State of the State Address
Updated: Tuesday, February 19 2013, 08:14 PM EST
Newly elected Governor Pat McCrory laid out his plans tonight in his first State of the State address in the Raleigh House Chamber.
McCrory centered the speech around the three "E"s: fixing the economy, reforming education and improving the efficiency of state services.
Efficiency, he said, would mean streamlining Medicaid and stopping up the state's $2.5 billion debt.
"We are not going to borrow money from Washington with no idea on how to pay it back," said McCrory.
Talking about education, he stressed working-training programs that would begin in high school, in school partnerships with community colleges. He also emphasized the importance of computers in classrooms, and offered a plan to finance the technology.
"I'm recommending that we persue legislation to reallocate a portion of money away from the bloated and frankly annoying advertising and the large administration costs of the lottery commission and we will use that money to help our students directly with technology," said McCrory.
Economy will likely be the biggest issue the former Charlotte mayor will face, with unemployment stubbornly sticking around nine percent.
He bulleted solutions: lower personal income and small business tax rates, invest in exports, explore offshore drilling.
"I think right now our biggest challenge is to develop a strategy for the small towns around North Carolina that have been hit so hard by this recession," said McCrory.
Speaking to the first Republican-controlled legislature in decades, rather than stressing working together, he emphasized that the work can't be done while divided.
"None of this can be about politics, power, legacy, turf, or who gets the credit," said McCrory, nearing the end of an approximately 40 minute address. "Who cares."
The Democratic response to the address, given by House Minority Leader Rep. Larry Hall, offered a look at the divide that'll characterize this next term for the legislature.
With the key issues the parties will need to come together on including tax reform and how exactly to tackle education reform.
By Ashlea Surles
Follow Ashlea on Twitter @AshleaSurles