* Spending will be cut, but not at the expense of primary functions of state government. In the bad old days, the State Police were first on the chopping block. Not this time.
The devil is in the details, of course. But Tomblin sketched the outline of a promising education plan that includes improving teaching, giving county officials flexibility, concentrating on improved reading in early grades, using technology and better preparing students for life after high school.
The governor also wants the state to tackle its drug abuse problem. Too many employers cannot fill good job openings because applicants know they cannot pass a drug test.
The reaction was just as important as the speech. State School Superintendent Jim Phares and Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, both said they were excited about reforming education.
West Virginians know they must make changes if this state is to thrive
They also know that West Virginians can come together. They have in the past on such thorny issues as the rainy day fund, medical malpractice reform, and privatizing workers comp.
It's good reason for confidence as legislators tackle education reform.