With Improving Budgets, Governors Turn to Investment
- January 22, 2014
- By Jake Grovum
Three governors gave their State of the State address Tuesday, delivering remarks to lawmakers and voters in New Mexico, Missouri and Hawaii. The Massachusetts address, originally scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed due to the snowstorm that hit the Northeast.
• Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, unveiled an aggressive spending plan that would deliver hundreds of millions of dollars more to the state’s public schools and universities. The $500 million proposal, Nixon said, would restore necessary funding to the state’s education system. He also backed an expansion of Medicaid under the federal health law. But Republicans balked at the price tag associated with both items, as they voiced more interest in tax cuts than additional spending.
• In New Mexico, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez made a pitch for economic growth during her state’s abbreviated 30-day session that began Tuesday. She said the state must become less reliant on federal dollars and grow its own economy. She proposed a 10 percent increase in starting pay for teachers, and again called on lawmakers to repeal a measure allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, a policy enacted in 2003 that she has long opposed.
• Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said his state’s healthy fiscal situation with a nearly $850 million budget surplus is a sign that lawmakers should turn toward investment in the state’s future. Abercrombie, a Democrat, backed new initiatives in early childhood education and conservation issues, along with a hike in the minimum wage. He also hinted at the possibility of tax breaks for senior citizens.