Jeff Colyer in 2018 Governor's State of the State speeches


On Abortion: Kansas prohibited slavery and prohibited abortion together

Kansas was founded on the idea that all people have value. EVERYONE has a God-given right to life and liberty. As a doctor, I've seen newborn babies, who no one gave a chance, thrive. I've seen mothers frightened by a scary ultrasound, only to rejoice at their child's wedding 20 years later. When Kansas first entered the Union, two of our first laws emphasized basic human dignity. As a free state, Kansas prohibited slavery. The same Founders--whose names appear on these walls--passed laws prohibiting abortion. That same constitution that prohibited slavery did NOT mention a RIGHT to an abortion. Yet, a Kansas Court issued a ruling which argues the framers of the Kansas constitution imagined abortion as a separate constitutional right.

This is violence against basic facts. This cannot stand. We are a pro-life state. On the issue of life, the stakes are SO high, the issue is SO foundational, the people of Kansas MUST have the final say.

Source: 2018 Kansas Inauguration/State of the State speech Feb 8, 2018

On Drugs: Scourge of opioid and meth epidemics affect everyone

Many businesses say they have problems finding workers who can pass a drug test. This is a big reason why so many Kansans aren't benefitting from a growing economy. This scourge does not respect ethnicity, age, rich or poor, parent or child or county. Hundreds of our neighbors have died. Believe it or not, the average life expectancy in the US decreased the last two years, and many experts cite the opioid and meth epidemics as a primary cause. I've seen this first hand among my own patients.
Source: 2018 Kansas Inauguration/State of the State speech Feb 8, 2018

On Education: My (Re) Employment Plan: KANSASWORKS technical education

I was visiting Pittsburg, and Southeast Kansas continues to struggle. Without prior warning, I stopped in to visit the KANSASWORKS office which helps people looking for work: professionals provide personalized job search assistance.

To address this issue my Administration will be launching a program called the My (Re) Employment Plan, [which] will provide, free of charge, a skills assessment, resume, interview & networking assistance, & labor market information highlighting current in-demand jobs.

Other Kansans have the talent and drive but not the immediate technical skills to find a good paying job. The budget proposal includes significant investments in career and technical education. It will give Kansas high school students the opportunity to learn technical skills before they've even received their high school diplomas. Older students can also learn skills needed to compete for in-demand jobs. It will increase the apprentice program, and support the jobs of the future.

Source: 2018 Kansas Inauguration/State of the State speech Feb 8, 2018

On Education: Invest in early childhood education & invest in our future

Finally, and perhaps the most pressing question in many of your minds, where will we go on education? And before we get to the elephant in the room, let me first thank you to the legislature for the remarkable investments you have made in early childhood education. Early childhood education works.

On my first day as governor, I had the opportunity to visit a public school in my hometown of Hays. I want you to know that your Governor is a supporter of public education. In Kansas, we invest in our schools, not because a court tells us to, but because we want to invest in our children and our future. We invest in teachers because they invest in our kids. We support things like the Kansans Can Redesign program because we are willing to do hard things for the youth of this state.

Source: 2018 Kansas Inauguration/State of the State speech Feb 8, 2018

On Education: Increased investments in K-12 Education

What I learned from President Reagan is that we develop principles that allow us to resolve our issues. As the sign on his desk and now mine says, "It can be done." With that in mind, I will offer a framework that I hope you can see fit to support:
  1. We must keep our schools open.
  2. We need a definitive solution that ends the school finance lawsuits FOR GOOD.
  3. Increased investments in K-12 Education must come through a phased in approach that doesn't increase the tax burden on Kansas families and ensures schools can effectively allocate any new funds they receive.
  4. Lastly, and most importantly, we must insist on accountability and improved outcomes.
I will sign school finance legislation that meets these objectives. This will not be easy, but public servants and leaders are not called to make the easy choices. We're here to do the right thing, and the right thing is never easy.
Source: 2018 Kansas Inauguration/State of the State speech Feb 8, 2018

On Families & Children: Safe and professional workplace, free from sexual harassment

I expect a safe and professional workplace--free from sexual harassment. To anyone here that has experienced these evils, I want you to know that you've been heard. You have value and you have my respect. Harassment in any form, at any time, in any place, will not be tolerated in my Administration.

I signed my first Executive Order which first requires all Cabinet Agencies to update their sexual harassment prevention policies. Every employee, every intern, every contractor shall receive the material.

Second, it requires every state employee, every manager, even every intern to undergo sexual harassment prevention training. This will happen annually.

Third, allegations of sexual harassment will be investigated promptly and appropriate disciplinary action shall be taken swiftly.

Source: 2018 Kansas Inauguration/State of the State speech Feb 8, 2018

On Families & Children: More child welfare staff; more family programs

One need only pick up a newspaper to see examples of the extreme evil that exists in this world. Unfortunately, government will never be capable of preventing all these evils. But, we can and we must do better. To give children and families around the state the help they need, [we need a] top-to-bottom review of our state's child welfare system. We need funding to achieve the following goals:I know for a fact that each and every person in this room cares deeply about the plight of abused children in our state. Please join me as we fight for the most vulnerable children in our state.
Source: 2018 Kansas Inauguration/State of the State speech Feb 8, 2018

On Government Reform: 4-point plan to increase state government transparency

I will sign four executive orders, that take important steps to make Kansas government more transparent:
  1. First, we will no longer charge Kansans for open records requests of less than 100 pages.
  2. Second, we will institute policies to ensure the Administration relies on official email accounts to conduct state business.
  3. Third, I will implement performance metrics for Cabinet Agencies so Kansans can see how we perform.
  4. Fourth, we are launching a website to serve as a one-stop-shop for Cabinet Agencies to post open meetings, locations and materials.
Transparency is key to better accountability and accountability is the key to real results. Let's make this happen.
Source: 2018 Kansas Inauguration/State of the State speech Feb 8, 2018

On Jobs: Provide tools to fill 48,000 unfilled jobs in our state

Job growth and enhancing the quality of life for all Kansans must be our highest priority. So, here's my vision for Kansas:

Over the next few years, I want us to work together to steadily and professionally build Kansas to be a vibrant, growing state. In short, I want our children to see their best future right here in Kansas.

The Kansas unemployment rate is 3.4%. That's one of the lowest in the country. But if you travel around our state, it's impossible to miss the real-world struggles still faced by so many Kansas families. A rising tide lifts all boats, but too many of our people seem to be stranded on dry land. An expanding economy with opportunities for higher income and rising standards of living only works if our citizens have the right tools to make the most of their own lives.

Did you know there are more than 48,000 unfilled jobs in our state today? Truly, we have jobs looking for people. More and better jobs for Kansans is important to me personally.

Source: 2018 Kansas Inauguration/State of the State speech Feb 8, 2018

On Technology: Help Wichita maintain its title of Air Capital of the World

Several other states are trying to steal our title of Air Capital of the World. Today we say to them with one voice, "NOT ON OUR WATCH."

I've been working with our state's largest private employer, Spirit Aerosystems, and in December they announced plans to invest more than $1 Billion dollars and hire more than 1000 Kansans. That's a $1 million-dollar investment for EVERY job. In talking with Spirit and other aviation leaders, we've come to learn the real challenge is filling these positions with qualified workers. These are great jobs. They will provide a great life and opportunities for many families.

The [proposed state] budget also helps Wichita maintain its title of Air Capital of the World, with its investments in the National Institute for Aviation Research and the National Center for Aviation Training. I support these investments and hope you'll join me in advocating for them as you work through the budget process.

Source: 2018 Kansas Inauguration/State of the State speech Feb 8, 2018

The above quotations are from 2018 Governor's State of the State speeches.
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Page last updated: Apr 22, 2018