Ralph Northam in 2018 Governor's State of the State speeches


On Civil Rights: Look harder for diverse candidates for leadership roles

This cabinet is led by women. And like this new General Assembly, it is also one of the most diverse in our history. This management team can be an example to our friends in the corporate world.

When people say, "we can't find enough women, or enough diverse candidates for leadership roles," I say--you're not looking hard enough.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to Virginia legislature Jan 16, 2018

On Crime: Raise threshold for felony larceny; 2nd chance after mistake

On the first day of this session, Governor McAuliffe spoke to you about the importance of second chances in our criminal justice system. I was proud to stand beside him as he made history by restoring more civil rights to former offenders than any governor in American history. My team and I will continue that policy over the next four years so that men and women who make mistakes and serve their time can reenter society as full partners in our democracy, not second-class citizens.

We should also work together this session to join the rest of the nation and raise the threshold for felony larceny. Virginia's threshold has not changed since 1980. It is the lowest in America.

There is no excuse for the criminal act of theft, but a teenager who steals one used iPhone or a pair of boots should not have her entire life defined by that one mistake.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to Virginia legislature Jan 16, 2018

On Energy & Oil: Create clean energy jobs in rural communities

No matter what politicians in Washington say, climate change is real. Sea levels are rising. It affects us every day.

Last year, Governor McAuliffe signed an Executive Directive to begin the process of capping carbon emissions from Virginia's electric utilities and use the power of the market to foster growth and innovation in the clean energy sector. The Clean Energy Virginia initiative is an incredible opportunity to create the next generation of energy jobs and lead the fight against climate change -- and my administration will implement it fully.

I will also support joining a coalition of states called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI. We can invest the significant revenues Clean Energy Virginia will generate to create clean energy jobs in rural communities, help families lower their electrical bills, and solidify our position as a global leader in renewable energy.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to Virginia legislature Jan 16, 2018

On Government Reform: End unnecessary restrictions: no-excuse absentee ballots

Voting is the most fundamental action a citizen can take in a democracy. Choosing leaders and holding them accountable is how citizens shape the future for all of us. If we really believe in a system where the people are in charge, we should work together to eliminate barriers to the ballot box instead of building them higher.

Unfortunately, Virginia law imposes many onerous and unnecessary restrictions on voting that discourage participation for many people.

Let's reverse that troubling trend by passing no-excuse absentee voting, so more people can have a say in their future without jumping through unnecessary hoops. This commonsense reform will make voting easier, reduce lines on Election Day and send a simple message that in Virginia, we want more voters, not fewer.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to Virginia legislature Jan 16, 2018

On Gun Control: Start with universal background checks

We should work together this year to address the public health crisis of gun violence. Gunshots kill more people in Virginia every year than car accidents, but if you walk into the right gun show, it's easier to get a firearm than it is to rent a car.

There are many actions we should take over our time together to save lives by reducing gun violence. Let's start by keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them by passing universal background checks.

As long as Virginians' lives are at risk because there are too many guns in the hands of people who would use them to harm others, we will fight on this ground. As long as schools, churches, offices and concert venues are exposed to horrific, preventable violence, we will fight on this ground. As long as the people who sent us all here continue to cry out for solutions to the epidemic of gun violence, we will fight on this ground.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to Virginia legislature Jan 16, 2018

On Jobs: Strengthen workforce development and expand apprenticeships

I am committed to working to create more opportunities for Virginia workers to get a good job that empowers them to provide for their families and lead productive lives.

But bringing more jobs to Virginia is only half the battle. Too many of our fellow Virginians are out of work or underemployed because they lack the skills they need to begin a long-term career. And too many of our businesses are struggling to fill high-paying positions because they just can't find people with the right skills and training.

If we are going to make Virginia work better for everyone, strengthening our workforce development system and expanding access to registered apprenticeships are key.

During my campaign for Governor, I made connecting Virginians with the skills they need to succeed in a new economy the centerpiece of my agenda. My plan is to pay tuition and fees for any Virginian who pursues a credential in a high-demand field, if they commit to at least one year of public service.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to Virginia legislature Jan 16, 2018

On Principles & Values: Do good; be transparent; look for better ways

The benefits of opportunity and prosperity have eluded too many of our neighbors for too long. As Governor, I am committed to working with you to turn that around. I hope you will join me in applying this test to the decisions we make:
Source: 2018 State of the State speech to Virginia legislature Jan 16, 2018

On Education: Borrower's Bill of Rights to manage student debt

Yesterday, Governor-elect Northam and I stood together and outlined several pieces of legislation that we hope the new General Assembly will pass this year. They include:None of these items are inherently political. They are proposed solutions to real policy problems. It could well be the case that there are better ideas to solve these problems & make life better for Virginians. Those are the questions we were all elected to consider.
Source: Terry McAuliffe's 2018 Virginia State of the State address Jan 10, 2018

On Government Reform: Make absentee voting easier

Yesterday, Governor-elect Northam and I stood together and outlined several pieces of legislation that we hope the new General Assembly will pass this year. They include:
Source: Terry McAuliffe's 2018 Virginia State of the State address Jan 10, 2018

On Gun Control: Supports universal background checks

Yesterday, Governor-elect Northam and I stood together and outlined several pieces of legislation that we hope the new General Assembly will pass this year. They include:
Source: Terry McAuliffe's 2018 Virginia State of the State address Jan 10, 2018

The above quotations are from 2018 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts from 2018 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts by Ralph Northam.
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Page last updated: Apr 22, 2018