Jan 14, 2010 8:55 PM by Bea Karnes

Gov. Ritter's final State of the State address

Gov. Bill Ritter delivered his fourth and final state of the state message to Colorado lawmakers Thursday morning.

He urged lawmakers time and again to aside partisanship to make Colorado a stronger, better place to live. Acknowledging that this is his final year in office, he said the time is short to accomplish great things for the state.

"Stay focused on creating jobs," the governor says that's the message he's heard from every corner of the state. The governor urged the legislature to focus on healing the economy and creating jobs.

Saying the budget will drive much of the legislative process this year, Gov. Ritter said that tough, unpopular but necessary budget cuts will be made. The state faces more than a $1 billion shortfall. The governor said that every agency would feel the impact of cuts.

Calling renewable engergy Colorado's calling card to the future, the governor spent several minutes talking about expanding the new energy economy.

Calling education the best economic policy, the governor said the state will move forward with efforts to replace C-SAP tests with more rigorous assessments.

The governor also briefly highlighted the importance of law enforcement and child welfare agencies.

He finished by reminding legislators that visionary ideas and infrastructure investments of the past built the Colorado of today. The governor encouraged them to build an even better Colorado for future residents.

The governor began his address with a moment of silence for the victims of the Haiti earthquake.


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