Tim Kaine in 2009 Governor's State of the State speeches


On Budget & Economy: Cabinet Community Days: we see people worried but hopeful

The national economic recession looks like it will be the longest since World War II. Citizens are cutting back; businesses are struggling. And, government agencies & churches are seeing an increase in demand for their services.

I've seen these challenges firsthand. Four times each year, I take my entire cabinet on the road where we talk to citizens and learn. We call these visits "Cabinet Community Days." In December, people I talked to were worried about finding another job. Worried about how they'd provide Christmas for their children. Worried about how they'd pay their bills. But they were resolved. They were hopeful. And despite whatever worries they had, they were helping each other.

Now, more than ever before, it's time for all hands to be applied to the task of righting the national economy. President-elect Obama and the Congress are discussing a federal stimulus package to do just that--and I am moving forward on capital projects and business incentives designed to help create jobs

Source: Virginia 2009 State of the State address Jan 14, 2009

On Crime: Release non-violent inmates 90 days early

The Department of Corrections is one of Virginia's largest agencies. Last fall, we restructured prison facilities, closing older and smaller facilities to become more efficient.

However, the state's budget for incarceration has dramatically outpaced other spending items over the past decade. While we must not make changes that would compromise public safety, we have a responsibility to examine the costs and benefits of such dramatic growth.

Current law allows the director of the Department of Corrections to release inmates up 30 days before the end of their term. I have proposed a change that would allow the director the discretion to release inmates convicted of non-violent crimes up to 90 days early, if warranted by good behavior.

This small change will result in significant budget savings without compromising public safety. It has been endorsed by Virginia's sheriffs and police chiefs because it will help us deal with persistent jail overcrowding problems.

Source: Virginia 2009 State of the State address Jan 14, 2009

On Crime: Smart sentencing: reduce number of "technical violations"

I have also proposed legislation to slow the growth of the prison population by reducing the number of "technical violators" who are sent back to prison every year not for committing new crimes, but for violating technicalities of their parole. This is the kind of smart sentencing approach that saves taxpayer money without compromising public safety.
Source: Virginia 2009 State of the State address Jan 14, 2009

On Education: Increase K-12 school funds despite 3 rounds of budget cuts

Educating our young people is one of the most fundamental things that government does. That's why K-12 education was the one area that we did not reduce at all in the first 3 rounds of cuts. In fact, we increased funding for public education by approximately $1 billion for the biennium.

However, education is the single largest expenditure in the state budget and we will not be able to continue to leave education untouched in 2010.

I decided that nothing in our schools was as important to the students as their teachers and principals, and so I have made a proposal that protects our core priority--the classroom. My proposal is to reduce funding for administrative and support personnel in schools and central offices by applying a funding cap for these positions. For years we've applied a cap to determine the number of teachers and principals we fund--we should do the same for support staff.

Source: Virginia 2009 State of the State address Jan 14, 2009

On Education: No mid-year tuition increases at state college, despite cuts

In higher education, I have had to propose difficult cuts, but I have been constantly mindful of the effect of higher tuition costs on Virginia families. We continue to have some of the finest colleges and universities in the nation, but it will mean little if Virginia students cannot afford to attend them.

I proposed a smaller cut to higher education in the 2009 academic year than to other agencies, and asked our colleges and universities not to make any mid-year increases to tuition.

In 2010, the cuts are deeper, but my budget proposes a lesser cut for community colleges--the most affordable point of entry into Virginia's higher education system. And, I propose $26 million in additional support for need-based financial aid so that middle and lower-income students will not find the doors of educational opportunity shut to them.

Source: Virginia 2009 State of the State address Jan 14, 2009

On Energy & Oil: Major attention on creating green jobs

Part of climbing out of a challenged economy is focusing our efforts on the industries of the future. One area where we should spend major attention in our economic efforts is to create green jobs. The development and deployment of new energy sources presents dramatic new opportunities for the Commonwealth.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, at my direction, has just completed an aggressive marketing plan to promote Virginia's business case for new investments in renewable energy production and energy efficiency projects. And I have created an Interagency Task Force for Energy Project Recruitment that will work with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to build Virginia's compelling case for renewable energy-related businesses.

Every institution in Virginia is working on innovative new energy projects--transportation fuel cells at Virginia Tech, energy-efficient buildings at UVA, algae-based biodiesel at ODU, and new energy crops at Virginia State University.

Source: Virginia 2009 State of the State address Jan 14, 2009

On Energy & Oil: Reduce electricity consumption by 19% by 2025

To ensure that the biggest energy purchasers aggressively pursue renewable energy, I have proposed raising Virginia's renewable portfolio standard--the amount of Virginia power companies' electricity that must be generated from alternative energy sources--from 12% to 15% by the year 2025.

I have proposed to implement the Climate Change Commission's top recommendation--the reduction of electricity consumption by 19% of current levels by 2025, with appropriate adjustments for population growth.

Source: Virginia 2009 State of the State address Jan 14, 2009

On Energy & Oil: Nuclear reactors will be key to America's energy future

Areva and Northrop Grumman announced a partnership to build components for nuclear reactors at the Newport News Shipyard, promising great jobs in a new industry that will be key to America's energy future.

Orbital, the Virginia-based space company, was awarded a $1.9 billion contract by NASA to launch rockets and satellites into space from Wallops Island, making Virginia one of the centers of the nation's new and innovative space industry.

Source: Virginia 2009 State of the State address Jan 14, 2009

On Health Care: Invest in community-based mental health care

My budget proposal preserves care for the mentally ill. In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, we made significant investments last session in community-based mental health care. This budget protects the investments we made together. And, the budget continues our transformation from a state that over-relies on institutional care of the mentally disabled to the more effective and humane strategy of expanding services that people can receive in their own communities.
Source: Virginia 2009 State of the State address Jan 14, 2009

On Health Care: Expand pre-natal care to reduce infant mortality rate

My proposed budget protects the advances we made in this biennial budget in funding our health care safety net. There are no cuts to free clinics and community health centers in my budget. And, we continue our expansion of pre-natal care to low-income mothers so that we can fight an unacceptable infant mortality rate.
Source: Virginia 2009 State of the State address Jan 14, 2009

On Tax Reform: Replace income tax for low-income with cigarette tax

I have previously pledged to you that I would not meet our budget shortfall through a general tax increase. The budget I have proposed is true to that pledge. And, we maintain tax cuts that we have already put in place--elimination of the estate tax, sales tax holidays, and the elimination of all income taxes for nearly 140,000 low-income Virginia workers.

However, I do propose one targeted tax increase. To avoid even deeper cuts that would mean denying health care services to some of our poor, elderly, and disabled, I propose a 30 cent per pack increase in our cigarette tax. This will bring Virginia's tobacco tax up to about half the national average. Virginia's current cigarette excise tax covers less than half the $400 million in Medicaid costs that smoking creates. I believe that the taxes on smoking should more closely match the budget costs that taxpayers incur because of smoking. Under my proposal, fewer of Virginians' tax dollars will be diverted to cover the costs of smoking.

Source: Virginia 2009 State of the State address Jan 14, 2009

On Technology: Long-term commitment to six year infrastructure plan

Virginia's transportation infrastructure faced significant challenges even before the downturn in the economy, and as family incomes have suffered, so have the gas tax and automobile sales tax revenues that support transportation.

Our transportation agencies are reducing their administrative overhead to preserve scarce dollars for maintenance and construction. To balance its budget, VDOT will reduce central office staff and streamline operations around the state. Over the next two years, VDOT will reduce agency employment by about 1,000 employees, through retirements, attrition, and other restructuring.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board has rewritten the six year construction plan to reflect the reduced financial projections, and the results are startling. Without a long-term commitment from the legislature to support transportation funding, and with a slump in existing revenue sources, dozens of road and bridge projects have been taken out of the plan.

Source: Virginia 2009 State of the State address Jan 14, 2009

The above quotations are from 2009 Governor's State of the State speeches.
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Page last updated: Jul 08, 2016