Nearly 200 Wyoming businesses already use the exemption. As we speak out-of-state manufacturers targeted by the Wyoming Business Council and my office anticipate the exemption. Without the extension, we risk the real possibility these businesses will locate in other states.
Other pressing matters include health issues, ag issues, law enforcement issues, our aging population. I would look closely at legislation you put before me that addresses them.
We all talk about local control, but I expect school districts to use block grants--state money--in ways that put our students in the best position to succeed. We cannot provide endless funds to school districts without results.
We should not just extract and export our energy, we should look for value-added projects that use some of our energy here. For example, our superb wind resources partner well with natural gas-fired turbines which fill out the energy stream during lulls in the wind. We should develop both wind and gas-fired turbine projects, where possible. I support current efforts for those working on such projects.
And, why not manufacture wind turbine components here, too? Let's build the items needed to develop our wind resources right here in Wyoming. This is doable. Such manufacturers are looking a Wyoming now, and I am a supporter. This is an example of how we build on Wyoming's natural advantages to diversify our economy and create jobs.
I am skeptical about man-made global warming without more and better science; but I am not skeptical about growing demand by our energy customers for cleaner coal and gas, and I am not skeptical about our oil industry's need for carbon injection technology for enhanced oil recovery. Improved technologies provide a benefit to companies and help them remain profitable.
Wyoming is on the cutting edge of many technologies. We have laws in place and projects underway. Technology will help keep our energy industry competitive. I would look favorably on legislation sent my way to foster science and commercial applications--remembering that advances in energy technology will only occur if energy companies remain profitable.
As you no doubt know, I have taken steps to join the Florida lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. I understand the criticism in doing so--some because they like the Act, some because of the cost associated with the lawsuit.
I do not like the Act--in my view it is bad policy and too costly. This law will significantly increase our Medicaid rolls. Mississippi, for example, forecasts the overall cost to implement the Affordable Care Act in that state will be $1.7 billion over ten years, including $443 million in year 10 alone.
I am willing to fully test the legality of the law because it has implications beyond health care. It is not enough to say "no". We should continue to seek state solutions even as we fight the federal law.
The highways, especially, are important for business, personal, and tourist travel. I support additional supplemental appropriations this year for highways.
Highway construction needs a reliable source of added funding (on top of those sources that now exist like gas taxes and federal funds). The recommended $52M in supplemental funding this year makes reasonable progress on highway construction. Those dollars should be used to do what is needed most in 2011.
I supported the bill passed last year that exempted qualifying computer equipment from sales and use taxes. I thought last year's bill provided an attractive and appropriate incentive for businesses--and I would call for reasonable additions this year, like for computer software, to improve upon it.
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.
Click here for other excerpts by Matt Mead.
Click here for other excerpts by other Governors.
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