State of the State Summaries 2022


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



Alabama

Alabama

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey stated by coming together over the past four years the state has been able to solve some of its toughest challenges including addressing its prison system and making needed improvements to roads and bridges. The governor said the state of the state is strong, and that the state’s best days will be ahead of it if legislators join with her in her bold vision.

The governor then turned to federal issues and said the state will maintain its opposition to federal mandates, while continuing to wisely invest one-time additional federal aid. Regarding American Rescue Plan Act funds, she called for directing the funds to some of the state’s biggest challenges including statewide broadband connectivity, water and sewer infrastructure, as well as investing in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care providers. Speaking of the budget, the governor said her proposal will fully fund the state’s rainy day accounts, pay down debts, and make robust investments that will pay long-term dividends. Additionally, the governor highlighted economic progress including the creation of new jobs and private sector investments.

Much of the speech focused on education with the governor calling children’s education the most important issue both in Alabama and the nation. The governor spoke of the importance of in-person learning, while also calling for the legislature to implement the Alabama Literacy Act, stating her support for legislation to create a Math Task Force, proposing resources to support grants for failing elementary schools, calling for 4 percent pay raises for teachers, and recommending increased investments in education at all levels.

Other topics discussed by the governor included: making efforts to expand outdoor recreation and ensure continued developments in the hospitality industry; continued support of law enforcement; a recommended 4 percent pay raise for state employees; a proposed bonus for retired state employees; and additional investments in mental health.

Arizona

Arizona

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said the state of the state is strong, while highlighting successes over the past eight years. He specifically noted accomplishments over the past year such as liability reform, bipartisan wildfire solutions, modernized tribal gaming compacts, new school choice options, and record investments in infrastructure. The governor added that the economy is rapidly expanding, government is smaller and more efficient, the budget is balanced, the state has a surplus of several billion dollars, revenues are growing faster than projected, and the state will continue to cut taxes. The governor also contrasted many of the state’s positions with that of the federal government and said there will be a continued focus in Arizona on freedom, opportunity, and good government.

Looking forward, the governor said he will work to reduce regulations, expand the rainy day fund, pay off debt, increase investments in community colleges, reduce learning loss including through launching a new summer camp program, expand school choice, add resources for extended family caring for vulnerable children, and increase pay for State Troopers. The governor also outlined a five-step plan focused on the southern border including added resources, enforcing the rule of law, increased enforcement and multistate intelligence sharing, physical barriers, and a call for added support from the federal government. Another area of focus was on water resources with the governor proposing a $1 billion investment to help pursue desalination technology.  

Finally, the governor called for: completion of a wider I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix; a continued focus on citizens’ health; increased investments in cyber security; improvements in election security; better broadband connectivity; more efforts to prevent wildfires; maintaining pro-second amendment positions; protecting life in every way possible; and preparing for another Super Bowl.

Florida

Florida

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that Florida has become the freest state in the United States while protecting the right of citizens to earn a living, providing businesses with the ability to prosper, fighting back against unconstitutional federal mandates, and ensuring children have the opportunity to thrive. The governor stated that it is upon this freedom that Florida’s future must be built. Additionally, he highlighted the state’s fiscal condition including strong revenue growth, growing reserves, low taxes, strong job creation, and a high number of business creations. The governor also called for a $1 billion gas tax holiday to help reduce gas prices.

Concerning elementary and secondary education, the governor said the state has worked hard to keep schools open, increase teacher compensation, promote workforce education, and protect the rights of parents. He called for reforms to testing standards, providing teachers with a $1,000 bonus, and providing parents with the ability to review the curriculum used in schools. In the area of secondary education, the governor said he will not support any tuition increases, opposes cutting Bright Future scholarships, and emphasized the importance of apprenticeship programs.

Other areas of focus included: the need for continual protection of natural resources; the importance of ensuring safe communities; providing law enforcement with pay increases and bonuses; and the need for strong international borders. The governor also called for the creation of an election integrity unit; enacting protections for data privacy; strengthening protections for Second Amendment rights; providing additional funds for foster parents; and building an appropriate memorial for victims of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium complex.

Idaho

Idaho

Idaho Governor Brad Little said that while the last few years have presented incredible challenges, the state currently has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He noted Idaho has a stronger economy than ever, more jobs than before the pandemic, a balanced budget, and robust reserves. Regarding his budget proposal, the governor said it holds the line on spending, pays off state building debt, puts the state on a path to pay off deferred maintenance needs, and increases rainy day funds to a record level. The governor also contrasted the state’s fiscal condition and policy positions with that of the federal government.

The governor then detailed his plan called Leading Idaho which focuses on continued tax relief and strategic investments aimed at making the biggest difference in people’s daily lives. He called for $1 billion in income tax relief over the next five years, including $350 million in immediate rebates and $250 million in ongoing income tax relief. Additionally, the governor proposed locking in lower unemployment insurance rates for Idaho businesses.

The governor next turned to his top funding priorities. He said his budget adds $1.1 billion over the next five years to improve Idaho education including adding ongoing funding to literacy programs and new Empowering Parents grants. In the area of public safety, the governor recommended additional spending to address needs within the Idaho State Police, State Veterans Homes, and doubling investments in scholarships for the Idaho National Guard. The governor also called for increased election integrity efforts including establishing a new Cyber Response and Defense Fund, improving behavioral healthcare, and adding investments in transportation including ongoing funding to address maintenance needs and one-time funding for deficient bridges.  

Indiana

Indiana

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb began his speech by saying there has never been a more opportune time to realize the state’s potential than right now. He went on to detail what his administration is doing for the economy, people, and communities.

First, the governor spoke about the state’s fiscal condition and said Indiana has had nine straight balanced budgets since 2005, reduced its debt by 24 percent, maintained a Triple A credit rating, and recorded record revenues and reserves. Concerning the economy, he said the state has its lowest unemployment rate in 21 years, led the region in GDP growth, experienced consistent population growth, and has seen wage growth and the expansion of businesses. The governor said one of the state’s most pressing challenges is ensuring there are enough qualified workers to fill current job openings.

One way the governor is working on filling job openings is through education. He noted the state has made record contributions to K-12 education, invested more in early education, taken steps to address learning loss, seen an increase in teacher salaries, and is working to make school performance data more readily available. The governor also discussed recent steps taken to align the state’s K-12, higher education, workforce, and economic development efforts. Turning to healthcare, the governor said the state must increase its efforts to reach more people with substance use disorders, promote a comprehensive strategy to support mental health, continue to reduce infant mortality, and begin examining ways to modernize and strengthen the state’s public health system overall.

The governor then spoke of steps Indiana has taken to invest in communities. He highlighted infrastructure efforts including deploying $60 billion over 20 years to expand and enhance roads and bridges, partnering with the federal government and local partners on commuter rail projects, investing $150 million for trail improvements, increasing broadband, and committing $420 million towards to wastewater, drinking water, and stormwater projects. Looking forward, the governor said more funding will be needed in 2023 to help communities throughout the state accelerate their economic growth and improve quality of life.

Finally, the governor closed his address by thanking people for their help in welcoming Afghanistan refugees, continuing to get vaccinated and boosted, and for their efforts in battling against COVID-19.

Iowa

Iowa

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said the condition of the state is strong due to Iowa being guided by the principles of common sense, fairness, and freedom. She added that the state’s strong fiscal position, including a $1.2 billion surplus and nearly $1 billion cash reserves, has allowed for greater tax cuts while detailing her plans for tax reform including setting a flat personal income tax rate of 4 percent and eliminating the taxation of retirement income.

The governor focused much of her speech on addressing worker shortages. She said while the state has already taken several steps to address worker shortages such as expanding apprenticeship programs, incorporating work-based learning, and integrating computer science into the curriculum, more needs to be done. The governor called for: continuing implementation of the Governor’s Childcare Task Force recommendations; expanding the number of childcare openings through the Childcare Challenge program; reducing the length of unemployment benefits; creating a separate re-employment division within the state; eliminating unnecessary licensing requirements; putting reasonable caps on non-economic damages for trucking accidents and medical malpractice; and expanding loan forgiveness programs for healthcare professionals.

The governor then turned to education and said the state will soon launch the first teacher registered apprenticeship program in the country. She also called for using federal ESSER funds to award a $1,000 retention bonus to teachers who worked during the pandemic, encouraging greater transparency on what schools are teaching, and allowing students with an individualized educational plan to receive a portion of annual per pupil state funds to move to an education system of their choice.

Other issues highlighted by the governor included honoring members of the armed forces and public safety workforce, using federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to give law enforcement and corrections workers a $1,000 retention bonus, continuing to support renewable fuel at the federal level, and upgrading the state’s fuel infrastructure to promote higher blends.

Kansas

Kansas

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said that although the state has faced unique challenges in recent years, Kansas is turning the corner and paving the way for a more prosperous future. She noted while people continue to step up during the pandemic, threats related to COVID-19 remain and she asked the legislature to work collaboratively to help nursing homes and hospitals. The governor also spoke about the state’s improving fiscal condition, citing its economic growth, balanced budget, largest surplus in forty years, growing rainy day fund, lower debt levels, and ability to give taxpayers a rebate on their taxes. Additionally, the governor said the state can now afford to eliminate the grocery tax and called on the legislature to pass a bill approving the tax cut.

The governor then detailed various items in her budget proposal including: a freeze on college tuition increases; increased support for the agriculture industry; full funding for the State Water Plan for the first time in 15 years; programs aimed at rebuilding the rural economy; and the continued expansion of broadband. The governor also emphasized the need to make sure money meant for roads and bridges is used for that purpose, and again called for expanding Medicaid.

Regarding elementary and secondary education, the governor stated public schools will be fully funded for the fourth straight year, thanked parents and teachers for their work during the pandemic, and discussed a bipartisan agreement to allocate additional funds for learning loss. Other areas discussed in the address included providing historic levels of funding for law enforcement, a pay increase for state highway patrol, increased funding for evidence-based juvenile delinquency programs, improvements in the foster care system, and additional aid to help provide mental health services closer to home. Finally, the governor asked the legislature to continue to work together and said Kansans want government to focus on the day-to-day needs that most citizens can agree on, and not on ideological issues or cultural wars that cause division. 

Kentucky

Kentucky

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said in many ways his third State of the Commonwealth address is both the toughest and most exciting. He noted that on one hand the state has a booming economy, while on the other hand it has dealt with a year of unprecedented natural disasters and a continuing pandemic. The governor said the state of the commonwealth is strong, and it is strong because its people are strong.

In his speech, the governor first addressed recent challenges and tragedies affecting Kentucky, including ice storms and historic flooding in January and February, and a deadly tornado outbreak in December. Regarding the tornadoes, he spoke of the courage and compassion Kentuckians have shown for one another, while also acknowledging federal aid and support. The governor said he is working with the legislature on fast-track legislation that would direct $150 million to help communities rebuild, and another $50 million to help the region’s schools recover.

In discussing COVID-19, the governor said his administration’s response will continue to be based on saving lives and doing what is necessary and right. He also highlighted the state’s successes in vaccine distribution, testing, and returning to in-person instruction in every school district, while encouraging residents to get their booster shot.

The governor then turned to recent economic successes including record private sector investments, while pledging that all regions will share in the coming prosperity. Finally, the governor discussed his priorities for the upcoming year stating that the role of government should not be to move the state right or left, but to move it forward. The governor said his upcoming budget will reflect the Kentucky values of family, faith, community, and a deep compassion for their neighbors. Specifically, he noted his recommended budget will make historic investments in education, create a fund for investing in development sites, invest in essential workers, ensure Kentucky remains a leader in agriculture technology, build on its pharmaceutical footprint, continue to invest in infrastructure, and include a raise for all state workers.

New York

New York

New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s speech focused on her plan for a new era for New York that is better, fairer, and more inclusive and will lead to a brighter future. She began by acknowledging successes since taking office, including signing more than 400 bills into law since September, and said every single future initiative will be filtered through the lens of how it helps New Yorkers.

The governor then outlined nine key components of her agenda including: rebuilding the healthcare economy; protecting public safety and taking strong action against gun violence; investing in New York’s people; investing in New York’s communities; making New York’s housing system more affordable, equitable and stable; making New York a national leader in climate action and green jobs; rebuilding New York’s teacher workforce and reimagining higher education; advancing New York’s place as a national equity model; and making critical reforms to restore New Yorkers’ faith in their government.

Some of the governor’s specific proposals included: investing $10 billion in the healthcare sector; a three-part plan to reduce gun violence and violent crimes; tax relief for small businesses and middle-class New Yorkers; overhauling workforce development programs; a new re-entry initiative; an expansion of transit service; aid to small businesses; and a $1 billion broadband initiative.

Other proposals included: an initiative to end homelessness; a 5-year housing plan to create and preserve 100,000 affordable homes; achieving 2 million climate-friendly homes by 2030; a $500 million investment in offshore wind; an emphasis on recruiting and retaining teachers; increased access to childcare and better pay for childcare workers; revitalizing the state’s higher education system and making it a global leader on research and innovation; creating a new equity agenda; limiting statewide office holders to two terms and banning outside income; and creating a new, independent ethics agency.

Vermont State Icon

Vermont

Vermont Governor Phil Scott began his speech discussing difficulties the state has faced over the past 21 months, while also saying there have been silver linings. The governor highlighted additional federal aid the state has received which has allowed it to fund significant needs, make necessary investments, help reverse economic inequity, and create more opportunities.

The governor said the state of the state is strong and growing stronger every day. However, while progress has been made, the state continues to face challenges, with the largest being a workforce shortage that predated the pandemic. He said many of the state’s other challenges are intertwined with its workforce trends. To address its challenges, the governor called on legislators to work together and to serve all Vermonters. The governor then listed a series of proposals to help address workforce related issues including: a greater focus on trades training; added funding for affordable housing; a tax relief package focused on retirees, middle income families and young workers; expanding the Capital Investment Grant Program; working to attract new businesses from Canada; changes to the Childcare Financial Assistance Program; and expanded afterschool and summer programs.

The governor then turned to the impact COVID-19 has had on the state while discussing the importance of keeping students in the classroom, and using recovery dollars to address social, emotional, and educational gaps. The governor also said that COVID-19 is not the state’s only serious public health challenge, while calling for increasing the number of mental health beds, expanding the state’s mobile crisis pilot and suicide prevention model, and expanding drug prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts.

Other issues highlighted by the governor included: ensuring the state has the tools and people necessary to serve and protect communities; added investments in infrastructure including through federal aid; continued expansion of broadband; regulatory reform; programs aimed at helping people relocate to the state; eliminating the tax on military pensions; and the need to welcome refugees. The governor closed by stating that while there remains a big job ahead, a brighter future is within its grasp if everyone reaches out together and takes hold.

Washington State Icon

Washington

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said the state of the state is very simply – we need action. He added that while the session is only 60 days, action must be taken every day. The governor thanked frontline workers, educators, childcare providers, and state employees for all they have done the last two years. The governor outlined steps the state has taken to address the pandemic and said everyone still needs to contribute to the fight against COVID-19. He also highlighted successes over the past few years including paid family leave, significant new education funding, environmental justice legislation, childcare protection, and creating more career pathways.

Despite these successes, the governor said the state needs to take action to fight the homeless crisis; reverse social and economic disparities; educate children and serve those in foster care; fund the transportation system; protect salmon and orca; and fight the threat of climate change. Specific proposals included: additional investments in safe housing for those experiencing homelessness and to create more options for those struggling with housing availability; passing legislation to remove barriers to middle housing options; increased behavioral health services; improved wrap-around services; and creating a reinvestment fund to address economic and social disparities.

Concerning education, the governor said they are committed to keeping schools open, expressed a need to address learning loss, and called for more school counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers. The governor also proposed increased foster care support and paying providers more. The governor then turned to the environment and said immediate action is needed. He called for increased funding to address climate change, reducing emissions, modernizing regulations, incentivizing industry to ensure clean energy projects, improving conditions for developers to grow clean energy resources, and added funds for salmon recovery. The governor also proposed investments in clean transportation programs, while also discussing the need to preserve current infrastructure and improve ferry service reliability. Other areas of focus in the address included the need to invest in financial stability by increasing the size of reserves, and to discourage efforts by politicians to knowingly spread lies about elections.