OLYMPIA -- Gov. Chris Gregoire's take on "the state" of Washington state, with the latest excerpt on top of older excerpts:
Make no mistake, I expect you to make the changes that will benefit the state for today and the next 80 years.
Last year, this Legislature came together and passed a supplemental budget in one day....That was a great start. Let's finish what we started and let's finish it together.
We are down, but we are not out by any means. . . We're ready to do the tough work...We will be bold and we will lead us to a better tomorrow for the great state of Washington.
I know change is hard, particularly here in Olympia. It's easier to hear why change won't work, rather than why it will.
Our voters are out ahead of us...our voters sent us here, to get things done and be bold.
We can set a path for success in our state. There are those who say we cannot provide real change. This year, let's prove the cynics and the skeptics wrong.
Let's put government on a 21st Century path.
Our ferry system, the largest in the nation, is in financial crisis...we must find a better way. I'm asking you to create a regional ferry district, run by an elected board of directors.
We need to encourage every student to 'Complete to compete -- complete an AA, a bachelor's or a graduate degree so that they can compete for the jobs of tomorrow.
We need tuition flexibility at our colleges and universities....Educating our students is theri future: a world-class education system is our state's future.
Jobs are the way out of the recession, particularly in one of the hardest hit areas, the construction sector.
Education is the key to the jobs of tomorrow. Today we have eight education agencies with 14 plans...I propose we enact legsialtion creating one agency, the Department of Education.
We must do everything we can to stimulate the economy and put Washington state back to work
I propose cultting the unemployment insurance and workers compensation rates by more than $1 billion to help businesses and our unemployed back to work.
I'm asking you to get a bill to my desk by Feb. 8.
Let's adopt a user pays policy so that when only a few benefit from the service, they pay for it.
Our challenge is to transrom Washington State Government. . . It will take tough but wise decisions. I have offered a path forward...
We need to use this economic crisis to get control of spending in two critical areas: pensions and health care costs.
Pension reform will save $2 billion over the nexst four hears and more than $11 billion during the next 25 years.
I am proposing we partner with the Center of Innovation at the US Department of Health and Human Services to provide real health care reform as a state.
Just like back then, those who think America is decline have overstaed our problems, underestimated our resiliency and misjudged our potential. We will show them wrong.. So let us go into this session not with our confidence shattered and our hope for the future dimmed.
Let me be clear, washington will come back, we will rebound and we will provide a brighter future for our children.
Gregoire makes comparisons to the Great Depression, describing the march of the unemployed on Olympia and noting that in 1935 "after what many described as a stormy session, the bold reform was enacted and that reform has endured for the past 80 years."
"You will have extraordinarily difficult choices. . . You will have choices that keep you awake at night.
Our decisions aren't nearly as tough as those being made by too many of our friends and neighbors who have been forced out of work, out of their homes and out of hope."
Welcome to our 25 new members who are attending their first session. . .
You join a group who stands with the long tradition of public service and dedication. You will come to know of the selflessness of not only those who serve this body, but the thousands in our state who protect, serve and educate our citizens.
Our National Guard, our military men and women, our law enforcement members, our firefighters, our teachers and our state employees — you are my role models: Service above self at the risk of tremendous sacrifice.
"Thanks to each of you for joining us here today."
Mentions, WNBA Champs Seattle Storm and other teams. "How about those University of Washington Huskies. . . And here's to the Eastern Washington University Eagles. One of the most exciting games I've ever watched... how about those Seahawks. . . Never doubt our players in Washington state and never doubt Washington state."
"Over the weekend, our nation witnessed a terrible tragedy...in Arizona....join me in a moment of silence."