When people say, "we can't find enough women, or enough diverse candidates for leadership roles," I say--you're not looking hard enough.
We should also work together this session to join the rest of the nation and raise the threshold for felony larceny. Virginia's threshold has not changed since 1980. It is the lowest in America.
There is no excuse for the criminal act of theft, but a teenager who steals one used iPhone or a pair of boots should not have her entire life defined by that one mistake.
Last year, Governor McAuliffe signed an Executive Directive to begin the process of capping carbon emissions from Virginia's electric utilities and use the power of the market to foster growth and innovation in the clean energy sector. The Clean Energy Virginia initiative is an incredible opportunity to create the next generation of energy jobs and lead the fight against climate change -- and my administration will implement it fully.
I will also support joining a coalition of states called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI. We can invest the significant revenues Clean Energy Virginia will generate to create clean energy jobs in rural communities, help families lower their electrical bills, and solidify our position as a global leader in renewable energy.
Unfortunately, Virginia law imposes many onerous and unnecessary restrictions on voting that discourage participation for many people.
Let's reverse that troubling trend by passing no-excuse absentee voting, so more people can have a say in their future without jumping through unnecessary hoops. This commonsense reform will make voting easier, reduce lines on Election Day and send a simple message that in Virginia, we want more voters, not fewer.
There are many actions we should take over our time together to save lives by reducing gun violence. Let's start by keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them by passing universal background checks.
As long as Virginians' lives are at risk because there are too many guns in the hands of people who would use them to harm others, we will fight on this ground. As long as schools, churches, offices and concert venues are exposed to horrific, preventable violence, we will fight on this ground. As long as the people who sent us all here continue to cry out for solutions to the epidemic of gun violence, we will fight on this ground.
But bringing more jobs to Virginia is only half the battle. Too many of our fellow Virginians are out of work or underemployed because they lack the skills they need to begin a long-term career. And too many of our businesses are struggling to fill high-paying positions because they just can't find people with the right skills and training.
If we are going to make Virginia work better for everyone, strengthening our workforce development system and expanding access to registered apprenticeships are key.
During my campaign for Governor, I made connecting Virginians with the skills they need to succeed in a new economy the centerpiece of my agenda. My plan is to pay tuition and fees for any Virginian who pursues a credential in a high-demand field, if they commit to at least one year of public service.
The above quotations are from 2018 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts from 2018 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts by Ralph Northam.
Click here for other excerpts by other Governors.
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