Enterprise Zone program; and most important of all, tonight I request that this Legislature join with me in expanding dramatically the investment we make in the skills of our workforce by enacting the Workforce Training Trust Fund. At our economic summit in Indianapolis, and at forums throughout the state, workforce skills were mentioned over and over as a key to economic growth and good jobs. This was no accident.
In the new global economy, ideas and capital transcend geographic borders. The Dutch invented the compact disc and disc player, but neither is manufactured in Holland today. We Americans invented the fax machine and the camcorder, but they're not made here anymore. Today, it's as easy to build a new factory in Malaysia as it is in Muncie. In a world where money and ideas are readily movable, we must focus upon those things that are not: our workers first and foremost. That is why workforce development is so important. That is why tackling the scourge of adult illiteracy is so important. That is why an education for every citizen that teaches problem solving, teamwork, critical thinking, and analysis, along with solid basic skills in language and math, is so important. And that is why this Legislature's action is so important. Important, but not difficult. We can fund this dramatic expansion of workforce investment without touching a dime from the General Fund. That's right: we can provide better job opportunities to thousands of Hoosiers without diminishing the funds available for education, universities, Medicaid or mental health. Indiana's Unemployment Compensation Fund has a balance of more than 900 million dollars. Using only a portion of the interest and penalties would generate 40 million dollars, enough to train 80,000 workers over four years. I realize this is a controversial notion for some, but it makes too much sense and the need is too great not to act. So let us use our resources to save jobs and improve businesses and not wait until both have been lost. Let us enact the Workforce Training Trust Fund and let us do it now. With these initiatives - to attract new jobs, to finance small business, to promote trade, to expand enterprise zones, and to train our workers - the second cornerstone in the foundation of Indiana's economic future, aggressive economic development, will be firmly in place. The third cornerstone to Indiana's economic future must be improved public education. There is much of which to be proud. There is also much to do.
While other states cut aid to education during the national recession, we have increased funding for Indiana's schools every year. State spending for education programs in the current budget is 1 .3 billion dollars higher than in the budget just four years ago. And despite our current tight fiscal picture, we have proposed increasing state support for local schools and higher education yet again: a combined 124 million dollars. As a result, Indiana will spend a higher percentage of state and local taxes on education than almost any other state. We are also beginning to see the results of important initiatives begun during the first term of this administration. Let me cite just three. To achieve the national goal that every child start school healthy and ready to learn, our Step Ahead process was enacted in 1991. Now organized in all 92 counties, local Step Ahead councils coordinate preschool education, prenatal care, child health services, child care, and latchkey programs. To promote excellence in math and science, our program to encourage students to take advanced placement exams was enacted in 1990. Today, the number of Hoosier students taking advanced exams in math and science has increased almost 1,000 percent. And to improve elementary and secondary education, we freed many local schools from the state bureaucracy and initiated public school choice. To date, 96 schools have been designated "Discovery Schools." They are free to waive most state rules and regulations, and within the next three years will be open to any child within their district.
Each of these initiatives and I could cite many more is part of the education cornerstone of our Foundation for Indiana's Economic Future. But, as I mentioned, more must be done. And it involves not just spending money or enacting programs. Let us establish world-class standards that clearly define what achievement we expect from every Hoosier student in math, science, and the language arts. Let us devise a new generation of student evaluations, ones that test not only our children's ability to memorize but their capacity to reason, communicate and work together. Let us increase productivity in our classrooms by increasing our investment in new computers and the latest educational technology. Let us empower parents by giving them greater freedom to choose their child's public school And let us fight the problem of high school students dropping out before they're old enough to understand the terrible consequences by raising the dropout age from 16 to 18 years old. My friends, I look forward to working with you - members of the Legislature, Superintendent of Public Instruction Suellen Reed, educators, business leaders, members of the public to improve the quality of our public schools and in so doing strengthen this important cornerstone in the Foundation for Indiana's Economic Future. Businesses' health care spending has more than doubled in the last ten years and is expected to double again by the year 2000. Hoosier families are experiencing similar increases, and neither profits nor wages are keeping up. General Motors is Indiana's largest employer, and we all know about the layoffs and tough times that company faces. Little wonder. Each GM vehicle costs hundreds of dollars more than a comparable German or Japanese model, just because of higher health care costs. Not substandard engineering. Not an inferior work ethic. Just higher health care costs. I vividly recall talking with a GM employee in Marion, a single mother, shortly after the company's layoff plans were announced. She told me, "If I lose my job, I'll get by. I've always worked for a living and always will. But what about my two kids? How am I going to afford 600 dollars a month for their health care if I lose my coverage?" Much of the answer to her question must come from Washington, and I am pleased to see that the new national administration has put health care reform squarely at the top of its agenda. But while a complete solution to our country's health care crisis is beyond the power of any single state, we can make a significant contribution. And so, we will. Tonight, I am asking this General Assembly to enact a sweeping series of health care reforms based upon the recommendations of the Health Policy Commission. These reforms will: - permit health care providers to form networks and reduce costs; - improve access to health care and enhance the quality of care; reduce duplication of expensive technologies; establish "best practice" guidelines for treating the most expensive illnesses; fight our shortage of doctors, especially family practitioners, by encouraging graduates of Indiana University's Medical School to remain in Indiana and practice family medicine; and provide more extensive information to all of us, the public, so we can be more knowledgeable health care consumers.
This will be a long-term process. Health care reform is long overdue. But if we work together - those who receive, those who provide, and those who pay - then we will see substantial benefits for our families, our businesses, and our state. With Medicaid costs under control, sweeping state health care reform under way, and the health care crisis at the top of the national agenda, the fourth cornerstone of our Foundation for Indiana's Economic Future will be in place. My friends, let me leave you with the words of a Hoosier building trades official I encountered some time ago. When I asked how he was doing, he paused, looked up at me and said, Mr. Politician, do you really want to know how I'm doing? I mean, do you really want to know? "Well, let me tell you what it's like for me and the people I represent. I have grown men and grown women coming into my office day after day with tears in their eyes, tears because they can't pay their mortgage and their home has been foreclosed on, tears because they can't meet their car payment and their car has been repossessed. Tears because they've lost their jobs.
"But more than anything else, tears because they've lost their hope, their hope that they can make it in this country again. "They don't believe, and I don't believe, that you or anybody else cares about them or their problems any more." My friends, we must care. But more than that, we must act. And so I ask you to join with me to fight, for that man and for thousands just like him, for good jobs and a growing economy; to lay a solid foundation for opportunity and hope. And to prove that, in Indiana, there is still reason to rejoice in the prospect of a better tomorrow.
And may God bless us in our endeavors.
Iowa 93 Branstad
President Boswell, Speaker Van Maanen, Lt. Governor Corning, Chief Justice McGivern, Justices and Judges, other State Officials, Senators and Representatives, Distinguished Guests and Friends. As I stand before you this morning and look out over this sea of new faces, I can hardly contain my enthusiasm. In the faces of these 37 new legislators, I see new energy, integrity, and commitment to public service. I see faces washed by the waters of idealism and cleansed by an abiding love for Iowa. These faces, from both sides of the aisle, will change the countenance of this General Assembly and the state. And that is good. We gather here in this grand Capitol on this 12th day of January in the year 1993 with renewed vigor and vitality. We come here to dedicate our energies and idealism toward a common mission - to renew all that is good in this state. 1993 is, indeed, the year of renewal in Iowa; a new era of Iowa government. It is in these times that we measure our success not by how much of the taxpayers' money we have spent, but in how much we have saved. It is in this era that we focus not just on the burdens of government, but on the opportunities and responsibilities of private citizens. It is in this year, 1993, that we pursue the job of reinventing government in Iowa as an agent of positive change, growth and development for all of our citizens.
Change does not come easily or quickly, especially in Iowa. You can't turn an oceanliner on a dime, but the state of Iowa is, slowly but surely, undergoing real transformation from a troubled economy to one that is diverse and growing.
More than 20 years ago, businessman King Whitney Jr. was quoted in the Wall Street Journal saying, "Change has considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better." What this quote says to me is - your character and frame of mind determine how ready you are to bring about change, and how you react when change happens to you.
Hard work, honesty, friendliness and a commitment to public service remain my guiding principles. As Governor, I am working every day for positive change in Iowa; I want changes that will make a difference in this state not just tomorrow, but fifty a nd one hundred years from now. Our task, while challenging, is achievable. For we have so much good in Iowa. Our people are decent, hardworking, able and caring. Our land is fertile; our industries competitive and increasingly diversified. And our farmers and workers are the most productive in the world.
Iowa is a place where neighbors still pitch in to lend a hand, both in times of tragedy and times of joy. In Iowa, our schools still give our children the education they need to succeed. And, in Iowa, citizens still can make change happen - in their government and in their communities.
In this state, Iowa, the land between two rivers, the heartland of America, still beats the pulse of America's essential goodness, neighborliness, and reverence for the land. We don't have the mountains or climate of California. But we don't have its problems either. And, in Iowa, unlike so many other parts of our country and world, problems still get solved.
Last year, I had the unenviable task of telling this body that our state's budget was off track. Indeed, two decades of government overspending - one fueled by the elixir of inflation and the other by the demands of a devastating farm crisis left our state's budget in the soup. The people demanded change. And they got it.
In 1992, we cut spending by 140 million dollars. We cut the practice of automatically spending more of the taxpayers' money. The bulk of the sales tax adjustment was used to pay the court-ordered salary increases for state employees with the balance committed to putting our budget back in order.
Today, I can report to you that our budget is back on track. Our challenge and our first priority is to demonstrate the fiscal discipline necessary to fulfill our commitment of last year. The budget I am submitting today does just that. But I need your cooperation and assistance to see that we achieve our goal of a budget that is not only balanced, but balanced in accordance with the proposed 1995 GAAP rules by the end of this biennium. And we will do that without raising taxes.
With this budget we should signal our commitment to change: 1. The budget spends less than the projected revenue growth in compliance with our state spending limits enacted last year. 2. The budget contains no supplemental appropriations, clearly breaking with the short-sighted practices of the past that pushed spending obligations into subsequent years and led to the GAAP deficit. 3. The budget continues the process of eliminating automatic budget increases and places controls and reforms in areas of state spending that are still out of control. 4. The budget contains no tax increases. Today, I am submitting a budget for the next two years. This is the earliest I have ever submitted a budget. I want to help you set your sights on balancing the budget and completing the spending reforms. This will keep Iowa on track to fiscal stability. I encourage you to pass a two-year budget to ensure long-range planning. This will give you an opportunity next year -- and in the second year of subsequent General Assemblies -- to do a top-to-bottom review of all state programs. I ask the General Assembly to join with the executive branch of state government and me in a commitment to the quality principals of continuous improvement.
Ross Perot is fond of saying that government officials should treat taxpayers like customers. Well, I think Ross is only half right - taxpayers aren't just our customers, they're our bosses, too. It is only with the citizens' consent that we govern. It is their money we spend; it is their budget. The guiding principle of this General Assembly should be to be good stewards of the public funds. And to tax increases, we should simply say, "No." Iowa taxpayers deserve to have all areas of the budget carefully controlled to see that we are getting the best and most efficient use of our fiscal resources. Now is the time to take the rest of the state budget, including that of the legislature itself, off auto pilot. We can no longer accept the status quo. When we ask the question, "Why are we doing things this way?" often the answer is, "Because that's the way it's always been done." That isn't good enough. If our processes and procedures are inefficient or too expensive, we have a responsibility to change and improve them. Even though we took some important action last year, we must do more to control Medicaid, mental health and indigent defense costs. We must make this the decade of change in state government. Change is inevitable, and we should not fear it. Rather we should direct change in a positive way to make state government more responsive and accountable to the people of Iowa.
I encourage this General Assembly to begin the process of providing Iowa voters with the opportunity to vote on fundamental changes in our State Constitution. I recommend the Taxpayer's Rights Amendment, a prohibition against unfunded mandates to local governments, and an increase in maximum fines for criminal offenses. All of these changes are needed and each will require passage by this General Assembly and the next General Assembly before the people of Iowa will have an opportunity to vote on them. Our second priority in this General Assembly should be economic growth and development. For nearly a decade now, we have made economic development a top priority. Now that we are making moderate progress it is no time to let up. In fact, now is the time to strengthen and intensify our efforts to encourage and assist in the creation of more quality private sector jobs in Iowa.
After much struggle, we improved Iowa's competitiveness for new business; we put in place economic incentives that are rated among the best in the country; we invested in a dramatic Transportation 2000 program that has already built or refurbished 459 miles of roads and 276 miles of recreational trails; and we are building a fiber optic communication highway of the future that will become a lifeline for our rural areas. We invested in performance-based education and job training to keep our workers the best in the country; we targeted value-added agricultural industries and finance, insurance and biotechnology for growth; and we finally began to tell the Iowa story to decision-makers throughout the country and world. That commitment to economic development worked.
We are creating more quality jobs each year. Most important, more young families are staying and coming back to Iowa. After 19 years of declining enrollment, we have now experienced four straight years of growth in our public schools. By gosh, even the Census Bureau has finally acknowledged that Iowa's population has been growing since 1990. We have turned the corner in Iowa. The decade-long trend of outmigration is over. People are now coming to our state. Iowans are returning and staying here. But we're far from done. Our goals now are to keep growth going in Iowa; to bring even higher quality jobs here; and to give all parts of Iowa and all citizens a chance to grow. Our economic growth is not uniform, but it is encouraging, and in stark contrast to the decade of the eighties when less than 10% of Iowa's counties experienced growth. In the decade of the nineties, more than half of our 99 counties and about 60% of our school districts are growing. We have gained momentum, but we cannot become complacent. We intend to strengthen and intensify our efforts.
Agriculture has always been the life blood of Iowa's economy. Agriculture has gone through a dramatic transition throughout our state's history, from the subsistence agriculture of the past to today's highly efficient farmers who feed the world. We must continue to add value to our farm commodities by completing our dramatic five-year commitment to agriculture research. Agriculture producers need to be partners with our university researchers so we can maximize the practical benefits of our agriculture research investments. Value-added farm commodities provide great hope for economic growth in our rural areas. A one percent increase in our share of the livestock production market means 20,000 new jobs for Iowans.
We need to help farmers comply with environmental regulations and encourage livestock production and additional food processing that creates new products and new jobs in Iowa. I plan to establish a Livestock Development Task Force comprised of representatives from livestock production and processing. I will also designate an Iowa Director of Livestock Development to work with the task force and government agencies to revitalize our livestock industry and develop a world competitive, value-added livestock program. Iowa has much to be proud of and Iowans need not be shy about our strengths. We need to intensify our state's promotional efforts in national and international marketing, tourism, and the motion picture industry. Our efforts to market Iowa paid off last year with recognition from Inc. Magazine and its annual conference of the 500 fastest-growing privately-owned companies in America. Next year the state of Iowa will host the first-ever Inc. 100 conference for the 100 fastest-growing publicly-owned companies in America. Inc. Magazine Publisher Jay McDonald, said, "We chose Iowa for this event because of the state's commitment and vision for business development." We have targeted growth in the following industries: insurance/financial and communication services; value-added food products; plastics; pharmaceuticals; computer/software development; primary and fabricated metals; medical instruments; printing and packaging products. In addition, we must continue to make Iowa competitive for quality jobs in the capital-intensive industries of the future.
We should immediately give Iowa communities the authority to exempt new industrial machinery and equipment from property tax. I believe this change will give local communities another means to help create thousands of quality jobs in Iowa. Our plan to create quality jobs is working. By sticking with our plan, we will have even greater success in creating more quality jobs. More quality jobs will mean increased employment opportunities and better incomes for a highly skilled workforce. The third priority of this General Assembly must be education. Education has always been the cornerstone of our state's economic development strategy. Despite a very tight budget, we are investing an increasing share of the state budget in education. Nearly 60% of the new money in this budget is going to education, with most of the rest of it going for Medicaid. I am recommending 60 million dollars more in state aid to public schools, full funding for non-public school transportation, and an increase of 1 million dollars for the Iowa Tuition Grant program in order to help some 900 more Iowa students with financial need attend Iowa's independent colleges. This budget includes additional funding for the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa. It also provides increased funding for our community colleges that have helped many non-traditional students, like my wife Chris, launch new careers. With this investment in education comes flexibility and increased expectations for results. We should move away from an excessive checklist of state mandates. Instead, we should provide local schools, teachers and parents with more flexibility to focus on improving the final product - productive workers and good citizens. Our fourth priority in this General Assembly is to improve the quality of life for our citizens. Government cannot and should not replace individual responsibility in the lives of our families and communities. But it can, and should, act as a partner to help people in need move from dependence to self-sufficiency.
That is why I am recommending to you today a wide-ranging welfare reform program. This program will establish a contract with welfare recipients that requires responsibilities on their part, too. I've included a health care reform plan that will improve access to health care, particularly in rural Iowa, and help contain health care costs without burdening businesses with yet another tax.
In Iowa our environment continues to be clean and healthy and we are making improvements. Iowa's pioneering groundwater protection act preserves and sustains both the healthy environment and rich tradition of agriculture we have in this state. Its impact represents a valuable legacy for generations to come. According to recent studies by the Leopold Center at Iowa State University, we have reduced the amount of pollution in our groundwater by working with farmers throughout the state. Also, for the first time in our state's history, we are now increasing the amount of forested acres in Iowa, thanks to our aggressive tree-planting efforts. Iowa is still a relatively safe state. But every crime shocks the victims, their families and their communities. We need to get tough on crime. I recommend the death penalty for criminals convicted of two Class A felonies, like the killing of a rape or kidnap victim. Also, it is time to put 17-year-old violent offenders on notice that they will be tried as an adult for the commission of forcible felonies such as burglary, assault, robbery, murder, rape and kidnapping.
Iowa law needs to be changed so that child victims can be allowed to testify without the defendant being physically present as now permitted by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Maryland v. Craig. Today, the state of the state is good and getting better. We are getting our budget under control, our economy is growing, our education is top-notch and our quality of life unmatched. Democracy in Iowa is strong. The people have spoken by electing you as their representatives to steward their resources, set their priorities and manage their change.
All of us, Republicans and Democrats, seek to do what is best for Iowa. All of us want growth and prosperity for our citizens. All of us will work to renew what is good about our home here in Iowa. But most of all, each of us brings enthusiasm and vigor to our task. Our success will be measured not only by our fiscal responsibility; but by the good jobs we help create; the education we provide our children; and the quality of life our citizens enjoy. These are our priorities. That is our mission. This is our task. With your help we will succeed. Thank you and God bless you.