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Roberts to Tackle Tough Questions (posted January 14, 2007)

Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts says she aims to take on tough public policy questions during her tenure at the Statehouse. Appearing on the WLNE-TV show "Six News on the Record", she said she would not agree with Governor Don Carcieri on everything and planned to bring different points of view to the table. Roberts indicated she liked the governor's emphasis on public education during his recent inaugural address, but "wished he had talked more about jobs". The latter had been a theme of his first term, she pointed out.

When asked about her priorities, she mentioned stem cell research as a top issue for the state. Not only is it important for future health care, she argued, it is good for economic development. The state ranks sixth in bio-medical funding and she wants to help researchers spin off other exciting possibilities.

In regard to the state's budget deficit, she said she wanted to make sure that "everything is on the table" for discussion. It is time for the state to address long-term changes and not merely seek short-term budget fixes.

The Lieutenant Governor also talked of the need for improvements in middle and high schools around the state. "It is not an issue of more money," she said, but of "thinking creatively" about how public funds are spent.

Questioned about whether she had ordered new drapes or furniture for her Statehouse office, Roberts said there are "no drapes in my office" because she has a great view of the East Side. Rather than devote resources to interior design, she said she wanted to "spend her budget on getting work done".