2018 West Virginia State of the State Address Full Transcript

1/10/2018

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2018 West Virginia State of the State Address ​

presented by
GOVERNOR JIM JUSTICE

WEDNESDAY
JANUARY 10, 2018

WEST VIRGINIA STATE CAPITOL

BE IT REMEMBERED
SPEAKER ARMSTEAD: Ladies and gentlemen,
it's my distinct pleasure and honor to introduce the
Governor of the great State of West Virginia, Jim
Justice.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Okay, now. It's time
to sit down.
Let me ask one question before we really
get into the nitty gritty. Last year when I came in and
spoke, it was 700 degrees. How can it be 65 degrees or
whatever outside right now, and 85 in my office, and
whatever it is in here?
But let's just hope this: That this is
the hottest it gets in here for the next 60 days.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Well, first of all --
Okay.
First of all, let me thank our Speaker,
Tim Armstead, for having us here.
Thank our President, Mitch Carmichael.
Thank you, Delegates. And our Senators.
And thank the great people of this
unbelievable State.
You know, today is a special day. A
special day that somewhere -- somewhere my tackle box and
axe is still kind of right with us. We didn't need to
leave it in a bag. But the only reason I bring it is
just this -- I said before it wouldn't leave my vehicle,
and it doesn't -- because we don't need to quit until
every single person is not standing on the side of the
bridge saying, Mister, you don't have any idea how bad
I'm hurting.
West Virginians were really hurting. And
today, you're going to have a hard time to keep me from
smiling. And smiling an awful lot. You know --
Butch, that's good.
Well, first of all, I'll just show you my
tackle box and my axe. And it's with me all the time.
And it does good stuff for me.
Now, let me tell you this about smiling.
The reason you won't be able to not get me to smile today
is a lotta, lotta, lotta good news about our state. No
question. But in addition to that, on December 7th, late
in the evening, our daughter, Cathy and I's daughter,
Jill, and her beautiful husband, Adam -- Jill gave birth
to a pretty good-sized little boy, nine pounds,
five ounces --
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: -- and Jill's got it
kind of halfway figured out. She's here with us tonight.
And Adam is watching the baby. So, Adam, we thank you in
every way.
And Justice Charles Long. With a head
full of hair that's dark-colored. And we're already
working on his left hand that he'll be able to dribble
with his left hand. You know, he's with us now, our
first grandchild. And we are so excited. So happy. So
blessed.
Now, let me tell you this. I thought a
lot about what's happened in the last 12 months. And to
be perfectly honest, you or other people that are
listening to me, you can't fathom what the level of
miracle has been. Now, you can't fathom how dire it was.
And you can't imagine how promising it looks. I'll get
into all of that.
But I oftentimes said to myself: Well,
you know, how can it be? You know, I feel like I came up
with some pretty decent ideas. Big ideas. It's kind of
what I do. But at the same time -- I truly mean this --
I'm not capable of the ideas that I presented to you. I
truly, truly give credit to the good Lord every single
day for any and all.
Now, if you'll just think, though.
Forever we've struggled a little bit. And as a matter of
fact, we've struggled maybe a lot. At times we were
always in a contest with Mississippi, who was going to be
last and who was going to be in 49th place.
Well, something has happened. Something
that I feel is just this. Again, I feel this because I
think I'm here for a reason. And you are too.
Now, if you'll just think. We had great
players. We've always had great players. You're great
players. All those that are listening to me are great
players. We've had all kinds of opportunities. And the
most beautiful, unbelievable state there could possibly
be.
The only thing that I was able to bring
you is: I was your coach. I was a coach that maybe --
maybe got the players running in the same direction.
Maybe got the passion going the right way. Did it for
the right reason. Didn't do it to please a party or
didn't do it to gain status or something for myself. Did
it because I love you. I really, truly do. I didn't do
it because you were union or nonunion, or rich or poor,
or black or white. I didn't do it because you were dems
or republicans. I did it because you're West Virginians.
And I think with all of my soul, if I was
able to give you anything, it was just that. The ability
to maybe be your coach. To maybe be what a governor is
really supposed to be. A governor is supposed to be just
that. But so often we drift into a lot of different
things that maybe motivate us in wrong ways.
Now, before we go any further, I've got to
show you this. And this will bring back some memories --
if I can get it out of here.
Now, you can clap if you'd like.
Now, at the same time I've got four of
these that we're delivering. And we're delivering to our
Speaker, and our President, and Tim Miley, and Roman
Prezioso.
Now, they're a little bit different. If
you'll will open them up -- and I got one for myself
because I didn't think they'd give me one. It's got a
big giant Hershey kiss, it's got a wonderful WVU or
West Virginia type boutonniere. And it's got an
eight-track tape that says "Happy Days."
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Can I give you this?
Now, only briefly do I want to belabor the
past with you. And I don't know which is which, but --
Butch, unveil the one. And I'm going to
stay back here. And I'm going to scoot myself a little
bit closer here.
Okay. Let me tell you. When I got here,
this is what we were facing. Like it, or not like it,
when I got here, it was in the middle of the '16-'17
year -- or really, I guess, the -- yeah, the '16-'17
year. We were supposed to have a balanced budget, but it
looked like we were going to come up, because severance
and everything kept running away from us. It looked like
things could even be more dire and we could very well
have a $200 million hole in the bucket.
The next year, my first full year,
497 million in the hole. And the years there after that
going all the way up to 722 million.
Now, I said a minute ago, you know, just
imagine the miracle that has happened. The miracle
that's happened is not sitting here. The miracle that
happened is you. The miracle that happened is the people
at home. The miracle that has happened to each and every
one of us is just this:
It was really unfair to think that what I
wanted to do was just come in and say, oh, we got a hole
in the bucket. Let's just raise taxes. That's the last
thing on earth I wanted to do. But I didn't know what to
do. I didn't know where to turn.
You see, we all know, we'd already drained
Rainy Day. We had. Our bonds were being derated. We
didn't know where to go. We had to have a bridge, didn't
we? We had to have a bridge. We had one guy in this
room, and he's the big guy talking to you, that believed
with all of his heart that if we could pass our roads
bond, the severance tax would truly continue to grow. If
we made modifications to education, that we would
actually get a response from the outside world.
It's happened. It's happening like you
can't imagine. Absolutely in just a very, very short
period I'll be able to show you something that concludes
just how amazing this trip has been.
Now let me ask you this: Can we stop
where we're at? Well, of course not. Can we get -- Can
we get in our own way and have who knows what happen?
Absolutely we can. But you know what -- and I'll do
this -- I'll do this for Craig Blair. But --
And Mike Hall. Mike is over here.
But last year, I said: If Frankenstein
caught you, you deserve to die. Because Frankenstein
walked like this, did he not? Now, I would say just
this. When we passed our road bond referendum, when we
made our changes in education, and when our severance
really started to take off, and when companies on the
outside world just started to see how truly great we
really are, it started to happen.
Dr. Frankenstein stood when he built the
monster. And he took the paddles and hit it. And then
he took the pulse. And he could hear a pulse. And he
said: It is alive.
Well, we're alive. And we're moving now.
And we're moving like you can't imagine.
Now, where do we go? What's the next
thing we do? Well, the first thing we got to do is just
this. We have to stop -- we have to stop this terrible
drug epidemic. We have to. If we don't, it will
cannibalize us.
You know, just recently we had to dispatch
the National Guard to Huntington to try to stop the
terrible shootings that were going on in Huntington. You
know, we have to build treatment facilities. And we have
to have additional social workers, or we have to do
additional law enforcement. Do we not? Of course we do.
But now just think -- and think with me.
There's still something we're missing.
There's still something out there we're missing. And so
the other day I told our people, I said, I want you to do
this. I want you to find the smartest people in the land
that can find and tell us what we're missing here. And
lo and behold, in rolls a doc from WVU.
Now today, just as we talk, WVU, with the
Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, words that are almost
too complicated for me to even speak, what they're doing
there is they're bringing docs in from all over the world
that are going to do the most landmark stuff that you can
possibly imagine. One of these doctors brought to me a
vial about this big. It probably had 30 chips in it.
They were the size of a third of a size of maybe a grain
of rice. He said: It may very well be that they can
cure the opioid addiction. They can take away the
craving with one of those chips that will last for a
year.
It is unbelievable what's happening right
there in our state at our home university. And so
please, please, understand that I'm going to support them
in every way that I possibly can in this strife to try to
combat this terrible drug epidemic. They're all in.
Now, I could tell you that -- and this
will be a quickie. This is called the Comprehensive
Annual Financial Report. Every year for the last three
years we've been late getting it done. And by late
getting it done, what had happened to us, when we were
put on a five-year probation by the federal government,
and it's ----- (inaudible/indiscernible) to our higher
ends. It hurt us.
Well, I can proudly say: Today it's done.
It's done.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Now, I'd like to
recognize some really, really important people. My
family is over here on the right-hand side. My dear
wife -- and I can't see her, but she looks pretty
tonight. And Cathy is really special in many, many ways.
You know, just a couple days ago I was on
the way home, and she called me. And we have an
underwater treadmill. And it's a pool type room. She
called me to tell me, she said, "Jim, where are you?"
And I said, "I'm in Dawson. I'm about 25 minutes away."
She said, "Jim, the dogs have locked me in the pool
room."
So there is nobody more loving and more
caring. But there are events that happen at our house
from time to time.
Right beside Cathy is our beautiful
daughter Jill that just gave birth to our grandson. And
right behind -- beside Jill is Catherine and Jay. Jay is
our son and Catherine is his beautiful wife. And she
some way, somehow, puts up with him, and I'm very proud
that she pulls that off.
Now, somewhere in the gallery here we have
an incredibly special person in our Teacher of the Year,
Katlin Thorsell? Is that the correct pronunciation?
Where is Katlin? Please.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: See, Katlin, they
clapped a lot more for you than they did me.
(LAUGHTER)
Somewhere Dr. Clay Marsh is here with WVU.
So if Clay Marsh (phonetic) would stand, we've got to
give him a big round of applause.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Great job.
Dr. Gee and Dr. Gilbert are somewhere, if
they haven't fallen down the steps or something here.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Now, I don't know how
flattering it is to say you're a university president and
you keep falling down. I mean, you know, that's -- But
I'd like you to give a great big round of applause for
our Chief of Staff and all of our Secretaries here,
because they've done incredible, incredible jobs.
If y'all would please stand.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Now, if we could jump
over to one of my pet peeves, and that's education. I
think it truly needs to be the centerpiece of everything
we do. I've thought that all along. I think we need to
pay our teachers more. I've said that in the past.
(APPLAUSE)
Somehow we're blessed beyond belief with
the State Board of Education that is truly, truly doing
an amazing job. So please give them a round of applause.
If y'all would stand wherever you are.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Two Cathy's, my wife
Cathy and Cathy D'Antoni, are doing an incredible job
with communities and schools to be able to help kids to
maybe be able to get to their end goals.
Now, today -- today -- and I just found
out two things educationally just a few minutes ago.
Today, I think our State Board unanimously passed -- and
I called 25/10, which basically allows counties
flexibility in regard to things like band and show choir
and drama, and things that in this state so many kids
wanted to participate. They wanted to participate. And
you know how it was when you grew up, and the bands were
gigantic, and kids had an incredible time and an
incredible learning experience there.
We can't all be LeBron James. They had a
great, great experience there. And some way they just
passed, they said unanimously, 25/10 to grant a
district's further flexibility to maybe give those
districts an opportunity to promote bands, promote show
choirs, to promote drama, promote the arts. It's good
stuff.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: In addition to that, at
5:15 today, believe it or not, but the Secretary of
Education, Betsy DeVos, called me to tell me that our
plan, West Virginia's plan, for every student -- it's
called WV's Every Student Succeeds Plan, was passed
today.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Now, let me say this
about education. I've said it till I'm blue-green. Not
everybody is cut out for the traditional pathway of a
four-year degree. And we know that, don't we? But you
know what we don't know is just this. Because I'm in the
schools a lot, and I see it. If you're a student that
likes to, you know -- that wants to go into the trades
and have an incredible job, and you're a student that
loves the electricity or whatever it may be, in all
honesty, a lot of times when you walk the halls people
may -- other kids may look down on you a little bit.
It's not fair. It's not right. Some way
we have got to let those kids know that we got to have
them. We got to build this workforce like we can't
imagine. I want us to develop a way to where kids in
high school and the trades can get an associate degree
while they're in high school.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: I also want us to add,
if it's possible, a 13th year where they can get
additional accreditation or additional certifications.
I know our president, Mitch Carmichael, is
rock solid behind this, and I am too. I want somehow,
some way, for us to be able to make our community and
technical colleges free.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Thomas Burton is not
with us tonight. He's at Oak Hill -- (inaudible) and I
guess moved away and moved back. He's a retired vet. He
says the reason he moved back is because you exempted his
pay. You exempted his pay. You gave him the right to
come home. And today, you know, what he's doing? Our
ex-governor, Earl Ray Tomlin, had a project that he was
immensely proud of at Hobet. And Hobet really was not
going very far. It surely wasn't going as fast as what
we would have all liked it to go. But between the likes
of General Hoyer and the likes of Thomas Burton, today
Hobet is on the move. Hobet is really going to become
something fabulous.
Absolutely, right now, we are moving
towards doing training there that will save lives beyond
belief and bring business and opportunity to this state
that could be enormous. Plus, the fact that we're not
going away from the development aspects of it. And today
we're going to be able to save $70 million.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: I can tell you Earl
Ray's dream will become a reality. And that will be
great.
Now, there is another gentleman with us
here tonight, Byrd White.
And Byrd, whenever you are, stand up,
please.
Byrd has agreed within the confines of our
great Secretary, brother Dave, in our Tax Department,
Byrd has agreed to just this. One thing that we worry
about all the time and was said to me over and over along
the trail: Will the contractors pay their taxes? Will
you collect their taxes?
Absolutely. We need to make positive of
that.
So Byrd is going to head up an enforcement
division that is going to target and go right after just
that. No one has ever liked Byrd. He is perfect for
this job.
(LAUGHTER)
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Now, we celebrate our
coal miners going back to work, don't we?
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: I love it.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Now, you know, what we
need to do? We need not to be satisfied with the numbers
that we have back today. We need to be sure that those
people are some way looked after from a safety standpoint
the very best they possibly can -- or can be. But in
addition to that, we have got to get more of our coal
miners to work. It is an absolute unbelievable thing to
travel down through the coalfields and see communities
coming back to life. To see the line at Dairy Queen, you
know, being longer. Seeing people walk around on used
car lots. They are coming back to life. But we got to
have more. We got to have more. And then more on top of
that.
It's nice to think about what our gas
companies and their contributions are doing to the State
of West Virginia. It's unbelievable. It's unbelievable.
And we thank them in every way. In this session here, we
could very well have the opportunity to address
co-tenancy or maybe even joint development.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Now, I would ask just
this, that as we're able to give back or try to help, our
gas companies need to come to the forefront too. And our
landowners. And our mineral owners. They all need to be
protected. There's a way. There's a way to always do
all of this if we'll just get together and work it all
out. Just to say: That won't pass, if we put two things
together. Well, who would have thunk? Who would have
thunk we would have been here tonight when you saw this
right here last year? But we're here.
Now, just think of this just a second. I
don't very often get to name something. You guys are
famous for naming something like CL9623BC. And I don't
have a clue what that ever means. But I'm going to call
something JCTAW. And it's going to stand for Just Cut
Taxes And Win.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: But what I want to
start with is the elimination of the tax on manufacturing
machinery and equipment and manufacturing inventory.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: If y'all don't quit
this clapping we're going to be here all blooming night.
No, I appreciate you. I really do.
One thing we've got to insure is that
education and our counties and our cities won't get hurt.
We can do that. We can absolutely do that with this.
Let me address a couple other things real
quickly. Our state parks are in ill repair. We found
enough money to be able to do significant repairs to our
state parks which will bring people here.
The work that's going on in tourism and
commerce is phenomenal. Phenomenal.
Think about this just for a second.
Agriculturally we all know that agriculture could be a
sleeping giant in West Virginia. And I know a lot about
agriculture, guys and girls. A lot. An awful lot. And
I can tell you it's for real that we could have chicken
houses or hog confinement buildings on mountaintop
removal sites. We could have vegetable or horticultural
specialty crops grown and within a rock's throw of the
marketplace.
All of those things are for real
possible -- because you know why? We have pristine
water. We have manure disposal. We have absolutely a
disease-free atmosphere. Disease-free. We have
relatively constant and not terrible tempers -- except
last week. And maybe even right now. You know. But
there's real possibilities there.
We've got to put somebody on it, and I am
going to put West Virginia State, Marshall University,
and West Virginia University working this and bringing us
real ideas as to what we can do. I'll be able to tell
them very quickly: There is no way on this planet that
that will work, or I'll be able to tell them, yes, that's
the real deal.
Now, we can't possibly not talk about
China. You talk about an 800-pound gorilla in the
room -- not me -- but China is a possibility beyond all
of our possible dreams. It could really happen. And the
reason it could probably happen is two things. And these
are Trump cards that we have. And they're true Trump
cards. President Trump genuinely wants the trade
imbalance with China to change. And President Trump has
put his first foot forward to say a big part of that
change is going to happen in West Virginia.
And I'll promise you, President Trump and
I are friends. And President Trump doesn't want me
calling him, saying, Donald, why isn't it happening? You
know.
Now, do I believe that there's going to be
$83 billion come rolling into West Virginia? It could
very well happen. But I can't comprehend $83 billion.
And I've traded in a great big arena. But imagine,
Proctor & Gamble is 500 million. If 1 billion comes,
it's two Proctor & Gamble plants. Imagine the magnitude
of what we're talking about here. It's unbelievable.
And the Petra Chemical business, and the
natural gas hub. It is unbelievable. And we're on
something. And we're working it. And you should be very
proud of our commerce people, our relationship with
President Trump on this issue, and all the goodness that
everybody has put in the licks and trying to do.
So please give them a round of applause,
because it is a big thing.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: I proudly say we're
going -- we have enough money to be able to have a State
Police cadet class. The first time in probably four
years.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: And I -- just as I
glanced this way, I just -- I thought, well, how -- what
a dumb bunny am I? We've got all of our Justices here.
And we've got Evans Jenkins, Congressman Jenkins sitting
right here. And some way, somehow, I just passed right
by you.
And the great John Perdue, who really
brought me the idea in regard to being able to create and
be able to get kids an associate degree in high school
and into trades. So please give them a great round of
applause.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Our education
Department and DHHR are working working tirelessly on an
issue that's just -- it's just not comprehendible again
for me. Child sexual abuse. Imagine this. Every
18-year-old in West Virginia, one in ten of them, one in
ten of them before they reach the age of 18 suffers some
level of child sexual abuse. It's got to stop. It has
to stop. And we're on it. And some way, somehow, we're
going to stop it.
Now, I've got to talk to you just a second
about tourism and commerce. I put in the budget -- I put
in my numbers, rather, a giant number for tourism.
$20 million. And you may think, well, can we not do
something else with $20 million, more than just put it
into tourism? And I would say to you it's super
penny-wise and pound-poor if you think that's the thing
not to do.
The reason it's the thing not to do is
just this. For every dollar that flows into tourism, it
is believable the multiplier effect that comes right back
to us. We have got to market ourselves. At some point
in time you've got to get tired of waking up and watching
the TV, and watching the TV say "Come to New York," or
"Come to Michigan." It's driving my crazy. Some way,
somehow, we've got to let the world know just how good we
really are.
The world is awakening right now. There
is real opportunity. Commerce needs money to be able to
bring people to us. It's the way the game works. We can
do it today. We have a tremendous Commerce Secretary.
We have Chelsea Ruby, who is doing an unbelievable job in
tourism. There is so many areas of diversification that
our highways, and on and on, will bring us. We've got to
get behind this with everything we have.
Now, let me say this. Right in my neck of
the woods, 27 years -- 27 years we've been planning and
trying to get the Coalfields Expressway and the King Coal
Highways moving. This spring. This spring you'll see
pavement going down. We're going to build the daggum
roads. It's going to happen.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Now, let me get to a
little bit of cherry on the top. Today we know there's
enough money in the budget today -- Imagine what I'm
saying to you. Can you imagine it? I mean, we didn't
have enough money to hardly go feed the dogs good. But
we now have enough money to give every single person in
state government a raise. And I'm really, really proud
that we're going to be able to do that.
We're going to be able to give our
teachers a raise. We're going to give a 1 percent raise
across the board to everyone. This year and next year.
And I'm budgeting in an additional one, one and one on
the teachers for the following three years and bring them
an entire five. We can do it. It's there right this
minute and it can be done.
Now, if some way, somehow -- My little
girls' basketball team is somewhere, and they said
they're going to come here. So wherever they are, they
need to get here and get here now -- oh, here we go.
(Team enters Chamber)
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Y'all just stand right
here around me. Some of y'all -- all of y'all just stand
right there, okay?
Now, real quickly. This is Abby, and AJ,
Haley, and Tucker, and Autumn, and Taylor, and Gabby, and
Morgan, and Lauren, and Kendra, and Niah (phonetic), and
Luthia, and Kate and Emma, and Lexie and Alasia
(phonetic).
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Let me tell ya -- y'all
please sit. Please sit.
You stand.
You know, in basketball, when the season
begins you're allowed to have two scrimmages. Our first
scrimmage we had 40 turnovers and we lost by a gazillion
points. And then we went to work -- because they're
really young. A lot of times -- we only have one senior
in this group, and a lot of times there's two freshman
and three sophomores on the floor at the same time.
Since that time, they've not lost a game. Just the other
day --
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: -- just the other day
the AP poll came out and they're ranked second in the
state.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Now, let me tell you
this. Haley, who was Second Team Allstate last year --
-- stand right here in the front, Haley --
She had something wrong with her leg the
other day. And Gabby -- Gabby, who is our enforcer
here -- Haley said, What is this coach? And I said, Oh,
I know what that is Haley. That's resistant pathway
ringworm. And it won't hurt you, but it eventually goes
up your leg and goes through your face, and it will go
away. And the only way you can get rid of it is you can
tie knots around the places in your leg and it will go
away.
And so I turned and winked at Gabby. The
next thing I saw was Haley sitting in the floor with her
sweatsuit on, tying her legs up. All the girls walked
over and said, What are you doing? And then Haley said
something a little smart aleck to Gabby, and Gabby said,
Well, at least I wasn't crazy enough to tie myself up.
(LAUGHTER)
But Haley and this group believe -- and I
told you before -- you needed a coach. And you needed to
believe in me.
And I really would close by just saying
this. I know how talented you are as the players. And I
mean it when I tell you that I love you with all my soul.
You are an incredible force to deal with. At least give
me the opportunity to be your coach. And believe.
Now, I want to end by doing this. I want
y'all to go flip over that board right there.
Now, get out of the way where everybody
can see.
A year ago this is where we stood. Today
that's where we are. It is unbelievable, the six-year
plan that you are able to see today that has all black
numbers. And today -- today -- my request from you as
our people, and you as our legislators, my request for a
tax increase would be zero. Zero.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: I'll end by just saying
that I can't thank you enough, especially our people, as
we traveled the land, and we passed the road bond
referendum that some may have thought wasn't going to
pass. We passed it at 54 out of 55 counties. And some
way the good people of Richie County -- I need to go up
and talk to them. But we passed it by 73 percent of the
vote. Amazing, amazing accomplishment by you -- not just
me, by you.
Now, I can't thank our people enough, and
you enough, for believing. And believing in me. I
coach. I coach for the players. You're the players. I
don't coach for myself. The people of West Virginia are
the players. I coach for them. And I coach for our
school, and our school is our state. That's what I do.
That's what I've done forever.
Now, I would end by just saying this. You
honor me all the time by calling me Governor. But it
would be fine with me if you often decided to call me
Coach.
I thank you.
I ask our team -- that our team does one
other thing. I tell them all the time, every time we
break it down, we break it down: "Best on three, one,
two, three: Best." Because I want them to believe
they're the best.
I want West Virginians to believe you're
the best. I don't want us to know our place and know our
place should be 50th. I want us to know we're the best.
So I'm going to ask them, if they would,
to break it down for us. Break it down as you always do
it. As you do it the way you do it every day.
BASKETBALL TEAM: Best on three: One,
two, three -- best!
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: If you can hold it just
one second. Just one second.
That's the way we do it all the time. But
now, listen closely to how they're going to do it for us
tonight.
Do it one more time:
BASKETBALL TEAM: "West Virginia on three:
One, two three -- Best!
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Now we can clap.
(APPLAUSE)
GOVERNOR JUSTICE: May God bless all of
you. May God bless this great State. We're on our way.
Let's go get it done. Thank you.
(APPLAUSE)

Contact Information

Butch Antolini, Butch.Antolini@wv.gov

Contact

Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

Governor's Mansion:
304.558.3588

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