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A New Day in Arkansas

This is Governor Asa Hutchinson and this week I was privileged to be inaugurated as the 46th elected governor of Arkansas. 

As I remarked Tuesday on the step of the Capitol, it is truly a new day in Arkansas.  An historic day.  A day that many of us never thought we would see in our lifetimes. The Republican majorities are evidence of the realization that a new day requires a new look. A new look at how government works; how we create jobs; how we partner with faith-based and nonprofit organizations, and how we adapt in every walk of life to changing technology.

But governing is not about which political party is in the majority. Governing is about setting aside differences and searching for common ground. And as we search for the common ground, we realize that our differences are smaller than we thought and our hearts are larger than we imagined. We realize that we all care about the state we love and that we can work together to accomplish even more to enhance freedom and the spirit that is uniquely American and, yes, uniquely Arkansas.

We are so privileged to be Arkansans, to live in a state with so much natural beauty and so many wonderful people—a state with a rich history and unbounded promise.

Yes, we are the Natural State. And while I am from the Ozark hills, I know the beauty of a Delta sunrise and the vast timberland of the South. We enjoy the natural bounty of our geography, but we also continue as the Land of Opportunity. And we are presented with unprecedented economic opportunity during time of great change in the world.

Let's embrace the energy of change and all the opportunity it brings without forsaking our foundation. And our most reliable foundation is truth, our faith and confidence in Almighty God as He guides our nation and state.

As governor, my top priority is to see Arkansas enter a time of sustained economic power and influence. We can better compete in this global marketplace by lowering our tax rates, starting with the middle class; by improving job-skill training in our high schools and two-year colleges; by offering computer science in every high school; and by reducing the burden of unreasonable regulations on our businesses.

I want people to work; and when they work, they should be better off; and when they work hard enough, they should move up the economic ladder. These are common-sense values that give Arkansans hope for a better life. And while we strive to work and get ahead, we must not forget our responsibility to provide a safety net for those particularly in need.

As we go about our work at this legislative session, we should not forget Arkansas's strong contributions and link to the world. What we do here matters to people all over the globe. Just consider:

Our agriculture nourishes the world.

Our homegrown businesses, like Walmart, Murphy Oil, Dillard's and Tyson, clothe and feed the world.

Our world-class academic institutions educate the world.

Our arts, from the one-of-a-kind exhibits at Crystal Bridges in Bentonville to the talented artisans of the Delta such as Miller's Mud in Dumas, are among the joys of the world.

We are so blessed with talent.

Considering the size of our state and our national and global influence, what Arkansas has done is nothing short of amazing. And that's why I'm so optimistic about our future together. Arkansans can do anything because we have done everything.

And we're just getting started because it is a New Day in Arkansas.

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