LITTLE ROCK, AR – Governor Mike Beebe was sworn in Tuesday, January 11 to his second and final term in a joint session of the Arkansas House and Senate. With First Lady Ginger Beebe by his side, Governor Beebes inauguration got underway at the stroke of noon.
The wintry weather moved Beebes inaugural speech inside to the Capitol rotunda instead of on the front steps. Beebes granddaughter sang the national anthem.
The Arkansas’ governor is a bit out of the ordinary; hes a popular Democratic incumbent in the South who won every county in an anti-incumbent, pro-GOP election year.
In his second term, Beebe will face a stronger Republican delegation in the Legislature, with more power to block his agenda.
In his “State of the State” address, which took about 26 minutes, Beebe emphasized Arkansas good financial standing and the need to work to ensure that the state remains strong.
Beebe began his speech by recognizing how fortunate he is, both to be reelected and to not have to worry about a budget deficit, in contrast to most other states. “That we do not face such bleak crises here,” the governor said, “is a source of pride; yet it should not be a source of complacency or contentment. All of us know that standing on solid ground today does not guarantee us solid footing tomorrow.”
The budget for fiscal year 2012, which begins on July 1, 2011, Beebe said, is generally flat. He has suggested that nearly all-state agencies should remain at the same levels of funding.
In his speech, Beebe said Arkansas is distinguishing itself from other states and the world is taking notice. He said, this is “our time, our Arkansas.”