tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN February 11, 2016 1:00pm-3:01pm EST
71 years ago today. and tonight my comrade paul stern is celebrating his 92nd birthday. [ applause ] i would also like you to meet one of my other comrades, he's actually the kid among us. he celebrated his 90th birthday last august. sergeant irwin fox. would you stand up? [ applause ] sonny's actually a tv star. he was president of the national
academy of television arts and sciences and at 90 he's still a consultant. thanks to roddie for saving us. and thank you. god bless america. [ applause ] >> all i can say is i want to look like these guys when i'm 90. i'm very honored to call upon american pastor chris edmonds, son of the late master sergeant roddie edmonds, righteous among the nations from the united states of america to receive the medal and certificate of honor on behalf of his father and to offer some remarks.
[ applause ] rabbi lau, mr. wiff, senator corker, the gunden family, i'm going to mess this up, i'm from tennessee. the be -- say it for me. there we go. i'll get it right next time. and distinguished guests. tonight on this noble occasion my moer mary ann who could not be with us, and my family, are blessed to receive this remarkable honor, righteous among the nations on behalf of my father roddie edmonds. thank you for yad vashem and the nation of israel for bestowing your richest honor to my dad. to receive the award and first recognized for protecting
american jews, our family is forever grateful. more personally our family extends warmest thanks to our dear friends larry and barbara goldstein who shared dad's story with yad vashem and they could not be here tonight as well. a fitting tribute to dad, a man who lived by sincere christian faith and an infectious love for everyone. we're very proud of him. and we're humbled that he joins a small minority of ordinary people who mustered extraordinary courage to uphold the goodness and dignity of humanity. my dad, like ms. gunden are heroes. in a defining moment when evil demanded their conscience and even their very souls, they refused to join the masses but instead bowed to no one and chose what is right regardless
of the risk. choosing right by their creator. and right for god's children. what they did is right today. it's right tomorrow. it's right always. as we honor these enduring lives, it's especially fitting that you have favored dad on january 27th international holocaust remembrance day. for as lester shared on this day 71 years ago, my dad fearlessly stood with his jewish and non-jewish brothers and told the nazi commander, we are all jews here. we're blessed to know dad's story and blessed by his actions. but most blessed to know some of the men he saved. remarkably you've met them, they've joined us tonight along with their beautiful families and their three jewish-american
veterans who stood strong and defiant with dad that bitterly cold january morning. staff sergeant lester tanner of new york, tech sergeant and medic paul stern of virginia, happy birthday, sir. and sergeant sonny fox of california. two men who were unable to attend but wishing us well are tech sergeant hank friedman of georgia and tech sergeant skip friedman of ohio. and we must always remember the 1,200 courageous and defiant dou doughb boys in the army. all are heroes. gentlemen, we salute you. thank you for a job well done. my father's legacy like all of the righteous are the children, the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren of these men. i'm often asked why would your father do what he did. and dad would say, son, what's
all the fuss. i was just doing my job. but i say dad's life was guided by one eternal truth, that there is a god and that god is good. and god's love though free has one essential responsibility, we must be good to one another. or as jesus proclaimed, we must love one another. that's what dad did. along with these others who are being honored tonight. and they leave an enduring legacy along with the tribe we call the righteous. their actions were founded on god's love and their extraordinary -- and the extraordinary idea that all men and women are created equal. tonight we celebrate them because they acted on that idea. and though we honored them with words, nothing honors them more than their actions.
our duty now is to take strength from their example and resolve to live as they did. laying down one's life for freedom and human dignity. god's work says this, the godly people in the land are my true heroes. i take pleasure in them. gratefully we do too. thank you. may god richly bless all of you with his grace and his mercy. [ applause ] >> it's my great honor now to call upon usc shoah founder and director and producer steven spielberg who will introduce the
president of the united states of america. [ applause ] >> thank you. thank you, nina. good evening, mr. president, ambassador dermer, rabbi lau. the families of the righteous among nations who we honor today and the families saved by these righteous souls and distinguished guests. i'm humbled to be part of this historic gathering particularly given the significance that this is international holocaust remembrance day. and i am here tonight to introduce my good friend, president obama. now, in these times with humanity worldwide, when humanity is buffeted by crisis
after crisis when the need for redemptive action has never been more urgent, i was eager to join you in washington to congratulate the righteous among nations. many are here because of courageous acts, descendants of victims, survivors, second and third generations, they make a significant portion of world today. these in particular i think are a living testament to the love of human kind and the refusal to become come comply sit in the evil that drove the righteous in their own lives to save jews. we gather tonight to honor four persons, master sergeant roddie edmonds, lois gunden and -- sibieski. i practiced that the whole way
here. when we remember and honor the selflessness and bravery and loving kindness of the righteous among nations, we are actually committing our lives to their legacies by promising simply to listen to their stories because they can help us find our voices. i found my own voice at a very early age where i was barely able to reach the top of the dining room table from where i could watch my grandmother teaching hungarian holocaust survivors english. there was no sesame street back then, but i learned my numbers on the four arm survivors of auschwitz, they taught me how to count. this is an indelible memory. and it set me on the path as a person who began to listen to everything. and i have always believed you can't find your own voice for speaking on behalf of the world or speaking against those who
would destroy the world if you can't hear what the world is saying. and with that in miennd, i want to make a film about the importance of not being a bystander as history passes close to you giving all of us a chance to do something before it passes us by. and so that film was schindler's list. oscar schindler is one of the righteous among the nations saved more than 1,100 jews and made life possible for their offspring. from that film came the shoah foundation, now the institute for visual history and education, which houses more than 53,000 survivors and witnesses' testimonies in 39 languages gathered from .r[ç63 countries in ensuring that we will never stop listening, that their stories will live on for future generations and their voices preserved in perpetuity.
and now it is a great honor for me to introduce to you a man who truly understands what it means to find your voice time and again, he has honored the memories of the victims and s survivors of the shoah by lifting up their stories. in 2014 i was privileged to present president obama with the usc shoah foundations ambassador for humanity award and that night he quoted holocaust survivor peter gutter who works to improve the world drop by drop by drop. and i believe that too is the president's lifelong mission. it's why some have said that this president has a jewish soul. he showed this when he created the atrocities prevention board and when he declared the
prevention of mass atrocities in national security interests. he demonstrates this in his steadfast support for the state of israel at a time when israel has many enemies and when anti-semitism focuses its hatred on a nation that emerged in the wake of tragedy to offer hope and a future for the jewish people. the president's support is needed and appreciated more than ever. and in his commitment to seek a humanitarian response to the syrian refugee crisis and every time he stands up for people who have been attacked because of their identity and denounces anti-semitism, islamophobia, hatred in any form, he demonstrates that never again means we cannot be bystanders when people are stigmatized, oppressed, excluded or attacked because of their identity. the president makes sure that phrase never again is not a hollow declaration by giving it
a powerful voice in his everyday life. so it means a great deal to have the president of the united states take part in the first righteous among the nations ceremony to be held on u.s. soil at the embassy of israel. and it's my distinct privilege to introduce my good friend and president of the united states, barack obama. [ applause ] >> thank you. thank you. good evening. if a person destroys one life, it is as if they have destroyed an entire world.
and if a person saves one life, it is as if they have saved an entire world. what an extraordinary honor to be with you as we honor four righteous individuals whose courage is measured in the lives they saved. one child. one refugee. one comrade at a time. and who in so doing, helped save our world. i deliver a lot of speeches. very rarely am i so humbled by the eloquence that has preceded me. not just in words, but in the acts that we commemorate today.
to my dear friend stephen spielberg, thanks for your moving and generous words. you spoke of the importance of finding your voice and using it for good, and i know that your work, whether a masterpiece like schindler's list or the stories that you have so persistently preserved through the shoah foundation is deeply personal. steven once said the story of the shoah is the story that he was born to tell, rooted in those childhood memories that he just gave you a taste of, the relatives lost, the stories you heard from your family and stephen, the whole world is grateful that you found your voice and for the good that you've done with that voice. it will endure for generations and so on behalf of all of us, we are grateful. to ambassador and mrs. dermer, to nina totenberg, our friends from the israeli embassy, thank
you so much for hosting us today. let me just add tonight that our thoughts are also with former israeli president, shimon peres. i had the opportunity to speak with shimon earlier this week. i thanked him for his friendship which has always meant so much to me personally and i thanked him once again for the shining example of his leadership with his extraordinary life as a d:j÷ founding father of the state of israel, a statesman who has never given up on peace, embodiment of the great alliance between our two nations. shimon inspires us all and this evening we speak for all of us, israelis, americans, people around the world in wishing him a full and speedy recovery. i also want to just note the presence of two of our outstanding senators from the great state of tennessee. i know that it's rare where you
have such an extraordinary native of the state being honored in this way but i think it's also worth noting that this represents the bipartisan and steadfast support of members of congress for the security and prosperity of the state of israel, and they act on that every single day. the survivors, families of the righteous and those they saved to all the distinguished guests, we gather to honor the newest of the righteous among the nations. and make real the call to never forget. not just on this day of remembrance, but for all days and for all time. in moments like this, as i listen to the extraordinary stories of the four that we honored, memories come rushing
back of the times that i have encountered the history and the horror of the shoah. growing up hearing the stories of my great uncle who helped liberate part of buchenwald, and who returned home so shaken by the suffering that he had seen, that my grandmother would tell me he did not speak to anyone for six months. just went up in his attic, couldn't fully absorb the horror that he had witnessed. then having the opportunity to go to buchenwald myself with my dear friend elle and seeing the ovens, the little camp where he was held as a boy. standing with survivors in the old warsaw ghetto and then the extraordinary honor of walking through yad vashem with rabbi
lau and seeing the faces and hearing the voices of the lost, a blessed memory. then taking my own daughters to visit the holocaust museum, because our children must know this chapter of our history and that we must never repeat it. the four lives we honor tonight to make a claim on our conscience as well as our moral imagination. we hear their stories and we are forced to ask ourselves under the same circumstances, how would we act? how would we answer god's question, where are you? would we show the love of valerie and marila zbievski. not bad, right?
there in warsaw, they could have been shot for opening their home to a 5-year-old girl. they cared for her like one of their own. gave her safety and shelter and moments of warmth of family and music, a shield from the madness outside until her mother could return. would we have the extraordinary compassion of lois gunden? she wrote that she simply hoped to add just another ray of love to the lives of these youngsters who had already endured so much and by housing and feeding as many jewish children as she could, her ray of love always shown through and still burns within the families of those she saved. would we have the courage of
master sergeant roddie edmonds? i know your dad said he was just doing his job, but he went above and beyond the call of duty and so did all those who joined in that line. faced with a choice of giving up his fellow soldiers or saving his own life, roddie looked evil in the eye and dared a nazi to shoot. his moral compass never wavered. he was true to his faith and he saved some 200 jewish american soldiers as a consequence. it's an instructive lesson, by the way, for those of us christians. i cannot imagine a greater expression of christianity to say i too am a jew. i ask these questions because
even as the holocaust is unique, a crime without parallel in history, the seeds of hate that gave rise to the shoah, the ignorance that conspires with arrogance, the indifference that betrays compassion, those seeds have always been with us. they have found root across cultures and across faiths and across generations. the ambassador mentioned the story of cain and abel. it's deep within us. too often, especially in times of change, especially in times of anxiety and uncertainty, we are too willing to give in to a base desire to find someone else, someone different, to blame for our struggles.
so here tonight, we must confront the reality that around the world, anti-semitism is on the rise. we cannot deny it. when we see some jews leaving european cities where their families have lived for generations because they no longer feel safe, when jewish centers are targeted from mumbai to overland park, kansas, when swastikas appear on college campuses, when we see all that and more, we must not be silent. an attack on any faith is an attack on all of our faiths. it is an attack on that golden rule at the heart of so many faiths that we ought to do unto others as we would have done to us.
for americans in particular, we should understand that it's an attack on our diversity, on the very idea that people of different backgrounds can live together and thrive together. which is why your father was right. we are all jews. because anti-semitism is a distillation, an expression of an evil that runs through so much of human history, and if we do not answer that, we do not answer any other form of evil. when any jew anywhere is targeted just for being jewish, we all have to respond as roddie edmonds did.
we are all jews. we know that we will never be able to wipe out hatred from every single mind. we won't entirely erase the scourge of anti-semitism. but like the righteous, we must do everything we can. all of us have a responsibility. certainly government has a responsibility. as president, i have made sure that the united states is leading the global fight against anti-semitism, and it's why with israel and countries around the world, we organized the first united nations general assembly meeting on anti-semitism. it's why we have urged other nations to dedicate a special envoy to this threat as we have. it's why when a statue of an anti-semitic leader from world war ii was planned in hungary, we led the charge to convince their government to reverse course, this was not a sidenote to our relations with hungary, this was central to maintaining a good relationship with the united states and we let them know.
it's why when voices around the world veer from criticism of a particular israeli policy to an unjust denial of israel's right to exist, when israel faces terrorism, we stand up forcefully and proudly in defense of our ally, in defense of our friend, in defense of the jewish state of israel. america's commitment to israel's security remains now and forever unshakeable and i have said this before, it would be a fundamental moral failing if america broke that bond. all nations that prize diversity and tolerance and pluralism must speak out whenever and wherever jews and other religious minorities are attacked. in recent years we have seen leaders in france, germany and great britain stand strongly
against anti-semitism. in israel, president rivlin has spoken about tolerance and acceptance among all israelis, jewish and arab. meanwhile, governments have an obligation to care for the survivors of the shoah because no one who endured that horror should have to scrape by in their golden years. so with our white house initiative, we are working to improve care for holocaust survivors in need here in the united states, and with the compensation fund we helped create, claims are finally being paid that even more jews deported from france during the holocaust, including survivors here in america, can benefit from. but the task before us does not fall on government alone. every faith community has a responsibility, just as all religions speak out against
those who try to twist their faith to justify terrorism and violence, just as all faiths need to speak out when interpretations of their religion veer in an ugly direction, so too must they speak out against those who use their faith to justify bias against jews or people of any faith. we know that there were muslims from albanians to arabs who protected jews from nazis. in morocco, leaders from muslim majority countries around the world just held a summit on protecting religious minorities including jews and christians. his holiness, pope francis, has spoken forcefully against anti-semitism saying every human being as a creature of god is our brother regardless of his origins or religious beliefs. these are the voices we must heed and anyone who claims to be
a religious leader must project that vision. that truth. and finally, all of us have a responsibility to speak out and to teach what's right to our children and to examine our own hearts. that's the lesson of the righteous we honor today. the lesson of the holocaust itself. where are you, who are you? that's the question that the holocaust poses to us. we have to consider even in moments of peril, even when we might fear for our own lives, the fact that none of us are powerless. we always have a choice and today for most of us standing up against intolerance doesn't require the same risks that those we honor today took. it doesn't require imprisonment
or that we face down the barrel of a gun. it does require us to speak out. it does require us to stand firm. we know that evil can flourish if we stand idly by. so we're called to live in a way that shows that we have actually learned from our past and that means rejecting indifference. it means cultivating a habit of empathy and recognizing ourselves in one another, to make common cause with the outsider, the minority, whether that minority is christian or jew, whether it is hindu or muslim, or non-believer. whether that minority is native-born or immigrant. whether they are israeli or palestinian. it means taking a stand against bigotry in all its forms and rejecting our darkest impulses
and guarding against tribalism as the only value. in our communities and in our politics. it means heeding the lesson repeated so often in the torah to welcome the stranger for we were once strangers, too. that's how we never forget. not simply by keeping the lessons of the shoah in our memories but by living them in our actions. as the book of deuteronomy teaches us, justice, justice, you shall pursue. i want to close with what i'm told is a jewish legend. it's said that within every generation, there are 36 virtuous individuals, individuals so honorable, so
filled with compassion that their good works sustain the very existence of the world. they are called la med bannics, and without them, society crumbles, according to the legend. we don't know who they are. they are entirely indistinguishable ordinary people like valerie and marila and lois and roddie. you wouldn't necessarily recognize them in a crowd. but i believe that their generation, the generation of schindler and wallenberg and carsky demanded a lot more than 36. they called for more than 26,000
righteous among the nations. it called for the millions of heroes who did not go quietly and who stood up and fought back. may we all strive to live up to their noble example. to do our part to sustain each other and embrace the humanity we share and in so doing, save our world. may the memory of the lost be a blessing and as nations and individuals, may we always strive to be among the righteous. god bless you, god bless the united states of america and god bless the state of israel. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, please stay in your places for a few
minutes. [ applause ] homeland security secretary jeh johnson is speaking today on the state of the nation's security and his agency's achievements and expected challenges for the new year. he'll also take questions from people at the wilson center. see his comments tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. then at 9:00 eastern on c-span, today's house foreign affairs committee hearing on the implementation of the iran nuclear agreement. witnesses include the state department's lead coordinator for implementation of the deal and the treasury department's head of sanctions oversight. american history tv on
c-span3 features programs that tell the american story. and this weekend we kick off a three-week special series on the 1966 vietnam war hearings 50 years later. senate historian emeritus donald richie. >> some of the most extraordinary hearings ever held by congress. they were hearings an investigation into a war that was still being fought. that the congress and particularly the senate wanted to know why we were in vietnam, what the administration's policies were, and they wanted to hear from opponents of the war. they gave equal status to critics of the war as they did to supporters of the war. it was a real debate. >> this weekend two witnesses who opposed president johnson's vietnam policies. first, a february 1966 abc news special report that includes the testimony of former ambassador to the soviet union george kennan.
then retired general james gavin followed by questions from senators including chairman jay william. >> we learned air naval power alone could not win a war and that inadequate ground forces cannot win one either. it was incredible to me that we had forgotten the bitter lessons so soon that we were on the verge of making that same tragic know are the conditions in indochina any different today than they were at that time? >> next weekend we'll hear special consultant general maxwell taylor. on saturday february 27th, secretary of state dean ross gives his testimony involving the policies. for the complete american history tv weekend schedule, go to c-span.org. the reality is the best presidents -- the greatest
presidents have been willing to recognize they weren't the smartest person in the room. and to surround themselves with people they thought were smarter than themselves. >> sunday night on q and a former secretary of defense and former director of the cia robert gates discusses his book "a passion for leadership, lessons on change and reform from fifty years of public service." mr. gates has served under several presidents most recently parking lights george w. bush and barack obama. >> at the end of the cold war, when i was director of central intelligence, i came to believe very strongly that the american people had given cia a pass on a lot of things because of this existential conflict with the soviet union. and i believe that after the end of the cold war we were going to have to be more open about what we did and why we did it and even to an extent how we did it to help the american people better understand why
intelligence was important to the government and to presidents and why presidents valued it. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q & a. investing more in education is a key priority in 2016 for idaho governor butch otter. he outlined his education policy agenda in his state of the state address. this is about a half hour. for those who wouldn't shake my hand as i came down the aisle, i did -- i am coming down with something. i don't know what it is. in all the meetings this morning i was very careful not to shake anybody's hands, but i waited until the committee came in before i actually did whatever i did with that stuff that you do stuff with in order not to pass on some infirmity. mr. speaker, mr. president
pro-tem, justices, judges, my fellow constitutional officers, distinguished legislators and members of my cabinet, honored guests and friends and my family, my daughter carolyn, my son-in-law coby and of course our first lady, my fellow idahoans i knew once i entered the chamber today that one of our distinguished members is absent. and i hope all of you will join with the first lady and i in hoping that our minority leader to this body returns with all haste. join us with your thoughts and prayers as he returns to this chamber from the bedside of his wife. i'm sure you will. ladies and gentlemen, i'm pleased today to report that the state of idaho is healthy and strong. the people are optimistic, our communities are vibrant, our public institutions are running more efficiently and better
prepared than ever to tackle our challenges head-on. idaho citizens are bringing all the energy and the enthusiasm that characterize our history to the work of building an even better state for our children and grandchildren. and speaking of grandchildren, i'm pleased to report that the otter family is expanding. my son john and his wife molly are expecting a new grandchild for us to enjoy, and i'm excited about the arrival. it is in february, and so i'm hoping for february 9th, which will also be my mother's 101 birthday. [ applause ] of course all my children and grandchildren are dear to me and my family. a family sentiment that is an idaho value that i'm sure we all share. our families inspire us to do
better, work hard and provide them with a legacy of lifelong learning and appreciation for honest effort and abiding compassion for those less fortunate. most of the inspiring and energizing parts of my job is visiting towns all over idaho to hold capital for a day. it's a chance for the local folks who might not often come to boise to get answers to their questions about state government directly from me and my agency directors. i want to thank all you legislators who have joined us on these monthly public gatherings. my favorite part of capital for a day is meeting students in towns that represent their schools and families and communities with great civic pride. and that's no accident. it's a product of engaged parents, committed educators and public officials from local school trustees to state leaders who embrace the goal of
preparing idaho school children for an increasingly complex and competitive world. capital for a day is strength my belief that the idaho character reflects the aspirations of our children and families from generation to generation. and just as families are the foundation of our communities and our culture, so too can education provide a foundation for stronger families and a brighter future for all of us. we're entrusted with the similar constitutional responsibility of providing for a general, uniform and thorough system of public free common schools throughout idaho. frankly i'm convinced that we would see this as our highest priority even if it wasn't in our constitution. so promoting and constantly improving education for the people of idaho must be the foundation of our work here together. we made promises during the great recession that we would --
are duty bound to fulfill. we have priorities for idaho's future that require world class k through 12 schools and an advanced, responsive post secondary education system. and now we have the financial means. my legislative agenda for 2016 and my budget recommendations for fiscal 2017 reflect the priority that i place on living within the people's means while making responsible, sustainable and data-driven investments in our k through career education system. [ applause ] my focus is supporting student achievement by promoting the 20 recommendations of our school improvement task force along with insisting on transparency and robust local accountability the foundation we're building would advance our goal of
ensuring that 60% of the idaho citizens between the ages of 25 and 34 have a college degree or a professional technical certification by the year 2020. let me impress upon you once again the urgent need to address a corner stone of successful lifelong learning. reading proficiency. last year in this chamber i called on the idaho business community to help us address the clear need for improving the attainment of that basic skill amongst our youngest students. proactive parents start with that process at home before kindergarten. and students refine their reading skills in those early school years. turn to third grade they learn to read, but the fourth grade on they read to learn. so if we're serious about wanting a long term improvement in school outcomes, we must intensify our efforts to provide the kind of proven support that
works for students who struggle to develop reading skills. i want to thank the idaho business for education and other stakeholders and practitioners who developed recommendations for addressing our early reading challenges. my budget includes $10.7 million to pay for the intervention, support for students in kindergarten through third grade who are not yet proficient on the state reading indicator. [ applause ]z=d: did you start there? that will improve the chances for more idaho students to succeed through high school and beyond. overall i'm calling for a 7.9% increase in public school funding including more than $38 million to continue putting the teacher career ladder in place. and i'm asking for almost $1.8
million to move such noninstruction on to the career path. i believe implementing the career ladder based on specific student success measures is essential to attracting and retaining the best teachers for idaho schools. success in teacher retention also means continuing investments in their personal development. now, i know from ms. lori just how demanding those early years in the classroom can be. so i am asking for an investment of $5 million for professional development aimed specifically at mentoring the new teachers. [ applause ] i also support superintendent request to fully restore prerecession levels of operating funds to school districts. our task force recommended a five-year plan for that process but the timeline can be cut to
three years by improving my recommendation for nearly $30 million. properly applied technology is also ann increasingly necessary factor in our 21st century classroom. that's why i'm recommending we continue investing not only in devices but also in teacher training and software to make the most of the opportunities that technology affords. but with or without the latest technology, the most important resource our students have is the classroom teacher. with that in mind, the task force recommended moving idaho to a voluntary mastery based education system. that's one in which the teachers are encouraged to provide individualized learning focused on mastery of subject matter content and concepts rather than classroom seat time. i appreciate the legislature's investment to start implementing that mastery based education as
well as superintendent yubera's focus on achieving that goal. so my fiscal year 2017 budget includes $1.1 million to support up to 20 school districts and developing model for others to follow throughout idaho. i had the chance last month to experience a little of what innovation mastery focused learning looks like in our classrooms. i participated in an hour of code exercise with fifth graders at boise garfield elementary school. immersing myself in that environment and watching those students do the same, i saw firsthand the difference that individualized learning can make in comprehension, application, and ultimately mastery. from reading proficiency to mastering concepts and from our community colleges to our universities, our emphasis must be on going that extra mile to prepare students to succeed in a
complex and competitive global economy. that preparation in turn will support and advance the economic growth and increasing prosperity that we are all striving to achieve. so let's talk for a moment about the connections that we're building between k-12 and career. first, there's the s.t.e.m. action center that's been up and running since july. an executive director program -- an executive director and a program manager and a board of directors have been named. now it's ready for the next step, and our industry partners throughout idaho are eager to join us in supporting its work. my budget recommendation includes $2 million in ongoing operating funds for the center as well as $10 million in one-time funds for startup s.t.e.m. programs including a k through career program in computer science to help meet
the high demands for those workplace skills. ensuring that students are college and career ready is critical to the employer as it is to idaho's young people. i hear it every day from businesses large and small and in every industry sector throughout idaho. that's why higher standards, more individualized learning, more dual credit offerings, and more professional technical options are high priorities in my budget recommendations. of course, taking the fullest advantage of the investments we're making will require students and parents to have more and better information about post-secondary and career opportunities, so i'm recommending that $5 million go toward implementing more career and college counseling in our high schools. local districts must have the flexibility to use that money to create systems that best fit students' needs for the course counseling, career exploration, and preparing for life after high school.
[ applause ] indeed, idaho offers many choices for those who go on. they include enrolling at one of our technical schools to study such subject areas as health occupations, web design, machine tooling, welding, or aircraft maintenance, but many of those programs have long waiting lists, and with our statewide jobless rate now at a level that used to be considered full employment, too many of our citizens remain under employed. meanwhile, idaho businesses are struggling to find qualified workers. that's especially true of companies in the high tech and industrial manufacturing fields. so my budget recommendation includes $3.8 million to address those training backlogs and industry areas where graduates will find more high wage jobs. i'm also advancing three
initiatives that i believe hold great promise for creating a financial foundation that students can use to reach their own and our state's post-secondary education goals. first, i'm proposing a tuition lock for our colleges and universities. it will ensure that the rate that the idaho undergraduates pay when at the first enroll in post-secondary programs will remain constant for at least four academic years. that brings greater financial predictability for idaho students and their families while also providing an incentive for timely completion of a degree or a professional certification program. second, i'm recommending -- [ applause ] second, i'm recommending a $5 million increase in funding for our opportunity scholarships so more idaho students can afford to go beyond high school. and, third, i'm proposing another $5 million to be applied
and allocated for a new completion scholarship. now, it's designed to encourage idaho citizens who have some post-secondary education to return to the classroom and finish up. it will provide a real benefit for financially strapped adults who are trying to upgrade their job skills. the completion scholarship is aimed at improving access and affordability to career-oriented education programs while helping to address our pressing workforce development needs. ladies and gentlemen, i can't emphasize enough how important improving our k through career education system is to providing the tens of thousands of skilled workers we need to meet the increasing technical demand of idaho employers. this truly is an investment in the future of all idaho citizens. [ applause ]
talent pipelines to address the challenges ahead are being developed by the department of labor. the division of professional technical education, our post-secondary schools, and a number of private sector partners. dynamic, new online resources such as the college and website nextsteps.idaho.gov, and the construction trade portal of webuildidaho.org shows the power of collaboration in achieving our shared goals. there's also an important place for our communities in this effort. nine years ago the legislature approved my request to provide $5 million in startup funds to help any counties that wanted to join together in establishing a community college district. with that promise of support in hand, the people of canyon
and ada counties voted to create the college of western idaho. since then cwi has grown faster than any community college in american history. that speaks to a huge pent up demand for the kind of low-cost, relevant, and responsive education and training programs that have been created at cwi. now the people of southwestern, south central, and northern idaho have exciting first-rate local opportunities to advance their career readiness aspirations. so today i'd like to invite the people of eastern idaho to advance their ongoing discussions about making eastern idaho technical college a full-featured community college. i encourage serious public consideration of the benefits and the opportunities that a local community college can provide to that region of idaho. my budget recommendation
includes $5 million to support such a plan for making less costly and more flexible education beyond high school accessible to more idaho citizens on that side of our state. [ applause ] thank you. i'm only crying out of my right eye. overall, i'm seeking a 9.6% increase in funding for our community colleges and 8.8% increase for our four-year institutions. besides additional funding for our college completion and high demand academic and professional technical programs, i recommend expanding boise state university's material science program, the university of idaho's go on initiative to increase enrollment and idaho state university's health science program. that brings me to health care. first, from an education standpoint, i'm recommending that in the coming year, we
follow through with our plans for providing more physician training to meet idaho's needs. adding five more seats to our medical school partnership with the university of washington will reach the board of education's 2009 goal of having 40 seats available for idaho students. that's a great investment in our students and an important step toward addressing our community health care needs. but it's also a pipeline from which it takes years to realize benefits. there are quicker ways to address our shortage of primary care physicians, so i encourage you to keep funding our physician residency slots, and we must keep attracting health care professionals by providing medical loan reimbursement incentives for primary care doctors who agree to serve our rural communities. in the meantime, i'm asking the board of education to work with our medical community, the higher education institutions to develop a new plan for
addressing future demands for health care providers. right now i want to recognize and applaud a member of my cabinet who has worked tirelessly for years to develop meaningful idaho-based alternatives to medicaid expansion under the affordable care act. health and welfare, dick armstrong, and his team as well as such legislative leadership as senator lee hider and representative fred woods have gone above and beyond in developing the plans that we unveiled last week. and i look forward to our discussions on that plan. [ applause ] folks, making health care in our communities more accessible and affordable has been a pillar of my policy agenda since i took office in 2007, and that's why i'm so proud of the progress that we are making in addressing local crisis intervention needs for those with accuse substance abuse or mental health issues.
with your support, we now have behavioral health centers in idaho falls and in coeur d'alene. the response in those communities has been more than encouraging. in the first nine months that the idaho falls center was open, it had more than 1,100 admissions and diverted 47 people from more expensive in-patient psychiatric care all while saving 860 hours of law enforcement officers' time. i expect to see similar results from the northern idaho crisis center. so my budget recommendation for fiscal year 2017 includes funding for a third crisis center, this time in southern idaho. i appreciate the legislature's continued backing of our efforts to improve local access care while reducing costs to the community. it remains our goal to engage local leaders and businesses and nonprofits in supporting
long-term sustainability. now i'm sure that you will agree that sustainability is a significant goal and a key metric of our success for much of our public policy, including the management of idaho's precious water resources. mr. speaker, senator baird, and chairman chase of the idaho water resources board, i want to personally thank you for your efforts in bringing two water user groups together to finally settle delivery calls from it the eastern snake plane aquifer. this historic settlement will help ensure that the aquifer is a healthy and reliable resource not only now but well into the future. [ applause ] in fact, i would encourage others who are at odds over apportioning scarce resources to
use this same agreement as a template for addressing their own conflicts. sustainability is a central value throughout idaho from the treasure valley to the prairie and from bear lake to hell's canyon, and that's why i'm proud to announce that the water resources board has drafted a statewide sustainability policy. now, the board will conduct public meetings throughout idaho in the coming year to gather suggestions on incorporating its findings into our comprehensive state water plan. i would encourage you to attend those meetings. preserving and protecting idaho's water is crucial to protecting our continued economic growth and increasing prosperity. our renewable and green hydroelectric resources alone make idaho the envy of other states in the west and a magnet for business that is put a premium on environmental sustainability. promoting idaho as a place where employers can get things done because we move at the speed of
business has been a centerpiece of commerce director jeff sayers' work for the past four years. now, as you know, jeff has returned to the private sector, but the team he's built and the programs he's launched will continue to have a great impact on idaho's bottom line. from igem to the tax reimbursement incentive and from international trade to local economic development, jeff has been a champion for the people of idaho. please join me in thanking him for helping rank idaho first in the nation for job growth, third amongst the states for economic outlook, and among the top states for starting a small business. [ applause ] thank you. there's one additional
responsibility that jeff took on. he chaired my leadership in nuclear energy or l.i.n.e. commission. it's continuing task is to identify how all of idaho can leverage our partnership with the u.s. department of energy at the idaho national laboratory to the economic advantage of idaho citizens. our l.i.n.e. commission efforts are not limited to eastern idaho. instead, they are aimed at making the state of the art facilities and the research at the inl in truly a global resource. the state of idaho remains committed to helping the inl live up to its potential as the nation's premiere research facility while building a stronger partnership with the department of energy based upon communication, accountability, and shared goals. that's why i was encouraged in november to hear that the team at the inl will lead the new gateway for accelerated innovation in nuclear for the nation.
the program will provide a one-stop shop for private developers to federal experts and other facilities to help them create safer, cleaner, and more efficient reactors to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. ladies and gentlemen, having shared goals does not eliminate the need for us to remain vigilant in protecting the health and safety of idaho citizens. we have spent years in overcoming some of the challenging in our relationship with the department of energy, and i'm proud of the progress. the scientists and engineers and technology experts at the lab also run one of the world's pre-eminent cyber security programs. idaho is fortunate the inl and its higher education and industry partners are providing technical assistance to the cyber security task force i created last year. led by lieutenant governor little, it is developing responses to the growing threat of hackers exploiting our state
computer systems. i'm committed to implementing the best strategies possible to protect the privacy of our citizens. our task force is working to identify what more the state can do to detect vulnerabilities, prevent cyber attacks, and educate the people of idaho on how to fight this global tool on crime and terror. to help with that effort, my budget includes a request for $1 million to establish a cyber security program at boise state university in partnership with the idaho national laboratory. the state will also benefit from our own idaho military being engaged in this fight, and i'm pleased to announce today that the idaho air national guard recently was among 13 commands to stand up nationwide and to be designated as cyber units. that means personnel trained in military standards in the latest and most advanced technology will be helping detect and stop
online attackers before they damage our cyberspace capabilities. the idaho cyber operation squadron will include 71 air guard personnel, including 15 who will be working full time on this important new mission. the squadron will also be a great resource for our efforts to protect that vital piece of our state infrastructure. it's encouraging that we're tackling this modern threat with such unity of purpose. but there's another area of our public policy for which a united and deliberate effort must now be made for idaho to meet its responsibilities to the rule of law. as many of you know, the state has been sued over the constitutionality of our public defense system. the lawsuit alleges that idaho's public defenders are overworked and undertrained. it claims that the system provides a disincentive for attorneys in less populated counties to spend enough time
with indigent clients. let me say that idaho historically has been a leader in recognizing and ensuring the right to legal counsel under the sixth amendment. it was part of our territorial law, and it was put into the idaho constitution at statehood. a legislative interim committee has been reviewing our system and considering options for three years. as a result, many of us now know much better and have a much better understanding of its shortcomings and what we need to change. it's not a cheap or an easy fix, but i stand with the idaho criminal justice commission and the state public defender's commission in calling for the legislature to address the issue this year. please join me in a commitment to ensuring that all idaho citizens in every one of our 44 counties can avail themselves of this fundamental constitutional right. my budget recommends $5 million to implement the changes that
you approve. [ applause ] this past year saw a number of changes on the landscape across idaho as wildfires continue to wreak havoc on our range lands. a total of 742,000 acres burned and firefighting costs reached almost $61 million in 2015. state, federal, and local authorities have identified several training, resource, and coordination needs that we must address before the start of the 2016 fire season, and that figures to be worse than last year's. that's why i'm advancing the land board's request for almost $920,000 in additional funding to beef up the idaho department of lands wildfire program with a focus on improving our initial response. i also want to thank the legislature for approving my
past funding request for the creation of range land fire protection associations, which enable ranchers to help fight fires on both private and public range. we have six of them now, and they are protecting 951,000 acres of private range land and providing secondary protection for 4.8 million acres of federal and state lands. their knowledge of the landscape has proven to be an invaluable asset to the department of lands, the bureau of land management, and the forest service in quickly suppressing fires. now more groups around the state are seeing the results and are ready to get involved, so i'm requesting an additional $140,000 to create other rfpas in anticipation of another rough fire season. ladies and gentlemen, folks all over the world and maybe even a few in washington, d.c., know
that wildfire is a far greater threat to idaho's sage grouse population than livestock grazing, but that reality has largely eluded the u.s. department of interior, the bom, and the forest service. instead of taking the reasonable steps of supporting local conservation and idaho stewardship measures, interior imposed harsh new restrictions on land use within the bird's habitat and in some cases where the bird doesn't even exist. that left me with no choice but to file a lawsuit against the federal agencies last september. it's simply aimed at that ensuring sage grouse conservation and management responsibilities remain with idaho. [ applause ] and i'm grateful that the legislature joined with me in that effort. in the meantime, we will continue working more broadly to protect the idaho habitat on
which sage grouse depends. my budget request calls for allocating $500,000 for fire prevention, suppression, and habitat monitoring and restoration efforts on nonfederal lands. i appreciate your continued support for our collaborative efforts to put in place a responsive and effective species protection plan with the customs, the culture, and the economic vitality of our citizens in idaho in mind. let me also express my deep and sincere appreciation to our incredible state employees throughout idaho. i enjoy visiting offices from time to time, and i'm consistently impressed with the commitment and the civic virtue with which our employees do their job. they take great pride in being public servants and in being responsive to the needs of idaho citizens. so that's why i'm so pleased to be able to announce today that
my budget request includes funding for agency directors and administrators to retain and reward their personnel. it's a step in the right direction toward attracting and keeping great public servants. we have a lot to be thankful for here in idaho, and we're building better things to come. i hope you'll continue to join with me in choosing gratitude for what we have and hope over frustration and cynicism for what we have yet to achieve. in fact, i believe idaho now is closer than anywhere in our nation to what america was meant to be. finally, it is my sincere wish that we undertake our work together in this legislative session without keeping one eye on the upcoming election. instead, let us proceed with a focus committed to applying government's proper role in our current challenges and to improving the lives of generations yet to come. so i thank you for your time and
your attention. godspeed in your deliberations. may he continue to bless the state of idaho and the united states of america. i thank you. [ applause ] homeland security secretary jeh johnson is speaking today on the state of the nation's security and his agency's achievements and expected challenges for the new year. he'll also take questions from people at the wilson center. see his comments tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. then at 9:00 eastern on c-span, today's house foreign affairs committee hearing on the implementation of the iran nuclear agreement. witnesses include the state department's lead coordinator for implementation of the deal, and the treasury department's head of sanctions oversight. every weekend on american
history tv on c-span3, we feature programs that tell the american story. here are some of the highlights for this presidents' day weekend. saturday afternoon at 5:00 eastern, author margaret oppenheimer talks about "the remarkable rise of eliza" important into poverty and became one of the richest women in 19th century new york. her unusual life including a second marriage to former vice president aaron burr. >> what brought these two celebrities together. on burr's side of the altar, the undoubted attraction was j summit mel's money. a marriage to's liza jumel will give him a big pot of money3 spend. jumel had her own motivations for the marriage. on the one hand, she would soon have to begin settling her first husband's estate.
burr with you wi burr, with his knowledge of the law, could help her protect her assets. but main attraction of the marriage for her was the opportunity to enter social circles that had been previously closed to her. >> at 6:00 on the civil war, historian dennis frye on the reactions of both southerners and northerners to john brown's 1859 raid on the federal armory in harper's ferry, subsequent execution and a nation's divided sentiments as americans headed toward the 1860 election. sunday afternoon at 2:00, historians explore the history of the death penalty in america, including the 1976 gregg v. georgia u.s. supreme court case which affirms the contusionality of capital punishment. monday afternoon at 3:30 eastern, james swanson compares the assassinations of abraham lincoln in 1865 and john f. kennedy in 1963. their personal similarities and differences in their terms in office. the backgrounds of the assassins
and the state of the country at the time. he also talks about the experience and reactions of the two widows, mary lincoln and jacqueline kennedy. >> jackie was very conscious of history. jfk was very interested in abraham lincoln, knowledgeable about lincoln. and so jackie did have very much in mind the lincoln precedent for the funeral. >> for the complete american history tv weekend schedule, go to c-span.org. road to the white house began in iowa. the caucuses which date back to 1972, and then we move to new hampshire that quintessential first in the nation primary which has a long and rich history. and now we really begin to test the candidates and their message. we move south to ssouth carolin, the first southern primary, then to the party caucuses in nevada for the democrats and republicans. more than likely we'll see a number of candidates probably drop out of the race so the field will then narrow. then we move into early march.
super tuesday. the start of winner take all primaries which means that the delegate count will be critical. as we watch that delegate count continue for the candidates, we'll get a better sense of whose message is resonating and who's on the path to the nomination. washington governor jay inslee gave his state of the state address at the capitol building in olympia last month. governor inslee outlined his priorities which include reducing the pay gap, improving mental health care, and gun control. this is about a half-hour. >> mr. president, mr. speaker, madam chief justice, distinguished justices of the court, honored officials, members of the washington state legislature, tribal leaders, local government officials, members of our consular corps could, and my fellow washingtonians -- it is an honor
to stand here once again to talk about the great state of washington. and i do consider it a tremendous privilege to serve as governor of the most innovative, the most forward thinking, and the most dynamic state in the nation. [ applause ] and i couldn't do this job without the incredible support of the people who are a constant reminder of why everything we do here matters. my family, trudy, my sons, my three grandchildren. thank you, trudy. . now since we all last met here, we have celebrated some big moments in the state of
washington. i'd like to begin today by just taking a moment to highlight some of these. we witnessed a new milestone in space exploration. remember those incredible photos of pluto we saw last year? we know how that spacecraft got there. because nine years ago, brilliant propulsion engineers over at aerojet, rocketdyne in redmond, washington were working on horizons for the mission. now we're working at the forefront with companies like blue origin and spacex. they brought the future of space travel to our state, successful launching and landing rockets over the past year. it is exciting that these companies recognize that the greatest aerospace workers in the world are found right here in the state of washington. [ applause ]
we've saluted accomplishments of amazing educators like jennifer cullison, a science teacher from woodland high school in clark county. she was named a klaus nobel educator of the world. this national prestigious honor was given to one of our own outstanding hard-working teachers. please join me in welcoming jennifer and thank you for your [ applause ] we also celebrated the nation's oldest working registered nurse.
ceecee wrigney who is still practicing at 90 years of age. if any of you legislators get tired a little bit during the session, go down to see ceecee making her rounds at the tacoma general hospital where she has been working for nearly 70 years. [ applause ] now we've also had some sad moments over the past year in our state. for me, one of those moments was when we said good-bye to washington state university president ellison floyd. he was one of my most trusted advisors. he played a key role in shaping my administration and i miss him. and i know we all miss him. but his legacy will live on in
our state's second medical school, a school that will carry his name. and i hope you'll honor, again, elson's widow for her individual help and education in our state as well. thank you for accepting my invitation here today. thank you. [ applause ] we also lost a member of our washington state national guard in afghanistan last week. staff sergeant matthew mcclintock. our thoughts, our prayers are with his family, especially his wife and infant son in des moines. please join me in a moment of silence to honor his sacrifice and his service.
>> thank you. one year ago, i stood here and said it was time to re-invest in ourselves. to re-invest in our future. to re-invest in our children's future. and to do these things, we knew then we have to work in a bipartisan way. let's be honest, that's not always easy. but i'm happy to say that we did exactly that. we accomplished some big things last year in a bipartisan fashion. like transportation. remember back in the fall of 2014, there were those who thought we ought to just fix a
few potholes and call it good. but i didn't give up. and i continued working together with the house and the senate, with republicans and democrats, with business and labor. and together, we passed a $16 billion package, the largest and the greenest transportation package in the history of the state of washington. [ applause ] and this is something -- we also authorized another $15 billion for sound transit light rail expansion. and not only will this help in congestion relief, but this package supports 200,000 family wage jobs across our state. we've been out formally kicking off these projects. i've been to everett, tacoma. tomorrow i'll be in vancouver. celebrating the projects funded
by this package. we were able to get this done because we worked together. speaking of investments, let's talk about the most important investment we know we can make and that's in our children. last year we put an additional $2.3 billion in early learning, in k through 12, in higher education funding. we did it on a bipartisan basis. since 2013, education funding in ñ increased by 35%. [ applause ] i believe it is all together fitting and proper that we take a moment to recognize this incredible investment. we should be proud that we have
made the largest dollar amount investment in education in the history of the state of washingt washington. this is a significant achievement. and at the same time, no one should believe that we are done. we have more work to do. i'm going to talk about that in a moment. but we have taken major steps that will have major impacts in the lives of our children. we've given nearly 7,000 more children access to high-quality early education over the past three years. we've provided funding for every child to have all-day kindergarten. this and early learning were some of my highest priorities because they are critical educational opportunities that come along only once in the life of a child. of all the things we do, i
believe this will have the most impact in our communities and do the most to close the opportunity gap. i believe this because in our state, every single child deserves a great education in our public schools. every single child. we've reduced class sizes in our kindergarten through third grade classrooms. and because we know that a high-quality teacher is the single-most important asset in every classroom, we provided funding for more teacher mentoring opportunities, searching for new teachers. and we were able to provide them with a modest and fully justified cost of living adjustment, the first since 2008. we also did something to make paying for college easier on family budgets. isn't it great that we are the
only state in the united states to pass a tuition cut this year for our students? i think this has been a good thing. republicans had a great idea to do that with being a, and i gla credit. [ applause ] i also gladly give democrats credit for coming in and saying that we ought to cut tuition for everyone, including for students at our community and technical colleges. [ applause ] and together, we found a way to pay for this. so this is something everyone in this chamber, i believe, can celebrate. and finally, we restored funding for one of our most precious public assets -- our state
parks. it was heart breaking to even have to consider to close some of these parks. one day last year i stopped down at toronto state park on hood canal. there was this family just flolflol frolicking with this young child on the beach. it took me back to my own childhood when my dad and mom would throw us in the back of the station wagon and take us out for the day. just to know this tradition will continue is extremely gratifying and it keeps with the spirit of one of our state's biggest outdoor recreation components. nye frie my friend, the late doug walker, love of wilderness will continue to be felt through the impact of his philanthropic efforts and his work on the blue ribbon task force on parks and outdoor
recreation. our thoughts are with the walker family as they mourn his recent passing. finally, we gave the state employees their first wage increase since 2008. [ applause ] i'd like to take a moment to speak directly to our state employees. a lot of you are doing really great work. i was happy to be finally able to get you a modest raise. under my results washington initiative our state has become a national leader in using performance management strategies to improve government. this fellow named john schuck is known as the godfather of management in the country. he's told us washington is at the very forefront of this
effort in the country. and we know that thousands of you are showing the world how the public sector can use lean thinking to manage growing workloads, to increase efficiency and improve quality. i commend you for that. those of you on the front lines of our state agencies really do important work. part of that effort is that we hold ourselves to the highest standards. so if the public trust is violated, we blow the whistle on it and we provide absolute accountability. and that is what is happening with the sentencing errors that went on for 13 years at the department of corrections. you are often the first ones to see when something is not working right. that's why you should feel empowered to bring these things
to management's attention and know that you are being heard. and i expect all state employees, and especially your managers, to act responsibly in this regard. and you can expect that those who do not will be held accountable. we always have to remember that our core mission is serving the people of washington. every single thing we do ought to reflect that mission. now, i came into office focused on creating jobs and growing our economy. it's why i've pushed for these investments in education, in transportation, in our quality of life. so let's take a look at how we're doing. i'm pleased to report that washington continues to rank in the top five states in the country in job growth.
we have the fastest gdp growth in the nation. it's more than twice the national growth rate. over the past few years, washington exports grew a whopping 20%, more than any other state. california, new york, texas, we beat them all. look, i've been focused on jobs since i took this office. so it's very gratifying to be able to say that we have added"j nearly 250,000 jobs since 2013. [ applause ] there are more than 30,000 people working today in the building trades sector than there were three years ago. i'm so glad they are able to get up every day, about to their good paying jobs and help us build our economy.
and although our economic growth has not been uniform, we do know that unemployment in all of our state's counties is for now, the first time in eight years, back in the single digits. folks, there's a lot of good economic news in our state these days, and it means that we are doing something right. and we should have confidence because we know what we've already achieved together in these past three years. so with all of us gathered here, i'd like to talk about what i think our business now is for the next 60 days. between now and march 10th, there are four things that must get done for our state. first, we have a serious state wide teacher shortage. from ken winewick to kent, all
told, we need more than 7,000 teachers in our schools. now i've proposed a way to do this. a small, but important, first step to address a very real problem -- to recruit and retain teachers. my plan would raise the beginning salary from just under $36,000 to $40,000 per year. nearly 8,800 beginning teachers would see a raise next year under this proposal. then to make all teach he shall salaries more competitive, my plan also provides a minimum 1% raise to all other teachers. it also increases funding for teacher mentoring programs so that teachers in their first or second year on the job have the support they need and don't end up leaving the profession which half of them are now doing. i propose we pay for it through elimination of some tax breaks whose benefits simply do not
outweigh our obligation to our students, to our teachers, and to our schools. for those who wonder how we're going to get this done, here is a reminder what we've done before. in the past three years we've closed tax breaks on a bipartisan basis to generate $1.1 billion over six years. we did it because we recognized we had some critical needs in our state and we can do it again. [ applause ] the reason is pretty simple. because it doesn't matter if we have the best mentors for our teachers, or the smallest class sizes in the nation. if nobody is standing in front of the classroom, we've got zip. second thing we need to focus on is last year's record setting
wildfires. 1 million acres of our state were scorched. an area larger than the state of delaware. more than 300 homes, primarily in eastern washington, were destroyed. tragically, three firefighters lost their lives. i propose using our budget stabilization account to cover $180 million in costs related to battling these firefighters. this is exactly what these reserves were meant for. additionally, i propose using $29 million from the disaster response account to help communities recover from these devastating fires. and to help to ensure that we are better prepared to fight them in the upcoming fire season. the third thing we need to focus on is our mental health care system. we know this -- during the great recession, the state made devastating cuts to services for our most vulnerable and we continue to be hobbled by those
cuts. while we've acted together to add more than $700 million to our state's mental health system, we still have significant work to do. it is not acceptable to let people with severe mental illness languish in our emergency rooms and in our jails. in our last legislative session we added hundreds of treatment beds, psychologists and nursing staff to get people treated more quickly. my december supplemental budget included the ability to keep people safely in their communities and with their family and friends. i think this is important. after all, only 3% of the people who access mental health services in our state go to state hospitals. so the other 97% are served in our communities. and we need to make sure that we have the appropriate services in
place for them. these aren't nameless, faceless people. they are our loved ones. they're our colleagues. our friends. we're talking about the elderly person with dementia or the college student who experiences a psychotic brain or the wounded veteran with a traumatic brain injury. we need to make sure they get stabilized and help them. a new 16-bed crisis triage facilities and three new mobile crisis teams across the state will reach these folks in need. but all of these investments we've made required skilled staff to set them up and to keep them running. right now, we know we have a serious staffing shortage, particularly at our state psychiatric hospitals.
we need to ensure we have enough doctors, nurses, social workers and treatment staff so that everyone is safe. and that's patients and staff. these are investments we ought to have confidence in because we know that when people get the mental health care treatment they need, they can improve dramatically. people walk out of western state hospital and they go on to have great productive lives. so we have urgent short-term needs, but we also need to take the long view on how to organize and deliver a stronger mental health care system for our citizens. that's why my budget includes funding for just this purpose. our aim is simple here. timely access to high-quality treatment in the appropriate setting. we've all known someone struggling with mental illness. let's get this job done for these folks this year.
[ applause ] now let's talk about our fourth pressing need. we need to put in place a framework for our future k through 12 education investments. this is absolutely necessary this session. we are on track. i've convened a bipartisan group of legislators who met during the summer and fall to develop this framework for the next, the most complex part of our k through 12 financing plan. legislation has been introduced that contains the first step so that we can be successful when we return next year. i'm confident we will take that second step next year because
legislators have met every deadline that they have set for themselves. our next deadline requires the legislature to fully fund basic education in the 2017 session, and there is no reason we can't do that, too. we're not going to just fix a few potholes. we're going to finish the job. that means actually financing these critical investments so our kids and grandkids get the education they deserve. and we are going to do this, not just because it is a constitutional imperative. not just because it is a judicial decree. but because it is the right thing to do for our kids. that's why we're going to do this. [ applause ]
i also like to talk today about some other issues that engage people beyond this chamber and are important enough for state wide consideration. there are a variety of ways our state can move forward. one way is that voters take things into their own hands through the initiative process. first and foremost is the issue of working families not being able to keep up, even as our economy improves. it is a simple fact -- our economy is not working for everyone. on the one hand, we have the biggest boomtown in north america. on the other hand, we have working families and communities falling behind, even though they're working hard, and even though they're doing a great job. i'm seeing washingtonians --
hard working people in every corner of this state -- struggling with rising housing prices, with student loan debt, with medical bills. that's why i'm supporting the initiative that was filed yesterday that phases in a true minimum wage and provides sick leave for hard working -- paid leave for hard working washingtonians. i stand on this rock-solid belief. if you work 40 hours a week, you deserve a wage that puts a roof over your head and food on the table, period, and you shouldn't have to give up a day's pay if you or your kids get sick. but it's not just minimum wage workers who are falling behind in this economy. the problem is that most workers
are not sharing in the fruits of their own increased productivity. workers are producing more goods and services per hour than at any time in our state's history. in a nutshell, people are working hard er, they're workin longer hours, and they're getting paid less in real dollars. now this is not true for corporate executives. ceo to worker pay ratio was 20-1 in 1965. today, it's more than 300-1. look, i'm fine for paying for exceptional results and investing in talent. i believe in that. but i also believe that these gaps and practices should be transparent and i think the state investment board can help. the board currently votes
against executive compensation package if they do not align with the company's national performance. i've asked the investment board to go further and exercise its voting authority to reduce the widening pay gap between ceos and their workers. and i'm encouraging the board -- [ applause ] i'm encouraging the board to promote this policy with other states and institutional investors. small steps like this can be the beginnings of bigger journeys. i started a different journey last week with my new executive order on public health and firearms. you know, more people in washington are dying from firearm fatalities than even from from traffic accidents. we have a public health crisis and we need a public health
solution. every single day someone in our state dies of gun violence. and we can, and must, reduce accidental shootings, gun crime, and suicide by gun. my executive order will strengthen the background check system approved by voters in 2014. it will also allow us to collect information that will drive smart, data-driven solutions to gun violence, and it implements the state-wide suicide-prevention plan recommended by a task force i convened. no matter how this conversation advances, these are important actions that we can take now. and we also need to continue to take action on protecting our clean air and our clean water. particularly from the threat of carbon pollution. in my mind's eye, the older i
get, the more beautiful washington becomes. our verdent and healthy place for our kids to grow upwonder. so, i'm glad that the needle is moving on this. because the problem of carbon pollution is not going away. everyone knows i'm a technology optimist about this. we need and we're getting more of our homegrown leaders and innovators devising solutions to this problem. i'm also heartened by the engagement we're getting from the business community as their department of ecology drafts its clean air rule. people are robustly participating in the process. they're looking for solutions, and i'm really excited about that progress. and i invite everyone to get involved as part of this. and in this effort we know we are not alone. the world is moving on this and so are we.
so i've -- three years ago i stood up here as the newly inaugurated governor and said that as washington moves forward we need to remember who we are as a state. in looking at what we've accomplished together, i believe we've stayed true to the values we cherish as washingtonians. we remained confident in our ability to innovate because we're continually recognized for the groundbreaking things our businesses and our universities are doing. we remain confident in the brightness of our future because we've invested record amounts of money in our children's education, which is the truest measure of our commitment. we've remained confident in the
inclusiveness that has built our economy and today is building our communities. whether it's at big companies or it's small businesses, we're one of the most successful economies in the world because we embrace diversity and because we welcome all people to our great state. this -- this is a confident state. it deserves a confident legislature. it deserves a confident governor. and i have to tell you as a fifth generation washingtonian, i stand here today with confidence. i see the greatness of this state. i feel it. and i believe it. it's who we are. and that is how we're going to approach this session. not with temerity but with
confidence, with confidence together that we can solve them. so now together, let's get to work. and go hawks! take care. thank you. thanks. thank you. homeland security secretary jeh johnson is speaking today on the state of the nation's security and his agency's achievements and expected challenges for the new year. he'll also take questions from people at the wilson center. see his comments tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. then at 59 9:00 eastern on c-span, the implementation of the iran nuclear agreement. witnesses include the state department's lead coordinator for implementation of the deal and the treasury department's head of sanctions oversight. american history tv on c-span3 features programs that
tell the american story. and this weekend, we kick off a three-week special series on the 1966 vietnam war hearings, 50 years later. senate historian donald richie. >> the vietnam hearings were probably some of the most extraordinary hearings ever held by congress. they were hearings and an investigation into a war that was still being fought. that they -- congress and particularly the senate wanted to know why we were in vietnam, what the administration's policies were, and they wanted to hear from opponents of the war. they gave equal status to critics of the war as they did to supporters of the war. it was a real debate. >> this weekend two witnesses who opposed president johnson's vietnam policies. first, a february 1966 abc news special report that includes the testimony of former ambassador to the soviet union george kennen. then retired general james gavin followed by questions from
senators including chairman jay william fulbright. >> in korea we had learned air naval power alone could not win a war and that inadequate ground forces cannot win one either. it was incredible to me that we had forgotten the bitter lessons so soon that we were on the verge of making that same tragic error. well, general, as far as as you know are the conditions in indochina any different today than they were at that time? >> next weekend we'll hear from special consultant to president johnson, general maxwell taylor. and on saturday, february 27th, secretary of state dean rusk gives his testimony defending johnson's vietnam policies. for the complete american history tv weekend schedule, go to cspan.org. a signature feature of c-span 2's book tv is our coverage of book fairs and festivals from across the
country with nonfiction author talks, interviews and viewer call-in segments. >> providence, rhode island, jack, you are on "book tv." >> on saturday we'll be live from the ninth annual savannah book fair, a four-day celebration of the written word with over 40 best-selling, emerging and local authors taking part each year. this year's festival theme is lose yourself in books. our live coverage starts at saturday morning at 9:00 oorn with david greeneburg, the authyou a, and then we'll discuss "the black calhouns." author steve osborn will join us to talk about "the job, true tales from the life of a new york city cop." and travis mills, who wrote "tough as they come." and david perino will join us to
talk about her look. and the author of "the oregon trail, a new american journey." join us live on saturday from savannah, georgia, on c-span 2's "book tv." be sure to follow and tweet us your questions @booktv a and @c-span on twitter. susanna martinez delivered her state of the state address to legislators at the mexican roundhouse in santa fe. she outlines priorities which include job growth and investments and education and behavioral health services. >> lieutenant governor, senate president pro tem, mr. speaker, democrat and republican leaders, esteemed members of the new mexico legislature, congresswoman grisham, congressman steve pearce, honorable members of the judiciary, former new mexico
governors, archbishop john wester, distinguished guests, the state's first gentleman, my husband chuck franco -- the state's first newlyweds, carlo and tara, my adorable sister letty. and my fellow new mexicans. it's an honor to join you for the state of the state address and open this legislative session where our call and purpose will be to confront violent crime, demand more than mediocrity in education and compete for jobs with the resolve that is expected of us. these challenges, these
realities are not specifically of our making. in some cases they've been decades in the making. but this is what's in front of us. and for the sake of future generations, it is our responsibility to address them. two of my guests today are here because for them and for their families and for the community around them, 2015 brought unthinkable personal pain and hor ri horrific tragedy. i grew up the daughter of a police officer and as you know chuck was a police officer. and i remember at times not being able to reach him by phone wondering if he was okay. always knowing there was a chance he might not come home. i cannot imagine and will not pretend to understand the pain
and sadness that engulfed julie benner and michelle webster, when that nightmare, something the spouse of every officer fears became a reality. officers nigel benner and dan webster served with distinction in the armed forces, volunteered in their communities, raised their families amongst us. they chose service to each of us and to sacrifice their safety for each of us. heroes to strangers. where most would run away from trouble out of fear, they would run toward it out of duty with courage. we will never understand why the tragic deaths. the senseless murders of these two heroes occurred.