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Easley Has Strong Vision For State For Second Term In Office

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Easley Term
RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Mike Easley said the state is showing some signs of improvement and he has a strong vision for the state in 2005 and beyond.

The basic theme of the Easley administration will be the same as it was in his last four-year term.

"Our education really does control our economy to a large degree," he said.

From his office in the Capitol, Easley was eager to push his new plan to keep students in public schools an additional year to guarantee a junior college associate degree. He acknowledged it is not an easy sell.

"Anytime you come up with new ideas that require systemic change, people are resistant to it," he said. "They say the only people who like change is a wet baby. To some degree, that's true."

Easley will have more Democrats in the Legislature to work with as his second term begins.

"North Carolina is on the verge of greatness and we just have to reach out and take it," he said. "It's going to take some pushing and shoving a little bit to move some people along."

Easley also believes he will get a lottery before he leaves office, but he is not hot on the idea of a moritorium for the death penalty.

The governor plans to continue pushing for new businesses to locate in North Carolina, and he believes the cigarette tax will soon be increased. As he begins his second four years, he believes the state of the state has improved.

"In relative terms to other states, we're pretty close to a 10. From where we are and where we need to be, [we're] probably a five. We can make a lot of progress over the next four years," he said.

Easley also announced his entire cabinet will stay in place.


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