Earl Ray Tomblin in 2011 Governor's State of the State speeches


On Budget & Economy: 2011 budget: balanced; no new taxes; no new fees

Source: 2011 W.V. State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

On Corporations: Sales tax credit for new business; & tax increment financing

I believe there are steps we can take to make West Virginia more attractive to businesses. We lack a sales tax credit to assist distribution and fulfillment businesses with some up-front costs for expanding or locating in W.V.

I also believe we need to overhaul our tax increment financing program. This program allows local communities to use future gains in taxes to finance current economic development projects. [We should] refocus our efforts at creating these economic, job-creating districts.

Source: 2011 W.V. State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

On Education: One-time $800 enhancement now; teacher raise later

I know that our teachers deserve a higher salary. But at this moment, we cannot afford additional pay raises that will add to the State budget forever. I am proposing a one-time, $800 across-the-board enhancement for our teachers. This recognizes the hard work that our teachers put into our system while at the same time does not add to our base budget. Frankly, it should be more and we need to strive for a day when our teachers are paid at a rate equivalent to the most important role they play.
Source: 2011 W.V. State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

On Energy & Oil: We should be looking for more ways to use coal, not less

We all know that coal keeps the lights on. But we cannot forget--or let others ignore--that it is vital to the economic security of our country to utilize West Virginia's natural resources. In these tough economic times, we should be looking for more way to use coal, not less. It is hard to understand why some people want to turn their back on and vilify such an important resource that has such potential--and a proven track record--for our country.

Do not misunderstand my message--the fact that coal ha such a positive impact does not mean that we should turn a blind eye to safety or environmental concerns. I firmly believe that we can mine coal in an environmentally safe manner. And, I firmly believe that we will develop ways to burn coal in a carbon- friendly manner.

I intend to aggressively pursue our State's lawsuit against the EPA. We should be working together to solve our nation's energy problems--not taking dogmatic approaches that turn a blind eye to any form of reasonable regulation.

Source: 2011 W.V. State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

On Energy & Oil: Develop natural gas from the Marcellus Shale

West Virginia's economic future lies not only in its continued use of coal as a resource. Lying just a mile below the surface of much of our State is a rock formation called the Marcellus Shale. This formation is rich in natural gas and new technology and techniques have made access possible for the oil and gas industry.

The development of the Marcellus Shale formation for natural gas production is an economic development opportunity for the State, and we need to embrace it! Billions of dollars of private capital have already been invested in this activity and with it has come many jobs.

For example, today Dominion announced its intention to build a natural gas processing facility. This project will allow for significant development opportunities in West Virginia. And it is not only about the production of natural gas. The development of the Marcellus Shale has the potential to restart the manufacturing industry in West Virginia. It is an opportunity that we simply cannot let go by.

Source: 2011 W.V. State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

On Health Care: WV Connect: access for 10,000 working uninsured & spouses

Regardless of the debate over the federal health care bill, we need to continue to improve our health care system. One focal point of my administration will be to find ways to foster the creation of health insurance for our working uninsured.

WV Connect provides access to health care for 10,000 working, uninsured West Virginians and their spouses. This pilot program will reduce emergency room visits and avoidable hospitalizations, resulting in a healthier workforce.

Source: 2011 W.V. State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

On Homeland Security: State cabinet-level Department of Veterans Affairs

We have recently made significant strides to improving care for our Veterans, with our new Veterans Nursing Facility. And, I have requested an additional $300,000 dollars in funding to make sure that the final resting place for our veterans is properly cared for and managed.

Our veterans need a more prominent place in our Government. I am therefore creating a new department--the Department of Veterans Affairs. For the first time, Veterans Affairs will have an official place in the Governor's Cabinet.

Source: 2011 W.V. State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

On Jobs: $20M for Unemployment Compensation Fund

Unemployment compensation programs around the country have been in a financial crisis. To make sure that we do not have to [take extreme measures] in the future, I am proposing legislation that would allow the Unemployment Compensation Fund to borrow up to $20 million from our Rainy Day Funds. This will assure employers that they will not be subject to tax increases and let employees know that the State is serious about making sure that their benefits will be there while our economy recovers.
Source: 2011 W.V. State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

On Principles & Values: Priorities: business climate; education; reinvent government

    It is my hope that we can agree on these three priorities as we move forward.
  1. Our top priority must be to continue to improve our business climate to attract, retain, and create good paying private sector jobs.
  2. We must improve and reform our entire educational system to better prepare our citizens for the jobs of tomorrow.
  3. We must reinvent, simplify and make government more efficient and responsible to the people and businesses of our state.
Source: 2011 W.V. State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

On Tax Reform: Reduce, then remove, regressive & unfair sales tax on food

I call for a one-third reduction in our sales tax on food from 3 cents to 2 cents. Several years ago--in a responsible manner--we moved toward removing this regressive, unfair tax. And while we do not have the capability to remove it all at this time-- I believe we can make this fiscally responsible reduction. It is this type of broad tax relief that will help all those trying to make ends meet. Every little bit counts. It is my intention to eliminate the entire food tax over the next few years.
Source: 2011 W.V. State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

The above quotations are from 2011 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts from 2011 Governor's State of the State speeches.
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Page last updated: Apr 20, 2014