January 10, 2007 -- Posted at 9:00 p.m.
Little Rock, AR -- In his first State of the State Address as Arkansas's Governor, Mike Beebe wasted no time outlining his plans for Arkansas, starting with education.
"The first part of ensuring that vision will become real is ensuring that our young people receive only the best from our schools, not just because it is a legally mandated first priority, but because it's the right thing to do. It's the most important task at hand," said Arkansas Governor, Mike Beebe.
He proposed approximately 19 million dollars in additional revenue for public education above that recommended by the education communities.
"Young people with the talent and the ability to pursue higher education should not be hindered by lack of resources," said Beebe.
Beebe says we must focus on job creation and job retention.
One way to do that, Beebe says, is to provide better paying jobs that offer a better quality of life.
"We must put a special focus on the industries of the 21st century that will ensure our long term economic success," said Beebe.
Finally, Beebe addressed perhaps the most talked about issue during his campaign, and it's a topic affecting all Arkansans'.
"If they paid that money in taxes they should get it back in the form of tax relief. We have a moral charge to rid our state of it's most regressive tax, the state sales tax on food," said Beebe.
Senator Paul Bookout said Beebe gave a very positive and exciting speech.
He said Beebe covered a wide range of issues that will interest and affect Arkansans', not only today, but for years to come.
"We see company's from all around the country coming into Arkansas. They don't have to go abroad, or out of the country, or the state for better jobs. There are good jobs here in Arkansas. Let's have our folks in Arkansas be educated enough to do those jobs," said Senator Paul Bookout.
"We must capitalize on the assets we have to map our course for the future," said Beebe.