Louisiana State of the State Address 2011

 

BATON ROUGE, La. - March 20 -  Following is the prepared text of Gov. Bobby Jindal's (R) 2011 state of the state address:

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, fellow state wide elected officials, and the Senators and Representatives. Family and friends fellow residents of the great state of Louisiana. Thank you for the privilege and opportunity to come and speak for you for just a few moments at the beginning and yet another important session for our people.

You know we are blessed. We as a people are blessed to live in the greatest country in the history of the world. Within that country we are blessed to live within the greatest state within that country of the great state of Louisiana.

One of the reasons we are blessed to be citizens of this great country and this great state. Is we live in a state in a country where are elected leaders work for us. Every election cycle we have the right, we have the responsibility, we have the power to hire and fire those who represent us. Less we every take these privileges these rights these freedoms for granted. We need to only witness the turmoil across the world especially in the middle east as people fight, sacrifice, protest, and at times even are willing to lay down their lives to gain some of these very same freedoms and liberties that we are often tempted to take for granted. We should never take for granted the fact that our leaders work for us and not the other way around.

And that's what makes this session so important. Not every legislature not every administration is entrusted with the very important responsibility every ten years. After the census does its work it is now the legislatures responsibility to re draw the lines within our state. Now some describe this process as the elected leaders, politicians selecting their voters instead of the other way around. But in reality, the reality, the purpose of this session is far more important than that. Part that makes our democracy so important is the sacred principle of one person one vote. And for redistricting to truly achieve its purpose it's important that we continue to uphold that responsibility in the process over these next three weeks.

Now I know there will be challenging times ahead of us but I also know in our state we have had a great tradition with working across party lines. You have seen that in Washington D.C. with our members of our delegation. When you go back to the days of John Breaux, Billy Tauzin, and Bob Livingston and others who worked across party lines year after year to do what was best for Louisiana. We have seen that right here in Baton Rouge. Throughout the decades we have seen a tradition of non partisanship when it came to putting Louisiana first. I want to commend this legislature. Even with a democratic majority a little over three years ago you elected the first republican speaker in modern history. I want to commend this legislature. Even now you have a majority republican you have a democratic president of the senate. In the Senate you now got a republican chair of the finance committee. In our house, even with a republican majority, you have democratic chairman of your appropriations committee. And the list goes on and on and on. This is the proaction of confounds of those in Washington D.C. and other state capitals where they recognize themselves by their party allegiance first, instead of recognizing themselves as Americans first. Here in this chamber and the chamber across the great hall we know we come together as Louisianans first not as democrats, republicans or independents first. And that is an important tradition that I believe we must continue to uphold even after redistricting is done.

I know many have commented on the fact that this is the first time we have had a republican majority in the House. First time we have had a republican majority in the Senate But what I think is more important is that we continue that non-partisan tradition of chairman and leadership selected of individual abilities and leadership qualities not party affiliation or loyalties. Finally I will say this I know certainly that the next three weeks there will be many opportunities for disagreement. Many times opportunities for heated discussions and principles stands. And that is apart of the process, that's a healthy part of the process. But I would like to remind of this as well and it may be easier for me to say this because seeing as you can't really redraw my lines as you debate about your own lines. Unless we attempt to annex Texas or Arkansas I've made it clear my lines are pretty much intact.

But I do think it's important even as we go through this process at the end of this process we will heal our wounds and we will come together again. We will come together again in another important session just weeks from now. We will again be in this chamber. And in that session despite whatever disagreements may be happening, may happen of the next three weeks it will be important for us to come together and to work for the good of our state and our people. We have many important challenges and opportunities ahead of us. To continue to improve education. To continue to grow our economy. To continue to invest in our infrastructure. To continue to build a better Louisiana for our children and grandchildren. So they don't have to leave home to pursue their dreams. So the next three weeks are important. It is important for us to uphold that principle that of one person one vote. It is important for us to do this redistricting process as openly and transparently as fairly as possible.

When it is said and done we will come together as one group to do what is best for our state. I want to thank you for your work. I want to thank you for the sacrifices you make on behalf of our state. And may God continue to bless each and every one of you. May God continue to bless the great state of Louisiana. The greatest state in the greatest country in the history of the world. May God continue to bless the great people of the great United States of America. God bless you and thank you for the privilege of getting to come and address you at the beginning of this important session and thank you for the work that lies in front of you.

God bless Y'all and thank y'all very much.

 
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