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    DGA Chair Shumlin Applauds Governor Dayton for Raising Minnesota’s Minimum Wage

    4.14.2014: Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, Chair of the Democratic Governors Association, today issued the following statement regarding Governor Mark Dayton signing the bill that raised Minnesota’s minimum wage: “I’d like to congratulate Governor Dayton for his leadership in raising Minnesota’s minimum wage for the first time in nearly a decade.  Before today, Minnesota had one of […]

    On Tax Day, The Super-Rich Thank Their Lucky Stars For GOP Govs

    4.15.2014: Today’s Tax Day – an occasion for the super-rich to thank their lucky stars for Republican governors who have systematically raised middle class taxes and gutted investments in education in order to shower them with tax breaks and special deals. From Florida to Michigan, Louisiana and Kanas, Republican governors have pursued failed, top-down tax policies […]

    Vermont Governor and DGA Chair Peter Shumlin explains how one teacher helped him defy those who said he would never learn to read.

    TV Ad Attacks Schauer For Bill That GOP Gov Signed 

     

    Yesterday, the Republican Governors Association launched another attack ad against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer. The spot hit Schauer for a 2002 vote on a bipartisan bill that was signed by the state’s Republican governor and then extended by their own candidate, Governor Rick Snyder. Click HERE for Snyder’s 2011 press release touting the very program at issue.

     

    The results of the Michigan misfire haven’t been pretty. The Snyder campaign has basically pretended that they’ve never heard of the RGA, and the organization’s spokesman “was not available by phone and did not immediately respond to an email” seeking an explanation for their embarrassing hypocrisy.

     

    It’s not the first time the RGA has been caught running absurd ads. In South Carolina, they attacked Vincent Sheheen for having the same position as their Chair Chris Christie and seven other Republican governors on expanded access to health care.

     

    Here’s a sample of the coverage of the RGA’s misfire that has put Rick Snyder in an awful position:

     

    MLive: “The Republican Governors Association released what it called a ‘new attack ad’ on Wednesday, criticizing Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer for a 2002 state House vote that imposed a new per-bed fee on nursing homes. The only problem?  The ‘Medicaid Quality Assurance Assessment Program’ was backed by Republican Gov. John Engler, won bipartisan support in the state Legislature and was later extended by Gov. Rick Snyder, who Schauer is challenging.”

     

     

    The Macomb Daily: “The Republican Governors Association took aim at Rick Snyder’s Democratic opponent on health care issues, but the result was a need for RGA medical assistance – for shooting themselves in the foot.”

     

    The Detroit News: “With friends like the Republican Governors Association, fellow GOP Gov. Rick Snyder might wonder if he needs a few more enemies. […] The biapartisan legislation was signed into law by GOP Gov. John Engler and was extended by Snyder in a 2011 bill signing.”

     

    Gongwer News Service: “[…] the RGA was actually attacking Mr. Snyder. . . . Mr. Schauer did vote yes on the legislation on May 1, 2002. But so did 91 other members of the Republican-led House […]”

     

    Eclectablog: “They are attacking Mark Schauer over a law he supported 12 years ago and was extended just three years ago by a Republican governor via a bill introduced by a Republican legislator.”

     

    Daily Kos: “Indeed, the original legislation passed with broad bipartisan support, and it was signed into law by another Republican governor, John Engler. So a group devoted to electing Republican governors is attacking a program supported by Republican governors—and one that brings in more money for the state, no less.”

     

     

    ###

    Today’s Tax Day – an occasion for the super-rich to thank their lucky stars for Republican governors who have systematically raised middle class taxes and gutted investments in education in order to shower them with tax breaks and special deals. From Florida to Michigan, Louisiana and Kanas, Republican governors have pursued failed, top-down tax policies that do nothing to create jobs or strengthen the middle class, but that reward the wealthiest and well-connected.

    While they rejoice, the results have been devastating for working people. In New Jersey, because of RGA Chair Christie’s poor fiscal choices, the state’s credit rating has been downgraded four separate times. After Kansas Governor Sam Brownback massively cut the state’s income tax, which disproportionately benefited high-income earners, students’ test scores in reading and math declined for the first time in twelve years as utility rates, sales taxes, property taxes, and the cost of college skyrocketed. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder paid for $1.8 billion in corporate tax cuts by cutting school funding and raising taxes on seniors’ pensions. And while Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker extended tax breaks to out-of-state corporations, he has fallen woefully short of meeting the core promise of his 2010 campaign: that he’d create 250,000 new private sector jobs.

    Unfortunately, those are just a few examples. To commemorate Tax Day, here’s the background on how Republican governors have put the wealthiest and well-connected ahead of the middle class and the long-term economic future of their states:

    Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Eliminating Income Taxes While Expanding Sales Taxes Tilts Tax Burden “Against Middle- And Lower-Income Households.” “Proponents claim that eliminating income taxes and expanding the sales tax would make tax systems simpler, fairer, and more business-friendly, with no net revenue loss.  In reality, they would tilt state taxes against middle- and lower-income households and likely undercut the state’s ability to maintain public services.” [Elizabeth McNichol, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 1/22/13]

    CBPP: State Tax Cuts Jeopardize Schools. “Deep state tax cuts can be very, very bad for K-12 schools.  That’s a key lesson of last week’s court ruling that found that Kansas is unconstitutionally underfunding its elementary and secondary schools even as it slams through one of the nation’s largest-ever state tax cuts.  And it’s a lesson that the surprising number of governors who are considering tax cuts as they unveil their budgets for next year should heed.” [Phil Oliff, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 1/15/13]

    Citizens For Tax Justice: “Beware The Tax Swap.” “The most extreme and potentially devastating tax reform proposals under consideration in a number of states are those that would reduce or eliminate one or more taxes and replace some or all of the lost revenue by expanding or increasing another tax.  We call such proposals ‘tax swaps.’ […] In the end, tax swap proposals hike taxes on the majority of taxpayers, especially low- and moderate-income families and give significant tax cuts to wealthy families and profitable corporations.” [Citizens for Tax Justice, 1/24/13]

    KANSAS

    Bloomberg: “Unprecedented” Kansas Tax Cuts Have Lawmakers Searching For “How To Pay” Without “Potentially Crippling Public Schools And Other Local Government Functions.” “Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has a prairie-wide smile, a friendly manner and an abiding hatred of his state’s income tax. He pushed an unprecedented cut for individuals and small businesses through the legislature last year and is now plotting, as he says, to ‘take it to zero.’ [...] The race presents significant hurdles. Kansas lawmakers haven’t figured out how to pay for the tax cuts without potentially crippling public schools and other local government functions. Reducing the income tax has left a projected $2.5 billion revenue hole through fiscal 2018, according to the Kansas Legislative Research Department. On Jan. 11, a state court ruled that the legislature was illegally underfunding schools and ordered a payment of $440 million.” [Bloomberg, 1/25/13]

    Investors Fear “Major Fiscal Risk” From Lost Revenue. “‘It’s a major fiscal risk,’ Chris Mier, managing director of analytical services at Loop Capital Markets in Chicago, said of Brownback’s income-tax push. ‘Are the alternative revenue sources going to produce the revenue they need?’ Other investors may share that view. Kansas issuers trailed gains in the $3.7 trillion tax-exempt market during the past year. The bonds’ 5.5 percent return in 2012 was the eighth-worst among all U.S. states… Moody’s Investors Service said Jan. 17 that the school- funding ruling represents a negative credit risk for the state and ‘underscores the challenge’ confronting Kansas to offset the revenue loss from the income-levy reductions.” [Bloomberg, 1/25/13]

    CBPP: Kansas’s “Massive” 2012 Tax Cuts “Disproportionately” Benefited The Wealthy, Healped Lead To $700 Million Budget Shortfall, “Unlikely” To Produce Promised Economic Gains. Michael Leachman, writing for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, reported that, “Governor Sam Brownback, who last year pushed through a massive income tax cut that he claimed would provide a ‘shot of adrenaline’ to the state economy, is now calling for tax increases in the face of a $700 million budget shortfall… Governor Brownback’s income tax cut disproportionately helps the wealthy, while sales taxes fall hardest on lower-income people.  So, paying for an income tax cut with a sales tax hike boils down to requiring typical Kansans to pay part of the tax bills of the state’s wealthiest residents… Governor Brownback’s massive tax cut is particularly unlikely to produce the promised economic boom because its centerpiece — eliminating taxes on certain forms of business income — is very poorly targeted to businesses that will create new jobs.” [Michael Leachman, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 12/11/12]

    Brownback’s 2012 Tax Cuts “Divided GOP Lawmakers,” Was Projected To Cost Kansas $800 Million In Lost Revenue. “Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law Tuesday a tax-cut measure that had divided GOP lawmakers in one of the country’s most fiscally conservative states, pitting tea-party advocates who argued it would spur economic growth against some fellow Republicans who worried the cuts go too far. The tax plan, which was the subject of weeks of intense debate and political maneuvering in the legislature, will reduce the top individual state income-tax rate to 4.9% from 6.45% in 2013. It also will eliminate income taxes on non-wage income for about 191,000 small businesses. The plan likely would require additional cuts in spending on education and social services to cover a reduction in annual tax revenue projected by the Kansas Legislative Research Department to exceed $800 million by 2014, or 12.8% of projected state revenues.” [Wall Street Journal, 5/22/12]

    Brownback’s Fellow Republicans Criticized Tax Cuts They Said Would Result In Cuts To Essential Services, Increased Property Taxes. “A group of nearly 50 former legislators, all Republicans, criticized a proposed tax cut endorsed by Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican. Traditional Republicans for Common Sense said the tax bill, if enacted, would put the state in a budget hole that would result in cuts to essential services, such as schools, roads, and nursing home care. The group said it would also lead to increases in local property taxes.” [Lawrence Journal-World, 5/1/12]

    2013: Sam Brownback Called For Cutting Income Taxes While Extending Heightened Sales Tax Rate.“Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback swung for the fences Tuesday night, calling for even deeper income tax cuts while holding onto a penny sales tax that was intended to bridge the state through the recession. The Republican chief executive told lawmakers he wants to slash income taxes for the state’s lowest wage earners by more than a third while keeping the current state sales tax rate at the current level of 6.3 cents on the dollar.” [Kansas City Star, 1/15/13]

    Wichita Eagle Editorial: Brownback “Flip-Flopped” On Sales Tax Opposition. “Given how strenuously conservative lawmakers and anti-tax groups opposed the statewide sales-tax increase in 2010, it is hard to believe that the Legislature would even consider going back on its word and not allowing the tax to expire on July 1. Yet Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce already have flip-flopped; lawmakers may do so, too.” [Phillip Brownlee, Wichita Eagle Editorial,12/31/12]

    Hays Daily News Editorial: Sales Tax Extension Part Of An Effort To “Redistribute Even More From The Poor And Middle Class” To Wealthy. “In 2011, there was no support for repealing the three-year [sales] tax early… new Gov. Sam Brownback didn’t want the revenue to disappear. Brownback still doesn’t. His budget proposal for FY 2014 doesn’t allow the increased sales tax to sunset as designed… Many lawmakers, including Sen. Ralph Ostmeyer, R-Grinnell, promised their constituents the increase would be temporary. Were there an economic recession to justify reneging on that promise, we would understand. The only thing that’s changed, however, is the governor’s insistence that income taxes disappear along with popular tax deductions such as mortgage interest. It is a self-inflicted wound; part and parcel of the ‘experiment’ to redistribute even more from the poor and middle class to the already wealthy state residents.” [Patrick Lowry, Hays Daily News Editorial, 1/23/13]

    Brownback Proposed Ending Tax Exemptions For Property Taxes And Interest Paid On Home Mortgages. “Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback wants to eliminate two popular state income tax deductions for homeowners, and even some of his conservative Republican allies in the Legislature said Wednesday they were surprised to learn he’s targeting both. Legislators in both parties said they weren’t previously aware that Brownback seeks to end an income tax deduction claimed by Kansans for the property taxes they pay on their homes. He also proposes ending the deduction for the interest paid on home mortgages. Each tax break is claimed by more than 300,000 taxpayers.” [Associated Press, 1/23/13]

    LOUISIANA

    Jindal Proposing Elimination Of Louisiana Income And Corporate Taxes, Paid For With Increased Sales Taxes. “Gov. Bobby Jindal is proposing to eliminate Louisiana’s income and corporate taxes and pay for those cuts with increased sales taxes, the governor’s office confirmed Thursday. The governor’s office has not yet provided the details of the plan.” [Times-Picayune, 1/10/13]

    Jindal Plan Would Haved Raised Sales Tax 47% – Combined Average State And Local Sales Rates Would Be Highest In The Country. “Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposal to eliminate the state’s income and corporate taxes would raise the state sales tax to 5.88 percent, eliminate about 200 exemptions and include a rebate for middle- and low-income residents as well as for some retirees… The planned increase in the sales tax would raise the current rate by about 47 percent and would come on top of local sales taxes. Residents in New Orleans, for example, would pay a combined rate of about 11 percent under the plan. The proposal also calls for increasing the state’s cigarette tax from 36 cents to $1.41 per pack. Louisiana already has one of the highest combined average state and local sales tax rate in the country and the increase would put the state at the top of that list, according to information from The Tax Foundation.” [Times-Picayune, 3/14/13]

    Plan Would Have Expanded Sales Tax To New Services, Eliminate 200 Tax Exemptions. “Sales taxes would be expanded to some services under the plan, said Tim Barfield, Jindal’s point man on the tax proposal… The proposal would eliminate about 200 tax exemptions, including about 130 that will be wiped out due to the elimination of the income and corporate taxes. The administration plans to keep some existing exemptions for economic development, such as the Enterprise Zone program, tax credits for movie production, and historical preservation tax credits. However, some of those programs would be adjusted to be less generous.” [Times-Picayune, 3/14/13]

    Lawmakers Were “Hesitant” On Jindal Proposal, Concerned It Would “Fall Disproportionately Harder On The Poor.” “Lawmakers responded with caution Friday to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposal to eliminate Louisiana’s income tax in exchange for higher sales taxes and other tax code changes, saying they needed more specifics about the idea… ‘I’m not totally sold. I want to see numbers. If the burden falls too much on the low- to middle-income families, I could not support that,’ said [Rep. Mike] Danahay, D-Sulphur, a conservative who often votes with Jindal. That concern was repeated by other lawmakers who worried a sales tax hike – in a state with one of the highest combined local and state sale tax rates in the nation – would fall disproportionately harder on the poor, because sales taxes take a larger slice of their earnings.” [Associated Press, 1/18/13]

    April 2013: Jindal Tax Plan “Stalled As Legislative Session Nears”. “Gov. Bobby Jindal’s main legislative priority, a massive tax rewrite proposal, is in trouble and finding little public support as lawmakers open their annual regular session Monday. But Jindal’s had trouble selling the idea to lawmakers, and recent polls have shown the proposal isn’t popular with state residents either. ‘Overall, I do not see a groundswell of support,’ said Rep. Eddie Lambert, R-Gonzales. ‘I don’t think it can get passed. It would have to be a drastic turnabout.’” [Associated Press, 4/6/13]

    Reuters: “Jindal’s Popularity Slumps” After Unveiling Tax Plan. “Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, one of the nation’s most prominent Republicans and a possible 2016 presidential candidate, has fallen out of favor with local voters, and his bold plan to scrap the state income tax is running into trouble… his Louisiana approval rating was down to 38 percent in a recent poll, worse than Democratic President Barack Obama in one of the most conservative states. The poll suggested voters think he is spending more time traveling outside the state and burnishing his credentials for a possible White House run than tending to local matters.” [Reuters, 4/7/13]

    Hammond Star Editorial: Jindal Plan Another Attempt To “Pander To Louisianans.” “Gov. Bobby Jindal continues to come up with new ideas to pander to Louisianans, maybe in an attempt to shift attention away from the deep cuts taking across the state. This week, his topic is income taxes. Jindal proposed Thursday eliminating the state income tax and replacing the lost revenue through raising the sales tax and eliminating tax ‘loopholes.’ The governor seems to think this would be a “revenue neutral” move. This seems highly unlikely.” [Anthony James, Hammond Star Editorial, 1/15/13]

    Jindal Plan Could Result In Tax Increase For “More Than 100,000 Retired State Employees And Teachers.” “Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to eliminate personal income taxes could result in a tax increase for more than 100,000 retired state employees and teachers if the revenue hole is — as suggested — partially offset with a sales tax increase, according to the leaders of two retiree groups. Others who retired from public service also would be affected, the officials say, because individuals who draw public pensions do not pay personal income tax on those benefits.” [Advocate, 1/25/13]

    Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy: Jindal Plan “Amounts To A Tax Increase On Bottom 80 Percent Of Louisianans,” Average $25,423 Tax Cut For Top 1 Percent. “The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) used its Microsimulation Tax Model to show the impact of eliminating the personal and corporate income taxes and increasing the sales tax rate to achieve overall ‘revenue neutrality’—a goal the Governor previously said would be part of his tax reform agenda… The bottom 80 percent of Louisianans in the income distribution would see a tax increase from repealing the personal and corporate income taxes and replacing them with a higher sales tax… Louisianans in the top 1 percent would see an average tax cut of $25,423, or 2.3 percent of their income under the plan described above” [Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy Brief, January 2013]

    Tax Policy Center: Jindal Plan Would “Dramatically Shift” More Of Louisiana’s Tax Burden On Lower-Income Households. “[B]ase broadening can also push more of the burden to low-income households. Louisiana currently excludes groceries and utilities from taxation; taxing them would be especially difficult for families with limited resources. In fact, even without base broadening, the proposal would dramatically shift more of the burden of Louisiana’s taxes onto lower-income individuals. Since low-income households devote a higher share of their income to consumption, they end up paying higher effective tax rates than higher-income households which tend to spend less and save more. This concern is particularly stark in Louisiana, which was recently ranked as the sixth most unequal state in the country by one measure of inequality.” [Tax Policy Center, 1/14/13]

    Tax Policy Center: Maintaining Current Revenues With Jindal’s Plan Would Require That Sales Tax Revenues “More Than Double.” “The higher tax burden for low-income households is no small concern. Last year Louisiana collected $2.9 billion through the individual and corporate income taxes and another $2.6 billion through the general sales tax. Maintaining current revenues with Jindal’s plan would require that sales tax revenues more than double, which means that, absent a significant broadening of the tax base, the tax rate would also have to rise substantially.  For households that don’t pay income taxes and save little or no income, this amounts to close to a 4 percentage point drop in after-tax income—about the same magnitude of tax pain for these households as going off the fiscal cliff.” [Tax Policy Center, 1/14/13]

    MICHIGAN

    Michigan: Snyder Signed Budget Cutting Business Taxes by $1.8 Billion While Taxing Pensions, Cutting Education Funding. “Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday signed into law the $47.4 billion budget that lawmakers sent him last month, putting in place a plan that he said will require sacrifice but mark ‘a major milestone in the reinvention of Michigan’ […]“Critics said the budget makes overly painful cuts to public schools, universities, local governments and key services. School districts saw funding cut by 2.2 percent, which has led to widespread teacher layoffs. Universities saw their state funding cut 15 percent, and local governments will see about $100 million less.” “The budget eliminated a deficit of more than $1 billion while funding a business tax cut of close to $1.8 billion. It taxed public pensions and reduced exemptions for private pensions, eliminating a slew of business and personal tax credits and making sharp cuts to funding for cities and higher education.” [Associated Press, 6/22/11; Detroit News, 6/21/11]

    WISCONSIN

    Wisconsin: Wealthiest 20% Of Wisconsin Households Would Take Home Over Half Of Scott Walker’s Proposed Income Tax Cut. “The top 20% of Wisconsin households – those making more than $90,000 a year – would take home more than half of all of Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed income tax cut, an analysis has found. The top 5% of tax filers – those with incomes above $162,000 – would pull in 20% of Walker’s more than $300 million tax cut… ‘In the long run, a shift from income to sales and excise taxation will definitely make the state’s tax system less progressive; that is, it will shift a larger portion of the costs of government services to those with lower incomes,’ [University of Wisconsin-Madison economist Andrew] Reschovsky wrote in an email.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/24/13]

    2011 Associated Press Headline: “Wis. Gov. Signs Budget Cutting Education $1.85B.” “Gov. Scott Walker signed his first budget Sunday, a plan that plugs the state’s $3 billion shortfall but also slashes funding for public schools and the University of Wisconsin System… Democrats assailed the budget as an attack on middle class values since it cuts funding for public schools by $800 million, reduces funding to the UW system by $250 million and cuts tax credits for poor people.” [Associated Press, 6/26/11]

    OHIO

    Ohio: Kasich Signed Budget That Eliminated the Estate Tax While Cutting Funds to Local Townships and Governments. “Cities, townships and other local governments will receive $1 billion less in state aid over the next two years through a combination of cuts to state funding and changes to the tax money they get, but the budget also includes a $45 million grant program in the budget for local governments that share services. The budget deposits approximately $250 million in its rainy day fund… The budget eliminates the state estate tax starting in 2013, provides for the sale of six prisons expected to generate around $200 million, permits the governor to pursue a long-term lease of the Ohio Turnpike by a private operator as long as lawmakers approve the terms and raises the threshold at which government must pay union-scale wages on public projects from the current $78,000 to $125,000 in 2012, $200,000 in 2013, and $250,000 in 2014.” [Sunshine Review, Ohio FY2012-2013 Budget, accessed 6/28/13]

    Kasich Signed Budget That Included Income Tax Cut While Increasing State Sales Tax. “Ohioans will receive a 10-percent income tax cut [Kasich wanted 20%] phased in over three years but will see the sales tax rate rise from 5.5 to 5.75 percent. The budget includes a 50-percent tax break for small-business owners with up to $250,000 of yearly net income claimed on personal tax filings…Political volatile parts of the budget, like starving Planned Parenthood of funding, barring abortion providers from entering into emergency transfer agreements with public hospitals and forcing women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound, were untouched by Kasich’s veto pen.” [Examiner, 7/1/13]

    FLORIDA

    FL Gov. Rick Scott Considered More Tax Cuts with Budget Surplus Beyond Already Expanded Corporate Tax Cuts. Bloomberg Businessweek reported of Scott, “The 60-year-old Republican toured the state this month to highlight a proposed $500 million decrease in taxes and a projected $845.7 million surplus… Since taking office, Scott has expanded corporate income-tax breaks and reduced property taxes and sales taxes for manufacturing equipment.” [Bloomberg Businessweek, 9/23/13]

    Editorial: Scott Should Invest Surplus in Education Which Has Still Not Recovered, Instead of More Tax Cuts for Big Business. The Gainesville Sun opined, “In the long term, researchers recommend that the state move away from low-wage industries such as retail and tourism toward higher-paying fields. If Scott wants to attract those kinds of businesses, he’ll need to provide them with an educated workforce. A good start would be investing part of the state’s expected budget surplus in both K-12 and higher education, which still haven’t recovered from years of previous cuts… Scott should show that he’s a leader who understands that prosperity is about more than tax cuts for big businesses.” [Editorial, Gainesville Sun, 9/4/13]

    Florida Still Has Not Restored Funding from Before the Recession. The Sarasota Herald Tribune reported findings from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that “Florida still hasn’t recovered from the spending cuts brought on by the Great Recession.” [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 9/20/13]

    PENNSYLVANIA

     

    2011: Corbett’s Budget Contained $300 Million in Tax Cuts and Credits for Businesses. “Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to sign a $27.15 billion budget today that includes no tax increases or new taxes. The new fiscal year begins Friday. The 2011-12 budget cuts spending by 4.1 percent. It dramatically reduces aid for schools, colleges, economic development and welfare programs. It contains about $300 million in tax cuts and credits for business interests.” [Pennlive.com, 6/29/11]

     

    Daily News Editorial: Corbett Cut Taxes for Business but No One Else – Tax Burden Increased for Most Under Corbett. “Corbett has not lowered taxes, except for business – and he’s been extraordinarily generous in those cuts.  As for the rest of us, we are paying the same rate on the income, sales and other state taxes as during the pre- Corbett era. In fact, if you add together state and local taxes, the tax burden has increased for most Pennsylvanians because of Corbett’s policies, especially when it comes to education. The governor spent his first two years in office whacking at state aid to basic and higher education.  The cuts in basic education, in particular, hit local school districts hard. In Philadelphia, we are still trying to climb out of the $300 million hole created by those reductions in state aid.  Local property taxes have been raised three times to help the school district. Mayor Nutter is trying to get a $2-a- pack cigarette tax passed for the schools.  At least part of the one point added to the local sales tax when the recession hit, which was due to expire next year, will stay on – permanently– to help the schools. The city may be the most dramatic example, but hundreds of districts across the state had to cut programs and raise taxes as well to make up for the decline in state aid.  In the suburbs, most districts raised taxes once, some twice, to raise the money.  They also cut programs. Tom Corbett hasn’t lowered taxes. What he did was redistribute the burden of paying for the public education from the state to local governments.  He did the same with social programs.” [Philadelphia Daily News, Editorial, 11/12/13]

     

    Corbett’s First Two Budgets Cut More Than $1 Billion from Public Schools and Universities. According to a statement in April 2013 by Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center Director Sharon Ward, the “last two state budgets cut more than a billion dollars for public schools and universities. Infrastructure investments have been delayed, and county human services funding has been slashed. Classrooms are more crowded…and local taxes are higher. There is more harm to come. Hidden deep within Gov. Tom Corbett’s…budget plan [proposed in 2013] are major income tax cuts for corporations beginning in 2015 that, when fully phased in, will cost hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Profitable corporations will pay less, hardworking families will pay more, and our schools and communities will deteriorate.” [Patriot News, 04/16/13]

     

    ·        As a Result of the First Two Budgets Signed by Corbett “local taxes are higher.” According to a statement in April 2013 by Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center Director Sharon Ward, the “last two state budgets cut more than a billion dollars for public schools and universities. Infrastructure investments have been delayed, and county human services funding has been slashed. Classrooms are more crowded…and local taxes are higher. There is more harm to come.  Hidden deep within Gov. Tom Corbett’s…budget plan [proposed in 2013] are major income tax cuts for corporations beginning in 2015 that, when fully phased in, will cost hundreds of millions of dollars each year.  Profitable corporations will pay less, hardworking families will pay more, and our schools and communities will deteriorate.” [Patriot News, 4/16/13]

     

    Corbett Proposed and Signed Bill to Raise Pennsylvania’s Gas Tax by Almost 90 percent. “Pennsylvania motorists will feel the cost of the state’s new transportation-funding plan at the gas pump and at the driver’s license center.” “An average driver can expect to pay $22 more a year in 2014 and $132 more by 2018, according to calculations made by Gov. Corbett’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission in 2011.  The commission’s recommendations formed the basis for the funding plan approved by the House and Senate” in 2013. “That would amount to 42 cents a week increase next year and $2.54 a week by 2018.” “The new transportation measure will provide about $2.3 billion more a year by 2018 for better roads, safer bridges and viable public transit.” “The measure will create 50,000 new jobs and preserve 12,000 existing jobs, the Corbett administration said.”  [Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/22/13]

     

    Gas Tax Would Go from 31 Cents a Gallon to 59 Cents in 2018 – Would be Highest in the Country. “Within five years, if wholesalers pass on the full increase to consumers, that could increase the gas tax by about 28 cents a gallon. That would boost the state gas tax from the current 31.2 cents a gallon to 59.2 cents a gallon by 2018. No other state currently has a gas tax that high (California is currently 53.2 cents per gallon, Hawaii is 50.3, New York 49.9, and Connecticut 49.3.), though it’s likely some other states will hike their gas taxes in the coming years.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/22/13]

     

    Bill Also Included Increasing Several Transportation Fees. The new Pennsylvania measure will also raise millions of dollars with higher fees on licenses, permits, and traffic tickets: Registration fees for passenger vehicles, light trucks, and motorcycles will be increased by the amount of inflation, beginning in 2015. Driver’s license fees except photo ID, probationary, occupational and commercial driver’s licenses will remain at the current levels, until all fees are indexed to inflation beginning in 2015. The fine for ‘failure to obey traffic control devices,’ a common citation for drivers stopped for running a stop sign or other infraction, will increase from…$25 to $150.  However, surcharges now added to the existing $25 cannot be added to the new amount. Motorists will be given the option of paying $500 in lieu of a three-month suspension for allowing their insurance to lapse.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/22/13]

     

    Corbett Administration Raised Business License Fees in Harrisburg. A divided Harrisburg City Council, in 2011, “filed for federal bankruptcy protection in an effort to get creditors, including Dauphin County…to absorb a portion of the approximately $300 million in debt tied to its trash incinerator. But the Republican-controlled state Legislature and Republican governor enacted a takeover…in a bid to force Harrisburg alone to pay down the debt.” “Laying off several city employees and increasing parking fines and business license fees in Pennsylvania’s financially troubled capital are part of the state’s emergency takeover plans, Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration said.” “With its…unprecedented powers to manage Harrisburg’s finances, the Corbett administration revived the fee and fine increases.” [Associated Press Online, 11/3/11]

     

    Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, Chair of the Democratic Governors Association, today issued the following statement regarding Governor Mark Dayton signing the bill that raised Minnesota’s minimum wage:

    “I’d like to congratulate Governor Dayton for his leadership in raising Minnesota’s minimum wage for the first time in nearly a decade.  Before today, Minnesota had one of the lowest minimum wages in the country, but Governor Dayton took decisive action. He understands that no American who works full-time should be forced to live in poverty. He knows that raising the minimum wage gives hard-working families more money to spend and to invest, which increases economic activity and growth.

    “The defining mission of Governor Dayton and all of our Democratic governors is to strengthen the middle class by raising wages and expanding economic opportunity. Unfortunately, Republican governors remain committed to a failed, top-down economic philosophy that showers the wealthiest and corporations with tax breaks and special deals at the expense of the middle class and investments in education. Republicans are on the wrong side of the people of their states when it comes to raising the minimum wage and they will be punished for it in November.”

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    Virginia

    Election Cycle: 2013

    Democrat: Terry McAuliffe

    Republican: Ken Cuccinelli

    What's At Stake:

    Virginia's governors race pits extreme partisan Ken Cuccinelli against Virginia businessman and former Democratic Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe. A McAuliffe governorship would focus on growing jobs in the Commonwealth, while Cuccinelli has indicated that he would push an extreme right-wing agenda if elected.

    Race Page

    Texas

    Election Cycle: 2014

    Democrat: Wendy Davis

    Republican: Greg Abbott

    What's At Stake:

    Wendy is running for Governor because she loves Texas — not just for how good it is, but for how great it can be. The opportunities that Texas made available to Wendy — quality public education, a strong community college system, college loan and grant programs for deserving students — are what made the difference in her life. She’ll fight every day to ensure that Texas remains a state where hard work and determination are rewarded and everybody has the chance to succeed.

    Race Page

    New Hampshire

    Election Cycle: 2012

    Democrat: Maggie Hassan

    Republican: Ovide Lamontagne

    What's At Stake:

    Maggie Hassan will work across the aisle to keep taxes low, create jobs, expand access to health care, and balance the budget for Granite State families.

    Race Page

    Races: Virginia

    Terry McAuliffe

    Terry McAuliffe

    What's At Stake: Virginia's governors race pits extreme partisan Ken Cuccinelli against Virginia businessman and former Democratic Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe. A McAuliffe governorship would focus on growing jobs in the Commonwealth, while Cuccinelli has indicated that he would push an extreme right-wing agenda if elected.

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    Races: Texas

    Wendy Davis

    Wendy Davis

    What's At Stake: Wendy is running for Governor because she loves Texas — not just for how good it is, but for how great it can be. The opportunities that Texas made available to Wendy — quality public education, a strong community college system, college loan and grant programs for deserving students — are what made the difference in her life. She’ll fight every day to ensure that Texas remains a state where hard work and determination are rewarded and everybody has the chance to succeed.

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    Races: New Hampshire

    Maggie Hassan

    Maggie Hassan

    What's At Stake: Maggie Hassan will work across the aisle to keep taxes low, create jobs, expand access to health care, and balance the budget for Granite State families.

    In 2004, Maggie was first elected to the New Hampshire Senate, winning one of the most competitive districts in the state.  During her six years in office, she was selected by her colleagues to serve as both President Pro Tempore and Majority Leader of the State Senate. Her focus was on keeping taxes low, job creation, balancing the budget, improving access to high quality and affordable health care, ensuring a quality education for every child, developing regional approaches to meet infrastructure needs, environmental protection and the development of a green economy. Because of her ability to get things done, in 2010 Business NH named Maggie one of the state’s most powerful people.

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    • Gov. Neil Abercrombie
    • Gov. Mike Beebe
    • Gov. Steve Beshear
    • Gov. Jerry Brown
    • Gov. Steve Bullock
    • Gov. Lincoln Chafee
    • Gov. Andrew Cuomo
    • Gov. Mark Dayton
    • Gov. John De Jongh
    • Gov. Maggie Hassan
    • Gov. John Hickenlooper
    • Gov. Jay Inslee
    • Gov. John Kitzhaber
    • Gov. Dan Malloy
    • Gov. Jack Markell
    • Gov. Jay Nixon
    • Gov. Martin O'Malley
    • Gov. García Padilla
    • Gov. Deval Patrick
    • Gov. Pat Quinn
    • Gov. Peter Shumlin
    • Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin

    Gov. Lincoln Chafee (RI)

    Gov. Lincoln Chafee (RI)
    Governor of Rhode Island.

    Lincoln ‘Linc’ Chafee is a proud Rhode Islander, born and raised in Warwick. He graduated with a degree in Classics from Brown University, where he received the Francis M. Driscoll Award for leadership, scholarship and athletics. After graduating, he worked for seven years as a blacksmith at harness racetracks throughout the United States and Canada. When he returned to Rhode Island, inspired by the path of his father John Chafee, he entered politics.

    SUMMARY

    Date of Birth: March 26, 1953

    Percent of Vote Won: 36.1%

     

    Read the full text of Gov. Chafee’s 2013 State of the State Address.

    Official website: http://www.governor.ri.gov/

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    Gov. Alejandro García Padilla (PR)

    Gov. Alejandro García Padilla (PR)
    Governor of Puerto Rico.

    Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla was elected on January 7, 2013.

    Date of Birth: August 3,1971

    Previous Office: Member of the Puerto Rico Senate

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 47.8%

     

    2013 State of the Commonwealth

    Official website: fortaleza.gobierno.pr/es/

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    Gov. Jay Inslee (WA)

    Gov. Jay Inslee (WA)
    Governor of Washington State.

    SUMMARY

    Governor Jay Inslee was elected on November 6, 2012.

    Date of Birth: February 9,1951

    Previous Office: Congressman from Washington’s 1st Congressional District

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 51%

    Read the full text of Gov. Inslee’s 2014 State of the State

    Official website: http://www.governor.wa.gov/ 

    Gov. Maggie Hassan (NH)

    Gov. Maggie Hassan (NH)
    Governor of New Hampshire

    SUMMARY

    Governor Maggie Hassan was elected on November 6, 2012.

    Date of Birth: February 27,1958

    Previous Office: Majority leader of the New Hampshire State Senate

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 55%

    Read the full text of Gov. Hassan’s 2013 Inaugural Address. 

    Official website: governor.nh.gov

    Gov. Steve Bullock

    Gov. Steve Bullock
    Governor of Montana.

    Governor Steve Bullock was elected on November 6, 2012.

    Date of Birth: April 11,1966

    Previous Office: Attorney General of Montana

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 48.8%

    Accomplishments:

    • As Attorney General, Bullock introduced the 24/7 Sobriety Program for repeat DUI offenders statewide. This program, aimed at keeping druck drivers off of the road, requires repeat drunk drivers to take breath tests twice a day.

    Read the full text of Gov. Bullock’s 2013 Inaugural Address.

    Official website: governor.mt.gov

    Gov. Togiola Tulafono (American Samoa)

    Gov. Togiola Tulafono (American Samoa)
    Togiola Tulafono was sworn in as Governor on April 7, 2003, after the sudden passing of Governor Tauese Sunia, and was elected as Governor on November 16, 2004.

    Togiola Tulafono was sworn in as Governor on April 7, 2003, after the sudden passing of Governor Tauese Sunia, and was elected as Governor on November 16, 2004. He was sworn in as Governor on January 3, 2005 and re-elected for a second term as Governor on November 4, 2008.

    Date of Birth: Feb. 28, 1947

    Previous Elected Office: Lt. Gov.

    Percent of Vote Won: 56 percent

    Official website: americansamoa.gov/governor

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    Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (WV)

    Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (WV)
    Gov. Tomblin is a consensus-maker, a bridge-builder, a leader who has brought business and labor, Republicans and Democrats, urban and rural interests together to move West Virginia forward.

    School teacher, businessman, entrepreneur, public servant, Governor; the journey from living upstairs at the family restaurant in Chapmanville, West Virginia, to running state government is an American success story. Born March 15, 1952 to Earl and Freda Tomblin, Earl Ray Tomblin grew up in a hardworking coal town next to the railroad tracks above his parents’ restaurant.

    In his thirty-six years in the legislature, he has chaired the Senate Finance Committee, was elected 18 straight years as President of the Senate, and with the election of Governor Joe Manchin to the US Senate, was appointed acting Governor.

    Earl Ray Tomblin has been married to Joanne Tomblin for 31 years.  They have one son, Brent, who will be attending Marshall University this fall.  Earl Ray is running in the general election on October 4th for the unexpired term for Governor of West Virginia.

    SUMMARY

    Date of Birth: March 15, 1952

    Previous Elected Office: President of West Virginia State Senate

    Percent of Vote Won: 50.5%

    Accomplishments:

    • Earl Ray is credited with saving taxpayers millions by revising the state pension system and privatizing workers’ compensation, stabilizing state finances by establishing West Virginia’s rainy day fund, reforming the state’s medical system, keeping doctors in this state, and fighting to reduce the state’s food tax.
    • As acting Governor, Tomblin cut the food tax (with the goal of completely eliminating it) and vetoed increases in DMV fees that would have cost West Virginians millions.

    Read the full text of Gov. Tomblin’s 2014 State of the State Address.

    Official website: governor.wv.gov


    Gov. Peter Shumlin (VT)

    Gov. Peter Shumlin (VT)
    Gov. Shumlin is currently the chair of the Democratic Governors Association

    SUMMARY

    After representing the Windham Vermont Senate District for eight non-consecutive two-year terms (1993–2003 and 2007–2011), Peter Shumlin was elected Governor in the 2010 election.

    Date of Birth: March 24, 1956

    Previous Office: Senate President Pro Tempore

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 49.6%

    Accomplishments:

    • Vermont became the first state to lay the groundwork for single-payer health care when Governor Shumlin signed an ambitious bill aimed at establishing universal insurance coverage for all residents.
    • Vermont’s high-speed broadband network has expanded to reach an estimated 282,000 locations since 2010, is poised to connect to another 12,500 in the beginning of 2013, and barring any unforeseen glitches, is on track to serve every household and business in Vermont by the end of 2013.

     

    Read the full text of Gov. Shumlin’s 2014 State of the State Address. 

    Official website: governor.vt.gov

    Gov. Pat Quinn (IL)

    Gov. Pat Quinn (IL)
    Since taking office, Governor Pat Quinn has acted on his priorities for the state of Illinois: reform, responsibility and recovery.

    SUMMARY

    Governor Quinn has taken the lead on government ethics reform through the Illinois Reform Commission. Quinn’s Jump Start Capital Plan has invested $3 billion into sorely needed transportation projects that will create jobs across the state as well as repair and improve Illinois’s infrastructure.

    Date of Birth: December 16, 1948

    Previous Offices Held: Lieutenant Governor

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 47%

    Accomplishments:

    • Governor Quinn has led the way in state ethics reform, doing many things including launching a panel to root out corruption at the University of Illinois.
    • Governor Quinn signed the $29 billion Jobs Now! bill to bolster Illinois infrastructure and create jobs.

    Read the full text of Gov. Quinn’s 2013 State of the State Address.

    Official website: il.gov/gov

    Gov. Bev Perdue (NC)

    Gov. Bev Perdue (NC)
    Gov. Perdue is the first female governor of the state and previously served as lieutenant governor.

    SUMMARY:

    Beverly “Bev” Perdue is the 73rd governor of North Carolina, elected to her first term in 2008. She is the first female governor of the state and previously served as lieutenant governor. Her service as governor follows a distinguished tenure in public service focused on creating 21st century jobs, fighting for world-class public schools, and improving public health. Governor Perdue is committed to job creation in growth sectors such as defense and clean energy technology, transforming public education, and improving healthcare and lowering health costs.

    Date of Birth: January 14, 1947

    Previous Offices Held: Lieutenant Governor, North Carolina Senate, North Carolina House of Representatives

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 50.27%

    Accomplishments:

    • Has already expanded health care coverage to thousands of North Carolina’s children with the goal of universal coverage for children
    • Under her leadership, several corporations have expanded in or relocated to North Carolina, creating jobs for North Carolinians during the downturn.

    Official website: www.governor.nc.gov

    Gov. Deval Patrick (MA)

    Gov. Deval Patrick (MA)
    Re-elected to a second term, Gov. Patrick continues to focus on making the right choices during a national recession and in implementing the Recovery Act to create and save good jobs.

    SUMMARY

    Governor Deval Patrick has built his career in non-profits, government and business. Re-elected to a second term, he continues to focus on making the right choices during a national recession and in implementing the Recovery Act to create and save good jobs.

    Date of Birth: July 31, 1956

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 48%

    Accomplishments:

    • Governor Patrick has been working with funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to provide long-term benefits for the people of Massachusetts.
    • Governor Patrick is committed to working with communities across the state, recently announcing, for example, that the state would help fund a transportation project in Salem that will boost economic development.

    Read the full text of Gov. Patrick’s 2013 State of the Commonwealth Address.

    Official website: ma.gov

    Gov. Jay Nixon (MO)

    Gov. Jay Nixon (MO)
    Governor Jay Nixon has put forward an agenda to make government more efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of Missouri families.

    SUMMARY

    Governor Jay Nixon has put forward an agenda to make government more efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of Missouri families. He is committed to attracting the jobs of the future to Missouri, making health care more affordable and putting Missouri families first.

    Date of Birth: February 13, 1956

    Previous Offices Held: Attorney General

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 58%

    Accomplishments:

    • Under Governor Nixon, elementary and secondary schools in Missouri have achieved funding in record amounts.
    • Enacted competitive bidding for each license fee office to strike against corruption

    Read the full text of Gov. Nixon’s 2013 State of the State Address.

    Official website: governor.mo.gov

    Gov. Jack Markell (DE)

    Gov. Jack Markell (DE)
    In the first year of his freshman gubernatorial term, Gov. Jack Markell has balanced the budget without laying off employees, boosted educational initiatives and increased environmental protections.

    In Nov. 2012, Incumbent Governor Jack Markell won re-election to a second term. Gov. Markell also served as Treasurer of Delaware from 1999 to 2009 and was the Chair of the Democratic Governors Association for 2010.

    SUMMARY

    Date of Birth: Nov. 26, 1960

    Previous Elected Office: Treasurer

    Percent of Vote Won: 69.1%

    Accomplishments:

    • Created programs to incentivize small business development
    • Balanced Delaware’s budget despite an $800 million deficit
    • Signed energy legislation that would reduce Delaware’s energy consumption 15 percent by 2015
    • Enacted major educational reform, including abolishing the controversial Delaware Student Testing Program

    Read the full text of Gov. Markell’s 2013 State of the State Address.

    Official website: governor.delaware.gov

    Gov. Dan Malloy (CT)

    Gov. Dan Malloy (CT)
    Gov. Dan Malloy is working to create jobs and build a stronger Connecticut.

    SUMMARY

    Governor Dan Malloy was elected on November 2, 2010.

    Date of Birth: July 21,1955

    Previous Office: Mayor of Stamford

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 49.5%

    Accomplishments:

    • Reduced crime in Stamford, Connecticut, making it the 9th safest city in the country

    Read the full text of Gov. Malloy’s 2013 State of the Address.

    Official website: ct.gov/malloy

    Gov. John Lynch (NH)

    Gov. John Lynch (NH)
    Re-elected to a fourth two-year term, Governor John Lynch knows how to get the economy moving again.

    SUMMARY

    Re-elected to a fourth two-year term, Governor John Lynch knows how to get the economy moving again. He has used his time in office to expand education opportunities, build the economy with tax credits for research and development, reform the state retirement system and improve access to health care.

    Date of Birth: November 25, 1952

    Previous Offices Held: Chairman of the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 52%

    Accomplishments:

    • Gave assistance to small businesses with health care costs
    • Presided over New Hampshire when it was awarded the “Safest State” award in 2008 and 2009

    Read the full text of Gov. Lynch’s 2011 Inaugural Address.

    Official website: governor.nh.gov

    Gov. John Kitzhaber (OR)

    Gov. John Kitzhaber (OR)
    Governor Kitzhaber is working to improve access to cost-effective health care, advocating for significant health care reform. Concerned about the impact of the fiscal crisis on Oregonians, and seeing the opportunity through that crisis to create true systemic change, he decided to run for Governor again in 2010. He is currently serving his third term as Oregon's Governor.

    SUMMARY

    In 1994, and again in 1998, John Kitzhaber was elected as Governor of Oregon. As Governor, he presided over eight years of significant economic growth, and was proud to have pioneering the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds, a collaborative effort that brought together government and private landowners to protect clean water and native salmon runs. During that time, he launched the Oregon Business Plan, a bipartisan strategic framework developed collaboratively among business leaders, community leaders and elected officials. Until this time, Oregon had lacked a comprehensive plan to create jobs and grow its economy.

    Date of Birth: March 5, 1947

    Previous Offices Held: President of the Oregon Senate

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 49.3%

    Accomplishments:

    • Under the Governor’s leadership, Oregon went from a $3.5 billion budget deficit in January 2011 to a balanced budget today and improved the state credit rating from AA to AA+.
    • from 2010-2012, Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped more that two points and nearly 40,000 jobs were created while having the second fastest growing economy in the nation.

    Read the full text of Gov. Kitzhaber’s 2013 State of the State Address.

    Official website: governor.oregon.gov

    Gov. John Hickenlooper (CO)

    Gov. John Hickenlooper (CO)
    Gov. Hickenlooper is a former geologist, brewer-turned-mayor and now governor.

    SUMMARY

    A geologist-turned brewpub pioneer who had never run for political office (not even student council) before running for Denver Mayor in 2003, John Hickenlooper was elected Governor of Colorado on Nov. 2, 2010. He took office on Jan. 11, 2011.

    Date of Birth: Feb. 7, 1952

    Previous Offices Held: Mayor of Denver

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 51.0%

    Accomplishments:

    • From 2010-2012 Colorado added more than 80,000 new nonfarm payroll jobs. Colorado is the nation’s third most economically competitive state, according to the Beacon Hill Institute.
    • Funded the Colorado Energy Office. This office will promote energy efficiency, support renewable energy and will lead efforts to create a national market for compressed natural gas vehicles.

    Read the full text of Gov. Hickenlooper’s 2014 State of the State Address. 

    Official website: co.gov/governor

    Gov. Chris Gregoire (WA)

    Gov. Chris Gregoire (WA)
    Gov. Gregoire is committed to promoting and expanding business and creating family-wage jobs in the state of Washington.

    SUMMARY

    Christine “Chris” Gregoire is the 22nd governor of the state of Washington. Gregoire is Washington’s second female governor and became the first female governor of Washington to win re-election. She is committed to promoting and expanding business and creating family-wage jobs in the state of Washington. Her top priorities include community safety, economic security, healthy families, and education.

    Date of Birth: March 24, 1947

    Previous Offices Held: Attorney General

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 53.2%

    Accomplishments:

    • Signed into law a bill giving domestic partnership rights to same-sex couples
    • Under Governor Gregoire’s leadership, tens of thousands of children now have healthcare coverage.

    Read the full text of Gov. Gregoire’s 2011 State of the State Address.

    Official website: governor.wa.gov

    Gov. John de Jongh (U.S. Virgin Islands)

    Gov. John de Jongh (U.S. Virgin Islands)
    John Percy de Jongh, Jr. has served as Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands since January 1, 2007.

    SUMMARY

    John Percy de Jongh, Jr. has served as Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands since January 1, 2007. During his tenure, he has championed early childhood education issues and established the Children and Families Council, and pushed for economic diversification of the four islands that comprise the US Virgin Islands.

    Date of Birth: Nov. 13, 1957

    Percent of Vote Won: 56%

    Accomplishments:

    • Negotiated an historic agreement to expand the Virgin Islands rum industry and diversify the territorial economy.
    • Instituted a Government-wide Energy Demand Reduction Program to reduce the Territory’s dependency on fossil fuels and has advanced the use of alternative and renewable energy sources in the Territory

    Read the full text of Gov. de Jongh’s 2013 State of the Territory Address. 

    Official website: governordejongh.com

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    Gov. Mark Dayton (MN)

    Gov. Mark Dayton (MN)
    Governor Mark Dayton believes that Minnesotans deserve a state government that works for them.

    Governor Mark Dayton was elected on November 2, 2010.

    Date of Birth: January 26, 1947

    Previous Office: US Senator

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 43.6%

    Read the full text of Gov. Dayton’s 2013 State of the State Address.

    Official website: mn.gov/governor

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo (NY)

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo (NY)
    Throughout his life, Andrew Cuomo has been a forceful voice for change in New York.

    SUMMARY

    Andrew M. Cuomo, elected the 56th Governor of New York State on November 2, 2010.

    Date of Birth: Dec. 6,1957

    Previous Office: Attorney General of New York, United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 62%

    Accomplishments:

    • As HUD Secretary, Cuomo made fighting racial discrimination a key focus and brought 2,000 anti-discrimination cases all across the country.
    • In addition, Cuomo established Housing Enterprise for Less Privileged (HELP) in 1986, which became the nation’s largest private provider of transitional housing for the homeless. Based on his pioneering work through HELP, Cuomo was appointed by New York City Mayor David Dinkins in 1991 to lead the New York City Commission on the Homeless.
    • As Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo brought national reform to the student loan industry, uncovered fraud within the largest health insurers in the country, protected investors from abuses on Wall Street, and made the Internet safer for children nationwide. His groundbreaking investigations into the state pension system ended decades of government corruption in New York and set a model for public pension funds across the country.

     

    Official website: governor.ny.gov

    Read the full text of Gov. Cuomo’s 2014 State of the State Address.

    Gov. Jerry Brown (CA)

    Gov. Jerry Brown (CA)
    A former two-term Governor of California from 1974-1980, Governor Jerry Brown was re-elected to a third, non-consecutive term in November of 2010. Governor Brown plans to bring fiscal responsibility back to California.

    SUMMARY

    A former two-term Governor of California from 1974-1980, Governor Jerry Brown was re-elected to a third, non-consecutive term in November of 2010.  Governor Brown plans to bring fiscal responsibility back to California.

    Date of Birth: April 7, 1938

    Previous Office: Governor, Mayor of Oakland, Attorney General, Governor of California

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 53%

    Accomplishments:

    • Exercised fiscal restraint that resulted in a roughly $5 billion budget surplus, one of the biggest in California’s history
    • Sponsored the “first-ever tax incentive for rooftop solar” and many other environmental initiatives in the late 1970s

    Read the full text of Gov. Brown’s 2013 Inaugural Address.

    Official website: gov.ca.gov

    Gov. Steve Beshear (KY)

    Gov. Steve Beshear (KY)
    Since taking office, Governor Steve Beshear has restored the public's trust in state government and has brought integrity to the Governor's mansion.

    SUMMARY

    Since taking office, Governor Steve Beshear has restored the public’s trust in state government and has brought integrity to the Governor’s mansion.

    Date of Birth: September 21, 1944

    Previous Office: Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky, 1984 – 1988

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 59%

    Accomplishments:

    • Established strong ethics standards and rooted out cronyism
    • Expanded health care coverage to 35,000 previously uninsured children

    Read the full text of Gov. Beshear’s 2014 State of the Commonwealth Address.

    Official website: governor.ky.gov

    Gov. Mike Beebe (AR)

    Gov. Mike Beebe (AR)
    Governor Mike Beebe was elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. An Arkansas native, Governor Beebe has created thousands of jobs, strengthening the economy and reformed schools.

    SUMMARY

    Governor Mike Beebe was elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.  An Arkansas native, Governor Beebe has created thousands of jobs, strengthening the economy and reformed schools. He fights to ensure government works for all Arkansans, from an increased focus on economic development to tax relief for businesses and for Arkansas families.

    Date of Birth: December 28, 1946

    Previous Office: Attorney General of Arkansas, 2003 – 2007

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 64%

    Accomplishments:  

    • Secured the largest tax cut in Arkansas history
    • Record investments in the state’s Public Education system including Higher Education

    Read the full text of Gov. Beebe’s 2013 State of the State Address.

    Official website: governor.ar.gov

    Gov. Neil Abercrombie (HI)

    Gov. Neil Abercrombie (HI)
    Neil Abercrombie’s life and career reveal a boundless commitment to serve others with integrity, honesty, and humility. Year after year, Neil has proven that he is a leader we can trust to put people first.

    SUMMARY

    Neil Abercrombie’s life and career reveal a boundless commitment to serve others with integrity, honesty, and humility. Year after year, Neil has proven that he is a leader we can trust to put people first. He calls his run for Governor “the culmination of a lifetime of public service.” This is the last public office he will seek.

    Date of Birth: June 26, 1938

    Previous Offices Held: Member of the US House of Representatives

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 57.8%

    Accomplishments:

    • In February 2013, Gov. Abercrombie announce a state-wide campaign against childhood/teen obesity. The state’s media campaign is integral to a comprehensive effort to reduce obesity and the chronic disease in Hawaii. Ads will be funded with Tobacco Settlement funds.
    • Governor Abercrombie proposed the creation of the “HI Growth Initiative,” a new state investment program focused on building a vibrant environment for innovation that supports entrepreneurial high-growth businesses and creates high-wage jobs. The program will engage with the private sector to startup and grow creative and innovative companies.

    Read the full text of Gov. Abercrombie’s 2013 State of the State Address.

    Official website: hi.gov/gov

    Gov. Martin O’Malley (MD)

    Gov. Martin O’Malley (MD)
    Re-elected to a second term, Governor Martin O’Malley continues to be an advocate for education, the environment, and the middle class.

    SUMMARY
    Re-elected to a second term, Governor Martin O’Malley continues to be an advocate for education, the environment, and the middle class. As the Mayor of Baltimore City, O’Malley was known for bipartisan cooperation and improving safety. As Governor, O’Malley’s administration has been credited with “accomplishing more in one year than most administrations accomplish in four.” Governor O’Malley was previously the Chair of the Democratic Governors Association.

    Date of Birth: January 18, 1963

    Previous Offices Held: Baltimore City Council, Mayor of Baltimore

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 56%

    Accomplishments:

    • Governor O’Malley has led the way in utilizing technology to advance transparency and improve government efficiency, applying the CitiState program that he used successfully as Mayor of Baltimore to the state of Maryland.
    • Worked with the legislature to eliminate a $1.7 billion projected deficit a year in advance.

    Read the full text of Gov. O’Malley’s 2013 State of the State Address.

    Official website: governor.md.gov

    Gov. Brian Schweitzer (MT)

    Gov. Brian Schweitzer (MT)
    Governor Brian Schweitzer was elected governor in 2004 and re-elected in 2008. He served as Chair of the Democratic Governors Association in 2008.

    SUMMARY

    Governor Brian Schweitzer was elected governor in 2004 and re-elected in 2008.  He served as Chair of the Democratic Governors Association in 2008. Montana voters re-elected Governor Schweitzer in 2008, when he defeated State Senator Roy Brown by 33 percent even while Republican Sen. John McCain carried Montana by 2 points in the same election.

    Date of Birth: September 4, 1955

    Percent of Vote Won in Previous Election: 65.4%

    Accomplishments:

    • Creating more jobs at higher wages than anytime in history
    • Cutting more taxes for more Montanans than any other time in the state’s history, including a $400 rebate to Montana homeowners
    • Increasing Montana’s electrical generation capacity more during his administration than the previous 16 years combined. The state is one of only two states in the country to have increased oil production, raising it by 50 percent
    • Investing more in both K-12 and higher education than any previous administration – while also capping tuition at our state’s colleges and universities, the first such effort in a generation
    • Increasing the number of children on the Children’s Health Insurance Program by more than 3,000. The program now provides quality healthcare to more than 16,000 kids and gives them a healthy start in life
    • Upgrading Montana’s bond rating for the first time in 26 years with Moody’s, Fitch and Standard and Poor’s Investment Services – a sign of sound fiscal management in state government

    Official website: governor.mt.gov

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    Founded in 1983, the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) is an independent voluntary political organization organized to support Democratic governors and candidates across the nation.

    As the only organization dedicated to electing Democratic governors and candidates, the DGA participates at all levels of campaigns, from providing resources to fund operations to helping articulate and deliver their messages. The DGA also provides expert advice in policy areas to Democratic governors and candidates, with several policy conferences a year on topics such as biotechnology and life sciences and the new energy economy.

    The DGA is proud to support the 22 Democratic governors who hold office now. We invite you to learn more about them, the upcoming races and how to be involved in the DGA.

    Kate Bukowski Finance & Events Assistant
    Jess Caraway Deputy Research Director
    Anna Cleveland Deputy Finance Director
    Andrew Federick Deputy Research Director
    Ala Fox Finance Associate
    Jess Fuhrman Compliance Assistant
    Kelly Gleeson Events Director
    Mark Giangreco Digital Director
    Danny Kanner Communications Director
    Noam Lee Major Donor Director
    Bill Lofy Advisor to the Chair
    Ben Metcalf Chief Operating Officer
    Colm O’Comartun Executive Director
    Roshan Patel Finance Director
    Elisabeth Pearson Political Director
    Corey Platt Deputy Political Director
    Bill Raines Policy Assistant
    Greg Scanlon Research Director
    Donna Tappin Director of Operations & Intern Coordinator
    Jen Ustynoski Assistant to the Executive Director
    Ian Walton Policy Director
    Jordan Wilson Political Assistant
    Gov. Peter Shumlin, Vermont (Chair)
    Gov. Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire (Vice Chair)
    Gov. Jay Inslee, Washington (Finance Chair)
    Gov. Steve Bullock, Montana (Chair of the Governor’s Cabinet)
    Gov. Jerry Brown, California
    Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York
    Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Virginia
    Gov. Pat Quinn, Illinois
    Colm O’Comartun, Executive Director
    Peter O’Keefe, Treasurer

    Democratic Governors Association
    1401 K Street, NW
    Suite 200
    Washington, DC 20005
    Tel: (202) 772-5600
    Fax: (202) 772-5602
    E-mail the DGA