- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 22, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Here is the speech of the 2014 State of the State address as prepared for delivery Jan. 22 by Gov. Phil Bryant:

“Thank you Mr. Lieutenant Governor and thank you Mr. Speaker. It is a privilege to be here with all of you this evening, standing shoulder to shoulder as we reflect on our accomplishments and set our goals for the work yet to be done.

To each member of the Mississippi Legislature: What an honor it is to serve the people of Mississippi with you at this special time. In just two short years, we have worked together to bring about positive change in our state. I thank you for your diligence and your dedication.

To Mississippi’s first lady and mine, I want to thank you for putting up with us all. The early mornings and late nights. Through storm and sunshine, she is always there. To help Blair Batson Hospital, or Susan G. Komen, or Smithville, or Read Across Mississippi - she is always there. She is the wind beneath Mississippi’s wings and mine, and she is forever my first lady.

As I began writing this address some weeks ago, I reflected upon Psalm 126, which says, ‘The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.’ Tonight, let us see why we should be glad.

Two years ago we began our journey together. Our goal was simple: We would accomplish great things for all Mississippians.

In those two years, my administration has endeavored to work with you to advance the common good. Realizing that all power held by the government comes solely from the authority of the governed, the Mississippi Constitution plainly says, ‘All political power is vested in, and derived from, the people; all government of right originates with the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.’ With unwavering acceptance of this doctrine we endeavored to provide an environment where all could rise together.

We understand that a vision without action is just an illusion, so we set about with four fundamental beliefs guiding our plan for the future.

First, we believe every Mississippian should have the opportunity to be gainfully employed right here at home;

Second, every Mississippian must have the opportunity to learn from the best educational system we can offer;

Third, we believe that every Mississippian deserves to be born into a mature, two-parent family;

Finally, we believe that every Mississippian should be certain that his or her tax dollars are put to proper use.

I believed, then, as I do tonight, that these four goals achieved together will create a Mississippi of limitless opportunity. Let us see how the plan has worked thus far.

I have often said we can make Mississippi the most job-friendly state in America. When a Mississippian has a job it changes everything. A Mississippian with a job is less likely to need public assistance, is more likely to contribute taxes to the state treasury, is a strong example of responsibility to his or her children and is more likely to vote, to participate in the community and to avoid crime. Each day as Governor, I make it my job to ensure more Mississippians have a job of their own.

You and I have helped create an economy where the unemployment rate has dropped from 9.4 percent when we took office to 8.3 percent. In the two years since we began our work, Mississippi has added nearly nine thousand jobs through our economic development efforts.

Story Continues →