State of the State Highlights 2023


Alabama |  Alaska |  American Samoa  |  Arizona  |  Arkansas  |  California  |  Colorado  |  Connecticut  |  Delaware  |  District of Columbia  |  Florida  |  Georgia  |  Guam  |  Hawaii  |  Idaho |  Illinois |  Indiana |  Iowa  |  Kansas  |  Kentucky  |  Louisiana |  Maine  |  Maryland  |  Massachusetts  |  Michigan  |  Minnesota  |  Mississippi  |  Missouri  |  Montana  |  Nebraska  |  Nevada  |  New Hampshire  |  New Jersey  |  New Mexico  |  New York  |  North Carolina  |  North Dakota  |  Ohio  |  Oklahoma  |  Oregon  |  Pennsylvania  |  Puerto Rico  |  Rhode Island  |  South Carolina  |  South Dakota  |  Tennessee  |  Texas  |  Utah  |  Vermont  |  Virginia  |  Virgin Islands |  Washington  |  West Virginia  |  Wisconsin  |  Wyoming



Alaska

Alaska

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy said that when he thinks about the state of the state there is much to be thankful for, while adding that actions the state takes this year can set Alaska’s course for the next fifty years and beyond. In his address, the governor focused on his vision for growing the economy, capitalizing on new opportunities for investment and economic growth, improving the quality of life for all Alaskans, and supporting the next generation of Alaskans.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Defending Alaska’s Interests – Spoke about the need to be able to create Alaska’s own destiny for future generations and having an obligation to oppose federal agencies and other groups when they are clearly wrong.
  • North to Opportunity – Proposed an initiative to highlight opportunities for investment and development in Alaska through the media and targeted industry outreach.
  • People First Initiative – Highlighted a series of bills to increase protections for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, increase penalties for offenders, and take on sex trafficking.
  • Declaring War on Dealers – Called for legislation to increase penalties for drug dealers who are dealing fentanyl and fentanyl-laced drugs.
  • Building Momentum for the Future – Discussed continuing to lead in the production of oil and natural gas, while also emerging as the global leader in new forms of low and no carbon energy.
  • Support for Families – Talked about enacting policies like the Healthy Families Initiative which are pro-children, pro-mothers, pro-fathers, and pro-families.

Arizona

Arizona

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs said the state of the state offers promise and we must act on it. In her speech she outlined plans to tackle the challenges facing Arizonians and called for bipartisan cooperation. The governor highlighted the need to invest in public education, tackle affordable housing, lower costs, offer a holistic approach to immigration, protect women, support families, and secure the state’s water future.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Public Education – Recommended addressing the spending cap, remedying the expansion of school vouchers, launching an Education Retention Task Force, reforming per pupil funding, expanding mental health resources, investing in community colleges and dual-enrollment programs, and expanding the capacity of the Arizona Promise Scholarship Program.
  • Affordable Housing – Urged finding solutions to housing affordability including reestablishing the Interagency and Community Council on Homelessness and Housing, investing $150 million into the Housing Trust Fund, and encouraging affordable housing strategies among builders, the public sector, and communities.
  • Lowering Costs – Discussed efforts to bring down costs such as establishing a child tax credit for families earning less than $40,000 a year and exempting key items including diapers and feminine hygiene products from the state sales tax.
  • Water Supply - Called for addressing Arizona’s water challenges by establishing the Governor’s Office of Resiliency, modernizing the Arizona Groundwater Management Act, ensuring Arizona’s groundwater supports residents, closing water poaching loopholes, and supporting rural communities in managing groundwater.
Colorado

Colorado

Colorado Governor Jared Polis said the state of the state is undeniably strong, but it can be even stronger, adding Colorado’s potential is limitless. The governor discussed his goals for his second term including making Colorado a place where freedom is not only protected but expanded; every child has access to a quality education; water resources support farms, communities and industries; the state has lower healthcare costs and taxes; workers have access to needed skills; and every person lives in a safe community.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Housing – Called for a new approach that creates more housing, protects resources, and reduces sprawl through breaking down government barriers, expanding property rights, and reducing regulations.
  • Tax Relief – Urged the passage of a long-term property relief package, making the senior homestead tax exemption portable, and reducing personal income tax rates.
  • Water – Spoke about the need for funding for water infrastructure and water quality projects as well as protecting waterways and rights.
  • Clean Energy – Discussed investing in clean transportation, accelerating the use of renewables, reducing emissions, and holding polluters accountable.
  • Wildfires – Recommended strengthening aerial capabilities, expanding fire prevention efforts, and supporting the work of the Colorado Strategic Wildfire Action Program.
  • Healthcare – Talked about the need to help people save money on prescriptions as well as holding health insurers and hospital systems accountable.
  • Education – Proposed additional support for free preschool, raising per pupil funding, and new investments in math curricula.
  • Workforce – Called for ensuring every student has access to career-connected learning, expanding Care Forward Colorado to additional in-demand fields, and creating a new scholarship for high school seniors who pursue post-secondary education, training, or certifications.
  • Public Safety – Recommended providing additional resources for local law enforcement officials and greater investment in proven crime prevention strategies.
Connecticut

Connecticut

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said the state is moving from rescue to recovery. He added Connecticut is investing in its future starting with good paying jobs and keeping more of what you earn. During his address the governor spoke about the state’s improved fiscal condition, the need for a middle-class tax cut, workforce challenges, housing demands, expanding clean energy, and making improvements in infrastructure, education, and healthcare.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Fiscal Stability – Stated the era of Connecticut’s permanent fiscal crisis is over if the state maintains the same fiscal discipline it has shown over the last four years. Noted the state has put in place fiscal guardrails and has paid down billions in pension debt.
  • Tax Cut – Called for enacting a meaningful middle-class tax cut to increase affordability.
  • Workforce – Spoke about efforts to address workforce challenges including paid family and medical leave, expanded childcare, paid sick days, an increased minimum wage, skills training, and support for small businesses.
  • Housing – Discussed the need to expand housing options and increase affordability, and for localities to work with developers to increase housing in downtown areas.
  • Clean Energy – Highlighted efforts to expand wind power, extend nuclear power, gain access to hydropower, and make homes more energy efficient.
  • Infrastructure – Talked about structural reforms to rebuild the choke points in the transportation system.
  • Education – Asked local education officials to implement strategies to help students recover from learning loss.
  • Healthcare – Called for continued efforts to make healthcare more accessible and affordable, such as increased partnerships, and rewarding efforts to improve quality and value.

Delaware

Delaware

Delaware Governor John Carney said the state of the state is strong due to work done together, and it will only get stronger in the years ahead. During his address, the governor announced plans to strengthen the economy and infrastructure, invest in public schools and childcare, and maintain a sustainable financial plan.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Workforce – Said the biggest challenge the state faces is filling job openings, including in state government. Highlighted initiatives to train students and to keep them in Delaware after graduation.
  • Federal Funding – Spoke about projects that have been made possible by American Rescue Plan Act funding including a new clinical lab and health center as well as rehabilitating blighted homes.
  • Education – Noted his upcoming budget proposal will increase teacher pay, provide added support for low-income children and English learners, and expand early childhood education.
  • Childcare – Discussed programs to help low-income families access quality childcare including doubling funding for the Early Childhood Assistance Program.
  • Environment – Talked about the impact from climate change on Delaware communities and called for building out electric vehicle charging infrastructure, restoring investments in the Clean Water Trust, and planting a tree for every Delawarean.
  • Crime – Recommended expanding the Group Violence Intervention Program to help reduce gun violence.
  • Responsible Budget – Highlighted the importance of having strong reserves to prepare for an eventual economic downturn and using one-time revenue for one-time projects.
Georgia

Georgia

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said the state of the state has never been stronger and more resilient. During his speech, the governor discussed recent successes while highlighting the need for more workers and quality homes where people can raise a family in the same community where they work.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Elementary and Secondary Education – Recommended additional K-12 funding, teacher pay raises, and certification grants to help paraprofessionals become teachers.
  • Higher Education – Proposed returning HOPE Scholarship and Grant awards to 100 percent of tuition.
  • Workforce – Said the state will continue to focus on apprenticeships, dual enrollment pathways, and degrees aligned with the needs of job creators.
  • Housing – Announced the creation of the Rural Workforce Housing Fund, enabling the state to partner directly with local governments to develop sites for workforce housing.
  • Public Safety – Called for addressing the revolving door of criminal justice, increased penalties for individuals trying to recruit children into gangs, and additional efforts to combat human trafficking.
  • Healthcare – Recommended loan repayment programs for healthcare workers, allowing pregnant women who qualify to receive TANF benefits, and funding to stand up the Georgia Pathways to Coverage program.
Hawaii

Hawaii

Hawaii Governor Josh Green said the time is now to move Hawaii forward and it will be done by taking bold action. The governor said his administration will take on housing, the environment, tourism, homelessness, poverty, and economic opportunity.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Housing – Proposed over $1 billion in new investments in housing and said housing will be his administration’s top priority.
  • Homelessness – Announced an emergency proclamation on housing which streamlines the construction process for housing, removes red tape, and enables community partners to tackle homelessness and the housing shortage head-on.
  • Cost of Living – Discussed the Green Affordability Plan which provides tax relief through shifting tax brackets, more than doubling the standard deduction and doubling the personal exemption. The plan also expands the child and dependent care tax credit; creates a new educator tax credit; provides hardest-hit residents a renters credit; increases the availability of the food excise tax credit; and expands the earned income tax credit.
  • Climate Change – Proposed $100 million for a climate impact fund and called for pursing climate change strategies that are equitable, culturally responsive, and resilient.
  • Economic Development – Said his administration will begin to move the economy beyond tourism, become energy independent, and will fulfill its potential as an economic and renewable energy leader in the Pacific.
  • Infrastructure – Highlighted the need to continue to move forward on replacing the Oahu Community Correctional Center and the Aloha Stadium.
  • Government Accountability – Stated the people of Hawaii deserve a transparent and accountable government and called for ethics reforms.
Idaho

Idaho

Idaho Governor Brad Little said the state’s successes over the past few years have been historic and extraordinary. The governor added the people of Idaho have provided a mandate to stay the course, put Idaho first, and to continue down the path of prosperity. In his speech, the governor said he would deliver on this mandate through continuing to invest in public schools, strengthening the workforce, providing more tax relief, and promoting safe communities.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Education – Called for the continuation of record investments in education as well as increasing starting teacher pay, boosting pay and benefits for all teachers, closing the salary gap for classified staff, improving school facility security, and making permanent the Empowering Parents grant program to support student learning outside the classroom.
  • Workforce – Recommended providing access to an $8,500 scholarship to graduating high school students to attend an Idaho university, community college, career technical or workforce training program of their choice.
  • Tax Relief – Proposed $120 million to help defray local property taxes and fulfilling income tax reductions passed during the 2022 legislative session.
  • Public Safety – Requested a 10 percent pay raise for law enforcement officers and the development of a new statewide drug interdiction team at the Idaho State Police. Also discussed the launch of a new educational awareness campaign about the dangers of fentanyl.
  • Safe and Healthy Communities – Called for expanded resources for mental health and childcare, improved emergency medical services in rural areas, and adding more physicians.
  • Infrastructure – Discussed improving bridges, airports, and pedestrian safety; expanding broadband; and making continued investments in water, energy, outdoor recreation, and agriculture.    
Indiana

Indiana

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said the state of the state is strong and about to get stronger. The governor’s address focused on three goals including: securing Indiana’s place in the economy of the future; transforming the delivery of public health access across the state; and continuing to make unprecedented investments in the classroom from pre-K through college and adult learning.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Budget Strength – Discussed Indiana’s strong fiscal position which has included revenue growth, increased contributions to the teachers’ pension fund, paying down debt, tax cuts, and a large rainy day fund. Stated since Indiana’s revenue and population is growing it can utilize reserves for one-time projects while maintaining a healthy surplus.
  • Economy of the Future – Noted that Indiana’s business-friendly climate has positioned it to become a pipeline for future-focused industries. Called for formalizing economic development tools, additional infrastructure investments, expanded broadband, and new funding for recreational trails.
  • Public Health Access – Requested a significant increase in the state’s public health appropriation, which was recommended by the Governor’s Public Health Commission. The funds will enable communities to design and implement local initiatives that address their unique needs.
  • Education Investments – Proposed the largest-ever investment in K-12 tuition support to give schools the resources to reward educators. Also called for prohibiting textbook and curriculum fees paid by Indiana parents; additional tuition support for higher education; dedicated funds for adult learning opportunities; and increased school safety grants.
Iowa

Iowa

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said the condition of the state remains strong, adding that over the past six years the state has built a strong foundation where families thrive, businesses grow, and government is responsive to the people. The governor said the state should continue to enact policies that put Iowans above bureaucratic systems and special interests, thinks big and aims high, and makes Iowa a place where everyone has the freedom to flourish.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Education – Announced a comprehensive education reform package that includes an education savings account allowing families to send their child to a private school, and additional support for public schools that consistently test in the bottom five percent.
  • Healthcare – Called for additional support of the MOMS program providing pregnancy support services and expanding the program to address the needs of fathers. Also called for creating two new Centers of Excellence to help provide rural healthcare and increased funding for the healthcare apprenticeship program.
  • Fentanyl – Discussed the launch of a public-awareness campaign to help parents understand the threat of fentanyl. Also recommended increased penalties for manufacturing and distributing fentanyl and making naloxone more readily available.
  • Government Reform – Recommended streamlining state operations by reducing the number of cabinet agencies from 37 to 16 and placing a moratorium on new rulemaking.
Kansas

Kansas

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly spoke about accomplishments over the past four years as well as the importance of continuing to meet in the middle. The governor’s address focused on challenges facing the state including cutting taxes without jeopardizing schools; attracting businesses in a way that preserves the essence of communities; and ensuring every Kansan can access the mental and physical healthcare they need.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Tax Relief – Called for immediately eliminating the sales tax on food, removing the sales tax on diapers and feminine hygiene products, establishing a sales tax holiday for school supplies, and providing grater income tax relief for seniors.
  • Education – Spoke about the importance of fully funding schools and providing additional support for special education.
  • Workforce – Talked about the need for more skilled workers and said her budget increases funding for the Office of Registered Apprenticeship.
  • Water Availability – Discussed the diminishing water supply in Western Kansas and called for additional investments to ensure water quality and quantity.
  • Healthcare – Highlighted the importance of expanding Medicaid to fix the state’s broken healthcare system.
  • Medical Marijuana – Said Kansas should follow 39 other states and legalize medical marijuana.
  • Mental Health – Recommended expanding Mental Health Intervention Teams in schools and guaranteeing mental health care for first responders.
  • Drug Abuse – Called for decriminalizing fentanyl test strips and providing funding to make naloxone available in schools.
  • Early Childhood – Noted the creation of a cabinet-level agency dedicated to early childhood.
Kentucky

Kentucky

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear began his speech discussing challenges Kentucky has faced over the past year including several natural disasters, the pandemic, and inflation. Despite the challenges, the governor said the state of the commonwealth is strong and the future is bright. The governor then discussed his proposals for the year including his Education First Plan, legalizing medical cannabis, legalizing sports betting, a pay raise for state workers, shoring up the state employee retirement system, and juvenile justice reforms.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Education – Unveiled an education plan that contains a 5 percent pay raise for educators to help address teacher vacancies, fully funds universal pre-K, provides mental health services for students, and includes student loan forgiveness for public school teachers.
  • Medical Cannabis – Urged the legislature to pass legislation legalizing medical cannabis, following the governor’s earlier executive order permitting medical cannabis for individuals with certain, severe medical conditions.
  • Sports Betting – Requested lawmakers pass legislation legalizing sports betting.
  • Workforce – Asked for a pay raise for all state workers as well as providing retirees with a 1.5 percent increase in pension payments.
  • Retirement Systems – Proposed using part of the state’s record budget surplus to make an additional $100 million investment into the state employee retirement system, and another $100 million to pay down the unfunded liability of the Teachers’ Retirement System.
  • Juvenile Justice – Called for building on recent juvenile justice reform efforts by funding higher salaries, upgrading facilities, and making necessary changes to state law.
Michigan

Michigan

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said the state of the state is strong and ready to go. The governor said her proposals will tackle the challenges people are facing right now, make a real difference in their lives, and make Michigan more competitive. She added her proposals are focused on people working hard to care for themselves and support their families; young people about to graduate; and Michiganders born today.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Tax Relief – Called for rolling back the retirement tax and expanding the Working Families Tax Credit.
  • Pre-K – Recommended expanding free, public preschool to every four-year-old as well as funding for MI Kids Back on Track, providing every child with personalized learning support.
  • Higher Education and Workforce Development – Proposed continued funding of the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, reducing the cost of higher education; additional support for apprenticeships and other initiatives to help with skills training; and lowering the age of the Michigan Reconnect program from 25 to 21.
  • Public Safety – Discussed the need for continued support for law enforcement through better training, oversight, and mental health resources. Also called for a reduction in gun violence through universal background checks, safe storage laws, and enacting extreme risk protection orders.
  • Infrastructure – Talked about building innovative transportation systems which include smart road technology.
  • Climate Change – Said the state must pursue climate action while creating jobs, lowering costs, and becoming a hub of clean energy production.
Missouri

Missouri

Missouri Governor Michael L. Parson highlighted accomplishments in the state over the past year and said Missouri is stronger today. During his speech, the governor discussed work that still needs to be done in areas such as infrastructure, workforce development and education, government reform, health and mental health care, and public safety.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Infrastructure – Called for a generational investment to widen and rebuild the I-70 corridor, continued broadband expansion, and updates to railway crossings.
  • Workforce Development and Education – Proposed additional funding for the education funding formula, school transportation needs, the Career Ladder Program, and to continue teacher pay increases. Also called for expanding pre-kindergarten options, increasing childcare subsidy rates, establishing three new childcare tax credit programs, and a series of additional investments in workforce development and higher education.
  • Government Reform – Recommended an 8.7 percent cost of living adjustment for all state workers, increased hourly pay for workers in congregate care facilities during high-demand shifts, and additional investments for the Department of Social Services Children’s Division to hire more support staff.
  • Health and Mental Health Care – Requested funding to expand the state’s youth behavioral health liaison program and Certified Nursing Assistant training programs.
  • Public Safety – Highlighted the success of the Missouri Blue Scholarship, which awards scholarships for individuals to attend law enforcement training academies, and proposed $50 million for school safety grants.
Montana

Montana

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte highlighted accomplishments over the past two years and said the state of the state is strong, much stronger than it was two years ago. The governor then outlined his priorities to create greater opportunity for all Montanans, build stronger families and safer communities, protect Montana’s way of life, and help more Montanans achieve the American dream.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Budget – Called for paying off all general obligation debt in 2023.
  • Tax Relief – Recommended a series of tax relief measures including cutting personal income tax rates, expanding the earned income tax credit, providing significant property tax relief, and reforming the business equipment tax.
  • Education – Discussed the need to be innovative and transformative at all levels, his support for individualized learning plans, and expanding parental choice.
  • Workforce – Called for continued support of apprenticeship programs, doubling the Montana Trades Education Credit, and removing barriers for healthcare workers.
  • Infrastructure – Proposed additional investments to repair roads and bridges as well as expand broadband.
  • Support for Children – Recommended a $1,200 child tax credit for children under six, additional investments to stabilize childcare, and an increase in the adoption tax credit.
  • Public Safety – Noted plans to repair and expand capacity at a state prison as well as funding 16 new highway patrol troopers and criminal investigators.
  • Drug Abuse – Talked about the need to expand treatment and recovery for people dealing with addiction as well as permanently funding eight drug courts.
  • Behavioral Health – Proposed greater investments in behavioral healthcare facilities and expanded community-based health clinics.
  • Forest Management – Recommended expanding the scope of active forest management to reduce the number of wildfires.
Nebraska

Nebraska 

Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen said that because of its people, the state of the state has never been stronger. In his speech, the governor outlined an agenda to help overcome serious challenges and make life better for every family in the state.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Budget Restraint – Said the state must say no to overspending while maintaining its investment on children and giving money back to Nebraskans.
  • Tax Relief – Recommended a series of tax changes including further property tax cuts; phasing down individual income and business tax rates; and exempting Social Security income from state taxes.
  • Education – Proposed the creation of the Education Future Fund to help meet the needs of special education students; structural reform to the state education formula; a 3 percent growth cap on spending for school districts; additional funding for Nebraska students to attend institutes of higher education; and providing opportunity scholarship tax credits for students whose needs are best met outside of public education.
  • Workforce and Economic Development – Called for additional investments to help recruit and train students in high-demand fields as well as a new marketing campaign with a focus on attracting top talent.
  • Water Investments – Stated his budget includes fully funding the Perkins County Canal to help address water shortages.
  • Broadband – Discussed the creation of the Nebraska Broadband Office to complete broadband across Nebraska.
  • Public Safety – Recommended increased support for the Nebraska State Patrol and providing the final phase of funding to replace the Nebraska State Penitentiary.
Nevada

Nevada

Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo said the state of the state is growing stronger every day and he is filled with hope and optimism on what Nevada can accomplish if people work together. In his speech, the governor highlighted opportunities ahead, but also said Nevada must resist the temptation to overspend.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Budget – Noted his budget responsibly reverses cuts to some programs made during the pandemic, and addresses overdue investments in people, programs, and facilities. Also called for increasing the size of the rainy day fund and creating a new sub-account to be used for transformational economic development projects and infrastructure needs.
  • Tax Relief – Recommended suspending the motor fuel vehicle tax for twelve months and lowering the modified business tax rate.
  • Education – Called for increased K-12 funding; equity-based changes to the funding plan; the creation of the Office of School Choice to allow greater parental choice; expanding opportunity scholarships; using interest from the Education Stabilization Account to provide scholarships to high school students interested in becoming teachers; allowing retired teachers to draw their salary and retirement; ensuring schools improve literacy rates; and expanding PreK opportunities.
  • Higher Education and Workforce – Discussed reforming the higher education funding formula, providing additional funding to higher education and workforce development initiatives, and consolidating several agencies under a single Office of Workforce.
  • Public Safety – Proposed a series of public safety reforms aimed at reducing crime and helping ensure the effectiveness of the public safety and criminal justice systems. Also recommended pay increases for public safety employees.
  • Mental Health – Highlighted the need to expand community behavioral health centers, increase forensic mental health services, and increase reimbursement rates.
  • State Employment – Recommended an 8 percent pay raise for state employees next year, retention bonuses, and improvements to state office buildings.
  • Economic Development – Talked about efforts to make Nevada more pro-business and pro-development as well as the need to examine tax abatements.
  • Energy and Natural Resources – Discussed the need to make Nevada energy independent and collaboratively work on ways to address water challenges.
  • Broadband – Announced a $400 million investment to accelerate statewide connectivity.
New Jersey

New Jersey

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said the state of the state is stronger, fairer, and moving in the right direction – forward. In his speech the governor highlighted accomplishments over the past five years, announced upcoming initiatives, and reaffirmed his commitment to make New Jersey the best state in the nation to live, work, and raise a family.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Affordability – Called for an extension of the ANCHOR Program, which provides property tax relief, to ensure more renters and homeowners have time to apply.
  • Public Safety – Urged the passage of a legislative package to strengthen laws against car thefts.
  • Economic Development – Discussed incentivizing the creation of new jobs while recognizing the changing landscape that entails more remote work. Also proposed the creation of a Boardwalk Fund to enable critical upgrades to boardwalks and support their local economies.
  • Licensing Reform – Recommended reforming the state’s antiquated and confusing liquor license laws. Also called for removing outdated licensing and operating restrictions on breweries and distilleries.
  • Opioid Epidemic – Proposed adopting a new policy to allow any resident to anonymously obtain the overdose reversal medicine Naloxone for free from any participating pharmacy.
New Mexico

New Mexico

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said the state of the state is an extraordinary accomplishment – by New Mexicans and for New Mexicans. She added that the state of the state is not just about today, but also about tomorrow and what New Mexico is creating for the future. In her address the governor discussed her legislative priorities for the 2023 legislative session.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Housing and Homelessness – Requested over $100 million for housing programs including mobile homelessness response teams, eviction protection, and down payment assistance to help build new homes.
  • Healthcare and Behavioral Health – Recommended expanding and improving rural healthcare delivery, expanding access to reproductive health services, improving access to affordable healthcare, and providing transparency for prescription drug pricing.
  • Education and Child Wellbeing – Called for extending in-classroom learning time, supporting special education, covering the individual cost share for healthcare premium costs for school personnel, and establishing healthy universal free meals for students.
  • Public Safety – Spoke about the need to keep repeat violent offenders off the streets, address gun violence, tackle organized retail crime, get more police officers on the streets, support public safety and government staffing, and prevent wildfires caused by fireworks.
  • Economic Development and Tax Reform – Proposed a one-time rebate of $750 to each taxpayer, reforming the state tax code, updating the film tax credit, and establishing the Land of Enchantment Legacy Fund to create sustained funding for programs that protect and preserve the environment.
  • Infrastructure – Called for $128 million in water infrastructure improvements and $146 million in statewide broadband expansion.
New York

New York

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said that after three difficult years, the state of the state is strong but there is work to do. In her speech, the governor discussed her plan for achieving the New York dream while outlining ways to make a more affordable, more livable, and safer New York.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Housing – Introduced the New York Housing Compact, which pulls together a variety of policy changes to help build 800,000 new homes over the next decade.
  • Mental Health – Proposed a plan to strengthen mental health care including increasing capacity for inpatient psychiatric treatment by 1,000 beds and adding 3,500 housing units serving individuals with mental illness.
  • Public Safety – Recommended a series of public safety initiatives and investments aimed at driving down gun violence and violent crime including finding alternatives to incarceration, expanding reentry services, and rebuilding the State Police.
  • Climate Change – Announced a cap-and-invest program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.
  • Childcare – Outlined a plan to make childcare more affordable, accessible, and fairer.
  • Cost of Living – Called for raising the minimum wage annually and indexing to inflation.
  • Other – Other proposals were focused on relief for utility customers; reforming the healthcare system; providing high-quality education; attracting and growing businesses; growing the agricultural sector; lifting up all New Yorkers; prioritizing transportation safety, equity, and efficiency; and improving state government.
North Dakota

North Dakota

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum said the state of the state is one of strength and infinite opportunity, blessed with abundant natural resources, inherent freedoms, and industrious, caring people. In his speech he called for significant infrastructure investment, highlighted opportunities to diversify and grow the economy, emphasized the need to address the state’s workforce challenges, and provide tax relief to North Dakotans.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Infrastructure – Called for an unprecedented $2.4 billion investment in infrastructure projects and continued progress on the Department of Transportation’s 10-year infrastructure plan.
  • Economic Diversification – Highlighted the role carbon capture, storage, and utilization is having in creating a sustainable path forward for the agricultural and energy industries. Also called on lawmakers to increase individual farming freedoms and spoke of the state’s efforts to encourage unmanned aircraft systems.
  • Workforce Challenges – Proposed addressing workforce challenges by honoring funding commitments for career academies; supporting childcare affordability and availability; incentivizing industries to adopt automation; investing in workforce development and recruitment programs; and focusing on community development.
  • Tax Relief – Urged lawmakers to approve a proposed income tax relief plan that would eliminate the state individual income tax for three out of five taxpayers and create the lowest flat-rate individual income tax in the nation.
Rhode Island

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee discussed the strong foundation the state has built over the past two years. The governor added Rhode Island is ready to raise incomes for families, improve education outcomes, build a healthier Rhode Island, and ensure everyone benefits from the work being done in the state.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Tax Relief – Recommended a series of tax relief measures including reducing the sales tax; reducing the corporate minimum tax; stopping a gas tax increase; delivering energy bill rebates; and eliminating the litter tax for businesses.
  • Fiscal Responsibility – Proposed increasing the rainy day fund and setting aside money for future obligations to reduce the reliance on debt.
  • Infrastructure – Called for launching a new matching grant program to help localities repair roads.
  • Housing – Discussed the need for a comprehensive approach towards housing and setting meaningful but realistic goals for housing production and affordability.
  • Education – Talked about partnering with local school districts to address challenges within the education system, continuing to invest in new school projects, modifying the education funding formula, and providing additional support for multilingual and special education students.
  • Economic Development – Highlighted recent economic development projects, additional capital spending, the implementation of an accelerated project delivery strategy, and new investments in the life science sector.
South Carolina

South Carolina

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster discussed recent successes in the state and said South Carolina is presented with an opportunity to take bold, transformative actions that will build prosperity for generations to come. The governor added that the foundations of the success rest on three pillars: economic strength, education, and the natural environment.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Budget – Called for increasing the rainy day reserve fund minimum balance from 7 percent to 10 percent, speeding up income tax cuts if revenues allow, and setting aside additional funds for economic development efforts.
  • Infrastructure – Recommended using ARPA funds for rural water and sewer infrastructure and using state funds to speed up projects that relieve traffic congestion.
  • Elementary and Secondary Education – Proposed an increase in state aid for schools, using lottery dollars to create education scholarship accounts, further teacher pay raises and retention bonuses, and additional funding for school resource officers.
  • Higher Education and Workforce – Called for expanded workforce scholarships through the technical college system, record financial aid for students in need, freezing tuition for in-state students, and paying down the state’s deferred maintenance liability.
  • Mental Health – Discussed the need for additional funding to recruit and retain mental health professionals, provide inpatient services, and increase access to crisis services.
  • State Workers – Suggested recruitment and retention salary increases for state workers, no increase in employee paid-premiums for state health plans, and closing the state’s pension plan to new beneficiaries.
  • Public Safety – Recommended additional pay increases for public safety workers, a state income tax credit for law enforcement officers and first responders, and greater flexibility to allow retired officers to return to work.
  • Natural Environment – Talked about the importance of protecting the state’s cultural and natural heritage.
South Dakota

South Dakota

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem said the state is growing, thriving, and is strong, while adding the task today is to ensure a free, efficient, and equal government for all. In her speech, the governor discussed ways to build the American dream, promote stronger families, and secure South Dakota now and into the future.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Building the American Dream – Proposed a series of measures including eliminating the sales tax on groceries; increasing the recognition of occupational licenses from other states; expanding registered apprenticeships; and launching a dedicated Native American tourism marketing campaign.
  • Promoting Stronger Families – Recommended extending paid family leave for state employees to 12 weeks while also incentivizing private sector companies to provide paid family leave. Also called for providing additional pregnancy and postpartum care for moms who are Medicaid recipients; giving state employees up to $25,000 to cover the cost of adoption; creating a new scholarship for children in the foster care system; expanding access to childcare; and encouraging health benefits for childcare workers.
  • Securing South Dakota – Discussed creating a new board that would review any purchase, lease, or transfer of South Dakota agriculture land by a foreign entity and make a recommendation to the governor whether the purchase should be approved.
Utah State Icon

Utah

Utah Governor Spencer Cox said the state of the state has never been stronger than it is today and one day will reach even greater heights. The governor directed his address to the next generation of Utahns while focusing on policy priorities and his goals for Utah’s future.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Teacher Pay – Highlighted the importance of investing in teachers while calling for the largest teacher pay raise in the state’s history.
  • The Great Salt Lake and Water Conservation – Proposed a $500 million water conservation investment as well as other policy changes to reduce the per capita use of water.
  • Affordable Housing – Spoke about the need for more housing and working with localities and other stakeholders on legislation to increase supply and reduce the cost of housing.
  • Tax Cuts – Recommended $1 billion in tax relief for Utah families to help combat the rising cost of living.
  • Family – Discussed an upcoming plan to support foster families and recruit new families, the creation of a new tax credit for all children, and expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage to twelve months.
  • Quality of Life – Talked about various measures to improve Utahns quality of life including building a statewide network of trails; additional support for skills-based learning; more funding for mental health resources and crisis interventions; and modernizing the state’s IT infrastructure to improve services.
Virginia

Virginia

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin said the state of the commonwealth is better than it was a year ago yet Virginia is a great distance from its destination of being the best place to live, work, and raise a family. The governor highlighted his agenda to lower the cost of living with tax relief for small local businesses and families, empower parents, build on last session’s record education investment, accelerate the economy, make communities safer, and make government work for all Virginians.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Tax Relief – Called for immediate tax cuts for businesses and individuals as well as increasing the standard deduction by 20 percent.
  • Education – Recommended extending reading specialists to the 5th grade; accelerating efforts to build lab schools; increasing dual-enrollment partnerships between high schools and community colleges; and providing pay raises and retention bonuses for educators.
  • Public Safety – Urged increased efforts to attract 2,000 new law enforcement officers.
  • Behavioral Health – Discussed efforts to transform the behavioral health system including increasing the number of mobile crisis units and crisis receiving centers as well as making behavioral health workforce a priority.
  • Other – Other proposals were focused on ensuring targeted support for those suffering from substance use disorder including fentanyl addiction; accelerating the education and licensing of nurses; developing a commonsense energy policy; reaffirming Virginia’s commitment to protect natural resources; and preventing dangerous foreign entities from purchasing farmland.
Washington State Icon

Washington

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said the state of the state is strong due to actions passed by the legislature in recent years. The governor said the state must continue to build on these investments and policies through addressing housing and homelessness, behavioral health, education, climate change, salmon recovery, gun safety, and reproductive care.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Housing and Homelessness – Proposed a $4 billion referendum to speed up the construction of new units including shelters, supportive housing, and affordable housing. The effort will be combined with additional behavioral support, substance use treatment, and employment services. Called for addressing middle housing and housing density.
  • Behavioral Health – Recommended prioritizing diversion and community-based treatment options rather than using the criminal justice system, and continuing to support the transformation of the behavioral health system.
  • Education – Called for increasing K-12 spending by $3 billion and added funding for special education to better support school districts.
  • Climate Change – Discussed the need to shift to implementing previously approved climate change policies as well as expanding research and development capacity for clean energy projects. Also talked about the need for continued investment in salmon recovery.
  • Public Safety – Spoke about gun safety measures including safety training, increased accountability among manufacturers and dealers, and banning the sale of military-style assault weapons. Highlighted the need to help local law enforcement agencies hire and train more workers.
West Virginia State Icon

West Virginia

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice highlighted improvements in the state over the past seven years including in the areas of infrastructure, education, economic development, and budget stability. The governor then discussed a series of proposals regarding tax relief, hunger, education, workforce, state retirees, veterans, healthcare, substance abuse, public safety, foster care, and infrastructure.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Tax Cuts – Called for a 50 percent personal income tax reduction over three years.
  • Hunger Relief – Recommended additional funding for food banks and establishing a new fund that food banks could draw from when they have a need.
  • Education – Urged an increased focus on school safety, making school curriculums available online, added support for HOPE scholarships, and additional funding for higher education deferred maintenance.
  • Workforce – Proposed a 5 percent pay raise for state workers; a $1,500 one-time payment for state retirees; increased minimum monthly payments for retirees over 70; and taking additional steps to address workforce challenges.
  • Veterans – Called for providing a $5,000 incentive to any veteran who chooses to relocate and stay in West Virginia for three years.
  • Healthcare – Discussed the need for added support for crisis pregnancy centers and raising rates at in-state hospitals.

Other – Other proposals were focused on added support for substance abuse treatment programs; increased pay for corrections workers; new funding for state police forensic crime units; incentivizing foster care; continued support for infrastructure including roads and trails improvements; and expanding broadband.

Wisconsin State Icon

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said the state of the state is much different than it was four years ago, noting additional infrastructure investments, expanded high-speed internet, improved school rankings, increased support for higher education, new investments in clean energy, and a strengthened fiscal position. During his address, the governor discussed his plans to maintain the economy’s momentum, bolster the state’s workforce, address mental health needs, and expand access to quality, affordable childcare.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Education – Proposed targeted investments to improve reading and literacy outcomes, reduce class sizes, and support teacher recruitment and retention efforts.
  • Mental Health – Declared 2023 the year of mental health and called for ensuring every student has access to mental health services as well as expanded mental and behavioral health services for people across the state.
  • Clean Water and PFAS Contamination – Said clean water must be a top priority and announced a three-pronged approach to confront PFAS throughout Wisconsin.
  • Local Governments – Announced a budget provision to send up to 20 percent of the state's sales tax revenue back to local communities for shared revenue.
  • Tax Relief – Stated tax relief must be done in a responsible way without driving the state into debt or causing devastating cuts to priorities like public schools and public safety.
  • Workforce and Economic Development – Called for additional support to bolster Wisconsin’s workforce, including the healthcare, education, and clean energy sectors, as well as continued investment in small business development.
  • Childcare – Highlighted additional support to make childcare more affordable and accessible for working families as well as bolstering childcare providers statewide.
Wyoming State Icon

Wyoming

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon said the state of the state is strong and its future is bright. In his address the governor focused on five fundamental areas: the state’s people; natural resources; the budget; the economy; and education.

Key Speech Highlights:

  • Healthcare – Said his healthcare task force will soon release recommendations to improve access to both physical and mental health.
  • Natural Resources – Discussed the importance of having a strong partnership with the federal government; using carbon capture to provide a path forward for fossil fuel production; providing additional support for the Governor’s Energy Matching Fund; addressing water management and improving water infrastructure; and supporting agriculture.
  • Tax Relief – Called for extending the Property Tax Refund Program for another year.
  • Workforce – Proposed implementing the second phase of a salary adjustment to help retain and recruit state workers.
  • Economic Development – Highlighted an effort to align education, workforce development and industry to support economic development needs.
  • Education – Spoke about an advisory group’s recommendations to revitalize the state’s education system through focusing on student-centered learning; providing pathways of opportunities for all students; utilizing innovative models to address mental health and behavioral issues; and offering a range of early childhood options.