Friday, February 15, 2013

Statement on the State of the Union Address

NBCSL National President Joe Armstrong (TN) issues the following statement regarding the 2013 State of the Union Address:

“On Tuesday, February 12, 2013, President Barack Obama delivered his fourth State of the Union address and provided all Americans—from layperson to legislator—a strong policy outlook for our country’s future. President Obama addressed many of the issues NBCSL works to alleviate each and every day. Simply put, his constituents are our constituents. Just as members of Congress and the Presidential Administration should embrace a spirit of collaboration and cooperation, so should state and local officials.

NBCSL applauds the President’s directive to facilitate America’s economic growth and to support a rising, thriving middle class. We agree on a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes responsible budget cuts and appropriate revenue increases; greater access to affordable, quality health care; scaling up effective education programs that prepare young people and retrain workers; reasonable minimum wage increases and equal pay for equal work; and innovative job creation efforts. It is paramount that we continue to protect the nation’s most vulnerable populations while increasing prosperity, vitality, and safety for all Americans.

NBCSL also lauds President Obama’s call for the formation of a non-partisan commission to improve the voting process. Voting is a fundamental right and is the foundation of our democracy. As such, it should never be infringed upon. Furthermore, NBCSL supports the full restoration of voting rights, so that every American can fulfill his or her civic duty.

Our work in Statehouse Chambers across the country mirrors what was discussed throughout the State of the Union address. We too are tackling gun violence prevention laws. We too are examining ways to bring in more green, sustainable jobs while making our homes more energy efficient. We too must protect our state resources, borders, and investments. We too must work to increase access to health care through the expansion of Medicaid and the implementation of health care exchanges.

As the country forges ahead toward recovery, the Nation’s impoverished and under-represented must not be left behind. The National Black Caucus of State Legislators is committed to providing a voice for our constituents.”
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