Raleigh, N.C. — As Gov. Pat McCrory prepares to give his first State of the State address Monday evening, those searching for clues as to what he will say might consider going back to the future.
"I want to share with you my vision of what North Carolina has become, and can become, as we seek to provide better jobs, better schools, better public facilities and services, in the effort to win a better quality of life for ourselves and our children," Gov. Jim Martin said in a "Report to the People" in 1986.
Like presidents, governors have been giving various sorts of updates on their administration and legislative priorities for a long time.
In 1986, Martin had been in office for a year. The legislature was out of town in January, so Martin delivered the address from his office in the Capitol building. It's worth noting that, at the time, Martin was working with a legislature held by Democrats, did not wield a veto and presided over an economy that was in much better shape. He was also speaking after a year in office.
On Monday, McCrory will come before a legislature controlled by his own party, veto power in hand but with an economy that is still struggling to recover from the recession. He has been in office for a little less than two months.
Still, speaking roughly 27 years ago, Martin touched on themes that many expect McCrory to tackle.
"We only won a third of the tax cuts I asked for, but it's clear that, if I hadn't fought hard for that, there would have been no cuts at all....It is just a start," Martin said, pushing a tax reform agenda that might not look out of place today.
Many of those watching McCrory's speech will be looking for him to talk about his tax reform plans.
Martin also talked about the need to improve state highways and water systems, items that have cropped up in many of McCrory's recent speeches. He also proclaimed 1986 the "year of the family," again touching on an area of state government familiar to current-day lawmakers.
"We hope to honor and help all our families, including any who have a relative with a mental illness or deficiency, or with a problem with alcohol or drug dependence," Martin said. "All our families will benefit from a strong economy, better government services and public facilities as well as improved public schools."