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Joint | February 18, 2013 | Press Room | State of the State

Full MP3 Audio File

Sargeant at arms is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister president. I have the honor to announce the presence of his excellency , the governor of the state of North Carolina, the honorable Pat McCrory. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Speaker Pro Tempore ?? is recognized. Members of the general assembly, distinguished guests, his excellency the governor of the state of North Carolina, the honorable Pat McCrory. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. Please be seated. About five weeks ago, when I was being sworn in as governor and they called me your excellency, both my wife and I looked behind us to see who they were talking about. What an honor this is to be here tonight in these beautiful chambers. Mister speaker, lieutenant governor, mister president pro tempore, governor Martin who I think is in the audience. Please give a round of applause for governor Martin. He's been a mentor and a friend and a next door neighbor. Members of the court, members of the general assembly, and I also must recognize eight very very hard working people during the last six weeks and even before that, people who are making tremendous sacrifices working for state government along with many of you and that is my cabinet. I'd like all eight members of my cabinet and other members of my staff to please stand up, you are doing an outstanding job and I'm proud to have you to be a part of our team. Thank you very much. ??, this is the earliest I've seen you out of your office. I also want to give a special hello to former governor Jim Holshouser. He's back home. He had to deal with an immediate issue that came up tonight but I just want to let you know he's healthy, he's strong, we had a great conversation today and the governor Holshouser thanks for all your wisdom and your service to this state. I've really appreciated it. Also, more than anything else, I welcome the fellow citizens of North Carolina. You know, I first came to Rawley in nineteen sixty seven as a fifth grader from Jamestown elementary school to tour this magnificent chamber. It seems just like yesterday. My

Speaker: Goal is governor is to insure that the fifth graders that were seen today yesterday and will see tomorrow they are taking the same tour that i took 46 years ago will also get same work opportunities to live work play and raise a family and in greatest states of united states of America and that state is north Carolina,but to make that happen we cannot accept the statues ?? we cannot live off a brand that needs updating and major ?? not only compete with our neighbors but to compete with the rest of the world tonight you will hear ?? of our state but also some recommended actions that our economy state during the turn i already know during the state tenure here i have already stepped on some toes both left and tight i 'm not doing it to cause pain ?? that we must solve our serious problems now to prevent pain for future generations that why we are here tonight but one thing i have learned i have learned during my fourteen years ?? when you try to peace everyone you satisfy no one what motivates me every morning when i so privilege to get up here and ?? as your governor as an opportunity to take part in long term solutions you must be here not only to represent next generation but also hardworking men and women who get up everyday in the morning and take responsibilities for their family manufacturing completely shift worker with everyday demands to improve quality and ?? knowing that if it is not achieved that plant may move to shut down not only to competition united states but after world that's pressure the emergency room doctors and nurses even our ?? throughout north Carolina who sadly have to take care enough patients and knows fighting addiction in our emergency room ?? the farmers who were constantly trying to save their crops approaching hurricane tornado or storm the hard working ?? cannot get funds for needed technologies the health students learn and the sixty year more people who along with me get time in their jobs to what in kine for over hour and half to get their drivers license renewed we are here to represent these people and all the people of north Carolina that specially those people right now are looking for work that is our goal right now represent all of our people we obviously have lot of people work together but my team and i choose to look at these challenges look at these challenges as opportunities these are opportunities for every one of us therefore our administration is gonna focus focus all of their time on three key functions our economy ,our education and efficiency of our services let's start with the efficiency first reviewing the budget numbers as we speak and right now next year's budget provides no new money for revenues so like families and cost we must live within our budget we must ?? on how we spent our limited dollars during our first five weeks we had to work on things that we did not anticipate that's the part of leadership many of the were working on their same issues this is because those people in Washington required to make tough decision in work on two master programs of affecting all of north Carolina is Washington policies are passed with little understanding or discussion of short terms or long term impact in our state services and our state tax payers i will not outsource this tough decisions i was elected to do what is right,

For the people of North Carolina. Now, after extensive reviews in this brief time that we were given, I have concluded that our government, like working families throughout our state, must first pay off its debt. Pay off its credit card. Which in this state's case is $2.5 billion. Therefore, tomorrow I will sign House Bill 4 to protect our small businesses from continued over taxation. This will ensure our citizens' unemployment safety net is secure and financially sound for future generations. This is the reason I'm signing this bill. These are not easy decision. But I know one thing. Borrowing from Washington with no idea or plan on how to pay for it ends with this administration right now. We aren't going to do it any longer. We are not going to borrow money from Washington with no idea on how to pay it back. A recent audit showed that the past administration overspent on Medicaid by $1.4 billion over the past three years. Georgia is able to deliver Medicaid services at a cost of $4,000 per patient, while North Carolina's delivery cost is over $6,000 per patient. We must fix this and strengthen our existing Medicaid system prior to putting at risk further tax dollars in our broken system. But I must ask all of you to please give my team the time and the flexibility to first stop the bleeding. Please, please minimize the reports that you're requiring from our administration right now. This is just last week. Please minimize report. I know you have a lot of work to do, and a lot of review. But please let my administration fix the problem and stop the bleeding now. We also need your help, and I will be requesting your help through legislation, to streamline the process of the Office of Administrators Hearings where delays, delay after delay, are adding millions of dollars to our costs as we speak today. We must change legislation which allows us to break through this very costly appeal process. Then we can all work together with hospitals, with doctors, with insurance companies, with patients on reforming this broken system. This is the Number One priority that's been put in our lap, and we have to fix it together. And we will fix it together. In other areas of inefficiency, and frankly basic neglect of state operations during the past decade, my administration is taking immediate action. Our administration is moving IT equipment in over 30 identified, in the last five weeks, unsafe locations to ensure that the safety of our employees is protected, and also the integrity of our IT systems. We've already had one fire. We don't want to have another. My budget will provide substantial funding to fix and repair state properties and our broken IT systems in North Carolina government. We will be requesting legislation to expand efforts to implement electronic tracking. Tracking systems for state vehicles, an area where we don't currently have any accountability. In addition, we are right sizing vehicles where possible to reduce cost and fuel use, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. We are also requesting legislation to address state personnel

and productivity issues. This is very serious issue for our cabinet, and for other people in the councel states who have communicated this issue to me. We want to reward our talented state employees. But seat warmers must be a thing of the past [applause]. But I want to also say, we have to continue to attract, retain, reward and appreciate our state talent that works so hard for all of us in state government. Let's also give them a round of applause [applause]. Now let me say-- tell you a few other things that we're trying to fix regarding short-term and long-term operations. We recently found out that we inherited a system that has been double billing on the triangle expressway. Our administration has already fixed this issue, customer accounts have been refunded, and each one of those customers that were double billed have been called and given a personal apology [applause]. That's the culture of state government that we must have: a culture of customer service. I'd like to thank our secretary of transportation for his role-model leadership and delivery, and this excellent customer service in a very short period of time. But Tony, I charge you with several other projects. First and foremost: fix the DMV [applause]. And while you're at it, Mister Secretary, can you please fix the lights on the highways throughout North Carolina? And will all respect, can you start on I-85 and I-77 interstate in Charlotte, my home town [applause]. We would appreciate that. Malcolm Brown I know appreciates that. You know most people don't think of criminal justice, addiction, and mental health issues as priorities when we work to stream-line government. But as former mayor, I've seen first hand the collateral damage for families, our communities and tax payers if we continue to sweep these issues under the rug. Recently, our first lady and I visited the Durham Rescue Mission. We were moved by the stories of addiction and it's impact on families. After meeting many of the people at the mission, and my wife has now been there twice. Ann said it best, and I'm quoting her, "So many of us could sit back and say why don't these people get out of it. Why don't they just quit doing drugs. Why don't they just leave this battered situation?" And she concluded by saying the following, "These women and men have more courage than I can fathom in this entire state." I want to introduce my wife Ann, and two heroes of ours from the Durham Mission who have successfully turned their lives around in fighting their own addiction. Fighting their own addiction battle, and also preserving their family. Please welcome our first lady, Ann [Reprory], and our special guests, Mike and Rebecca Alrid. May God bless you and thank you for your hard work [applause]. Ann your ovation was bigger than mine, I just want to make a point of that. I'm so proud of Mike and Rebecca. Their story can be repeated in every of the 100 counties in North Carolina, and we have to do everything that we can

to help this terrible addiction issue throughout North Carolina. For the sake of North Carolina families I ask you to please send me legislation which will reestablish our drug treatment course and also increase penalties for those who setup meth labs in our communities. I will sign both of those pieces of legislation immediately. I have also instructed my head of public safety because this issue of drugs and alcohol are just penetrating our families and our communities. I've instructed my head of public safety to ensure that all state law enforcement officials will fight a coordinated effort against the cartel drug rings that are currently in North Carolina as we speak. We can not ignore, we must identify them and we must get the state, get them out of this state now. The sheriffs will tell you this. We need to let people know about this serious issue. I also want to collaborate with our educational leaders to ensure that our schools and universities have a strategy to change the culture. To change the culture that I have seen first hand of binge drinking and so called recreational drug use. There must be enforcement in our schools and universities of their own policies and enforcement of our laws. In addition we must offer to help to these students who are doing harm to their selves and to our families. This is not a laughing matter. This is not something that they're just going through a time of their life. They're causing serious harm to themselves and their families and we must offer help both through enforcement and through counseling. That must start now or we're gonna continue to have these terrible mental health issues for generations to come. Speaking of education this is an area that I have passion for. I had my teaching degree at Catawba College. It's another major focus for moving forward on because North Carolina's been known around the country as a leader in education and innovation in the classroom. But we can not rest on our past reputation or our morals. We must continue reform our education system to stay ahead of the competition, not just in the United States but throughout the world. Last year, I'm sad to report that 14,000 kids dropped out of our North Carolina schools. 14,00 kids dropped out of our schools. 30% of our children weren't able to read at grade level. 65% of our high school graduates who enter our community colleges need remedial math or reading. We can all agree on the importance of improving education because our competitive future depends on it. But tonight we must begin to change the debate on education. Instead on focusing the debate only on the budget we now must demand results. We must ensure that our schools are preparing our students for success by effectively teaching them both the knowledge, both the knowledge and the skills, that will help them lead productive lives and also find jobs. The disconnect right now that I've seen between employers not able to find qualified talent even with our high end unemployment rate and the citizens unable to get jobs must be resolved through education. Senator I know you're working on this and I appreciate it. Market base needs must be an important factor in education funding, curriculum, and results. That's why my administration is seeking to expand strategic partnerships between the education community and the business community. My budget will promote this philosophy in pre-k , k-12, community colleges and our university system. I have strongly advocated for two pathways success in our high schools, vocational and higher college education.

I firmly believe it's there to pathways that both the college track in a path through vocational training students like to have choices are implores the these choices they are both equally important to empower our students to achieve their post-graduation high school goals that's why did daddy we don't want to back Mashburn went written off community college in front of over 400 people and I was proud to sign in the wall my first bill as governor your first bill in its legislature Senate Bill 14 this major bar bipartisan legislation will help our employees find qualified candidates for jobs it directs high schools and community colleges to share resources and also makes it easier for experts in the private sector to get certified for teaching congratulations to all of you almost every wanted to bipartisan Democrat Republican everyone was voted for this bill and that's the certain flaws North Carolina needs this education reform and you started it was signed today the graduate him and him him and he added must do more to break down what I consider to be the fourth silos of educated regenerate a through 12 community college is in our great universities it's been too long since the education tablet has met the way of not even know there was an education But I will reinstate delete these meetings to develop a joint strategic planning process to share resources Becher teachers Becher technology that puts what students and her hard-working taxpayers for as governor I will also lead a collaborative effort help or universities come together as the competition for federal dollars is getting so tough we need to come together is universities to maximize research funding are Mooresville city schools Superintendent Rick were reached recently issued laptops for students in grades four through 12 years ago the graduation rate was below 80% in the last three years right shot up to over 90% education education is no longer just about spending money on bricks and mortar power to improve education and deliver real results is our fingertips right now you watch any four-year-old child wording there wording on technology in the running quickly than any of us of this remember learned in which to increase our children's access to technology I advocate that we ensure that the education lottery money actually be used for education him and him and held outside noble will that all of you been here in La Crosse North Carolina but we can change the legislation make that happen I'm recommending that we pursue legislation reallocated a portion of money away from the bloated and frankly annoying advertising and a large administration costs of the lottery commission and we would use that money likely cause and effect, him and also think we need to work together to give schools more flexibility to spend lottery funds on digital and virtual learning with school districts according to our walls are not allowed to do right now there's a pot of money right now the can only be used on certain things why not

All of our 100 districts use that money on technology and virtual learning. This is the future. Why don’t we be ahead of the curve as opposed to behind the curve? This begins right now. Now, third, and most important, the number one focus is on the economy and jobs because there are a lot of people out there hurting right now. You know it. I see it and it’s tough. We’ve got to do everything we can to help people want to work and get work. And today, North Carolina’s unemployment rate continues to be the fifth-highest unemployment rate in the country. This is our North Carolina. Our number one priority as your governor is to make sure that we are doing absolutely everything possible to make North Carolina an engine for job creation. North Carolina’s economic development brand has not been updated and we’ve looked. It has not been updated since the 1980s. Governor Martin, thank you, but it’s time we update your plans. Simply put, our competition in other states have caught up to us and many times, we have to admit, beating us. We’re going to develop a long-term strategic plan, Madame Secretary, that updates our brand and puts us on a path to success. The first part of that plan is to fix and modernize our tax system in North Carolina. We’ve got to do it. I know many of you have been working on this for 50 or 60 years. It was even in Governor Martin’s speech, I think. But the fact of the matter is our current system is out of date. It was written in the 1930s. It no longer applies to the modern economy. We must have an economic and tax policy in North Carolina that is simple, that is competitive, that is modern, and that is pro-growth. This policy must reward our people and businesses that build things, produce things, grow things, and innovate things. We cannot live off the services through loan or government jobs. We’ve got to help those people that build things and make things and produce things and innovate things. Our tax policy needs to be updated to help those industries. My friend, Joel Ford, even stood up. I’m proud of you, Joel. Thank you. We will work together. We will work together on this plan which should meet the following criteria. Lower rates on personal income and businesses to be more competitive at least with our next door neighbor. Close loopholes for special interest to make our system more fair and transparent. It must be revenue neutral. We must implement this plan systematically and strategically to ensure that we don’t put at risk business confidence or crucial revenue needed for services to our citizens. A tax reform is just one tool that we have to build our economy. We have many other tools to make this economy start igniting again. During the past decade, we have sat on the sidelines for far too long on energy exploration. At a time when our country needs to be more energy-independent, at a time when our gas prices right now are going up amongst every day and at a time when our people need jobs, sadly we are in the catch up mode with other regions of the country. And those states that went first have the lowest unemployment rates in the country. This administration will move closely, working with all of you to get North Carolina into the energy business and begin the process of energy exploration in a safe and environmentally sound way. Last week, I proudly joined the governors. One minute, they’re my competitors and the next minute, they’re my partners. But I joined the governors of South Carolina and Virginia to request federal authority to begin offshore exploration in North Carolina.

Huff just think what we did what we could do with these future revenues it to revenues to help create jobs that provide new revenue for roads and infrastructure repair bridges and help replenish our beaches with your travel and tourism industry curling needs desperately this point, Great reports which we need right now for trouble trying to help fund our education system which is one pocket of routed but we've got to explore and find out why would people will be now been our competition but also been sitting on the sideline for four people we also can afford to overlook it take for granted one of our most valuable economic resources of state of the herbal grower long time private sector economy off to grow a private sector economy (members clapping ) we must use our military assets as the major recruitment tool bank and that's how it's coming right now a specially historical role of men and women returning from Rockingham units to think of the leadership now at the skill. It will fill that gap between commerce with people being ago we would use certain to recruitment tool and help them and their families will return all I want to fight or men and women in uniform under North Carolina with a presence in our country with their service (members clapping ) off tough or the zeros we are finalizing the play and the focus on first three tension over basis and our troops your North Carolina role in our military supplier base or a retaining a highly skilled military personnel four growing defense manufacturing said it well water to all of corona four object and speaking of the military I've always said, the national republican I believe one of the government's main roles to provide needed infrastructure support job creation and economic or explore the great things like Eisenhower its present it work to connect the urban with oral and useful way we'd be overthrown in a rematch of these very thinking right here with her on using artificial that's why we'll soon kick off the development of the strategic long-term plan four areas or areas of the construction are crucial for the next generation for job growth to continue and a protector and one which four area for transportation ,water, energy in winning percentage of people North Carolina in people and one investor North Carolina or vision for the transportation plans or water plants or energy points in our communication one this will send a strong signal to the private set that we will be partners with them and a continued economic expansion of its crucial that we begin this process now we waited for tool which do with mail it presented next generation with a vision of a plan for economic growth and prosperity through infrastructure ……….

That PF military one of the north carolina's other great strength it for export potential of always firmly believe the best way to grow a business is to increase of the one people have a product and export other countries when I go overseas on trade missions as your governor one number one for ward will be expanding exports of products would say needed to North Carolina if (SPEAKER CHANGES) Mr. Commissioner export of North Carolina Products special and are incredible agricultural products is crucial for rebuilding the worry of help achieve this goal under the leadership or agricultural commissioner a transportation and public sectors we gained approval and all I can take the council states to bring needed refrigeration for Wilmington four or cold food chain exports is to be one step could happen once that if they do this if all we also must look at our entire commerce strategy in the area business recruitment and beating estimates pension we're gonna be we calibrating our incentive program this one sure that we're using our resources based upon measurable results to attract expand and retain jobs in North Carolina we'll be undergoing each folder review or Commerce Dept to ensure that we're flexible we're flexible and we're adapting forever changing competition and economic conditions almost every day to stopping your caller ID her sling meeting along with other members of my administration with potential employers who want to expand or relocate North Carolina hotel of your get a lot of people are enriched we're already successfully improving our successful improving our customer service working for bureaucratic regulatory roadblocks that spiteful economic recruitment efforts this is a specially true on the part of environmental and natural resources, thank you very much for your hardwork ?? and beer we appreciate it will look for a house, so that if tough we are also developing partnerships with our community colleges and universities to help meet specific work force these far business of it as it heads of our universities the heads of our community college are also working parts are recruiting I've told, Ross and I will tell every universe to present every community college friend we want them without star recruiting trips because they will be a important part of a 44 overselling of North Carolina biggest challenge or biggest challenges have trouble staying right now is right now not just developing jobs in the growing urban air above to much easier sell for example trying to learn from it. Which are older right now I think our biggest challenge is to develop a strategy small towns of North Carolina its own or a stretcher that's exactly what we played we've got tough enough ?? today is right now I do this via robin Mcinnes governed no one no 11 out work discover were artsy work any of you in our effort to quell recruit Britain North Carolina jobs we will be out of road and were to sell or trade resources that we have is my job pieces to output-life already anticipated good news of the near future because of the groundwork we boarded laid down and only the first ……….

For five weeks we've been meeting and meeting and meeting with potential customers who are interested in North Carolina. Now do this however I'm not gonna be deterred by those who want to keep the status quo. The way we've always been doing things in North Carolina. We've got to change. We've got to adapt. We've gotta be visionary for the future. We're gonna stay focused despite what some of the critics say. We're gonna stay focused on fixing the economy, transforming education, and improving government efficiency. I'm gonna say it one more time fixing the economy, transforming education and improving government efficiency. None of this can be about politics, power, legacy, turf, or who gets the credit. Who cares? This is about the people of North Carolina. This is why we're here. This is why each one of you are taking time away form your families everyday to work right here, our state capitol, to have this privilege. It's about the people of North Carolina. It's not about power or turf or legacy. It's about solving problems and developing long term solutions. We can not achieve these goals alone inside the bubble of government. There's no way. We've got to get out of here occasionally. Our approach must be outward. Starting tomorrow I and I ask all of you to bring this message to our citizens on main streets across our beautiful state. Achieving these goals during our term in office will not be easy. It's gonna be tough. But we have to fulfill and exceed North Carolina's potential. Let's unleash, let's unleash our unlimited resources and opportunity North Carolina has to offer. We will do it. We must do it. God bless all of you in the great state of North Carolina and now let's get back to work. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.