"Teachers want reform, but they want reform that is fair," Lee said.
Although re-elected governor in November, Monday's inaugural address was the third such speech Tomblin has given in the past 26 months.
He gave an investiture address in November 2010, after becoming the acting governor by virtue of his position as Senate president. A year later, he gave an inaugural address, after winning a special election that October to fill the unexpired term of former Gov. Joe Manchin.
Tomblin opened the address Monday by thanking Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who announced Friday he will not seek a sixth term in the Senate, for a lifetime of service to the state.
"Sen. Rockefeller championed many efforts for our families, miners, military members and veterans, as well as laying the groundwork for some of our state's most valuable growing business relationships," said Tomblin, who stopped to shake hands with Rockefeller, seated at the podium.
Tomblin also reviewed legislative accomplishments of the past quarter-century, including efforts to privatize Workers' Compensation, reform medical malpractice laws, stabilize funding for public employees' pension systems and retiree health insurance, and to invest billions of dollars in new schools and infrastructure.
"The road we have traveled has not always been easy, but we have done it the right way -- and that is by working together with business, labor, Republicans and Democrats, to solve our problems," Tomblin said.
In addition to Tomblin, Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Benjamin administered oaths of office to three new office-holders, Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Justice Allen Loughry, as well as to incumbents Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, Auditor Glen Gainer, Treasurer John Perdue, and Justice Robin Davis.
The Governor's Office provided souvenir fleece blankets to many of the several hundred spectators, a nicety but not a necessity on an overcast but (compared to past inaugurals) relatively warm 40-degree day.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.