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“We have done hard things. And we can do more,” the Democratic governor told a joint legislative session in his annual state of the state address.
Legislative Republicans and a Democrat who joined them to form the Senates ruling coalition were quick to criticize the speech as long on ideas but short on specifics. . .
OLYMPIA — Gov. Chris Gregoire, in her last speech to the Legislature and the state, said Washington has accomplished much over the last eight years and has much more to do.
"We won't rest on our laurels," she said.
Here are some highlights of her speech:
Give our students good schools and good teachers.
Education is the heart of our future, transportation is the backbone.
Remember our competition: China isn't waiting. India isn't waiting. We can't wait either.
Supreme court told us we are failing in our paramount duty of providing for basic education. There is no free lunch. We cannot cut our way out of this. We cannot save our way out of this.
Today is the day. Now is the time. We must invest in our children and their future.
Transportation projects around the state demand funding. Companies move nearly 40 million on our roads every single hour. We must maintain our system.
Invest the $450 million on the Columbia River Crossing. Now is the time to build the future of Washington state.
You've met tougher challenges in the last eight years. You'll deliver again. You always do…
To read more of Gregoire's speech, click to go inside the blog
OLYMPIA — State senators enterred the House of Representatives to cheers from the assembled reps, plus handshakes and hugs as they made their way to the temporary chairs set up near the desks on the floor.
It raises the question: Is this the most congenial the two chambers will be all session?
After calling both rolls, they got down to some routine but constitutional business, like declaring the winners of the statewide elections in November.
Then they sent special delegations to escort Gov. Chris Gregoire and other statewide elected officials to the House chamber. As each group arrives, the chamber stands and applauds, sits down, then stands and applauds again as they are introduced individually.
These are the outgoing statewide electeds, so outgoing Attorney General Rob McKenna may have received the biggest hand at his introduction, but that may also be because Spin Control is ensconced on the GOP side of the House chamber.
Consuls general from other countries are in the gallery and introduced by Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, prompting more standing ovations. When the consul from Croatia is introduced, House Speaker Frank Chopp, a proud Croatian American, let's out a more raucous than normal cheer, prompting a friendly admonsiment from Owen.
Gregoire arrived in the chamber with her husband, two daughters and new granddaughter Audrey Christine, aged slightly over two months, in tow. Morestanding ovations. It may be the legislators aerobic exercise for the day.
McKenna, Auditor Brian Sonntag and Secretary of State Sam Reed, who also are closing out years of service, also get a few minutes at the microphone. All the pomp and circumstance means the governor isn't likely to get down to actually speaking until 11:20 a.m. or later.
Spin Control will have a report on the speech later.
OLYMPIA — Gov. Chris Gregoire will deliver her state of the state address to a joint session of the Legislature at 10:30 a.m.
So let's see, is it technicallly the State of the State address, the State of Washington State addres, the State of the State address for Washington or the State of the State address for Washington State?
I'm never quite sure of that.
In any event, Gregoire can be expected to repeat her admonitions that the Legislature pass a budget quickly, put a temporary half-cent sales tax on the ballot for voters to approve and make some reforms to the education system. She's also expected to flesh out plans for a program to roads and bridges and refurbish ferries.
Spin Control will blog the speech. So stay tuned
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.
OLYMPIA — Gov. Chris Gregoire and other state elected officials are being called to the House chambers for the joint session.
Suprem Court justices are being escored in.
Once Gregoire begins her speech, Spin Control will run a "continuous" blog post, putting the most recent item on top of the previous items.
OLYMPIA — Members of the Senate are enterring the House chamber for the joint session of the Legislature to hear Gov. Chris Gregoire's State of the State address.
Applause all around. This is probably the friendliest the two chambers will be for the next 104 days.
Bagpipes are playing in the background as the roll is being called.
We'll be blogging the speech and the scene here on Sin Control for the next hour or so