Matt Mead in 2011 Governor's State of the State speeches


On Corporations: Continue the manufacturing sales tax exemption

I support continuing the manufacturing sales tax exemption. The current law has the exemption expire at the end of this year. Forty other states have this exemption and Wyoming must remain competitive.

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.

Source: 2011 Wyoming State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

On Drugs: Narcotic prescriptions abused more than illegal drugs

The death rate for misuse of narcotic prescription drugs exceeds all other illegal drug and drunk-driving deaths combined. We need to better monitor narcotic prescription drugs at point of contact to prevent abuse and lower the death rate.

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.

Source: 2011 Wyoming State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

On Education: Charter schools provide new ideas for traditional schools

The issue of charter schools is one I'm interested in moving forward. It is my belief that charter schools could provide some new ideas to be used at traditional schools. For this model to work, the charter schools cannot cherry pick the best students.

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.

Source: 2011 Wyoming State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

On Energy & Oil: Export wind energy, build wind turbines here

To create jobs, and to grow and diversify our economy, we should build on Wyoming's natural advantages--our energy, ag, tourism, and great workforce.

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.

Source: 2011 Wyoming State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

On Energy & Oil: Skeptical about man-made global warming; support oil & gas

We must continue to support all our extractive industries. With respect to our coal and our oil and gas industries, I support research and development of carbon capture and sequestration technology.

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.

Source: 2011 Wyoming State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

On Health Care: Establish litigation fund to join lawsuit against ObamaCare

The federal health care bill may be the best Congress could do--it is not the best we can do. Therefore, I support legislation that would establish a litigation fund related to the federal health care law.

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.

Source: 2011 Wyoming State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

On Technology: Additional $52 M in highway funding

I support the additional $52 M in funding for highways and $52 M in funding for local governments (most of which should go to capital construction). That extra money this year will make reasonable progress toward addressing our infrastructure and local needs. Our interstate highways and railroad network connect us in all directions with other states and others parts of the country and should help make us a business hub.

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.

Source: 2011 Wyoming State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

On Technology: Recruit mega data centers: we have the weather & the land

We also have an established track record with the NCAR supercomputer being built in Cheyenne. I support the allocation of $14.5 M in general funds for the recruitment of multiple mega data centers. Such centers bring support businesses and other enterprises along with them. They are a business magnet.

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.

Source: 2011 Wyoming State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

The above quotations are from 2011 Governor's State of the State speeches.
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