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tv   Vermont State of the State Address  CSPAN  January 16, 2020 12:16pm-1:02pm EST

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[ applause ] for the third time in history, a president is on trial in the u.s. senate. watch live now on c-span2. vermont governor, phil scott, delivered his state of the state address from the statehouse inmont peelier. at the beginning of his speech members of extinction rebellion began a protest about climate change causing the legislation to go into recess so police could remove the protesters.
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[ applause ] >> thank you. mr. president, madam speaker, mr. chief justice, members of the general assembly, honored guests, today i welcome the opening of the legislative session with the same optimism i had as a freshman senator of washington county nearly two decades ago. i come before you to report on the state of the state, to reflect on the work we've done and to share a vision and priorities for our future. as elected officials, it's our duty to distinguish what must be done from what we might like to do, and to work together, pulling in the same direction to make a difference for those we serve. we meet at a time in our history when too many elected officials on both sides are choosing
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confrontation and partisan politics over collaboration. [ voices speaking ]. >> we call on everyone to help. for the people. young people for the climate crisis! destroying the economy! >> they will be escorted out by capitol police and security. >> listen to the people! >> everyone must tell the truth! >> the climate is an emergency. >> based in real science! >> these are the protesters from
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extinction. >> we must have a justice system on climate leadership. >> for the most vul nearbible people. >> listen to the people. >> there are climate refugees in vermont right now! [inaudible]. >> what's left of vermont's dairy industry. >> we demand an answer and -- >> they're demanding hannaford sign a dignity pledge, climb refugees right now demanding about vermont's dairy industry.
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>> [ voices ]. >> we have a right to a -- future. >> our children's children. >> listen to the people! >> we demand a people assembly! to overachieve the changes! to achieve a just transition. >> through the -- >> because we are unable -- >> because we are unable -- >> to trust the government to do so. >> listen to the people! [inaudible]. >> -- justice -- climate justice. >> listen to the people!
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we -- agricultural. [inaudible]. >> in our community -- inaudible -- >> for those who live here. >> listen to the people! >> listeners, i don't know much you can hear about what these protesters are saying. many of them are wearing red, flying the extinction rebellion flag. that is being taken away by members of the staff of sergeant at arms. clearly there has been a message these protesters should be allowed to continue what they're saying. we will have more coverage of this for those that can't cover what they're saying. i don't want people to think they won't be getting a sense what these protesters are saying. governor scott is listening to them. >> i think capitol police made
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an interesting decision to let this play out rather than go in and physically remain these people from the building. the question is how long will they remain tolerant of this protest before they move in and do something. >> interesting to hear this protest and see and listening. let's listen in a little bit more. >> okay. thank you very much. we appreciate that. we just did. thank you very much. >> we demand a transition. >> now, it's time for you to listen to us. >> of the more vulnerable people. >> we got it. [ speaking ].
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>> all right. have we had enough? okay. at this point -- [ applause ] >> -- we're going to move forward. if you would like to listen to us, listen to my speech, you're welcome to stay. [ speaking ]. >> if you don't want to listen to what i have to say, you can be removed. [ speaking ]. >> got it. [ speaking ]. >> okay. i think we've had enough.
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>> the chamber will please come to order. would our guests in the balcony and gallery please listen to this final offer. we have to proceed with the governor's speech. you have given your message and the governor has been grateful as has everybody here, to listen. if necessary i will declare a recess and ask the sergeant-at-arms and our police forces to remove you. [ speaking ]. >> the general assembly will now be in recess until the fall of the gavel. i would ask the sergeant-at-arms and the sergeant-at-arms support to please remove these individuals from the chamber in order to hear the governor's remarks. thank you.
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>> the chamber will please come to order. the chamber will please come to order. we will resume. governor scott. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> thank you very much. thank you for your patience. i'll try not to repeat anything you might have just heard. we needed a time in our nation's history when too many elected officials on both sides are choosing confrontation and partisan politics over collaboration and progressive. polarization, the "us" versus "them" is our nation's greatest threat. it's weakening our country and the very foundation on which it
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was built. that's why in state houses and town halls across america it's up to us to show that people from different backgrounds with different points of view, as we just saw, can unite around a core common humanity. it's up to us to prove that listening and learning from each other is far more constructive. [ applause ] >> it's up to us to seek consensus where it can be found and compromise where it cannot. we all know there will be times when we have to agree to disagree. that's okay. but when it happens, let's assume the best of each other and turn our energy to the areas where a path forward remains. this, my fellow vermonters, is how we rise above the
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partisanship, how we reject polarization, how we work towards something bigger than ourselves, and how we, all of us in this room, can best lead our nation forward. [ applause ] >> i have enormous faith in our ability to achieve meaningful results. my administration is ready to work with each of you in order to do so. unfortunately, time is not on our side. while good things are happening and progress is diagnose made, too many of our counties, communities and families remain at a critical crossroad. the fact is where we are as a state and where we go from here is in the hands of every vermonter. it's in the weathered hands of the dairy farmer and construction worker and the reassuring hands of the first responder and emergency room
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nurse. it's in the determined hands of our entrepreneurs and the persistent hands of our teachers, coaches and mentors. it's in the compassionate hand of family and friends and helping hands of our neighbors. the state of the state, our values and identity, are guided by, but never been defined by what happens in this building. it's the people of vermont doing all they can to lift each other up, who will shape our future. they define who we are and all we can be. world class innovators like dr. marjorie meyer, at uvm medical center, who is a leader in the treatment of women with opioid dependents during pregnancy. entrepreneurs like kyle clark, whose company, beta technologies, is building electric aircraft, which will
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the lead a significant reduction in global carbon emissions. or the volunteer firefighters in ludlow, who spent their thanksgiving day cooking for mother and her three children, whose stove caught fire that morning. gloria powers from glover, who provided a home for nearly 400 foster children over 25 years. at age 72, is still giving back, volunteering at the local senior certainty. a young jeffrey sears who wanted to do something nice for the kids at school this holiday season and raised over $1,000 to buy his classmates' lunch. then cecilia hauunt from fair haven, nearly 40 years, donated much of her time to everything, from blood drives to food banks to town communities, she made such an impact her community reached out to let me know how much she means to them.
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by the way, when my staff called her to invite her here, she wouldn't accept credit for 40 years. she said, it's only been 36. [ laughter ] >> friends, cecilia and dr. meyer, gloria and justin and members of the ludlow fire department and beta technologies are here with us today. please stand and be recognized. [ applause ] these people and thousands more, those we hear about and those we
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don't, remind us that we are all part of something bigger, and it's in our pursuit of purpose and in service to others that we find the best of ourselves, our communities and state and our nation. so, even as we face major challenges, these show in the hands of our people, doing all they can everyday, the state of the state is strong. [ applause ] inside this building, our job as public servants is to do all we can to ease their burdens and build on their strengths into clear priorities and bigger results. here's my concern. today in vermont, there are
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about 55,000 fewer people under the age of 45 and 44,000 more over the age of 65 than there were in the year 2000. for years, we had more deaths than births. we have seen more people move out of vermont than in. the impact is not the same in every community. we have to acknowledge the real and growing economic disparity from region to region. think about this. of the five towns that have seen the most growth in recent years, four of them are in one county. in the past 12 years, only three counties have added workers. the other 11 have lost a total of about 18,000. 18,000. that's more than the population of nearly every town or city in vermont. of the 180 legislators in this room, 106 of you come from counties that have lost workers.
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that's not the only area we see disparity. from county to county, there's a huge gap between home values, household income, average wage and so much more. because of this, across the state, we're feeling the negative impacts in everything, from our homes, schools an colleges, to our hospitals and nursing homes. if we don't break the cycle, our institutions, including state and local government, won't be able to afford what they currently do or what they would like to do in the future, because costs will continue to rise much faster than our tax base can sustain. my friends, this is what a demographic crisis looks like in too many places, in the lives of too many vermonters, i see an feel the emotional and financial toll of policies built for a few
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areas in the state that can afford them when the rest of the state cannot. businesses, families, entire communities doing their absolute best to maintain budgets and meet their needs with fewer options, fewer people and higher costs than they had last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. sustainable economic growth has become too hard and too rare in too many areas. it's hurting people. it's regressive. it's creating regional and equity. it's by far the biggest and most immediate challenge to our state and the ability of government to help shape the future. we must act now to give the people of newport and st. johnsburg, hatford and springfield and randolph and every other economic center and towns around them, the tools
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they need to survive and grow and shrive with self-determination and dignity they each deserve. [ applause ] >> if we're willing to focus about doing the work and caring more about the details than we do the talking points, if we can build consensus and trust and avoid national political agendas deliberately designed to divide us, if we focus on the fundamentals, a better more modern government, a stronger fiscal foundation, and position truly equitable, then our businesses and economy will grow. putting more kids in our schools and broadening our tax base and making our economy more resilient than ever before,
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that's why i had an open mind when a senator and the senate economic development committee had an idea that's paid off. they said remote workers can work from anywhere. let's give them an incentive to work and live here in vermont. since then, we've received worldwide attention. more than $7 million in free advertising, thousands of inquiries, and relocated 371 people to more than 68 communities across 13 counties. now, we received our share of criticism as well, folks who said, you know, i've been living here and dealing with high costs my entire life. where's my check? i get it. they're absolutely right. we urgently need to make vermont more affordable for everyone across the state. but this pride program does help
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them because bringing more people here reduces the tax burden on the rest of us. here are the facts. for a one time investment of $500,000, based on vermont's average household income of about $75,000, we project a return on this investment of over $1 million of tax revenue each year. and this is a conservative projection because it doesn't account for the higher than average income of these new vermonters, and the added benefits that comes along with people buying goods and services from local businesses. we know this isn't the only answer but this program is a small step towards growing our way out of the demographic crisis facing our state and the affordability crisis facing our families. this isn't all we're doing. at the same time, we're strengthening training, internship and apprenticeship programs for vermonters.
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we established a first in the nation approach to make it easier for veterans to transition to civilian careers. we're helping those in recovery and other barriers to employment find and keep good jobs. this year, in partnership with secretary condos, let's further reduce hurdles and costs to licensed professionals so we can bring more of them into the workforce. and my budget will include additional investments in training with emphasis on the trades and more incentives on young adults and working age families to stay or move here. [ applause ] >> it's also important for all of us to remember, over the last three years we have taken steps to help vermonters keep more of
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what they earn. this includes removing tax on social security for low-income vermonters and lower income tax rates across the board. significantly reducing the land gains tax, bringing the estate tax more in line with our neighbors and more. but this is not enough. overall tax and fee burden is still growing far too fast, especially property taxes. you can expect additional tax relief in my budget because ultimately, we need to help people in all parts of the state move up the economic ladder. the best way to do this is to level the economic playing field and make vermont more affordable for all families in every business. we've also expanded our view of education, because building the best education system in the nation is one of the greatest economic development tools we
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could ask for. rather than just thinking car, through 12, we broaden our focus from cradle to career. together, we've increased state funding for childcare by about $10 million and invested $5 million more in higher ed. we've added nearly $1.5 million for career and trade training. here, too, we must move more quickly. the disparity from school to school and district to district is a growing problem. it's unfair to taxpayers and fundamentally unfair to our kids for their educational opportunities to be determined by where they live. we need to be honest. costs are rising, yet opportunities for too many kids are declining in too many parts of our state. and student performance in areas like reading and math.
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reversing this trend has been behind each of my educational proposals. this year, my budget will once again increase investment in the cradle to career continuum. we will also support the work of the agency of education to improve performance. if you're ready, i'm still willing to have a discussion on how to direct more of our current spending to our kids instead of letting it be consumed by the growing inefficientsy of an outdated system. in addition, i propose to you today we begin creating an universal after school network that insures every child has access to enrichment opportunities outside of current classroom time and to align the student's day with the length of the work day. a few thoughts on this. first, it's based on talkful model from iceland, focused on preventing drug use as well as
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improving economic and social outcomes. the evidence is clear. kids who participate in after school activities and programs do better in school and in life than kids who don't. second, a universal program expands choices for every kid. it doesn't limit then. it could be voluntary. those who currently go home to their families or participate in drama, music, sports, debate, or older kids who choose to work could all continue to do so. third, it supports working parents by reducing the logistical and financial burden of after school care. finally, we're not recreating the wheel but we are creating more equity. many schools already have after school options through organizations like the ymca and others. but it's far from universal.
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there are a lot of details to consider on an issue like this. i fully recognize as we put the many challenges of act 46 behind us, one size will not fit all. that's why i've asked education committee chairs representative webb, senator booth, to give this idea some genuine consideration. it's my hope we can deliver this, the plan, by the end of the year, that puts us on a path of universal after school programs without raising property tax rates. [ applause ] >> we also have a continued need for more housing working vermonters can afford. in 2017, you joined me in passing a $37 million housing
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bond, which is leveraging another $170 million in other funding, make it the single largest investment in work force housing this state has ever seen. since then, nearly 400 homes have been completed. nearly another 175 are being built and about 200 will be under way soon. with almost 800 units, we far exceeded our expectations. it's already generated $158 million in construction activity with more to come. it's not just the housing bond. alongside additional initiatives, more than 2,000 residential building permits were registered in 2018, the most in over a decade. because of the economic imbalance from region to region, i still hear about the difficulty of finding an affordable place to live. that's why my budget will includes a package to revitalize
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homes and build more of them and target places that need it most. this is an area we found common ground, and i look forward to working with you on these proposals as well as your idea. i also appreciate the urgency speaker johnson and others on the act necessary to build on this progress. the balanced approach we're working on would enable concentrated development where people want to live and work. and, when paired with my proposed investments in housing and economic development will support more vibrant walkable livable downtown and villages. the speaker said, supporting economic growth is a critical piece of our work to combat climate change. for those reasons, i'm optimistic to better meet the needs of vermonters can be made
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this session. [ applause ] >> we know about half of the emissions that contribute to climate change come from transportation. that's why we've also worked together to make it more affordable to purchase electric vehicles. this is something i'm really excited about. as you may have heard, i'm a bit of a car guy. in fact, i'm probably the only governor who has a cdl and an inspection license. so when i see ford coming out with a 450 horsepower electric mustang, seriously -- [ laughter ] >> -- which will do zero to 360 in 3.3 seconds, with zero emission followed by an electric 150 in jeep building a hybrid
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wrangler and amazon's plans to purchase 100,000 electric vans. then, you see harley davidson offering a line of electronic motorcycles called wildfire, when you see all this, it's clear this transition is happening right before our eyes. we're on the verge of big advances in terms of technology as well as competition. we need to be part of it to benefit our environment and our economy. i'm pleased to report we're making progress. in addition to the privately funded charging stations being installed across the state, we've invested over $1 million in charging equipment. with investments through the volkswagen supplement we expects to nearly triple the number of state funded charging stations by the end of 2020. to make evs even more affordable for low and modern vermonters,
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we provided $1 million in purchasing incentives. utilities, auto dealers, many employees and municipalities and individuals all stepped up alongside state government. as a result, we've seen 160% increase in the number of evs on our road since 2016. but we know this is not enough. we're not stopping here. as part of the all fuel efficiency conversation before the public utilities commission, we're asking a portion of energy efficiency charges be directed to transportation electrification. we're also using vw settlement funds and settlement grants to purchase more electric school and public transit buses. as we look even further ahead, i strongly believe it's incentives, not penalties, which will help us transition more quickly.
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i hear from vermonters across the state, those traveling long distances for work out of necessity, not choice, seniors and others living on fixed incomes who struggle to fill their gas tanks and heat their homes. i simply cannot support proposals that will make things more expensive for them. instead, my budget will propose more incentives and greater focus on affordable clean energy as well as restoring battery and renewable clean energy sector and the jobs it can create. i will propose giving small co-ops and municipal utilities more flexibilities in order to innovate. from clean energy to our 20 year $1 billion commitment to clean water we've shown protecting our environment can be done in ways that also strengthen the economy without making vermont less
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affordable for families and businesses. now, we're alsoth strengthening the health and safety of our community. we took significant steps over the last passing legislation to address the vaping epidemic and to ensure every drinking fountain in every school will be tested for lead. this work will continue. the agency of human services has worked diligently to improve our mental health system. this includes adding inpatient capacity which is critical to getting people the care they need when they need it. the budget i'll submit will expand this work and focus on prevention, early intervention, and community level response. now, i know we're all concerned about the bralgts bottleboro re.
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this private institution has been around for nearly 200 years. it employs about 700 people, making it one of the region's most important employers since vermont yankee was closed. but age and size don't make it immune to the same demographic challenges others around the state are facing. and just like the rest of us, it too needs to adapt. this health care provider is simply too critical for us to let fail, especially with no alternative. this would have a devastating impact on our mental health system and the region's economy. we all have a stake here. just last year, we invested $4.5 million out of the capital bill. that combined with rate increases totaled an additional $16 million. that's on top of tens of millions in medicaid funding. that's why i've directed my administration to work with you
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to do everything we can responsibly do to help the retreat, just as we're doing everything we can to help springfield hospital as well. [ applause ] i'll also propose a package of criminal justice reforms that we've shared with xhefbmembers e committees of jurisdiction. we'll look at little things that make a big difference like waving license reinstatement fees for drivers, supporting inmates transitioning to the workforce, and we'll also include some bigger changes like tough mandatory minimums for human trafficking and a provision to address the loophole that has allowed violent, mentally ill offenders to go free. as we continue to create a more effective criminal justice
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system, we must remember that justice for victims and accountability for criminals must be top priorities. [ applause ] i'm grateful for this opportunity to address our biggest challenges, report on some of our progress, and outline a few of my proposals. there's always much more happening than can be covered in one speech or even two. i look forward to all of our discussions in the days and weeks ahead. over the next few months, the way we go about our work will not only determine the results we're able to deliver but also the strength of our institutions, the faith vermonters have in us, and the example we set for our kids. we must acknowledge the trying times we live in, the pressure
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from political parties and special interest groups to fall in line, stay on message, weighs heavily on some. honest effort and thoughtful ideas from good people are too often mischaracterized, misrepresented and belittled. and all of this is intended to divide us and bully us into a us versus them mentality. in this environment, the solutions to serious problems in our state and in our country don't always come fast enough. and to those of us who care more about progress than we do about political power, that can be very frustrating, even discouraging. so when those moments come, i think of the people who inspire me to be part of something bigger, of what they've endured
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with courage and resolve, and how they show that in the face of incredible adversity, we're all capable of great things. people like my dad. i think of what he went through. during his two years at walter reed, and how hard he worked every day just to live as normal a life as he could. how much he accomplished and how much i admire him. i think about the soldiers with him in france after d-day. all they went through, how long and horrific those days must have been. and how that generation of americans stepped up to protect democracy for their generation and those of us who followed. recently i thought a lot about travis roy, who i heard speak last month. his talent was recognized at a young age.
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hockey was his life. he was destined for the nhl. 24 years ago, he played exactly 11 seconds for boston university before going head first into the boards. and then instantly found himself unable to move from the neck down. travis has spent every moment since ensuring those 11 seconds defined an opportunity, not a tragedy. as a result, he's changed the way his sport is taught. through his efforts at places like little funenway and essex, he's raised millions for spinal cord research and adaptive equipment. he shared his story and found his purpose in helping others find theirs. travis says there are times when we choose our challenges and other times when our challenges simply choose us. it's what we do in the face of those challenges that define who
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we are. don and greg tetro didn't choose their challenge this past year when they lost their daughter jenna to a fatal overdose. she was only 26. but through their tremendous loss, and the haze of unthinkable grief, they get up every day to help others overcome this deadly disease. they're leading a multiple county effort through their organization, jenna's promise. they've created jenna's house, a community hub for treatment. they've purchased a cafe to employ those in recovery. they're providing financial assistance for housing, transportation, and so much more. they found purpose from loss, helping others to heal. friends, the tetro family is here with us today, and world
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war ii veterans from my dad's post in my hometown of barre, as well as vermont world war ii p.o.w.'s hyde cassidy and richard campton. please join me in thanking them. [ applause ]
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they're here to remind us that when our common cause is bigger than politics, there is no challenge we cannot overcome. when i think of these people, and others like them, i'm just as motivated, just as eager to solve problems and help people, as that hopeful freshman senator from washington county all those years back. so today, inspired by those we serve and humbled by the responsibilities they have given us, we can begin the work of the 2020 legislative session. our challenges are clear. can we work together? can we be guided by our shared principles and common values? can we reclaim the middle where
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partisanship can't survive, where we strive for consensus and celebrate compromise? my fellow vermonters, the answers to these questions and the solutions we seek, the course we hope to set, and the change we need to make is in our hands. if our sense of service and duty is strong, if our commitment to our neighbors is unwavering, and if we remember that we are all part of something bigger than ourselves, then the state of the state, our future and our people, will be stronger than ever before. thank you. [ applause ]
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for the third time in history, a president is on trial in the u.s. senate. watch live now on c-span2. ahead, army secretary ryan mccarthy talks about u.s. policy and strategy in the indo-pacific region, from the brookings institution. it's an hour and ten minutes. ladies and gentlemen, good morning and welcome to the brookings institution. before i begin my remarks, i would just like to say on behalf of the institution that we are thinking every moment about the challenges that australia is

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