State of the State Highlights 2024


Alabama |  AlaskaAmerican 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 said the state of the state is strong, and that together, Alabama is prepared for tomorrow. The governor noted the state is on solid financial footing and is in the most competitive position it has ever been in the state’s history.

Key Speech Highlights:

Gaming – Said she believes the current gaming proposal being contemplated by the legislature is good for the state, will crack down on illegal gambling, and will responsibly regulate limited forms of legal gaming including a statewide lottery.

Elementary and Secondary Education – Called on the legislature to continue to support school safety; invest in critical mental health care for students; double-down on the Turnaround Schools Initiative; fully fund both the Numeracy and Literacy Acts; increase starting salaries for teachers; provide record funding to the Education Trust Fund; and support school choice including through the establishment of an education savings account bill.  

Public Safety – Talked about efforts to improve the public safety system, the construction of two new correctional facilities, and increasing staff recruitment efforts.  

Healthcare – Discussed a pilot program for checkups for pregnant women and efforts to grow the healthcare workforce in rural areas, including through the establishment of a new Alabama School of Healthcare Sciences.

Infrastructure – Noted recent investments in infrastructure and called for continued support of broadband expansion.

Other – Other topics included prohibiting ballot harvesting in the state; acting against human trafficking; ensuring AI is used properly; supporting the military; and encouraging foster care adoptions.

Alaska

Alaska

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy said he will work to make sure that the Alaska dream is within reach for anyone that wants to pursue it, so that Alaska can realize its motto of North to the Future. The governor noted that Alaska is in competition for people, and his policies are focused on making Alaska the best place to live, have a family, and do business.

Key Speech Highlights:

Public Safety – Said public safety is the number one responsibility for any government and highlighted recent improvements and the reversal of cuts to public safety officers. Proposed additional resources to investigators for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons, sexual assault victims, and crimes against children.

Elementary and Secondary Education – Spoke of the importance of shifting the conversation towards improving outcomes, exemplified by the Alaska READS Act. Emphasized investing in teachers, with proposed legislation offering monetary incentives based on location and tenure.

Higher Education – Highlighted recent growth in university enrollment and called for additional resources to help the University of Alaska attain the highest research certification available.

Energy and Natural Resources – Talked about lowering the cost of energy and said the state will pursue every energy opportunity to secure affordable and sustainable supplies.

Housing – Noted the importance of having affordable housing to help attract and retain residents. Discussed a new mortgage down payment assistance program and efforts to lower the price of homes by reducing the cost of materials.

Food Security – Spoke about efforts to boost agricultural production and improve food security by harnessing Alaska’s abundant natural resources.

American Samoa Icon


American Samoa

American Samoa Governor Lemanu P.S. Mauga, in his State of the Territory report, said the territory has made significant strides in building a solid foundation and remains guided by its commitment to fostering sustainable growth, improving public services, and establishing a thriving environment for its people. The governor added that the journey ahead will require continued partnership and there is still much to be done.

Key Speech Highlights:

Economic and Fiscal Outlook – Said the territory has noted record revenue collections and will continue to monitor collections. Also stated that stimulating economic growth continues to be one of the administration’s key focus areas.

Elementary and Secondary Education – Called education a fundamental element in the administration’s vision for a prosperous American Samoa and highlighted efforts towards bolstering educational infrastructure.

Higher Education – Spoke about joining the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), allowing for tuition savings at over 160 colleges and universities.

Infrastructure – Noted a focus on infrastructure development including public parks, community spaces, roads, and seawall construction. Also discussed a need to address infrastructure gaps such as with the water system, broadband capabilities, and sea and airport facilities.

Security – Talked about remaining dedicated to advocating for membership in regional forums and seeking collaboration with the Pacific region.

Healthcare – Discussed using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for improving the quality of healthcare services, including for upgrades to existing facilities and the construction of new facilities. Also highlighted a project with the National Governors Association to help address the healthcare workforce crisis.

Arizona

Arizona

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs said the state of the state is ascending based upon the unprecedented strength of Arizona’s job market and record economic investments. In her speech, the governor discussed successes over the past year achieved through working together, while noting the importance of continuing to address challenges and striving for a better tomorrow.

Key Speech Highlights:

Budget – Said the state faces an approximately $850 million shortfall between this fiscal year and next, and it must solve the gap without harming Arizonans. The governor added her budget proposal will rein in wasteful spending, establish guardrails on unaccountable programs, and increase efficiencies and innovation.

Border Security – Requested additional funding to better coordinate border response and continue fighting the humanitarian, economic, and enforcement crisis.

Housing – Discussed solutions to the housing affordability crisis including down payment assistance, mortgage interest rate relief, and providing access to less costly home loans for working-class households.

Water Management – Talked about the need to protect the state’s water future by expanding public-private partnerships, increasing conservation, exploring new technology, and strengthening protections where needed.

Elementary and Secondary Education – Recommended education funding changes to help provide future funding certainty, pay raises for teachers and support staff, greater investments in school safety, and more accountability and transparency in the state’s school voucher program.

Higher Education – Called for the creation of several new medical schools and examining ways to make higher education as accessible as possible.

Healthcare – Talked about the need to strengthen standards for sober living homes and long-term care facilities, find ways to lower the costs of medical care, reduce the cost of prescription drugs, and protect reproductive freedom.

Colorado

Colorado

Colorado Governor Jared Polis said the state of the state is strong and that when the state works together and disagrees better, nothing is beyond its reach. In his speech the governor discussed recent successes, while stressing the importance of continuing to tackle challenges that are hard.

Key Speech Highlights:

Housing – Called for solutions to build more affordable housing including permitting accessory dwelling units, expanding the State Affordable Housing Tax Credit, easing parking restrictions, tackling liability cost for multi-family condo construction, reducing the cost of fire insurance, and ending discriminatory occupancy limits.

Transit – Talked about using unprecedented federal investments to help build transformational passenger rail projects as well as the need to create a more expansive statewide bus system.

Public Safety – Discussed steps to reduce auto thefts, help crime victims, protect nonprofit organizations and religious institutions, and prevent gun violence.

Education – Highlighted recent initiatives to expand access to preschool, boost student achievement, and increase education funding at all levels.

Workforce – Spoke about the need to continue to invest in free community and technical college for in-demand careers as well as expand apprenticeships for both the public and private sector.

Healthcare – Called for more support for behavioral health care and for the FDA to approve the state’s application to import lower-cost prescription drugs.

Environment and Natural Resources – Noted efforts to support clean energy, protect public lands, strengthen native biodiversity, and implement the state’s water plan.

Tax Reform -  Urged the legislature to work together on a balanced tax reform package that cuts the income tax rate and reduces property taxes.

Connecticut

Connecticut

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont highlighted recent successes in the state including population growth, employment gains, new business developments, targeted tax relief, and increased commitments to childcare, K-12 education, higher education, workforce training, and not-for-profits. The governor then discussed a series of challenges and opportunities facing the state.

Key Speech Highlights:

Housing – Spoke of the importance in investing in all forms of housing and a state-run program to provide down payment assistance. 
Elementary and Secondary Education – Talked about the strength of the state’s education system and continuing to support students impacted by the pandemic. Also called for limiting cell phone use in schools. 

Higher Education – Discussed initiatives to make the path to college easier and allocating funding for a new life sciences center at the University of Connecticut. 

Childcare – Noted additional support for childcare including providing additional pay for early childhood educators and higher reimbursement rates for centers and family care homes. 

Healthcare – Proposed a program to pay down over $650 million in medical debt. 

Tax Reform – Recommended additional steps to provide property tax relief. 

Infrastructure – Highlighted investments from the federal infrastructure law and a replenished state transportation fund. 

Energy and Environment – Discussed the importance of addressing climate change and working together to keep the energy system reliable, affordable, and less toxic. 

Other – Other topics included providing more security for houses of worship; the elimination of licensing fees and red tape; efforts to make healthcare more affordable; making additional pension payments beyond the state’s regular contribution; and incentivizing companies to help pay down employees’ student debt. 

Florida

Florida

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the state of the state is strong and asked the legislature to keep doing what works and to stay the course. In his address, the governor highlighted successes and recent initiatives, while outlining several budget requests.

Key Speech Highlights:

Successes – Said choices the state has made have led to successes related to elementary and secondary education, higher education, talent development, net domestic in-migration, new business formation, GDP growth, and entrepreneurship.

Recent Initiatives – Outlined a series of recent initiatives including the expansion of school choice, historic support for teachers, higher education reform, greater support for workforce education, tax relief, support for law enforcement, the protection of natural resources, homeowners’ insurance reform, state debt repayment acceleration, steps to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, and faster completion of road projects to help alleviate traffic. 

Budget - Noted his budget proposal will reduce spending from last year, increase reserves, pay down debt ahead of schedule, and provide further tax relief while supporting teacher pay increases, the recruitment of law enforcement officers, and the protection of natural resources.

Georgia

Georgia

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said the state of the state is strong, growing, and full of opportunity, adding that Georgia is succeeding because it charted its own path, rejected the failed policies of the federal government, and worked together to put citizens first. The governor noted the importance of continuing to put hardworking Georgians first, fund priorities like education, public safety, and healthcare, and keep government efficient, responsible, and accountable.

Key Speech Highlights:

Tax Reform – Discussed his plan to decrease the state income tax to 5.39 percent starting this year.

Education – Called for continued support of the state’s direct college admission program, increased K-12 funding, taking an all-of-the-above approach to schooling choices, and making school security funding permanent.

Public Safety – Recommended the completion of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, another pay raise for state law enforcement, final passage of the peace officer loan repayment program, and continued efforts in combatting human trafficking.

Healthcare – Spoke about strides in lowering costs, expanding access, and incentivizing more healthcare providers to give care while calling for additional funding to help address mental health needs.

Workforce – Proposed a pay increase for all state employees including teachers and allocating funding to shore up the state’s retiree fund.

Hawaii

Hawaii

Hawaii Governor Josh Green began his address discussing the response to last year’s Maui fires, before turning to other challenges facing the state. The governor said that although Hawaii has faced great challenges and suffered great loss over the past year, the state has come together as one to heal, adding that the state of the state is strong.

Key Speech Highlights:

Maui Fires – Discussed Maui recovery efforts which have included the use of state and federal funds, the establishment of the Maui Recovery Fund, the creation of a Maui Interim Housing Plan, and an initiative to provide short-term rentals for families displaced by the fires.

Affordable Housing – Said affordable housing remains the administration’s top statewide priority and called for further action to return short-term rentals to the local housing market.

Cost of Living – Spoke about the importance of finding additional ways to reduce the cost of housing, food, and healthcare. Recommended additional tax relief including a child and dependent tax credit and indexing the state’s tax code.

Economy and Tourism – Noted that revenues have been revised upward partly due to the phased reopening of West Maui and that last year’s budget cuts will allow the state to invest more in critical issues.

Homelessness – Highlighted the state’s efforts to reduce homelessness by 50 percent within four years.

Healthcare – Discussed a loan repayment program for healthcare professionals that will help increase healthcare access for rural and underserved communities.  

Gun Violence – Talked about the need for firearms-related legislation, incarcerating violent criminals, preventing unstable people from having guns, and providing healthcare access to those suffering from mental illness or drug addiction.

Education – Requested additional funding for public schools, including for food service and student transportation programs.

Climate Change and Environment – Said the state must continue to invest in renewable energy and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Also called for a $25 Climate Impact Fee on visitors to help provide needed resources to protect the environment.

Idaho

Idaho

Idaho Governor Brad Little, in his State of the State and Budget Address, said the state of the state is stronger than ever before. The governor highlighted recent successes and improvements in the state over the past six years before discussing his Idaho Works plan to keep Idaho strong.

Key Speech Highlights:

Education – Supported a bill to cut red tape for charter schools while providing increased transparency, a grant program to help students enroll in an education or training program after high school that aligns with an in-demand career, doubling the funding for school advisors, and a new student behavioral health initiative for suicide prevention.

School Facilities – Called for the state’s largest ever investment in school facilities to modernize and improve school facilities in every district.

Infrastructure – Proposed additional investments for the highest priority transportation projects as well as the repair and replacement of dilapidated bridges.

Water Safety – Discussed the need to maintain the state’s water sovereignty and continued investments in water infrastructure to improve water quality and ensure a stable water supply.

Budget – Talked about the need to maintain a structurally balanced budget as revenue normalizes from pandemic highs while noting his budget proposal will make strategic investments, spend less than last year, and bolster rainy day funds.

Tax Relief – Said the state is on track to deliver additional property tax relief this year.

Other – Other topics included continuing the state’s response to highly destructive invasive species; reducing the supply and distribution of illegal drugs; curbing human trafficking; supporting border security; and protecting children from the harms of social media.

Indiana

Indiana

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said the state of the state is strong due to the Indiana model of seeing excellence, collaboration, and striving for generational change. The governor began his speech by highlighting successes over the past seven years including economic growth, increased capital investments, population gains, lowered taxes, pay raises for law enforcement, reduced debt, prudent reserves, and AAA state credit ratings. He added that over the next year the state will continue to see increased teacher pay, new trails, the expansion of broadband, a series of completed transportation projects, continued economic development, and improved public health. The governor concluded his speech by discussing changes that still need to be made this year.

Key Speech Highlights:

Education – Called for improving policies for third grade reading, requiring computer science to graduate from high school, and creating more three-year and associated degree options at public universities.

Childcare – Discussed the need to expand the childcare workforce to help working parents.

Disaster Relief – Recommended updating the State Disaster Relief Fund to make it easier for local communities to access funds. 

Workforce – Talked about the need to create better awareness of the state’s Next Level Jobs programs through a new statewide campaign.

Iowa

Iowa

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said the condition of the state is truly strong, and Iowa’s future is truly bright. In her address, the governor highlighted accomplishments over the past six years including in the areas of workforce development and school choice, before discussing new education, healthcare, and tax cut proposals.

Key Speech Highlights:

Special Education – Recommended reforms to the state’s special education system giving school districts control over their special education funds.

Literacy – Spoke about the importance of making literacy a top priority and supporting the science of reading.

Teacher Pay – Called for increasing starting teacher pay, raising minimum salaries for experienced teachers, and allocating funding to a merit-based grant program to reward exceptional teachers.

Healthcare – Proposed expanding Medicaid postpartum care coverage to 12 months for new moms who make less than $42,000 a year.

Behavioral Health – Talked about increasing support for behavioral health services with a portion of the state’s opioid settlement funds and combining different substance use and mental health regions into unified behavioral health districts.

Taxes – Recommended reducing the income tax rate to a flat 3.65 percent this year and further reducing it to 3.5 percent in 2025.

Other – Other topics included streamlining boards and commissions; reducing employers’ unemployment insurance payments; supporting border security; and further protecting farmland from foreign interests.

Kansas

Kansas

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said the state of the state is strong, highlighting recent efforts in balancing the budget, cutting taxes, fully funding schools, investing in the foster care system, improving mental health access, and promoting economic development. In her address, the governor focused on challenges facing rural communities and the importance of addressing them to help Kansas as a whole reach new heights.

Key Speech Highlights:

Healthcare – Discussed her proposal to expand Medicaid to help provide more Kansans with health insurance and protect rural hospitals.

Schools – Said she will continue to reject vouchers that would divert public education dollars to private schools, harming funding for rural schools. Also called for fully funding special education and Kansas schools.

Early Education – Proposed the largest single-year investment in early childhood education and creating the Office of Early Childhood to help consolidate services.

Tax Reform – Called for eliminating the grocery tax on food, eliminating state taxes on Social Security, raising the statewide property tax exemption, increasing the standard deduction, creating a back-to-school sales tax holiday, and opposing the flat tax.

Water Quality -  Spoke about the need to preserve water quality including through fully funding the state water plan, providing more funding to rural towns to update their water systems, encouraging the development of innovative solutions to water challenges, and providing additional resources to help farmers and ranchers implement water-saving practices.

Kentucky

Kentucky

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said the state of the commonwealth is stronger than it ever has been due to the strength of its people and red-hot economy. The governor added that over the past four years Kentucky had gotten through many hard times together, and now it is getting to the good times together. In his speech the governor discussed proposals focused on economic development, disaster recovery, education, infrastructure, healthcare, drug abuse and treatment, and law enforcement.

Key Speech Highlights:

Economy – Requested lawmakers renew economic development programs focused on securing major projects and site development.

Natural Disasters – Recommended additional funding to help families rebuild from recent tornadoes and floods.

Education – Called for an 11 percent pay raise for all public school employees, fully funding student transportation, passing universal pre-K for all four-year-olds, and record funding to help childcare providers.

Infrastructure – Proposed additional investments in clean water programs, road construction, and repairing local bridges.

Healthcare – Spoke about recent improvements in healthcare and mental health while calling for fully funding Medicaid, including expanded Medicaid.

Substance Abuse – Highlighted recent efforts to address the opioid epidemic including increasing the number of treatment beds by 50 percent in the last four years.

Public Safety – Recommended further pay increases for the state police, a raise in the training stipend for local law enforcement, and funding grants for body armor.

Maine

Maine

Maine Governor Janet Mills divided her State of the State into two parts: the first being written remarks to the legislature and later giving a televised address. In the first part of her address, she urged the legislature to practice fiscal responsibility while discussing initiatives to build more housing, fight the opioid epidemic, and improve child safety. In the second part of her address, the governor unveiled proposals to address violence, protect public safety, and enhance resiliency to extreme storms. The governor said that because of Maine’s people and their unyielding resilience and resolve in the hardest of times, the state of the state is strong.

Key Speech Highlights:

Economic and Fiscal Outlook – Highlighted Maine’s record economic and population growth and urged lawmakers to approach additional projected state revenues with serious caution.

Homelessness and Housing – Called for additional investments to bolster the Emergency Housing Relief Fund and the Affordable Homeownership Program.

Child Safety – Recommended a series of improvements to the child welfare system including adding targeted positions to support child caseworkers, reviewing the classification of child welfare workers, and implementing additional recruitment and retention payments for child welfare workers.

Opioid Epidemic – Proposed adding recovery coaches, boosting Naloxone distribution, and expanding medication for medicated assisted treatment in jails.

Public Safety – Addressed public safety in the wake of the Lewiston shooting and announced the creation of a new fund for the medical needs of those injured. Also proposed legislation that will improve violence prevention, strengthen mental health services, and keep weapons out of the hands of people who should not have them.

Climate Change and Resiliency – Talked about the need to take immediate steps to make Maine more resilient to climate change while announcing two new investments to improve infrastructure vulnerable to flooding, rising sea levels, and other extreme events.

Other – Other topics included making additional investments for K-12 education; changing how the state educates young children with disabilities; and new efforts to attract and retain healthcare workers.

Maryland

Maryland

Maryland Governor Wes Moore discussed progress in the state over the course of the past year and said the state of the state is strong. Looking forward, the governor said the four pillars of success for this year will be to make Maryland safer, more affordable, more competitive, and a state that serves. 

Key Speech Highlights:

State Plan – Said he will soon announce the first state plan in nearly a decade, which will consist of shared goals and help chart the course of the state for the next three years. 
Public Safety – Noted that public safety remains the administration’s top priority and the state will continue to take an all-of-the-above approach to public safety, work to get illegal guns off the streets, and address record high vacancies in public safety jobs. 
Housing – Discussed initiatives to drive development in communities that need it the most, build new pathways to home ownership, stand up for renters, and cut government red tape that makes it harder to build housing. 
Childcare – Proposed the single largest increase in funding for childcare in Maryland’s history to support 45,000 children this year. 
Economic Development – Talked about the need to make Maryland more competitive, invest in industries of the future, make it easier to start a business, reform the procurement process, grow apprenticeships and job training, and move in partnership to create safe and thriving communities. 
Infrastructure – Said the state needs to reexamine how it funds transportation and make it easier for people to travel. 
Elementary and Secondary Education – Called for record funding for K-12 schools and working together to help make Maryland schools the best in the country.
Service – Highlighted the importance of continuing to make Maryland a state that serves and supporting public safety officers, the military, state workers, and Service Year members. 

Massachusetts

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey said the state of the commonwealth, like the spirit of its people, is stronger than ever. The governor highlighted a series of accomplishments from the past year focused on increasing affordability and strengthening the state’s economy. The governor said her focus this year will be on lowering the cost of housing and childcare, strengthening schools, improving infrastructure, helping businesses and workers thrive, and meeting the climate challenge.   

Key Speech Highlights:

Housing – Called for passing the Affordable Homes Act which will help create middle-class housing; build affordable homes at every income level; create supportive homes for seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities; and support good construction careers.

Preschool and Childcare – Recommended universal pre-K access for every 4-year-old in the state and continued additional investments to stabilize the childcare sector.

Education – Announced her Literacy Launch program to help improve early literacy education and spoke about continued investments in early college programs and career training.

Behavioral Health – Discussed the need to support the implementation of community behavioral health centers and ensure care for vulnerable young people.

Infrastructure – Highlighted the use of additional federal funding in infrastructure projects across the state while calling for increased state support for roads, bridges, and public transit.

Economic Development – Noted initiatives to support advanced manufacturing, life sciences, clean energy, and other industries to help grow and diversify the state’s workforce.

Climate – Proposed creating a permanent Disaster Relief Resiliency Fund as well as increased funding to help localities plan for the future.

Michigan

Michigan

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer began her address highlighting recent accomplishments including tax relief, paying down debt, making school meals free, putting cost-saving pieces of the Affordable Care Act into law, and enacting a historic clean energy package. The governor said the state of the state is ready to rock, before turning to remaining challenges facing Michigan.

Key Speech Highlights:

Affordability – Said her focus continues to be on lowering costs and discussed plans for the Michigan Vehicle Rebate to help reduce the cost of vehicles, and the MI Family Tax Credit to help people care for aging parents.

Housing – Called for greater investments to build and rehabilitate single family homes, apartments, and mixed-use buildings.

Education – Recommended including in the next budget funding for pre-K for every four-year-old in Michigan and making the first two years of community college tuition-free for every high school graduate.

Economic Development – Talked about the importance of upgrading the state’s economic toolkit and proposed a research and development tax credit, incentives to lower payroll taxes for businesses that hire in Michigan, creating Renaissance Zones to help lift regions that have been left behind, and establishing an Innovation Fund to invest in high-growth startups.

Infrastructure – Discussed the Rebuild Michigan Plan which has helped fix roads, make communities safer, save drivers time and money, and allow businesses to ship products more easily. Also recommended authorizing the final $700 million of the Rebuild Michigan Plan.

Missouri

Missouri

Missouri Governor Michael Parson said the state of the state is stronger than it has ever been. He highlighted a series of achievements over the past seven years including balanced budgets, maintaining the state’s AAA credit rating, a series of tax cuts, strong economic growth, pay increases for state employees, fully funding education, and infrastructure improvements. The governor said his focus this year will be on continuing to put people first.

Key Speech Highlights:

Workforce – Recommended an additional cost of living increase for state employees, investments in critical minerals and semiconductor industries, and greater support for youth apprenticeship opportunities.

Elementary and Secondary Education – Called for fully funding the K-12 Foundation Formula and school transportation as well as increasing teacher baseline pay.

Higher Education – Proposed core increases for four-year institutions and community colleges. Also discussed the need for additional investments for MoExcels workforce training programs on college campuses.

Early Learning and Childcare – Spoke about the need for quality early learning programs. Proposed three new childcare tax credit programs and continued funding for the expansion of pre-kindergarten programs.

Infrastructure – Highlighted recent infrastructure investments including the expansion of I-70 and recommended establishing an I-44 Improvement Fund.

Other – Other topics included stricter punishments for exposing minors to fentanyl; support for securing the border; and new initiatives to punish human traffickers.

Nebraska

Nebraska 

Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen said the state of the state is as strong as ever due to the resilience of its hard-working people. He spoke about accomplishments from the past year including additional education funding, greater school choice, investments in behavioral health, support for agriculture, tax reform, and passing a fiscally conservative budget.  The governor added that this legislative session holds great promise and opportunity and there is still much work to be done to make the state a better, safer, and stronger place for all Nebraskans.

Key Speech Highlights:

Tax Reform – Called for cutting property taxes by 40 percent this year through repurposing existing credits, closing tax loopholes, placing a cap on local spending, and using transfers from agency cash funds. The governor also recommended exempting National Guard members from the state income tax.

Workforce – Highlighted initiatives to support Nebraska-grown companies, give businesses credit for bringing new residents to the state, help local communities and businesses meet childcare needs, attract teachers, invest in rural workforce housing, and allow higher education institutions to meet the workforce needs of tomorrow.

Natural Resources – Spoke about strengthening laws to make sure water is not diverted to other parts of the country, incentivizing agriculture producers to use less water, and modernizing laws on land ownership to prohibit purchases by foreign adversaries.

Other - Other topics included reducing the number of state boards and commissions; reconnecting tourism promotion with economic development; supporting the Sports and Spaces Act; and using federal resources to help develop the bioeconomy.

New Jersey

New Jersey

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said the state of the state is stronger and fairer than ever before. The governor noted recent successes in the state including economic growth, lower taxes, new workforce opportunities, improved infrastructure, reduced gun violence, fully funding state pensions, and a series of credit rating upgrades. Moving forward, the governor stated his highest priority is making life more affordable for more families.

Key Speech Highlights:

Healthcare – Called on the legislature to pass a medical debt relief act to help people avoid being caught in a medical debt trap and to make medical bills more transparent.

Housing – Spoke about the need to build more affordable housing units and to increase housing options where they are needed most.

Education – Recommended expanding the state’s effort to bring universal pre-K to all of New Jersey and to explore new initiatives to improve literacy rates.

Artificial Intelligence – Announced the creation of New Jersey’s AI Moonshot to increase research and development in artificial intelligence and to help power breakthroughs. 

Other – Other topics discussed included a new clemency initiative; efforts to promote voter participation; continued investments in infrastructure projects; and the state’s commitment to 100 percent clean energy by 2035.

New Mexico

New Mexico

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham spoke about recent accomplishments including economic growth, the protection of natural resources, and improved fiscal conditions. Looking forward, the governor said the state is committed to an economy that offers a good job to every person, an environment that supports clean air and extraordinary vistas, and a community that provides education to everyone who wants it, delivers healthcare to everyone who needs it, and promotes the safety and security of every person in every neighborhood.

Key Speech Highlights:

Environment and Natural Resources – Proposed severance tax bonds to support the state’s strategic water supply, using part of the severance tax permanent fund to advance energy sources of the future, an advanced manufacturing tax credit to help grow a clean technology supply chain, an expansion of the electric vehicle charging network, and an infrastructure matching fund for localities.

Housing – Called for low-interest loans to help spur the private sector to build housing faster and requiring localities to institute zoning and permitting requirements.

Healthcare – Recommended additional funding for the Rural Health Care Delivery Fund and a hospital provider tax to help shore up the healthcare delivery system.

Education – Spoke about the need to build a statewide literacy institute and support free literacy summer programs for students who need to catch up.

Public Safety – Urged the passage of a gun safety package, strengthened commercial burglary statutes, required treatment for those repeatedly entering the criminal justice system as a result of substance abuse, and the prohibition of panhandling on medians and roadways.

New York

New York

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the state of the state is stronger, healthier, safer, and more affordable than it was two years ago but there is more work to be done. The governor added that her proposals are aimed at improving the state and ensuring communities are not just surviving, but thriving, and the future is brighter than ever.

Key Speech Highlights:

Public Safety – Proposed initiatives to address retail theft, fight gun violence, hold domestic abusers accountable, allow additional crimes to be prosecuted as hate crimes, and crack down on illicit cannabis storefronts.

Healthcare – Called for additional investments in mental health including more psychiatric inpatient beds, intervention training for law enforcement, increased transitional housing, greater resources for schools, and holding social media companies accountable.  Also discussed ways to expand affordable healthcare options and support individuals struggling with drug addiction.

Housing – Announced a four-part proposal to help New York City increase its housing supply, the creation of a capital fund to support the development of housing on state-owned land, and efforts to combat housing discrimination.

Natural Resources and the Environment – Outlined plans to make clean energy more affordable, help protect New Yorkers from extreme weather, plant 25 million trees to help mitigate extreme heat, and protect drinking water and lakes.

Education – Recommended direct admission to high-achieving students to public universities and investing in the evidence-based Science of Reading approach.

Children and Families – Highlighted a six-point maternal and infant health agenda; increased access to high-quality childcare; and an anti-poverty pilot program.

Other – Other proposals were focused on increasing consumer protection; combatting medical debt; unlocking the economic potential of artificial intelligence; investing in workforce development; the construction of transformative infrastructure projects; combatting fare evasion; support for those with disabilities; and strengthening the agricultural industry.

North Dakota

North Dakota

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum said the state of the state is underestimated, yet the state has never been stronger. The governor noted North Dakota is tied for the lowest unemployment rate, has a strong balance sheet, full reserve funds, and a record population.

Key Speech Highlights:

Tax Reform – Renewed his call to eliminate the individual state income tax to save taxpayers money and boost workforce recruitment and retention. Also spoke about the need for property tax reform and said property tax relief should be targeted.

Workforce – Said that while workforce challenges remain, the state tackled a roadblock to workforce participation last year by approving a package to address childcare availability, affordability, and quality.

Housing – Called for collaboration among public and private stakeholders to identify solutions to the state’s housing shortage and develop a comprehensive plan for the legislature to consider in 2025.

Rural Prosperity – Announced the creation of the Office of Community Development and Rural Prosperity to help support economic diversification and make rural areas more resilient.

Other – Also spoke about the need to make North Dakota the most military-friendly state in the nation and expand marketing of the 988 Suicide and Crisis hotline.

Oklahoma


Oklahoma

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said the state of the state is the strongest it’s ever been, highlighting efforts to limit the size of government, promote economic growth, and revolutionize the state’s education system. In his address, the governor focused on making Oklahoma the most business-friendly state in the nation, limiting the growth of government by cutting taxes, expanding education freedom, and reinforcing public safety.

Key Speech Highlights:

Economic Development – Said it is the state’s job to make Oklahoma the easiest state to start a business and push for business-friendly policies and reducing burdensome regulations.

Tax Reform – Called for further tax cuts and putting the state on a path to the elimination of the personal income tax.

Budget – Proposed flat budgets across state government this year with an emphasis on funding needs instead of wants.

Elementary and Secondary Education – Promoted the further growth of charter schools including workforce-oriented schools.

Higher Education – Discussed shifting the focus to outcome-based higher education, having colleges and universities concentrate on the subjects they are best at, and incentivizing models that fulfill the state’s workforce needs.

Public Safety – Highlighted recent efforts to prosecute crimes, rehabilitate those with substance abuse and mental health struggles, and eliminate barriers for those who have served their time. Called for addressing civil asset forfeiture, reforming the marijuana industry, and securing the country’s southern border.

Tribal Governments -  Spoke about the need to clear up jurisdictional issues with tribal governments and to clarify law enforcement relationships.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee said the state of the state is strong, the future is bright, and the best is on the way. In his speech, the governor highlighted recent progress including improved economic conditions and educational gains before turning to his plan for the future of Rhode Island.

Key Speech Highlights:

Fiscal Conditions – Said his budget will make key investments in education, small businesses, and the health care system. Also thanked the federal government for additional federal support and said Rhode Island will continue to maintain fiscal discipline by using one-time funds for one-time investments.

Education – Spoke about commitment from localities to prioritize learning, gains in attendance, and committing more funding for math and English language arts coaching.

Income Growth – Discussed his goal to raise per capita income by a minimum of $20,000 by the year 2030 and that the state will prioritize programs and initiatives that will help raise incomes.

Housing – Highlighted recent investments in housing and called for the placement of a housing production bond on an upcoming ballot.  

Healthcare – Recommended investments to increase healthcare provider rates and support behavioral health needs, fully funding Early Intervention rate increases, and creating a working group to examine ways to improve the state’s healthcare system.

Workforce – Talked about efforts to make the state a life science leader and grow the cybersecurity industry. Also called for the creation of a new voluntary retirement savings program for state employees and examining potential changes to the state’s retirement system.

Tax Reform – Proposed raising the threshold for taxable retirement income, reducing the corporate minimum tax, and the elimination of certain fees.

Other – Other topics included reforming the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights, passing an assault weapons ban, and expediting repairs to local roads and bridges.

South Carolina

South Carolina

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the state is firing on all cylinders highlighting a record budget surplus, increased capital investment, job growth, and a high quality of life. The governor said the state will continue to act boldly, think big, and build on its successes and that the best is yet to come for South Carolina.

Key Speech Highlights:

Workforce and Economic Development – Spoke about providing state matching funds for a federal tech hub and creating specialized electric vehicle training institutes at technical college campuses.

Tax Reform – Said his budget includes a scheduled cut to the income tax rate and that he would like to speed up the income tax cut schedule if future revenues allow it.

Infrastructure – Proposed additional funding for emergency bridge replacement and repairs.

Elementary and Secondary Education – Recommended increased funding for the state’s four-year-old kindergarten program; continued investment in early literacy and the science of reading; support for the Education Scholarship Trust Fund to allow low-income parents to choose the type of education that best suits their children’s needs; and additional teacher pay raises.

Higher Education – Called for freezing college tuition for in-state students; additional scholarships and grants; greater support for the South Carolina Technical College System; infrastructure improvements; and creating a nonpartisan committee to oversee a systemic review of all higher education institutions.

Healthcare – Proposed modernizing and restructuring the state’s siloed healthcare delivery agencies and creating one single cabinet agency.

Public Safety – Discussed the need for additional pay raises for public safety officers and providing funding to hire more officers. Also called for graduated criminal penalties for illegal gun possession.

Other – Other topics included further increasing the size of the state’s rainy day fund; the need for liability reform; changing the way judges are selected; and protecting the state’s history, culture, and environment.

South Dakota

South Dakota

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem said South Dakota’s people are thriving, its economy is growing, and the state has never been in a more stable fiscal position. She noted the state has cut taxes, created jobs, and maximized opportunities while discussing the importance of keeping the momentum going. In the address, the governor outlined the top ten things South Dakota is doing to ensure freedom works, including the freedom to: keep and bear arms; enjoy the outdoors; farm and ranch; be secure; get a second chance; be respected; learn; be healthy; work; and for life.

Key Speech Highlights:

Substance Abuse – Discussed progress in reducing overdose deaths, the need to continue to combat fentanyl, and recommended xylazine be listed as a schedule III-controlled substance.  

Public Safety – Said she will continue to evaluate second-chance opportunities for those who deserve them and proposed legislation to provide second-chance license opportunities for people with criminal histories.

Education – Called for a renewed emphasis on increasing teacher pay and extending free tuition for National Guardsmen to private colleges.

Healthcare – Spoke about efforts to improve health outcomes for those living in rural communities and providing increased services for both pregnant mothers and their babies.  

Other – Other topics highlighted included: efforts to enhance outdoor opportunities; the protection of farmland; border security; respect for the state’s tribal heritage; and targeting the state’s workforce recruitment campaign to the most-needed professions.

Tennessee

Tennessee

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said the state of the state is strong, resilient, and ready for the future. The governor added that in 2024 Tennessee should fortify what has been built over the years and remember that there is still more work to be done.

Key Speech Highlights:

Economic and Fiscal Outlook – Said Tennessee is a model for economic prosperity and its firm foundation is thanks to its legacy of fiscal responsibility. Called for an additional deposit to the state’s rainy day fund bringing it to the largest amount in state history.

Tax Reform – Recommended simplifying the state’s franchise tax law.

Elementary and Secondary Education – Discussed recent efforts to increase funding for public education and modernizing the way public schools are funded. Also noted the need for education freedom and school choice.

Healthcare – Proposed the single largest investment in rural healthcare in state history and boosted mental health resources.

Public Safety – Called for hiring additional Highway Patrol troopers, investments in the Violent Crime Intervention Fund, and a continued push to have an armed school resource officer in every public school.

Energy and Natural Resources – Recommended the creation of new state parks, investments to improve water quality, creating a Farmland Conservation Fund, and promoting clean and reliable energy for the future including nuclear energy.

·     Other – Other topics included protecting the state’s musical heritage from AI; helping parents oversee their child’s social media activity; creating a new combined Department of Disability and Aging; reducing red tape in the state; and permitting reform to accelerate building time and lower costs.

Utah State Icon

Utah

Utah Governor Spencer Cox said the state of the state is as strong as it’s ever been, and the source of the state’s strength is it is different and the good kind of weird. In his address, the governor spoke about recent accomplishments and current challenges, while also stressing the need for community service, finding ways to disagree better, and rejecting zero-sum thinking.

Key Speech Highlights:

Housing – Talked about the need to grow in the right way and that the price of housing is the single largest threat to future prosperity. Also highlighted his Utah First Homes program with the goal of building 35,000 starter homes in the next five years.

Homelessness – Said the state does not need to choose between compassion and accountability and called for help and services for those in need, real consequences and jail for those who willingly break the law, and civil commitment when absolutely necessary.

Other – Noted that during this session there is an opportunity to continue supporting teachers and improve education; remove unnecessary government regulations; increase the number of licensed professionals to help those struggling with mental health; strengthen families; and close the divide between rural and urban communities.

Vermont State Icon

Vermont

Vermont Governor Phil Scott spoke about recent challenges the state has faced including the pandemic and flooding, while noting the courage of Vermonters is as strong as ever. He then discussed the need to work together to address persistent problems such as demographics, housing, affordability, and recent increases in violence and crime.  

Key Speech Highlights:

Demographics – Highlighted demographic challenges facing the state including less students, fewer working adults, and an aging population. The governor talked about how this can lead to higher per pupil costs, declines in income and sales tax revenue, and increased demand for services like healthcare. He added the state must address public safety, affordability, and housing to help reverse demographic trends.

Budget – Said they will have to make difficult decisions in this year's budget due to one-time federal aid ending, a large increase in the pension obligation, and the impact of last year's spending decisions, while adding the state will have to live within its means.

Public Safety – Talked about the need to consider new strategies to reduce crime rates, while acknowledging progress on justice reform and treating addiction as a public health crisis.

Education – Spoke about the growing cost of the education system and called for examining possible solutions such as additional consolidation or classroom size targets, addressing healthcare and retirement costs, moving to a statewide teacher contract, or capping property tax growth.

Housing – Discussed efforts to fix vacant units, construct new homes, and expand shelter capacity. Noted the state must do more to jumpstart housing in areas that need it most, including examining old regulations.

Recent Investments – Talked about recent initiatives to help revitalize communities with the aid of one-time federal funds, and the need to use state funds to help build on that work.

Community Service – Highlighted the work of Vermonters to support and revitalize their communities, and called on everyone to think about how they can contribute.

Virginia

Virginia

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin said the state of the commonwealth is stronger than it has been in a very long time and the spirit of opportunity has expanded, the spirit of service has spread, and the spirit of hope has been unleashed. In his address, the governor highlighted recent accomplishments including job growth, tax relief, record investments in education, support for public safety, and efforts to transform the behavioral health system before turning to challenges including the cost of living and people relocating from Virgina.

Key Speech Highlights:

Education – Recommended additional funding for elementary and secondary education and reexamining the state’s education funding formula.

Working Families – Highlighted his Building Blocks for Virginia Families initiative that will make significant investments in early learning and childcare, while reducing red tape.

Tax Reform – Called for reforming Virginia’s tax code including income tax cuts, closing the tech tax loophole, expanding the earned income tax credit, eliminating the car tax, and increasing the sales and use tax.

Behavioral Health – Spoke about the need to continue to reform the behavioral health system and eliminate the waiting list for people with developmental disabilities.

Public Safety – Discussed increasing penalties for drug dealers and those who commit crimes with guns and additional funding for various public safety initiatives.

Other – Other topics included supporting a new sports arena in Northern Virginia; expanding foster care; making it easier for people to get certified or licensed to start their career; keeping energy costs low; and passing a hate crimes bill.  

US Virgin Islands


US Virgin Islands

United States Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. said the state of the territory is resolute, noting it is purposeful, determined, and steadfast. The governor added that the social and economic impacts of the pandemic are further in the rearview mirror and the administration remains focused on continuing to deliver on the promise of progress for the people of the Virgin Islands.  

Key Speech Highlights:

Economy – Highlighted recent economic progress and the growth of tourism, including the opening of several new hotels.

Fiscal Reform – Called for establishing a permanent revolving line of credit to bridge the gaps in revenue collections.

Infrastructure – Said one of the primary drivers of the territory’s recent progress has been the unprecedented level of public infrastructure projects including using a combination of state and federal funds for roads, bridges, airports, and ports.

Energy and Environment – Discussed efforts to make improvements to waterlines, reduce the energy burden on Virgin Islanders, and invest in clean energy.

Disaster Recovery – Talked about the use of federal disaster recovery in response to 2017’s Hurricanes Irma and Maria and announced a new initiative, Rebuild USVI, aimed at expediting the timeline for reconstruction efforts.

Education – Spoke about improving the physical conditions of schools, implementing a strategic plan to enhance public education, investing in early childhood care and education, supporting cradle to career initiatives, and promoting literacy.

Healthcare – Noted the importance of making healthcare more equitable and continuing to invest in behavioral health.

Public Safety – Discussed efforts to reduce gun violence, prevent crimes, rehabilitate previous offenders, address the opioid crisis, and support human trafficking victims.

·     Housing – Highlighted proposals to promote affordable housing and support homeownership.

Washington State Icon

Washington

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said the state of the state is stronger than ever. He noted that over the last decade the state has advanced policies to support working families, grow the economy, protect the state’s iconic spaces and salmon, advance equity, build more housing, support a woman’s right to choose, and usher in a clean energy economy. The governor said over the course of the next year the state will continue to move forward in addressing its greatest challenges.

Key Speech Highlights:

Climate Change – Said the state will continue its path to cut greenhouse gases 95 percent by 2050 and invest in work that reduces pollution and creates good-paying jobs.

Education – Called for pay raises for paraeducators, raising the cap on special education funding, creating more incentives for teachers to serve special needs students, and continued support for apprenticeship and college financial aid programs.

Affordable Housing and Homelessness – Spoke about the need to continue to invest in building more housing and connecting people to the right services.  

Public Safety – Recommended increased funding for more state troopers and forensic scientists, an organized retail theft task force, and drug trafficking investigations.

Substance Abuse – Proposed increased investments to fight against opioids and fentanyl through education, community health hubs, overdose prevention, treatment access, and recovery support. 

Transportation – Talked about the need to continue to invest in transportation including helping the state’s ferry system. 

West Virginia State Icon

West Virginia

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice began his speech highlighting accomplishments over the past seven years including additional support for education, improved roads, a more diversified economy, fiscal stability, and lower taxes, before turning to work still to be done.

Key Speech Highlights:

Tax Reform – Recommended eliminating Social Security taxes for everyone and the creation of a Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

Education – Said the state still needs to make progress in education while calling for additional investments for the School Building Authority, initiatives to help remove education barriers, seed money for charter schools, the creation of a new agriculture lab at West Virginia State University, and dual enrollment programs.

Health and Human Services – Proposed additional funding for hospitals, senior centers, crisis pregnancy centers, and other healthcare programs.

Workforce – Recommended an additional 5 percent pay raise for all state employees including teachers and service personnel. Also spoke about the need to continue to train and attract nurses, EMS workers, youth services workers, and public safety officers.

Veterans – Talked about the importance of supporting the National Guard and veterans while announcing initiatives to pay in-state tuition for any veteran and help recruit veterans to West Virginia.

Infrastructure – Highlighted completed projects under the state’s Roads to Prosperity program while calling for additional infrastructure investments this year.

Other – Other topics highlighted included supporting public safety, additional investments in state parks, and continuing to grow the tourism industry.

Wisconsin State Icon

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers highlighted recent progress in the state including an improved fiscal position, bipartisan efforts to build affordable housing, additional infrastructure investments, and conserving and protecting natural resources. However, the governor added that the work is not finished and that the recent progress demands the state’s efforts continue.

Key Speech Highlights:

Mental Health – Announced the creation of the Interagency Council on Mental Health and directed state agencies to work together to reduce barriers and address gaps in mental health services.

Workforce – Said that to address the state’s workforce challenges Wisconsin must find a solution to the looming childcare crisis; expand paid family leave; and invest in public education at every level. Also announced a new Healthcare Workforce Task Force to find long-term solutions to healthcare industry challenges; a teacher apprenticeship pilot program to provide more mentorship and support for new educators; and an Office of State Employee Engagement and Retention to improve retention, mentorship, and engagement of state workers.

Other - Other topics included calling on the legislature to release previously approved funding to address PFAs across the state; making it easier for eligible Wisconsinites to vote; the need for fair election maps; improving access to reproductive healthcare; and expanding healthcare for pregnant women.

Wyoming State Icon

Wyoming

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon said Wyoming is as strong as it has ever been, adding its economy is growing, spirits are soaring, and the future is its to craft. The governor said this year will be the first year in a while the state has experienced a “normal” budget cycle and he is confident the legislature will focus on meeting the needs of the people of Wyoming.

Key Speech Highlights:

Property Tax Relief – Recommended additional funding for the Property Tax Relief program to provide expanded relief for those who truly need it.
Workforce – Highlighted recent successes with the Wyoming Innovation Partnership, which linked the state’s economic strategy with community goals while engaging universities and community colleges. Also discussed the need for state employees to receive a fair wage. 
Education – Noted initiatives to augment the educational opportunities and choices for parents and their children, and thanked teachers for their hard work.
Mental Health – Proposed a mental health funding package to help buttress services and expand suicide prevention programs. 
Public Safety – Discussed efforts by police departments to address mental health issues in communities and called for effective border control.
Federal Government – Said the state will continue to take steps to prevent federal overreach. 
Energy and Natural Resources – Talked about balancing care for the environment and the production of mineral resources. Also discussed his support for an all-of-the above energy policy including coal, nuclear, and rare earth element processing.