Governor Ronaghi State of the State Address

Just yesterday, I was inaugurated as the American Legion Mountaineer Boys' State Governor. Now that the fanfare and celebration is over, it's now time to get down to business.

My first request, as Governor, is that you work diligently to best represent your constituents. As public officials we have the great responsibility of being the voice of the people. We must never let our own selfish interests and desires interfere with our duties to the citizens we represent.

My second request is this: stop and look around you. Breathe in this moment (Pause) and realize what a miracle we are living right now. Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Herschel “Woody” Williams told us how life has many miracles, but sometimes we don't fully take advantage of the heavenly gifts we are truly presented with. With that in mind, I urge you to make the most of this moment in time... don't let this become the car keys in the back of the bible.

Today we take a small step into the future, that step will lead to a better West Virginia. One that ensures an improved economy, an improved business sector, improved job security, and most importantly improved educational opportunity. Together we take that step.

Two key issues that must be addressed are texting while driving and mandatory drug tests for welfare recipients. These two key issues are very important to the citizens of Mountaineer Boys' State. Many citizen's expressed their concern for these issues in their proposed legislation. They have seen how texting while driving as impacted the lives of their loved ones. They have also seen the abuse of the welfare system in their communities and only wish to help those who truly need aid. It is the best interest of the citizens that these issues be resolved.

Education is the key to the future and should be the utmost importance to each and everyone of us. Your State Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Tanner Sigman, is working to the best of his abilities to make West Virginia's School system a model for the rest of the nation. We seek a new promise with the students of the state. A promise that provides scholarships for students to attend vocational school, a state board to oversee Charter Schools, a new educational model that allows students to pursue their dreams more directly. A plan allows vocational students to complete their education earlier. A plan that allows college bound students to raise the bar and reach for higher and higher goals. We can only succeed if each and everyone of you commits to making education a priority. Special recognition must be given to the Sectary of State, Mr. Cam Viney, for his influence in passion in not only helping to initiate, but also develop this plan.

West Virginia has at a unique opportunity to capitalize on it's natural resources. We must carefully consider all options. For the right choices, will create jobs, revenue for the state, and help West Virginia reach new heights. Google recently discovered an unprecedented amount of geothermal hot spots in our state. We must encourage the growth of the geothermal energy. To do so we must consider a 1% tax on all non-renewable natural resources and use the revenue to reinvest in subsidization of geothermal energy research. The Treasurer of State, Mr. Vijay Sampath, must be given credit for starting and supporting this plan.

In these uncertain times, our state can emerge as a beacon of light that will be an example to the country. The citizens have chose the best from amongst themselves to represent their interests. I believe in the abilities of each and everyone of you. I believe that together, God willing, we can succeed. This is our moment. This is our time. Don't let it slip away.

Thank you, God bless you all.