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Excerpts From The Governor's Speech

January 09, 2002

On Terrorism

THE HORRIFIC EVENTS of September 11th shocked us all--and changed our world forever. All four hijacked planes were bound for California. And on that darkest day, more than 100 fellow Californians paid the ultimate price for our freedom, as much as any soldier who ever fought in any war. Tonight, we dedicate ourselves to building a future worthy of their sacrifice. . . .

While we honor and support our fighting men and women overseas, we also must pay tribute to those keeping us safe here at home. The men and women of law enforcement and the California National Guard have put themselves in harm's way to protect our very way of life. For that, we owe them our deepest gratitude. . . .

My friends, the citizen-soldiers of the National Guard should not have to pay for the privilege of protecting us against terrorism. As you know, many of the reserves called to duty left better-paying jobs behind. During these extraordinary times, I believe the state should pay the difference between military and civilian pay for those state employees who were called up to active duty.

Many private companies already make this commitment, and I would urge every other employer who could to make their Guard employees whole.

Since September 11th, we acted swiftly to protect our airports, bridges, highways and dams, to secure our water supplies and electricity grid and to prepare our health facilities. But there is more we can and must do. First, we're working with the Bush administration to create a tiered system of public warnings when terrorist threats occur.

Second, we're asking the federal government to allow California Highway Patrol officers to provide additional sky marshal protection on in-state flights that they're taking anyway in the course of their duties.

Third, we'll ensure that law enforcement officials--with the authority of the court--can monitor communications by suspected terrorists and allow roving wiretaps on suspects.

Fourth, we'll tighten controls over the transportation of toxic and hazardous materials. In addition, I will ask the attorney general to review new federal anti-terrorism legislation to ensure that California law is consistent with--and at least as tough--as national law.

On the Economy

THE EVENTS OF SEPTEMBER 11TH also struck a major blow to our nation's economy. California, like most other states, now faces with daunting challenges. After three years of unprecedented economic expansion in this state, the coming year will require difficult choices.

But even with the budgetary cuts that will be necessary, California will still be much stronger than when I took office three years ago. The state's underlying economy remains more diverse and entrepreneurial than ever. When the economy does rebound--as we know it will--California will be better prepared to come roaring back because of the smart investments and dramatic progress we have made together over the past three years.

On Jobs

ALTHOUGH UNEMPLOYMENT has risen since September 11th, California has created 900,000 new jobs in the last three years--more than any other state in America. When I took office in 1999, California was the world's seventh-largest economy.

Today--because of the extraordinary ingenuity and industry of our citizens--we are the fifth-largest economy on the planet, having passed both France and Italy.

On Education

IN EDUCATION, we've made consistent and measurable progress: We've recruited 15,000 new teachers, and 20,000 college students have taken advantage of our incentives to become future teachers; 100,000 teachers have received rigorous, world-class training under the auspices of the University of California. More than 1,300 teachers have met the high national standards for prestigious national certification--a tenfold increase in just three years.

Last year alone, in part because of our incentives, 516 California teachers became Board-certified. More than 200,000 teachers have taken advantage of our teacher tax credit. And we've put a college education within the reach of hundreds of thousands of young Californians. For the first time ever, 100,000 students have earned Governor's Merit Scholarships, and nearly 200,000 will receive Cal Grants based on merit and need--the most ever at one time. We take pride in all these numbers, but here's the one that counts the most: Test scores are up three years in a row.

On Energy

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