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tv   National Governors Association Winter Meeting Discussion on Economic...  CSPAN  February 13, 2020 7:31pm-8:00pm EST

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before clark county democrats. sunday, live at 5:00 p.m. eastern, joe biden, pete, centre amy klobuchar, and tom steyer speak at a forum on infrastructure. live coverage on c-span. watch on demand at and listen on the go on c-span radio app. the national governor's association recently hosted a discussion on infrastructure and economic prosperity during their annual winter meeting, held in washington, d.c.. this is half an hour.
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it is more important than ever that we work together to find new ways to build a steady pipeline for the future using economic development models and infrastructure projects and talented, well-trained and well skilled workers. governors obviously play a key role in these efforts. many of the governors here today have shown tremendous leadership in this area. it is at the state level that ideas are being developed and real solutions are being forged. panel, itday's next is my privilege to introduce the , thechair of the nga, governor of the great state of new york, andrew cuomo, who will tell us about the progress he's making in new york and then lead the next panel discussion. [applause] gov. cuomo: thank you. before i get started, let us
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give a great round of applause to governor hogan. [applause] governor hogan, we all thank you for your professionalism, your cooperation, and your leadership. another round of applause for governor hogan, please. it is my pleasure to be here today to open the second plenary session. let me tie this discussion of this session into the last one on global and domestic infrastructure. if we had a magic wand, we should waive it and eliminate the word infrastructure from the vocabulary. it is just not an attractive word, let us be honest. maybe if we come up with a more attractive word, we can entice the federal government to reenter the field. ngads like a task for a new subcommittee. the simple truth is we need the
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federal government to be a full partner to resolve this crisis. and it is a crisis. states simply don't have the financial luxury of filling the void, no matter how creative states are. this is not a partisan complaint because the past five presidents, democrats and republicans, all proclaimed infrastructure as a national priority and very little progress has been made. our funding deficit is estimated to be one point $5 trillion by 2025. european countries on average spend 5% of gdp on infrastructure. our federal government spends less than half that. 38% of thengton paid cost of building our nations infrastructure. today that share is down to 25%. the ever-increasing balance falls to state and local governments.
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in the meantime, states do what we can. and states do what we must. we know that what we build, what we modernize, is the legacy we leave behind. given the state's limited resources, a development strategy must be targeted and have a direct connection to a return on investment. they must be catalytic to economic development. either the project itself must be essentially self financed, or the project must be an integral part of a targeted economic development strategy that will pay dividends. analyzedrk, we development projects in two tiers. first, necessary and essential modernization of our transportation systems, and second, regional economic development investments. first, global competition demands a modern transportation
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network. period. either grow or be left behind. in 2014, then-vice president joe quote, if yousic landed in new york at laguardia airport and you were blindfolded, you would think you landed in a third world country. dramatic quote. all the new york politicians criticized the vice president for slandering a new york airport. we can be a little defensive as a group in new york. but i actually went the other way. the vice president was right. let us recognize the truth. state, needs a global airport to enter competition. look what they are building around the world and then look what we are doing in the united states of america.
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if we want to keep pace with the rest of the world, we have to update our transportation network. if the federal government will not do it, states must do it as a basic matter of economic survival. now, states getting into this business bring significant financial challenges as well as a highly specialized expertise. funds to not have the do it without leveraging public-private sector partnerships. vehicles truly the only to get the amount of funding the states would need to make a real difference. example, in new york it was the leasing of terminal space at the beginning of our construction project to pay the cost of the construction. we are building a new laguardia airport. it is going to be the first new
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airport in the united states since the denver airport opened in 1995. it is an 8 billion dollar project with about one third coming from government, two thirds being paid from private sources. to actually build it, we have adopted a design method, the state will master plan the project, but we bid out the design and construction to a private company with a set completion date and a penalty for late delivery. government does not know how to build. theyork recently completed largest infrastructure project in the united states, the bridge across the hudson river with a price tag of $4 billion. it was completed on time and after many sleepless nights on budget. it took about four years. inlding public confidence
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government's capacity to actually complete these big projects is essential if we are to have the political will to move forward on an ambitious building agenda. we want the federal government to know the people of this nation want this kind of leadership and participation. the people of this nation need to know that if we embark on this venture, we can get it done and we will get it done and it will happen efficiently and effectively. there now in the middle of largest building program in new york state's history. 275 billion dollars in infrastructure. we are rebuilding laguardia and jfk, our regional airports in upstate new york, train stations, mass transit, roads, bridges, statewide. all projects in resiliency.
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these development projects are basically essential for economic survival. if the federal government will not step up and fund them, the state must. at the same time, we have a , which arel basically regional development programs where we identify the economic potential within a discrete region of the state that needs help. projects in those necessary to bring that economy up in that region. those projects are tailored specifically to those regions. for example, northern new york, we have the adirondacks. there economy is based on tourism, outdoor recreation. we are building new lifts, new lodges, new roads, new hotels. long island is a different region of the state and we are building an economy based on our concentration of academic institutions and biotech developers. we are trying to steal a page
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from north carolina and have our own research triangle on long island. we are financing laboratories and schools and new rail transportation. syracuse in the central part of the state, we are developing a economy on unmanned drones and vehicles. we just built a 50 mile testing area, one of the largest in the country. these development plans are originating by business leaders in the region, working with local elected officials, and the state comes in to provide the investment capital. we have spent $25 billion on these projects. $18 billion from the private sector, 7 billion from the state. the point is again, regional development that grows the economy because we need the economy to grow to pay for the capital investment the state made.
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and further those economic advances. in closing, my last point is that while we all hope for an active federal partnership, after such a long delay, the best course for the states is to hope for the best and plan for the worst. if the federal government decides to embark on an aggressive building program we all will advocate for, they will look to the states to find projects that are ready to go, right? they are going to turn to the states and ask for shovel-ready projects. we saw this in 2008 when the federal government started a stimulus program and went out to the states and said, give us your shovel-ready projects. it is hard to have a shovel-ready project before you have the finances. for states, we are doing the best we can to have those projects ready once the federal funding becomes available. we are investing a record amount
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in building. people often ask me, is this economically prudent? i say, look. first, we must recognize the economic reality. we are all in a national competition for the same businesses and jobs. the locations that better serve the private market will win, whether they are in europe or utah or texas or new york. afford to growot its infrastructure and its economic passage? in new york, we have never forgotten what drove our original success. yes, we have new york city, which provides a great natural harbor. but that did not exclusively drive our economic growth. for, the nation was looking a way to open up the west. at that time, the west was basically west of the mississippi. thomas jefferson and george
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washington were planning a series of canals from the potomac to access the west. york, governor clinton, no relationship to bill, said. he had a plan. his plan was the ships could come into new york harbor, go up the hudson river, make a left at albany, and come out across the state in buffalo on the great lakes, and from the great lakes, you can take the river down and you will be in the quote unquote west. when the ships make the left at albany, how did they get out at buffalo? that's 400 miles, all landlocked. governor clinton said, no problem. i will build a canal that goes across the state. we will pull the barges with horses and mules.
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1817. 400 mile canal. the people of the state thought it was so crazy they tried to impeach him on the grounds of insanity. [laughter] gov. cuomo: but he did it. seven years, on time and on budget, and he built the erie canal. that really was the infrastructure that made new york a commercial engine. but that is the innovation. that is the daring, the ambition, the spirit that built this nation. it still lives in every governor and in every state. an earlier panel, it was said , the line from the kevin costner movie was right. if you build it, they will come. the line was right. the name of the movie was wrong. it is not a field of dreams. this is a country of dreams.
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we are a nation of dreamers who have the skill, the tenacity, the courage to actually make it a reality. and we did it, and we can do it again if we just have the wisdom to work together. inc. you. -- thank you. [applause] gov. cuomo: now it is my pleasure to introduce governor herbert. last summer we all got to see with our own eyes the summer meeting in salt lake city, governor herbert has been making progress happen in his state of utah. the people of utah have been lucky to have him. so has the nga. no one loves the nga more than its former chairman. governor herbert is not leaving us until the end of this year, so we will lean on him until then. let us give a big welcome to governor herbert. [applause]
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gov. herbert: well, thank you governor cuomo. i am grateful to be here and take a few minutes with you today. this is my 11th winter meeting. gives me an opportunity to say thanks for all the contributions even your predecessors have made to me as i have come here and listened and learned and been able to translate some of that wisdom you have imparted to me and the success of utah. i recognize that we all are little bit different. we have different cultures, different backgrounds, different politics, so what i say today is emblematic of what is happening in utah and perhaps you can learn from some of the things we have done and certainly i can learn from you. i appreciate governor cuomo's comments about the possibilities -- i live in a state that was built on dreams, possibilities, trying to work together and what
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was originally then a public-private partnership. those who came to the desert to try to make it blossom as a rose. let me mention a couple of things that him might make an observation. i would make this observation that the wealthier you are, generally speaking, the healthier you are. you have access to better quality health care. having a focus on economic development and growing the economy is important for all of us. it is how you pay the bills, whether it is infrastructure, which we focused on today with larry's initiative, or funding education, health care, whatever your issues are, they very around the country, having a healthy economy helps us pay the bills. is 108 years york
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older than us. i am a new state. we can learn from those who have been down the trail a lot longer than us. new innovations are coming as we embrace technology, things we have been able to appreciate, get on board quicker than some of the states. on economicould be development and in doing so, understand, this is a herbertism, capital is a coward. capital flows in and out depending on how it feels. if it feels welcome, capital will flow to your regions, to your businesses. it willhing is amiss, find other places to go where it is more welcome. what we have tried to do when i came into office in the depths of the great recession was to reset our compass, say, what can we do to in fact improve the conditions in our state of utah to have a focus on coming out of the economy and become the best we can possibly be? number to be the best,
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one in america. and also add to our opportunities to be an international business destination. and why not? we speak 130 languages in utah. in doing so, basic principles in doing so, basic principles were something we embraced. for example, we have competitive tax rates. we have flattened our tax rates. that happened under my predecessor, governor huntsman. they have been lowered to below rates for4.9% flat personal and corporate income taxes. we have also wanted to make sure we streamlined our regulations. regulations in our statutes. we found we have 368 of them that have no public purpose. it did not level playing fields, make it equal opportunity.
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it was not designed to keep bad people at bay. it was just kind of a drag on the economy. . we removed those regulations and said to the marketplace, we are open for business. we do not want to have things that are just going to make it more difficult for you to be successful as a business enterprise. we also wanted to find a way to make government more efficient. we understood, as you do, that government is a monopoly. whether we are good, bad, or indifferent in how we spend it does not make a difference how we are going to be around 10 years from now. in the private sector, that makes a big difference. ,t has been mentioned competition from china, it's a global marketplace, not just our respective regions or states. it is a world competition now. the private sector, if we don't compete properly, we will lose profit, market share, and then our business.
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recognizing that's not the same rules government has to play on, our cabinet, our senior staff members, we said, what can we do to plant more efficiencies? we developed what is called a success program. doing so, we said we can find more efficiencies and save taxpayers dollars. to give you an example of two things we have done emblematic of many things we have done, today in the state of utah, we actually have fewer state employees than we did back in 2002. you have to go to 2001 to find a smaller number. that's 19 years ago. in the meantime we have 900,000 more people who call utah home. more demands on state government. we are providing it with fewer labor thanks to technology and better processes. that saves on average now and
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growing about $400 million to $500 million per year for the taxpayers. done, theve also department of motor vehicles, which we know is a bad example of state government, our department of motor vehicles, the dmv, the average wait time is less than five minutes. we are doing things a lot more effectively and efficiently making our government more effective. last but not least, the entire effort here is to empower those in the private sector. public-private partnerships. most everything we do is with a private partner. we contract on buildings. the services we provide, we contact -- contract and have competition and bidding to make sure we get the best and most efficient use of the taxpayers' dollars providing services. we have had great success, to the point that right now, where
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we don't spend more than we take we have one of only 12 states that have a aaa bond allows us to borrow money at a lower cost when we do construction. we don't use any one time moneys for ongoing. we don't have any structural imbalances. it has allowed us to have a good, solid foundation for growth of the economy and the private sector. last, but not least, let me talk about things we have done. i had the opportunity to hear from the second lady, karen what weo talk about the can do to have reciprocity between the states particularly with military personnel. we said any military personnel moving into the state in utah, if your spouse is a licensed
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whatever, a lot of them are teachers, if you are licensed in another state, licensed in new york, when you come to utah, that license will be accepted. jobs.p them find that has been a good thing for us and has helped our implement rate -- unemployment rate is 2.3% and on a plane but for veterans is 2% -- unemployment for veterans is 2%. one of the other things i am most pleased about, i had an opportunity to meet with mayor bloomberg. they did a study on utah and found in their analysis the largest middle-class we have in the country today is located in utah. able to have significant economic expansion and growth. we have created 3.7% new jobs in
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the private sector for the last decade. healthy economic decade in our state's history, and that is a pretty healthy growth rate. we have more jobs. we have emphasized skills and training with education. we have emphasized vocational, technical training to fill the voids that are out there now. we have been able to lift people out of poverty this last decade to the point we now no longer have just the largest middle-class. we have the third lowest poverty rate that we have in the nation. we have had great success. we are happy to share with you our success. it worked for us, it may work for you. we are happy to share what we did and how we did it. infrastructure, when i first came into office, we spent $100 billion on
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highways and roads. we now spend every year about $800 million on roads and have bonded for some others. we understand what is being talked about. the importance of infrastructure to allow not just life in the east to get from point a to point b, but it is a development tool. , roads, highways, and byways, continue to be part of our budget. we have created an inland port trying to find ways for goods to come into the country without having to go through the coast, which are backed up. to have an inland port, where we have rail and highways and air all coming together to help us reduce pollution, to concentrate in an area that makes it easy come in and out of the country and out of utah.
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we have a new airport, we are remodeling our airport. are now going to open the new airport, which is going to be completely remodeled and reconstructed. $4 billion cost. we will open up this year in the fall. again, we talk about being a crossroads of the west. areou look at the map, we the bullseye between canada and mexico, the midwest and the west coast. we are doing things to enhance that opportunity. has governor cuomo talked about, it is a matter of working together, finding ways to find new ideas. morenly for ourselves, but importantly, for our children and our grandchildren. i think all of us can learn from each other.
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i thank you for the contributions you have given us to help utah become the best it can be. thank you very much. [applause] their annual winter meeting in washington, d.c., the national governors association held a discussion on prison reentry, workforce development efforts, and occupational licensing reform. this is >> our next session will explore for -- workforce solutions. to begin today's discussion, we have the arkansas governor, who was the terror of the nga's education and workforce committee. is leading a discussion on how states can provide workforce beining, and he will joined by iowa governor kim reynolds. she will talk about steps her state is taking to improve the state's


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