Governors Tackle Teacher Pay, ACA in Speeches
Governors in Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, South Dakota and Washington delivered their annual State of the State addresses Tuesday, focusing on issues such as teacher pay hikes, health insurance expansion and tax cuts.
- In Alabama, Republican Gov. Robert Bentley pushed for teacher pay hikes and other education measures as a way to help people out of poverty. He also attacked the Affordable Care Act and other “federal government giveaway programs.”
- In Indiana, Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican, asked lawmakers to pass a business tax cut, rebuke Common Core education standards and send voters a constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage.
- Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican who is expected to announce his bid for an unprecedented sixth term Wednesday, struck a bipartisan tone in his Condition of the State address. He offered several ideas for attracting military veterans to Iowa, proposed tax incentives for building broadband and said parents should be notified when their children are involved in bullying incidents at school.
- In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie tried to calm the fury over his administration’s role in creating massive traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge in September. Christie acknowledged that mistakes were made, but he spent most of his address pushing issues such as extending school hours, lowering property taxes and encouraging the consolidation of local governments.
- In South Dakota, Gov. Dennis Dauggard said he is taking a wait-and-see approach to exploring options for expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The Republican governor said he is interested in alternative arrangements, such as ones the federal government approved for Arkansas and Iowa, but wants to give federal officials time to settle into the program before approaching them.
- In Washington state, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee called for a hike in the state’s minimum wage and a boost in teacher pay and school funding, in response to a state supreme court ruling.
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