tv Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte Delivers the State of the State Address CSPAN February 10, 2023 10:53am-11:54am EST
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where you stand on the issues, c-span as america's network. unfiltered, unbiased, word for word. if it happens here or here or here, or anywhere that matters, america is watching on c-span. powered by cable. >> montana governor greg gianforte he delivered his state of the to address from the capital in helena. he talked about education, childcare investment, small business development and public safety.me >> lieutenant governor, mr. president, mr. speaker, members of the 68th legislature, fellow statewide officials, tribal leaders, members of the judiciary, members of our cabinet, the first lady of montana, my dear wife susan, and finally, my fellow montanans.
i really appreciate you giving a standing ovation to the whole thing, but you can be seated if you want. [laughing] my fellow montanans, serving you, the people of montana, as your 25th governor is the greatest honor of my life. thank you for the confidence you've placed in me.de in my last state of the state, i told montanans we owe it to them to be bold as we lead the montana comeback. we laid out an ambitious agenda with our sights set on building a place where more montanans are realizing the american dream, working hard, earning a good living, and raising their family. i'm proud to report we are
succeeding in that mission. but we know our journey is far from over. we still face challenges, but with each challenge comes an opportunity, an opportunity to grow together and grow stronger. for too long, montana hasn't been living up to our full, outstanding potential. our biggest exports have been our beef, grain, and, tragically, our kids and grandkids. we've seen jobs and opportunities grow in othernd states, while they haven't here. as a result, our kids andd grandkids have left the place they love and the people they love for better jobs, higher pay, and greater opportunities elsewhere. too many choose to leave, but
they shouldn't have to face that choice. over the past two years, we've made it easier for montanans to stay and some have come back home. i meet them, and other inspiring montanans, when i'm on the road. each year, i visit all 56 counties. it's a priority for me. getting out of the helena bubble and sitting down with montanans is the only way i know to do this job. montanans want greater opportunity, good-paying jobs, tax relief, the best education possible for their kids, affordable, accessible, high-quality health care, safe communities, attainable housing, stronger families, and responsive, effective government. i share their priorities.
and together we must deliver on them. montanans are on counting on us. let's get to it. our key focus has always been, and remains, creating greater opportunity for more montanans and protecting the montana way of life. together, we're opening the doors of greater opportunity so more folks can prosper and achieve the american dream. we're unleashing the engine of economic growth, business development, and job creation that, for too long, sputtered. in 2021, montana's economy grew at the seventh fastest pace in america. i'm proud of that. we did that together. [applause]
thanks to the hard work of montanans, we saw record business creation in 2021 and then again in 2022. together, with these hard-working montanans, we have created more than 31,000 new jobs in a state just in the last two years. that'snc 31,000 new jobs. that's making a difference in so many lives. never before have this many joby been created in two years. we've hit record-low unemployment. working with the legislature inm 2021, we delivered one of the largest tax cuts inf montana history. [applause] we reformed and simplified our
tax code to help small businesses, family farms, and family ranches thrive. and as a result, more montanans are working today than ever before. friends, the state of our state is strong, much stronger than it was two years ago. [applause] as much as our tax cuts and reforms help hardworking montanans, we recognize our state's regulatory scheme is a wet blanket on job creation and business development. that's why on my second day in office, i created the red tapee relief task force.
>> the results of the lieutenant governor's work are clear. right now, there are 160 redtape relief bills. many have passed the house or the senate. to our legislative partners, thank you for helping more montanans prosper by removing unnecessary, burdensome regulations. montanans have spoken loud and clear they want the government that works for them, not the other way around. that is why serving our customers, the people of montana is our top priority. we are putting customer service first, changing the way state government does business. we are listening to our bosses,
fixing what doesn't work, modernizing state government, streamlining permitting as an example, in 2020 the department of environmental quality was receiving a record number of requests for subdivision permits and the requests kept coming, the department faced backlog of nearly 500 overdue subdivision permits. this prevented builders and developers from doing their job so director chris torrington quickly changed the way deq operate in and in just months they are laminated the backlog and hireling. subdivision permits are being issued on time, and more homes are being built in montana as a result. thank you.
[applause] >> we are being better stewards of taxpayer dollars, making government more efficient. department of labor and industry developed a new and improved unemployment benefit system. the system saved taxpayers over $35 million and can now better serve those who have lost a job. the department of administration renegotiated our state health plan, that renegotiation is saving taxpayers $28 million per year while improving benefits. with historic surplus we are going to make montana debt-free in 23.
[applause] >> with your help, we will pay off the general obligation debt and save taxpayers $40 million over the next two years. i urge you to save montanans that $40 million. please get the bill to my desk. these are real efficiencies, real improvements, real savings, all to better serve the people of montana. as we lead montana's comeback we are creating an environment where businesses can thrive, create more good paying jobs and increase opportunities for all montanans. don't just take it from me, take it from companies like hyundai that decided to come to montana and invest in our
people and create 50 montana jobs or next era energy, supporting our all of the above energy strategy, and creating 300 montana jobs. or pharmaceuticals, adding to a growing hotspot of cutting-edge innovation and in the process 120 high-paying montana jobs. all told over the last two years, 15 businesses have relocated to montana and are creating 900 good paying montana jobs. [applause] >> these companies see montana's clear value. they see montanans unparalleled work ethic and our pro business, pro-jobs palm ocs, no
doubt about it, montana is open for business. we made montana more attractive to job creators and invested in state and our people, but we have a long way to go and we are just getting started. we will keep making montana a sanctuary for freedom and free enterprise. together we will make montana a better place to live, work, raise a family and pursue the american dream. that is what montanans sent all of us to do, to focus on their priorities. as i meet with montanans in every corner of our state i hear loud and clear that tax relief is a priority. that is why we are cutting taxes again this session,
working with the legislature, we are moving forward the largest tax cut in montana state history. [applause] >> with inflation taking a bite out of every budget from gas to groceries, providing meaningful tax relief is critical. for the people of montana that is why we will cut your taxes by over one billion dollars. all of the tax proposals are rooted in a simple philosophy. hard-working montanans should keep more of what they earn because ultimately it is not the government's money. it is the money of hard-working montanans who earn it. that is why we are going to put
money back in montanans pockets through immediate rebates and permanent long-term tax relief. the fact of the matter is montanans overpaid. we need to give it back. [applause] >> our plan. our plan, the one we are working on together, delivers montanans the largest income tax cut ever. our plan provides relief to montana taxpayers at every income level because even after our historic cut in 2,020 one we still have the highest income tax rate in rocky mountain west and one of the highest in the nation.
it is a drag on our economy, a disincentive for job creation and a burden on montana families. other states understood this and are cutting their income tax rates. to stay competitive we must do the same. we must permanently cut the tax rate most montanans pay and encourage montanans to get back in the workforce. i travel the state, i see help wanted signs on every main street. it is why we proudly lead as the first state in the nation to end federal supplemental unemployment benefits in 2021. [applause] >> it is why we are expanding the earned income tax credit to
lower income working montanans, incentivize work and build a stronger workforce. i want to take a minute to thank senator becky beard who introduced legislation to cut income tax rates for montana taxpayers that every single income level. where is becky. thank you, becky. [applause] >> i want to thank representative tom welsh for bringing legislation to provide
montana homeowners with meaningful property tax relief. thank you, tom. [applause] >> while the state receives a small fraction of property taxes, we believe montanans deserve substantial property tax relief. like a retired couple who, because they can't afford rising property taxes, thinking about selling their home they raised their kids in, we must provide them with significant property tax relief so they can stay in their home and in their community. we must make it easier for small business owners, family farms and family ranchers to thrive by further reforming the
business equipment tax [applause] >> for too long, owning the equipment needed to operate has come with a heavy, unnecessary tax burden. that is why we tripled the business equipment tax exemption in 2021, and why we are working with the legislature to raise the business equipment tax exemption to $1 million for every small business in the state of montana. taken together, these two changes will eliminate more than 5,000 small businesses from having to pay business equipment tax. [applause]
>> i want to thank representative josh cast meyer for leading the charge in 2,020 one, and leading the charge again in the 2,023 session. where is josh? thank you. [applause] >> working together, we are providing the largest tax cut in state history creating greater opportunities for montanans to prosper, thrive, and achieve the american dream. we must also ensure that our kids receive the best education possible. too often throughout our country we've seen education bureaucrats fighting to keep parents out of their kids education. let's be clear.
government should never stand between parents and their kids's education. [applause] >> let's empower montana parents to choose what is best for their family, and their kids. let's protect parental rights. [applause] >> i urge you to send me the majority leader's bill that ensures students and parents are put first in education. thank you.
[applause] >> every parent knows that each child is unique. let's ensure each child's education best meets his or her individual needs. let's support individualized learning, allowing students to progress at their own pace regardless of age or class. let's pass the individualized education act sponsored by senator shannon o'brien. [applause] >> thank you. let's support work based
learning, allowing on the job experience and to the high school graduation requirements. we can't continue doing the same thing and expect different results. we need to bring innovation back to education. we need fresh, new thinking, and bold leaders to deliver the best education possible for our kids. ron slinger, president of miles community college is doing that and is here with us tonight. miles community colleges equipping montanans with the skills they need to thrive in good paying careers from truck drivers to meet coders to certified nursing. the college has developed partnerships with the private
sector including stockman bank and sydney health center to create business specific micro credentials. miles community college is breaking the traditional mold, transforming how education is delivered to. they are thinking outside the box. not confining themselves or their students to the limits of brick and mortar. under ron's leadership they are delivering results. because of their innovation, miles community college full-time enrollment has grown at three times the rate of the entire university system in the last year. would you please stand up? [applause]
>> thank you for your innovative work on behalf of montana students. my challenge tonight, to education leaders at every college, every university, and every school district in the state, follow ron's lead, be innovative, be transformative, don't be constrained by brick and mortar, and improve educational opportunities for all montana students. we can also transform how we deliver traditional k-12
education and imagine a student who lives in rural montana, she excels at math, but the school doesn't offer advanced calculus and other stem courses. wouldn't she benefit from taking calculus on line. geographic boundaries are no longer a straight, we must modernize our way of thinking beyond traditional geographic boundaries. through representative. owns's bill to transform the digital academy. i ask you to pass that bill, to get it on your desk.
>> let's also double the, on the big sky scholarship, to expand parental choice on k-12 education. let's do all -- and take better care for the help of our kids reaching their full potential. and -- teaching, my mom was a high school math teacher and my daughter is teaching high school and math. for too long teachers who answer the call and start their
careers haven't earned enough. that's why we enacted the teach act to provide incentives. and and 500 new teachers here, and one of those young teachers is with us tonight. kylie is in her second year at harlem high school where she teaches agriculture and coaches cheerleading. she told me her life's calling, her husband nathan teaches agriculture and coaches wrestling at turner public school. they wanted to start their career in rural montana. it didn't add up financially with the low starting teacher
pay. startling -- the teach act made a big difference. kylie said the boost was her deciding factor in moving to harlem, thanks to the teach act, kylie and nathan, two young teachers educating young students. kylie and nathan, thank you for your dedication to our kids and montana's future, please stand up. [applause] >> friends, a 4-year college degree is not the best option for everyone.
many new, good paying jobs require specialized skills, skills developed through apprenticeship. when we took office two years ago, government regulations blocked access to apprenticeships. so we modernized our apprenticeship system and in the process we quadrupled the number of apprenticeships. and we are seeing results. in 2022, montana added more than one thousand apprenticeships, and more new employer sponsorships to our registered apprenticeship program. we have more apprentices now than ever before. williams plumbing in bozeman is one of our employer sponsors and quinn williams, the company
president, and cooper austin, an employee with williams plumbing are with us tonight. quinn told me, before our reform, the company had 35 available apprenticeship positions. with the help of our reform, williams plumbing created 200 apprenticeship positions. for hard-working montanans like cooper, who in his apprenticeship as a direct resort of the regular change. and that is not the right path for him. and station from missouri and cooper, thank you for your service to the state and nation.
[applause] cooper was looking for good paying career, a close family friend suggested he find one in the trades. that how he ended up at williams plumbing. cooper tells me that he has learned a lot as an apprentice and loves the work. cooper and quinn, thank you for making montana a better place. now more than ever, montana needs plumbers, and electricians, welders, and machinists, now more than ever montana needs a highly skilled
workforce which is why we created the montana trades education credit in 2,020 one. as we anticipated, montana employers are taking advantage to upscale the workforce. this year our budget nearly doubles the montana trades education credit boosting the successful program that builds the skills of hard-working montanans. as much as we need to up and opportunities for trades education we also need to grow our healthcare workforce. let's tear down the boundaries, barriers for healthcare professionals to practice in montana. sent representative amy revere's bill to joins the compact to the desk as well as representative bill mercer, that improves professional and occupational licensing so we can staff hospitals and
clinics. [applause] taken together these measures will build a more robust provider network in montana and ultimately increase montanans access to healthcare. in 2021 we brought greater competition to the marketplace and more choice to consumers by authorizing direct patient care agreements. with unanimous bipartisan support and expanded telehealth, increasing access to high-quality care, let's build on this session. if we want nurses, law enforcement officers and teachers to live in the communities they serve, we must
address the shortage of affordable, attainable housing as well. [applause] homeownership, foundational to the american dream, homeownership is harder to achieve. hard-working montanans should be able to live in the communities where they work. grandparents should live closer to kids and grandkids. that brought together a diverse housing task force. i want to thank senator greg hurts, representative sue vinton, former representative
danny tenenbaum, agency directors and stakeholders for their leadership, thank you. >> made the mission clear, and make that unaffordable reality for montanans. and for affordable housing. we adopted the strategies in the budget, and and it invests $200 million to expand water and sewer infrastructure, and housing opportunities.
i want to thank representative mike hopkins for leading that effort. thank you, gentlemen. [applause] >> i ask you to pass the homes program. get it to my desk to increase the supply and get more montanans into a home of their own. to increase the supply of attainable housing we need infrastructure in place. it is why in addition to historic investments in water and sewer, we proposed an additional one hundred million dollars to repair our roads and bridges and like access to water and sewer systems and safer roads and bridges, montanans access to broadband is essential in the 21st
century. lack of access to reliable broadband limits montanans access to educational opportunities, healthcare, and career opportunities. we have the largest investment in broadband infrastructure. that would bring reliable broadband to 62,000 montana homes that are not currently served. [applause] [applause] >> as we create better opportunities for montanans we must also protect our way of life. above all, that means protecting life.
our declaration of independence states we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness but without life, there could be no liberty and no pursuit of happiness. all life is precious and must be protected. [applause] last session, we passed commonsense pro-life bills some of which are tied up in the courts. our commitment to doing what is right for unborn babies will never waver.
[applause] >> as we stand firm for life, we must ensure that montana kids, from unborn babies to teenagers, have an opportunity to reach their full, god-given potential. our kids and montana's future depends on strong families, and we must help them prosper. but inflation, rising prices, increasing childcare costs, continue to be a heavy burden for working families with young kids. to support them, we are proposing a $1200 child tax credit for kids under 6. $1200 is meaningful for these
young families. we need to get this done. we are raising kids in montana. representative josh castmeyer is carrying the bill to provide assistance for montana families. >> speaking of childcare, let's make it more accessible and affordable. for too long, working families have faced a shortage. this problem was made worse by the pandemic, here and throughout the country. it is why we invested $100 billion to stabilize childcare in montana. it is why we are eliminating unnecessary barriers to childcare, so we can better
serve kids, provide a foundation for better future. we must make it easier for montanans to open their happy, loving, healthy homes to kids. every child deserves a home where they can reach their full potential. [applause] >> to get more children into permanent, loving homes, we are proposing an adoption tax credit of $5000. if we adopt a kid from our foster care system, that amount to $7500. we heard inspiring testimony yesterday from adoptive families who open their homes and created a brighter future to adopted children. i appreciate representative
courtney sprunger. thank you, courtney. [applause] >> i am thankful for groups working each day to get every child into a permanent loving home. groups like child bridge. launched by the late steve brian and his wife, mary, child bridge advocates for abused and in the jet the children - neglected children and find foster homes filled with love and support. because of steve's vision, thousands of montana children have a bright future and loving family. what started as a local organization, child bridge is now involved in nearly 2/3 of
all non-kinship placements throughout montana. this is the power of the public sector working together with the private sector. the executive director, jenna taylor, is with us here tonight. jenna, on behalf of a grateful state, thank you. and thank you to the entire child bridge team. you provide hope for generations of children. please stand up. [applause] >> to continue building bridges among montana's public, nonprofit, and private sectors, under my direction, the department of health and human
services has launched the office of faith and community-based services, this office is helping bring people together to build better outcomes for families and children in montana. as we know too well, drug addiction and violent crime threaten our families, our communities and very montana way of life. i heard in every community throughout the state including public safety, roundtable, did this last year. mexican drug cartels mass-produce fentanyl, and mostly over the southern border. this is a direct consequence of the nation's insecure and porous border. i have a message for president
biden and members of congress, secure the southern border now. [applause] stop neglecting it. secure the border. the safety of our communities, and our people depend on it. crime and addiction go hand in hand with tragic results. addiction and substance abuse chair families apart leaving family members grieving loss of a loved one. addressing crime and addiction
will take partnerships and investments. to hold criminals accountable, we proposed to invest $200 million to repair and expand capacity at the state prison. i want to take a minute to thank representative mike hopkins and john fitzpatrick for leading this effort. [applause] >> to make communities safer i ask you to pass that funding and get it to our desk. working with the attorney general we propose investing in law enforcement. our budget funds 16 new highway patrol troopers and criminal investigators. we propose funding 6 new
prosecutors at the montana department of justice. we will combat the scourge of human trafficking, violent crime and crimes against our children. the brave men and women of law enforcement, put their lives on the line each and every day. they deserve our support. i speak for all montanans, we see you and appreciate you and back the blue. [applause] >> we crackdown on criminals peddling dangerous drugs we are
focused on expanding access to treatment, recovery for montanans struggling with addiction. the angel initiative is one way we are doing that, launched by our administration the angel initiative allows folks struggling with addiction to visit any participating law enforcement office and get connected with treatment. i'm proud to have cascade county sheriff justin slaughter here tonight, he is dedicated to making the community safer. he was also the first angel initiative partner in the state of montana. please stand and be recognized. [applause] >> thank you, sheriff
slaughter. we are proud to have 20 sheriff's throughout the state partnering with us on the angel initiative. we keep adding more, in january 2021 we introduced the heart fund. it funds a full continuum of substance abuse prevention and treatment programs in communities across the state. the heart fund helps people regain their health, rebuild their lives, and become vibrant members of the community. to be clear, it is not bigger government. is a community grant program, these funds go to nonprofits and ngos that are on the ground working in the communities. i am proud that our budgets expand on historic progress boosting the heart fund by 50%.
our budget also permanently funds 8 proven effective drug courts throughout the state that are losing federal funding. instead of turning our backs on those struggling with addiction we are investing in hope and opportunity as they get clean, sober, and healthy. we also have an obligation to take care of the most vulnerable amongst us. after decades of previous administrations applying band-aids and kicking the can down the road, we propose a generational investment in behavioral health. with it, we will repair the state hospital, we will improve patient services. we will better secure the safety of patients and providers.
we will support expanded community-based behavioral health clinics. friends, it is time to stop kicking the can down the road. send that budget item to my desk. [applause] [applause] >> i appreciate the leadership of representative bob keenan, ed staffman, representative mary farrell, senator john s and the interim committee that worked with director br'ererton. thank you.
>> we continue to face the heartbreaking crisis of missing and murdered indigenous persons and this is an all hands on deck moment. i want to recognize representative sharon stewart paraguay for giving a voice to the voiceless, continuing to carry the torch, i ask us all, ask you all to send her bill to my desk so i can sign it. thank you for your work. [applause] >> part of our way of life is defined by our rich outdoor heritage and vast public lands. we must protect them for generations that will follow us.
active management will protect our forests. when a forest is managed properly, we have less severe wildfires, more recreational opportunities, more wildlife habitat, and more jobs. in 2,020 one, we set an ambitious forestry target, to match the urgency of the forest health crisis that we face. thanks to the leadership of director amanda castor and the hard work of the department of natural resources and conservation, we more than doubled the number of acres treated in montana in one year. our budget proposes $10 million a year to expand the scope of active forest management so we have fewer wildfires in the future. for the well-being of our people, their homes, property,
and livelihoods, i urge you to pass our active forest management proposal. as we better manage our lands, we are also increasing access to them. take our work, the state purchased 50,000 acres in the area providing access to 100,000 acres of state and federal land. this conservation victory created big snowy mountains, wildlife management area, not only does this land offer exceptional hunting with excellent habitat. it will remain open for cattle grazing. it is a vested interest in seeing land conservator wildlife while keeping ranchers on the landscape. they were the first stewards. [applause]
>> production and and conservation are not mutually exclusive. we married those interests in this agreement and achieve they win/win for montana offering a great example of what we can accomplish together. it is a testament to the fact that we are best when we are working together. let's keep that in mind as we work through this legislative session and in the years to come. let's remember that there is much, much more that brings us together than separates us. let's continue finding common ground and delivering results to the people of montana. that is what they sent us here to do.
ultimately, we all want the same thing, to open the doors of greater opportunity so more montanans can thrive, prosper and achieve the american dream. let's work every day to make that a reality because every day montanans work hard to realize the american dream, turn a decent living, to own a home, to raise a family, to contribute to their communities, and to retire comfortably but to leave their kids and grandkids a better life than they had. while the american dream might be fleeting in some states, it is alive and well here in montana. we embrace the freedoms that are foundational to who we are as americans. we support all of those who want a better life and are
willing to work for it. we stand with parents, doing everything they can do to give their kids a better life. we celebrate our shared values of hard work, commitment to family, freedom, and love of country. we embrace the fundamental idea that the american dream is a sacred one and we will always defend it. friends, our best days are ahead of us. a better, brighter future, we are building together, one we believe our kids and grandkids, that inspires me every day. thank you, god bless you, god bless america and god bless the great state of montana.
♪♪ [applause] >> on saturday, microsoft vice chairman and brad smith will be part of the discussion on the challenges in the labor market. hosted by the governors association, montana governor greg gianforte will be the moderator. you can watch on c-span now or online, c-span.org. c-spanshop.org, rousted the latest collection of c-span products, apparel, books, home decor and accessories. there's something for every c-span fan and every purchase supports the nonprofit