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State of the state addresses

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State of the state addresses

Each year, governors in nearly every U.S. state deliver a speech most commonly called the State of the State Address before both houses of the state legislature sitting in joint session. Known in Iowa as the Condition of the State Address, and as the State of the Commonwealth Address in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia, this annual, or regular, report from the governor on the condition and outlook of a state is a constitutional directive in all 50 states.

2015 State of the State Addresses

The following capsules provide a summary of each governor's state of the state address in 2015. To navigate to a specific state's address, click on the state name in the yellow box at the top of the page.

Potential presidential candidates

As of March 2015, the following governors have delivered state of the state addresses and been identified by Ballotpedia as prospective presidential candidates in 2016: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), New Jersey Chris Christie (R), Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).

Addresses by state

Alaska

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Alaska address

Excerpt

See also: Energy policy in Alaska

Reducing energy costs across Alaska is one of the highest priorities for my administration.

We are the most energy-rich state in the nation. God has blessed us with almost limitless resources.

It is unacceptable that so many fellow Alaskans wake up each morning in a cold house, as I did growing up in rural Alaska.

If Alaska was a country, we’d be among the top eight energy producers in the world and yet we have the highest cost of energy in the nation.

We can and must do better.

This administration has made it a priority to reduce energy costs at state-owned and public buildings, including schools. Increasing energy efficiency will allow state dollars to be better concentrated on the services provided.

And Alaska, when it comes to our public buildings and schools, wasted energy is government waste.

Every growing economy in the world has one thing in common, and that is low-cost energy. This administration will not rest until Alaska is squarely on the road to becoming an economic powerhouse thanks to low-cost energy that will bolster and diversify our economy.

This Legislature has done good work in this area over the past few years. From wisely incentivizing natural gas storage in Cook Inlet, to recognizing the importance of a large-diameter gas line, to investing in renewable energy projects and conservation, your leadership has made a difference.

Now it is time for even bolder steps.

Thirty-seven years ago, Donna and I cheered and actually danced in the streets with hundreds of Alaskans as the first barrel of oil from Prudhoe Bay arrived in Valdez.

A few short months later, Donna and I were married and I began working on a large volume gas line and LNG project. Alaska, it is time to build the gasline to provide gas to Alaskans and liquefied natural gas to world markets. Under my administration, we will finally begin building the Alaska gas line to tidewater.

It will be done with Alaska hire to the maximum extent allowed under the law. And it will comply with Alaska’s constitutional mandate that our resources be developed for the maximum use and benefit of Alaskans.

I was honored to have the president of a major Japanese energy consortium travel from Tokyo to Juneau last month for our inauguration.

I met with this Japanese delegation the following morning as my first official meeting as your governor. About 10 days later, they returned to Juneau with a memorandum of understanding.

Since signing that MOU, other significant LNG buyers in Asia have contacted me expressing similar interest.

In fact, on our way to church on Christmas Eve, I received such a call from a major Japanese company.

The gas is available. The market is responding. And as we know, Alaska is the crossroads of the world. It’s time we engage those markets, diversify our economy, create long-term fiscal stability and job growth.

And it’s beyond time to complete the work those in this room have started on this critical project.

It is also long past time for Alaska to focus on value-added job opportunities with the extraction of our natural resources. Again, I believe that is our constitutional mandate.

When we export our resources as raw material and import the finished product, we serve others as a colony. When we make something from our natural resources and export a finished product, that is an economy.

LNG is a finished product as is fertilizer from Nikiski, processed fish, produce from the Mat-Su and boats built in Ketchikan. We should be making and exporting cement north of Fairbanks given all the limestone available and the rail and highway infrastructure. We should be refining products from our own oil. All we need is affordable energy.

A great example of a value-added industry is right here in Juneau.

In 1986, two local entrepreneurs, Marcy and Geoff Larson, convinced 88 people to invest $5,000 each to start what is now the largest brewery in Alaska.

Today, the Alaskan Brewing Company employs about 70 full-time workers in Juneau alone. They also load about four containers a day of a finished product bound for destinations across Alaska, the Lower 48 and beyond.

The Alaskan Brewing Company has become a leader in energy-efficient commercial brewing by developing and employing innovative technology and reducing their diesel consumption by 70 percent.

We have a duty to future generations to make the most of our resources. If Marcy and Geoff can create 70 jobs utilizing Alaska’s water resource, just imagine what can be done when we apply this ingenuity to our vast fish, oil, natural gas, timber and mineral resources.

And perhaps our greatest renewable resource is the majesty and allure of Alaska itself which draws nearly 2 million visitors annually. Our tourism industry creates nearly 50,000 jobs and has a direct economic impact of nearly $4 billion annually. This is a healthy and vital industry which showcases a dynamic partnership between private enterprise and state and local government, one that has the potential of limitless growth and contribution to our economic wellbeing.

[1]

—The State of Alaska, (2015), [2]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Bill Walker (I)
  • Date of speech: January 21, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 4,913
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Alaska: 69
    • State: 30
    • Alaskans: 29
    • Work: 24
    • Resources: 14
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Arizona

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Arizona address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in Arizona

In Arizona public schools, we can do better.

A snapshot of Arizona public education came in a survey a few years ago. It measured some basic knowledge among students, on matters where knowledge should be assumed. It was an elementary civics test, along the lines of the test required of every new citizen. And when 96 percent of our kids could not pass, you know something is missing.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has called this the “quiet crisis in education.” President Reagan told us, “If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are.” And John Adams had it right too, remarking that every child in this country should be “instructed in the principles of freedom.”

To appreciate all this wisdom, however, it helps to know who Justice O’Connor, President Reagan and John Adams are. But for too many of our kids, those names sadly don’t ring a bell.

This is an issue that can and should unite us. These are our children, and not long from now, it will be for them to vote on who sits in your chairs and who stands at this podium. How can we expect them to protect the principles on which this country was founded, if we are not preparing them for that task right now?

It’s time to make this right and there’s a bipartisan bill – the American Civics Bill. Send it to my desk, and I’ll sign it immediately.

It’s also time to take charge of our public schools and take responsibility for their results.

For too long, the federal government has forced a one-size-fits-all model on our education system. Politicians and bureaucrats on the other side of the country, with no understanding of our state or the needs of our teachers and students, have sought to impose their standards and their will on our youth.

In Arizona, educational excellence is a priority. For the next four years, I intend to lead under a “Classrooms First Initiative.” Our goal is simple: To improve outcomes in the classroom for all our children. That’s why I propose to spend not less in the classroom than last year, but more.

Right now we spend far too much on administrative costs – on overhead – and that’s got to change. So this morning, I signed an executive order assembling a team of education and finance professionals charged with scrubbing every dollar in every formula in statute in order to identify ways to get maximum dollars into the classroom, where it can do the most good for our children.

We know where education happens, between a teacher and a student. In my administration, we will honor teachers and the good work they do.

Many teachers will agree with me on this, the quality of a child’s education should not be determined by what neighborhood their parents can afford to live in. [1]

—Office of the Arizona Governor, (2015), [3]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Doug Ducey (R)
  • Date of speech: January 12, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 2,287
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Public: 20
    • State: 15
    • Arizona: 14
    • Schools: 13
    • Education: 11
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California

Word cloud of most commonly used words in California address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in California

After years of underfunding and even borrowing from our local schools, the state now has significantly increased its financial support for education. Next year schools will receive $65.7 billion, a 39 percent increase in four years.

The tasks ahead are daunting: making sure that the new system of local control works; recruiting and training tens of thousands of teachers; mastering the Common Core Curriculum; and fostering the creativity needed to inspire students. Teachers need to be held accountable but never forget: they have a tough job to do. They need our encouragement, not endless regulations and micro-management from afar.

With respect to education beyond high school, California is blessed with a rich and diverse system. Its many elements serve a vast diversity of talents and interests. While excellence is their business, affordability and timely completion is their imperative. As I've said before, I will not make the students of California the default financiers of our colleges and universities. To meet our goals, everyone has to do their part: the state, the students and the professors. Each separate institution cannot be all things to all people, but the system in its breadth and diversity, through real cooperation among its segments, can well provide what Californians need and desire.

Along with education, health and human services constitute a major part of what state government does. And in the past few years we have made massive commitments in this area, which will require increasing levels of spending, the full extent of which is not yet known. For example, two years ago California embraced the Affordable Care Act, dramatically increasing its health insurance coverage under the Medi-Cal program. The state will enroll 12.2 million people during this new budget year, a more than 50 percent increase.

Providing the security of health coverage to so many Californians who need it is the right thing to do. But it isn't free. Although the federal government will temporarily foot much of the bill, new state costs - now and more so in the future - will run into the billions. [1]

—Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., (2015), [4]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Jerry Brown (D)
  • Date of speech: January 5, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 2,789
  • Most commonly used words:
    • California: 19
    • State: 16
    • Years: 14
    • System: 11
    • Health: 10
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Colorado

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Colorado address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in Colorado

Targeted workforce development and a strong education system are keys to supporting a strong middle class.

Our current budget request for K-12 education includes a $480 million increase, of which the state is contributing 70 percent.

In recent years, we worked together to save extra money in the State Education Fund.

Moving forward, our budget proposal, includes an additional $200 million from the State Education Fund intended as a one-time increase for school districts to allocate as their elected boards decide.

With or without this proposal, as we look beyond this year, the ability of the State General Fund to protect the negative factor from rising even higher is uncertain.

Beyond questions of funding, we need to confront the truth about whether Colorado’s kids are getting the education they need to compete and succeed in the job market.

But how do we know if we are getting the job done unless we accurately measure individual student growth?

We look forward to the final recommendations of the 1202 Task Force. But already the outlines of a consensus are taking shape.

Easing the testing demands on 12th graders in social studies and science; and streamlining tests in early years and finding flexibility with approaches to social studies might be among the right answers.

There is no doubt, however, that maintaining consistent assessments in English and math through high school is fundamental.

We look forward to working with all of you as we tackle this challenging issue.

Colorado must also become the best state in the country to recruit, retain and grow great teachers. Licensure reforms, career ladders and a fair evaluation system are critical.

These efforts should not be designed to punish teachers, but rather, to reward and inspire the good ones to become even better.

Our goal should be to ensure that every Colorado child has equal access to a great education. That means taking a hard look at funding equity, strategies to turn around struggling schools, promoting innovation and supporting charter schools. [1]

—State of Colorado, (2015), [5]

Quick facts
  • Governor: John Hickenlooper (D)
  • Date of speech: January 15, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 4,900
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Colorado: 73
    • State: 53
    • Water: 16
    • Years: 14
    • Education: 13
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Connecticut

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Connecticut address

Excerpt

I want to talk about how, for two generations, Connecticut fell short on transportation.

We know that transportation and economic growth are bound together. States that make long-term investments in their infrastructure can have vibrant economies for generations. States that don’t, will struggle. It’s that simple.

Transportation connects us – literally – community to community, state to state, nation to nation. It connects us to economic opportunity, and it connects us to one another.

First, here’s the good news: thanks to the efforts of so many here in this chamber, we’ve increased support for transportation – dramatically.

Funding is up 65 percent during the past four years. During this period, we’ve sent more General Fund revenue to the Special Transportation Fund than ever before – nearly 1.2 billion dollars.

We’ve made sure more of the gross petroleum receipts tax goes directly toward supporting transportation.

We’ve taken action on long-overdue projects like widening I-84 in Waterbury, replacing the Walk Bridge in Norwalk, and adding new tracks and signal systems between New Haven and Hartford.

All told, we’ve invested more in transportation than any time dating back to Governor O’Neill. It’s more progress than Connecticut has made in decades.

But here’s the problem: it’s still not enough. We have so much more to do.

We have more to do because traffic congestion still costs the average person an extra 42 hours away from your family each year.

And for our economy, it’s the equivalent of 97 million dollars in lost time and wasted fuel, each and every day.

All told roads and bridges that are either deficient or overly-congested cost Connecticut drivers a total of 4.2 billion dollars annually.

It’s harming us and the health of our children with additional air pollution and smog.

Simply put, our investments have not kept pace with our needs, and our residents and businesses are paying the price.

It’s unacceptable. We need a new approach.

To be competitive regionally, nationally, and internationally, we need a transformation. For our roads, bridges, rails, and ports – even our walkways and our bikeways.

We need to change the ways we commute, the ways our businesses move their products, and the ways we get around our cities and towns. It’s time for Connecticut to establish a collective vision for the next thirty years. A vision for a best-in-class transportation system.

We can have an open and honest discussion of what needs to happen to transform our infrastructure to meet the challenges and demands of the 21st Century.

We can do it this year. In this session.

To make us more business friendly, to attract new companies and more jobs, to improve our quality of life, and make our state an even better place to raise a family.

We can change Connecticut, so that thirty years from now, here is what we will leave to our children:

A state with the safest highways, railways, buses, bicycle and pedestrian systems in New England;

A state where people can move back and forth to their jobs in a reasonable and predictable amount of time, so they can spend less time in traffic and more time with their family;

A state where we attract new businesses because our highways and rail networks can deliver goods efficiently, without delay;

A state where our children want to stay and raise new generations because they have a choice to live and work with a car… or without one;

A state with three vibrant, deep-water ports exporting more and more goods made right here in Connecticut;

A state with an international airport that serves as a hub for transportation across America and around the globe;

A state whose bus and rail systems interconnect all of Connecticut, linking us to cities up and down the east coast;

A state that is crisscrossed by bicycle and pedestrian trails that make our communities more sustainable, our towns more walkable, and our cities more livable.

These are lofty goals. They might seem unattainable to some. They’ll say it can’t be done. That it’s not even worth trying. They’ll say we can’t do it while also working to balance our budget.

I say we can’t afford not to do it. Together, we should refuse to give in to the cynics and the naysayers. This is the Connecticut we must strive for. [1]

The Connecticut Mirror, (2015), [6]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Dan Malloy (D)
  • Date of speech: January 7, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 1,910
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Connecticut: 25
    • Transportation: 20
    • State: 19
    • Years: 10
    • Time: 9

{{PLP state general|State=Connecticut}


Delaware

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Delaware address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in Delaware

Preparing Delawareans to seize the opportunities of the future starts long before they enter job-specific training. All of our children deserve a world-class education from day one.

I’m proud of our educators, like teacher of the year Megan Szabo; our principals, like Mark Pruitt from Conrad Schools of Science; and other school officials, like the Chief of our Chiefs, Superintendent Mark Holodick, all of whom are working so hard to help our students succeed. Please join me in thanking them and their colleagues.

We know that the education we received years ago will not be enough to prepare students to thrive in our new economy. So we’re making investments and improvements across our education system.

Our educators are teaching to higher academic standards.

We have doubled the number of high school students who take college classes in the last year. And the number of students taking AP classes has doubled over the last decade. That means hundreds of additional students graduate from high school with college credit.

Ninety percent of children’s brain development occurs before they even enter kindergarten. So thanks to your support, we have enrolled more than 3,000 additional high-needs children in the best early childhood centers in the past two years. And we’ve given grants to 89 top early learning programs to offer the highest quality infant care to more of our neediest kids. We know that care is expensive and hard-to-find, yet key to our children’s success.

We have also invested in language immersion programs because our children will have greater opportunities in the global economy when they can speak more than one language. After only two and a half years, we have 1,400 students spending half of their school day learning in Chinese or Spanish. And we’ll keep expanding next year.

We’re recruiting and retaining great educators and principals, because we know that nothing is more important for our students’ success than the people who teach them and lead their schools.

That’s why we have spent more than a year carefully crafting an improved compensation system for new educators, and for current teachers who want to participate. We’ll raise starting salaries and allow educators to earn more by taking on leadership responsibilities while remaining in the classroom.

With leadership from DSEA and feedback from teachers statewide, the committee you established last year will make a proposal this spring. I thank Senators Sokola and Pettyjohn, as well as Representatives Kenton and Williams and former Representative Scott for their contributions to the committee.

Communities across the state, from Western Sussex to Wilmington have urged that we reexamine the way we pay for education.

In the coming months, at the recommendation of House Education Committee Chair Earl Jacques, President Blevins, Speaker Schwartzkopf and I will create a school funding task force to make recommendations that would spur more innovation in our schools and address inequities for our neediest students. We cannot prepare our students to seize the opportunities of the new economy with a funding system developed three-quarters of a century ago.

That work is particularly important for our high-needs students, including those who have been at the center of our efforts to transform Wilmington’s Priority Schools.

I know the debate around these efforts reflect a commitment on the part of everybody in this chamber and many beyond to do what is right for our most at-risk children.

However, while we are entitled to our own opinions, we are not entitled to our own facts. And the facts are clear. The students in these schools aren’t making sufficient progress, while students with similar challenges are making extraordinary progress in other schools.

We understand that these students bring significant challenges to school each day. Challenges of poverty. Of homelessness. Of unstable family situations. These are tragic problems that we are fully focused on addressing through economic development, housing, and other initiatives across state government.

And we know that educators in the Priority Schools are working passionately to help these children.

But for too long, problems of poverty have condemned these students to low expectations. They only get one chance at an education. They can’t wait any longer.

That’s why we took action. We’re prepared to invest more than six million dollars to support great teachers and leaders in helping our neediest students thrive. We have required the Red Clay and Christina School Districts to develop a new approach to turning these schools around, by doing things like extending the school day, offering after-school programs, and providing hungry children with three meals a day.

We’ve been working closely to support the districts in this effort, and we are days away from receiving their plans. If these plans give our students the opportunities they deserve, we will approve them and move forward together.

[1]

—Governor of Delaware, (2015), [7]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Jack Markell (D)
  • Date of speech: January 22, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 5,349
  • Most commonly used words:
    • State: 34
    • People: 30
    • Delaware: 26
    • School: 24
    • Students: 19
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Georgia

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Georgia address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in Georgia

Over 19,000 students dropped out between grades nine and 12 over the past school year. That is far too many. Neither Georgia nor these young people can afford the disparaging effects that typically result when someone leaves high school prematurely. This is why over the next few years we intend to take a comprehensive look at how we can make K-12 education more accessible and more effective. A child that does not graduate from high school is that much less prepared for the workforce, that much less prepared for college and that much more prepared for a life behind bars.

I am establishing an Education Reform Commission to study a number of questions regarding our education system, such as increasing access to Georgia’s world class early learning programs, recruiting and retaining high quality teachers in our classrooms, and expanding school options for Georgia’s families. This group, which will be composed of legislators, educators and a variety of other stakeholders, will recommend potential improvements to me by August 1 of this year. I fully anticipate this process to be as successful as the one involving our justice reforms after which it was modeled.

In addition, a subset of this group will examine the most appropriate ways to modernize our QBE funding formula from the 1980s. This model is older than every student in our classrooms and some of their parents. Just as most of us wouldn’t dress our children in parachute pants and jelly shoes and we wouldn’t teach them about computers on a Commodore 64, neither should we educate them under a 1980s funding formula. Our students are now using iPads and Androids. Why tie them to a desk when technology can take them to the moon and back?

This undertaking will require detailed work. My vision is to create a formula driven by student need that provides local school and district leaders with real control and flexibility. It is our hope that funding changes based on the commission’s recommendations will go into effect as early as the 2016-2017 school year.

While we must certainly address the outdated funding formula, education still remains a top priority in our budgets. This year’s budget coupled with my proposal for next year’s budget represents an infusion of over one billion additional dollars for K-12 education. Working together, we have devoted the largest percentage of the state budget to K-12 education of any governor and General Assembly in the last 50 years. Now, the focus is on turning those dollars into academic progress. I look forward to working with all of you to accomplish that goal.

However, no matter how well we fund education, the fact of the matter is that far too many students are trapped in a failing Georgia school. Roughly 23 percent of schools have received either a D or an F, which constitutes a failing grade, for the past three consecutive years. When the system fails, our children have little chance of succeeding.

New options can enrich lives, brighten futures and rekindle hope. Three years ago, the legislators here called for and the voters of this state overwhelmingly approved the charter school amendment. I have good news: It’s making a positive difference. This year, I am asking you to continue the trend of restoring hope and opportunity to areas of our state that could use a helping hand.

I am proposing a constitutional amendment to establish an Opportunity School District. It would authorize the state to step in to help rejuvenate failing public schools and rescue children languishing in them. This model has already been used successfully in other states. My office has been in contact with a student from New Orleans, who tells us he could not read until he was 12. Now, because of the Recovery School District in New Orleans, Troy Simon is going to Bard College in New York, where he intends to earn a degree in American Literature. His life has changed. There is perhaps no sweeter irony – the young man who couldn’t read at all may one day teach others to read, and read well.

There are many excuses that will be offered for why schools are failing— the students come from families in poverty, their parents are dysfunctional, they don’t care because they have no hope.

Let's stop making excuses— If we want to break the cycle of poverty, let’s educate those children so that they have the skills to escape poverty, if we want to interrupt the cycle of dysfunctional families, let’s educate the children in those homes so that their families of the future will return to normalcy; if we want our young people to have hope, let’s give them the greatest beacon of hope we can confer on them— a quality education that leads to a good job, a stable family and the stairway to the future.

There will be those who will argue that the problem of failing schools can be solved by spending more money. They ignore the fact that many of our failing schools already spend far more money per child than the state average. The problem is not money. More money without fundamental changes in the delivery system will not alter the results; it will only make state and local taxpayers greater enablers of chronic failure.

If we take this step, more students will be able to gain employment or go to college when they graduate, more employers will be satisfied with our state’s workforce, and more of their colleagues might just decide to locate in our state. Above all, students and parents will relinquish the burden of having nowhere to go to get a proper education, something no family should have to experience in the first place.

Liberals cannot defend leaving a child trapped in a failing school that sentences them to a life in poverty. Conservatives like me cannot argue that each child in Georgia already has the same opportunity to succeed and compete on his or her own merits. We have a moral duty to help these children who can’t help themselves. The sea is great and the boat is small, but the boat must not have first and second class seating.

I am calling on you to do your part this session to get this referendum on the ballot so that Georgians can assure that a child’s hopes of success aren’t determined by his or her ZIP Code. Our places of learning should be where a child learns triumph, not defeat. [1]

Governing, (2015), [8]


Quick facts
  • Governor: Nathan Deal (R)
  • Date of speech: January 14, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 3,835
  • Most commonly used words:
    • State: 30
    • Year: 23
    • Georgia: 23
    • School: 13
    • Continue: 12
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Hawaii

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Hawaii address

Excerpt

On the spending side, I believe we can do a number of things which center around a single change in mindset: Making government more efficient. I cannot stress how important I believe this one factor is.

I recently met with Mike Buskey, President of GameStop, a multimillion dollar, video-game retailer. The company operates almost 6,500 stores throughout the world and is a major player in the electronics sector.

He said, if the rate of change inside a company does not exceed the rate of change outside the company, it will result in devastating losses to its shareholders, even bankruptcy. It made me wonder about the number of people who would be affected, if change within our state government failed to exceed the rate of change in the world?

That truly would be devastating, resulting in government unable to meet the needs of its people.

But what about the opposite scenario?

I remember when I was in the Senate, we committed to going paperless and eliminating millions of unnecessary sheets of paper and its related costs. It was not an easy transition and it was tough to change the way we always did things for decades. But we did.

As a result, the Senate generated more than $1.2 million in savings over two years. In the process, we saved nearly 8 million sheets of paper or the equivalent of 800 trees each year.

Can you imagine what we could do, if all of state government looked for these kinds of opportunities?

For example, I am told that the state goes through about 1 million pages a month. That’s about 12 million pages a year. A little effort could go a long way to alter that. A change in mindset could take us so much further. We must reduce the amount of paper we use every day.

I am committed to transforming the culture of government to embrace and accelerate change. We need to invest in our employees and ask them what changes can be made to improve service and reduce costs. And we need to support them when we make those changes.

Leveraging our dollars and maximizing our investments also go a long way in creating savings.

I recently attended the ground breaking for Kapolei Lofts, a public-private partnership with the State, the City and a private developer. This rental housing project will provide nearly 500 much needed homes on Oahu, including 300 units that will remain affordable for the next 30 years.

The state provided an interim loan of $5 million and is a good example of how low-cost government investment tools can be used to create affordable homes for working families.

[1]

—Governor of the State of Hawaii, (2015), [9]

Quick facts
  • Governor: David Ige (D)
  • Date of speech: January 26, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 3,310
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Hawaii: 19
    • Home: 17
    • Need: 17
    • State: 16
    • Million: 15
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Idaho

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Idaho address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in Idaho

I am not here to offer panaceas or to insist that your deliberations proceed in a particular direction – we are after all separate but equal branches of State government.

Instead, I am here to offer my view of what our state priorities should be and where our resources can be most effectively used in the public interest.

That list begins with education.

Last year in this chamber I laid out a five-year plan for sustainably and responsibly investing in our public schools.

I greatly appreciate your support for achieving those goals and I encourage your continuing help in seeing this process through as we welcome new Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra.

In Idaho, public schools are the most fundamentally proper role of government. They are essential to the health of our families, our communities and our economy.

In addition to the choices that parents are afforded with home schooling, charter schools and private schools, world-class public schools can set the bar for higher individual achievement. They are the key to our prosperity and Idaho’s competitiveness in the global marketplace.

As you know, our school improvement plan is based on the recommendations of my broad-based, bipartisan Education Task Force, which was led and facilitated by the State Board of Education. The goal of its recommendations is to build a public school system that is focused on student outcomes, responsive to local needs, respectful of the role of classroom teachers, and more accountable to parents, patrons and taxpayers.

The Fiscal Year 2016 Executive Budget recommendation I am submitting to you today provides more funding for teacher training and professional development, and a significant infusion of money for teacher compensation under the new tiered licensure and career ladder proposed by the State Board of Education.

To support continuous improvement, my recommendation provides additional funding to help local school districts conduct planning on how best to improve the education of our children every year.

In addition, I’m calling for another $20 million in discretionary operating funds for local schools in fiscal 2016.

My recommendation also includes funding to provide more career and college counseling for students.

As we implement our K-through-Career goals I want students and parents to have the best information available in making important decisions about courses, programs and post-secondary opportunities that will give them a leg up toward success in the workforce.

My total General Fund budget request for the coming year represents a 5.2-percent increase.

But my proposal for public schools calls for 7.4 percent more funding. That’s almost $60 million more than we allocated for schools before the Great Recession began in fiscal year 2009.

Beyond the numbers, I’m also calling on the State Board of Education and our education partners to work together to develop a comprehensive plan for improving literacy and reading proficiency. Reading at grade level by the end of third grade is a major foundation for a student’s education. It enables their success in every other subject area. We absolutely must prepare our students by doing more to achieve this critical benchmark. Anything less is simply unacceptable.

My hope while you consider this request is that we work together to continue assessing the impact of the current year’s investments and seek to advance those policies and processes that work best for Idaho students. [1]

—Governor of Idaho, (2015), [10]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Butch Otter (R)
  • Date of speech: January 12, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 5,533
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Idaho: 93
    • State: 26
    • Education: 26
    • Public: 23
    • Year: 23
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Illinois

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Illinois address

Excerpt


As we look to make Illinois more competitive, property tax relief is one of our most pressing challenges.

Our property tax burden is one of the biggest impediments to growth, and it hurts both businesses and middle class families.

The average homeowner in Illinois pays more than three times the amount of property taxes as a homeowner in Indiana – more than an additional $3,000 paid out of the family’s budget every single year.

Take for instance Christine Dolgopol, in the gallery here with us today.

She bought her home in 1978. At the time her taxes were $1,100. By 2013, her taxes were $4,797.

After accounting for inflation, Christine’s taxes have almost doubled, even after getting a senior exemption and almost yearly appeals.

She’s not alone.

Over the past decade, the average property tax bill has increased nearly 33 percent!

Meanwhile, real family incomes in Illinois have gone down... Families have been left with less income and more taxes.

Our property taxes are out-of-control and are crushing middle class families.

Illinois’ high property taxes have skyrocketed because state and local governments have been unable or unwilling to control their own spending.

We must empower taxpayers to take control of their property tax bills by giving them greater ability to control local government spending.

The time has come to give the people of Illinois the ability to drive value for their tax dollars.

Our agenda must be about empowerment, about empowering the people of Illinois to control their futures. Empowerment means giving local voters the ability to control the collective bargaining issues in their local governments and take more responsibility for their employees’ benefits. Empowerment means giving local government employees the ability to decide for themselves whether they want to join a union.

Empowerment means giving governments the ability to lower costs by reforming project labor agreements and prevailing wage requirements that block true competitive bidding.

These requirements can increase the cost of taxpayer-funded construction projects by 20 percent or more.

At the Illinois Tollway, uncompetitive bidding has cost toll payers over $1 billion since 2005.

At the Department of Transportation, uncompetitive bidding costs taxpayers more than $100 million per year.

Reforming the prevailing wage laws could save our schools nearly $160 million every year.

We must restructure bidding for construction projects at every level of government because reforms will save taxpayers billions – and we can reinvest these billions in even more capital projects to help our schools and our communities.

Empowerment means giving taxpayers the ability to consolidate local governments to control costs.

Illinois has the most governments in the country – nearly 7,000 local units, and the taxpayers of Illinois can no longer afford all of them.

DuPage County Executive Dan Cronin is with us today. He has already achieved significant government consolidation. To date, his reforms have generated a projected $100 million in taxpayer savings through joint purchasing, shared services, employee benefit reforms and modifications to procurement practices.

Congratulations, Dan. You are a role model for all of us.

Empowerment means freeing local governments from unfunded mandates imposed by the state.

We impose more than 280 unfunded mandates that cost local communities billions.

In the days ahead, I will be asking Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti to work with leaders like Dan Cronin on consolidation efforts as well as ways to reduce costs imposed on local governments. We must also empower voters to decide for themselves whether they want their communities to become employee empowerment zones.

These zones will give employees the freedom to choose whether or not they want to join a union. Local communities – local voters - deserve this option so that they can compete with other states and other nations for new businesses and new investment.

Employee empowerment zones will increase jobs for residents, increase economic activity for local businesses and generate more tax dollars for local governments.

It’s a win-win-win proposal.

By implementing these reforms, we will give taxpayers and local governments the tools they need to freeze property taxes.

And it will allow us to begin reforming our out-of-date tax code.

We have an antiquated tax system whose base is too narrow, and that makes us uncompetitive.

Let’s work together to enact a competitive, 21st century tax system for a 21st century economy. [1]

—Governor of Illinois, (2015), [11]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Bruce Rauner (R)
  • Date of speech: February 4, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 3,143
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Illinois: 40
    • People: 21
    • State: 21
    • Government: 16
    • Local: 15
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Indiana

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Indiana address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in Indiana

Balanced budgets and the right priorities are the starting point to improving our economy, but the key to unlocking the full potential of our state is not in her factories and her fields. It is in her classrooms.

Let’s agree here and now that this will be an education session dedicated to improving all our schools for all our kids.

Now, my philosophy of executive leadership is pretty simple; you set big goals, offer solutions, but stay open to other ideas about how to achieve them.

With that approach in mind, and with more than 100,000 kids in underperforming or failing schools, we must make it our aim to have 100,000 more students enrolled in high-quality schools by the year 2020.

To achieve this goal, we must fund excellence, expand choices, and ensure that education in Indiana works at the highest levels.

That’s why I proposed more state dollars for K-12 education than ever before, increasing tuition support by $200 million over the next two years.

And building on the historic first step we took last session, we will invest $10 million a year to fund scholarships for our new pre-K pilot, because every Hoosier child deserves to start school ready to learn.

Now there are those who think that improving education is just about increasing funding. But money alone isn’t the answer.

Everyone knows that good teachers make the difference. I should know, I’ve been married to a schoolteacher for 30 years this year, and she’s with us tonight. Please join me in recognizing the best First Lady in America, Karen Pence.

So how do you get more good teachers like my wife? You get more good teachers by paying good teachers more.

And that’s just what we have been doing. This year we awarded $30 million in bonuses to teachers in 1300 schools.

Building on that success, we will provide another $63 million for performance bonuses and refocus resources on the classroom. More freedom for our schools and more dollars in our classrooms will pay dividends for generations.

And because all honest work is honorable work, let’s continue to make sure our schools work for all our students, regardless of where they want to start in life by making career and vocational education a priority in every high school again.

The General Assembly embraced that vision in a bipartisan fashion two years ago, and together we have begun to improve the career and technical education opportunities for our students.

We’ve distributed millions in grants and seen innovation in schools across our state. Like up in LaPorte County, where the high schools and the local utility are working together preparing students for careers in electronics and energy by creating an Energy Academy. The driving force behind that effort is with us tonight, the Indiana Career and Technical Education Director of the Year, Audra Peterson.

By providing $20 million a year to create more career and vocational opportunities and improving the way we fund those courses, we will dramatically increase the number of students who graduate career-ready, and increase—by fivefold—the number of students who graduate with an industry-recognized credential by 2020.

As we open new opportunities within our public schools, let’s resolve to give more parents the chance to choose where their kids go to school by expanding our choice and public charter schools program. [1]

Governing, (2015), [12]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Mike Pence (R)
  • Date of speech: January 13, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 2,556
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Indiana: 25
    • State: 21
    • Schools: 18
    • Hoosiers: 12
    • Kids: 10
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Kansas

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Kansas address

Excerpt

Now, even as we celebrate our successes, we must acknowledge that the most recent data regarding state government revenue and expenditures present a clear challenge that must be addressed.

For the past several weeks, we have been in consultation with government, business and industry leaders regarding our shared fiscal concerns. They have been generous with their time and frank with their advice.

Tomorrow I will present to the legislature a proposed two-year budget that is in balance – with revenues exceeding expenditures each year.

And we will continue our march to zero income taxes.

Because the states with no income tax consistently grow faster than those with high income taxes.

There may be some who consider this course too bold…well, I’m the sort of guy who would have sent Alex Gordon from third base.

I propose this budget as a starting point to your deliberations. I understand and appreciate that the “power of the purse” is yours and does not belong to any other branch of government.

In my travels around Kansas I’ve found what I expect most of you have during your visits with the people we serve.

Kansans are sensible, decent, compassionate, thoughtful people.

They prize liberty, celebrate achievement and recognize an obligation to their fellow man.

They want government to focus on its core functions, to perform them well, to provide quality services, good schools, good roads and low taxes.

Kansans understand the importance of living within our means and meeting our obligations.

Kansans know the importance of a promise whether to friends, family or a business. And recognizing that promise, they pay their debts on time and in full. The Kansas Constitution should reflect that as well.

I am proposing the Legislature pass a Constitutional Amendment and put it before Kansas voters stating the debt of the state is a general obligation of the state and we will pay it first.

This is good policy for our state.

Those who make state policy in the people’s name have to make the tough choices. Those who refuse, don’t lead.

Everyone will be able to find things in the budget I put forth that they disagree with. I hope as you review the budget, you put forth what you would do to make it better.

But as we go about this work, please bear two things in mind.

First, the family budget is more powerful than the government budget.

Second, a growing economy that is adding private sector jobs and increasing personal income can fix a government budget.

A growing government budget cannot bring lasting prosperity to its citizens by appropriating ever more of their earnings.

If we could spend our way to paradise, we would already be there. [1]

—Kansas Office of the Governor, (2015), [13]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Sam Brownback (R)
  • Date of speech: January 15, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 2,723
  • Most commonly used words:
    • State: 30
    • Kansas: 26
    • Time: 18
    • Government: 16
    • Kansans: 15
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Kentucky

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Kentucky address

Excerpt

Step three in creating a stronger workforce is better health. Kentucky has long ranked among the worst, if not the worst, in almost every major health category, things like smoking … cancer deaths … preventable hospitalizations … premature deaths … heart disease … mental health … and diabetes.

Our poor collective health has had devastating consequences for families and the state: Decreased worker productivity. Depressed school attendance.

A poor public image. Difficulty in recruiting businesses. Huge health-care costs. And a lower quality of life for our people.

There is a direct line from poor health to almost every core challenge Kentucky faces – whether that’s poverty, unemployment, low education attainment, substance abuse or crime.

So with your help, we have increased cancer screenings … expanded access to substance abuse treatment and smoking cessation programs … and helped more seniors access critical prescription drugs.

We’ve aggressively acted to reduce Kentucky’s addiction to prescription pain killers, expanding treatment options and driving out those pill mills willing to kill our people to make a profit.

And finally, I seized the opportunity presented by federal reform to reduce Kentucky’s uninsured population.

Big problems require big solutions, and the Affordable Care Act was a transformative solution.

Now some told me to reject the ACA – the president was too unpopular in Kentucky, they said.

Embracing federal health care reform was just too politically risky.

Well I decided that the health of our people was more important than partisan politics.

And so Kentucky became the only southern state to both expand Medicaid and create its own state-operated Health Benefit Exchange.

And look what happened.

Over half a million people have used Kentucky’s Health Benefit Exchange – called “kynect” – to sign up for health insurance during the first enrollment period.

Tens of thousands more have already signed up during the second enrollment period going on right now.

Seventy-five percent of these people -- our neighbors, friends and families – did not have health insurance when they enrolled.

And this access has now given them health care and hope, many for the very first time in their lives.

Just think for a moment about what this means. It means that our friends and neighbors can now afford to take their children to the doctor.

It means they don’t have to choose between medicine and food.

It means that if they have a health concern, they can get it diagnosed and treated before it becomes a chronic, life-altering condition – or a disease that kills them.

And they can be treated in an appropriate setting – not in an emergency room, the most expensive place to get care.

A national study has estimated that because of reform, about 26,000 more Kentuckians will get cholesterol screening each year … almost 7,000 more women will get a mammogram … over 10,000 more women will get a pap smear … 14,000 more people will get treatment for depression … and Kentuckians will visit the doctor half a million more times.

Collectively, this means a higher quality of life, better attendance at school, a stronger work record and less chance of bankruptcy due to illness or disease.

Look, you can argue the politics, but you can’t argue the results. Kentuckians are getting healthier. [1]

Governing, (2015), [14]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Steve Beshear (D)
  • Date of speech: January 7, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 5,645
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Kentucky: 76
    • Health: 41
    • State: 26
    • People: 24
    • Care: 23
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Maine

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Maine address

Excerpt

Our country has the highest income taxes in the world. This makes our nation uncompetitive.

Maine is currently not competitive nationally or globally. Our tax system is antiquated. We must modernize it.

My fellow Mainers, you work hard for your paycheck. The government takes your earnings, and you have no control over how it is spent.

You earned it. You should keep it!

An income tax cut puts money back in your pocket. It is a pay raise for all working Mainers.

With consumption taxes, you make the choice. You decide where you spend your money. And let me be clear: this plan does not tax funerals. It does not tax car repairs. It does not tax groceries or other necessities.

My plan makes sure more taxes are paid by tourists — not by Mainers. Approximately 650,000 Maine tax returns pay the income tax.

On the other hand, 29 million tourists a year pay sales taxes on almost every purchase they make.

Our refundable sales tax credit helps lower- and middle-income Mainers get their money back.

This plan is different from past plans. It is not a tax shift. It is a tax cut for all Mainers.

My vision is a Maine with no income tax. But I’m no magician. It takes time.

When I took office, Maine’s top income tax rate was 8.5 percent—one of the highest in the nation.

We reduced the rate to 7.95 percent—a baby step. This plan cuts it to 5.75 percent—a 40 percent decrease in the income tax since I took office. That’s one big step.

A young married couple, both teachers with one child, claiming a standard deduction, would get a $1,500 pay raise.

That’s a mortgage payment. That’s few tanks of heating oil. It’s several car payments or back-to-school clothes for the kids. It’s real money. It makes a real difference.

Other tax reform plans were “revenue neutral.” They were created by politicians to serve special interests. My one special interest is the Maine people.

My plan cuts spending. It gives money back to you: the Maine people.

This plan reduces the tax burden on Maine families and small businesses by $300 million. That’s a real pay raise for the Maine people!

If Maine is to prosper, we must have courage.

There are 9 states with no income tax. 19 other states are working to reduce or eliminate the income tax. Maine is leading the nation with our bold plan. We’re the first out of the chute.

Let’s show the nation—and the world—that Maine is serious about job creation. The Tax Foundation says this plan would propel Maine’s ranking from 33 to 23. That’s not a jump, that’s a leap.

But 23 is not good enough. Let’s aim for the top 10.

Maine’s corporate tax is a job killer. My plan cuts it. We also eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax.

We will catapult Maine from 45th to 17th place in corporate tax rankings. And trust me, that’s a big deal for job creators.

Our past rankings said: “Stay away from Maine.” My plan says: “Come to Maine. We want your jobs!” [1]

—State of Maine, (2015), [15]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Paul LePage (R)
  • Date of speech: February 3, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 2,137
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Maine: 38
    • Tax: 34
    • Mainers: 23
    • Income: 13
    • Plan: 13
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Maryland

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Maryland address

Excerpt

Budget choices are never easy, and you may have different ideas and solutions. And we look forward to hearing them, and to working together with you to find common ground.

As long as those solutions don’t include increasing taxes, spending more than we take in, or going further into debt.

And remember, every penny that is added to one program, must be taken from another.

Failing to spend the taxpayer’s money in a responsible way could eventually jeopardize our ability to adequately fund education, transportation, environmental programs, and provide support to the vulnerable and those most in need.

We simply cannot let that happen.

So, how do we begin to change direction, and to improve the state that we all love?

It wont happen overnight, and there will be times and issues that will test us all, but there are a number of initial actions that I believe we must begin working on immediately.

Maryland’s anti-business attitude, combined with our onerous tax and regulatory policies have rendered our state unable to compete with any of the states in our region. It’s the reason that businesses, jobs and taxpayers have been fleeing our state at an alarming rate.

It’s at the heart of the fiscal and economic issues we are currently dealing with, and it is something we must find solutions to.

A year ago, I held my second annual Change Maryland Business Summit on Improving Maryland’s Economic Competitiveness.

We became the leading voice on these issues - it’s the reason I have the honor of being your governor, and it will be the primary focus of our administration.

I want to commend Senate President Miller and Speaker Busch for recognizing the need to make Maryland more economically competitive.

A year ago, at their urging, this legislature created the Maryland Economic Development and Business Climate Commission, also known as the Augustine Commission, to make recommendations to make Maryland competitive. It was a great first step, and we are anxiously awaiting the recommendations of this commission.

But, I am confident that we will find many areas of agreement to make Maryland a more business friendly and more competitive state, so that we can create more jobs and more opportunities for our citizens.

I’m proud of the experienced, diverse and bipartisan Cabinet that we have assembled to take over the reigns of state government.

Many of them bring fresh, innovative ideas and valuable real world, private-sector management expertise to their agencies. Their primary mission will be to find ways to restructure their agencies and to make state government more efficient, and more cost effective.

But, we also want to change the culture of state government.

The voters have given us an opportunity to build a government that works for the people - and not the other way around.

Comptroller Franchot noted at his swearing-in last week that we must reinstate old-fashioned customer service to every aspect of government.

I completely agree - and together we will.

Dealing with the problem of storm water management and working to restore our most treasured asset, the Chesapeake Bay, is a goal we all strongly agree on.

But in my humble opinion, passing a state law that forced certain counties to raise taxes on their citizens - against their will - may not have been the best way to address the issue.

If there was one message that Marylanders have made perfectly clear it was that taxing struggling and already overtaxed Marylanders for the rain that falls on the roof of their homes was a mistake that needs to be corrected.

This week, our administration will submit legislation to repeal the rain tax.

Nearly every day I hear from folks who say that they love the state of Maryland, that they have spent their entire lives here, and that they don’t want to leave their kids and grandkids. But, that they simply cannot afford to stay here on a fixed income.

We are losing many of our best and brightest citizens to other states.

Eventually, once we solve our current budget crisis, and turn our economy around, I want to reach the point where we are able to do away with income taxes on all retirement income, just as many other states have done.

This week, we will start heading toward that goal by submitting legislation that repeals income taxes on pensions for retired military, police, fire, and first responders.

These brave men and women have put their lives on the line for us - they deserve it - and they have earned these tax breaks.

I have spent most of my life in the private sector, running a small business in a state that, at times, seemed openly hostile to people like me.

There is much more for us to do, but as a first step, I’m proposing cutting personal property taxes for small businesses.

This burdensome tax and bureaucratic paperwork discourages the creation of new business, and drives small businesses and jobs elsewhere.

This legislation would create a tax exemption on the first $10,000 in personal property, entirely eliminating this tax for more than 70,000 small business owners -- or one-half of all Maryland’s businesses.

After syphoning a billion dollars from the Transportation Trust Fund, a decision was made to enact the largest gas tax increase in state history. This legislation also included language that would automatically increase taxes every single year without it ever having a coming up for a vote.

Marylanders deserve the transparency to know how their elected leaders vote every time the state takes a bigger share of their hard-earned dollars. This is a regressive tax that hurts struggling Maryland families and our most vulnerable, and which adds to the cost of almost everything.

These automatic tax increases should be repealed, and we will submit legislation to do so.

Over the last several years, monies for local road improvements have been slashed by up to 96 percent.

Our administration is committed to restoring the money that was taken from the transportation trust fund, and to making sure that it never happens again.

Today I am pleased to announce a supplemental to our FY2016 budget that will increase Highway User Revenues by $25 million and give counties and municipalities the most money for road improvements that they have received since FY 2009.

Further, we are committed to increasing the local share of Highway User Revenues from 10% today to its original high point of 30% over the next 8 years. [1]

—Governor of Maryland, (2015), [16]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Larry Hogan (R)
  • Date of speech: February 4, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 3,078
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Maryland: 46
    • State: 31
    • Tax: 15
    • Budget: 13
    • Administration: 12
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Michigan

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Michigan address

Excerpt

Now let me come to the most significant part of the talk tonight. This is about revolutionizing how government operates. This is time for the big vision. There is a better way to do things in government and that is what I want to share with you now. I call it the River of Opportunity and let me set the stage for you. Before our country was even founded, why did people come to America? And, after it was founded, why do people continue to come and why do they come today? We are the land of opportunity. That’s what makes us who we are. Now the issue is to have a fair chance to have that opportunity in our country. If you happen to be in the main stream of the River of Opportunity and you grow up in a great family with wonderful parents supporting you, you went to a good school, you got advice when you were looking for a career, found a first good job, you built a career, you are on that path to great opportunity. If you look at it, what is government’s role in that situation?

Government is actually in the background, it’s still there it’s doing things like public safety, important things, but it is in the background of your life. In fact, you are a contributor to helping others and you do that through multiple mechanisms, paying taxes is helping, I now you may not feel that way, but that is the point. You are helping to contribute to a charities, to churches to non-profits to help people. Your volunteering your time to help people. Everyone in America, fundamentally wants to help other people and you are one of those people doing that. I am proud to say I was fortunate enough to be in that main steam, personally. I grew up in a 900 square foot house in Battle Creek. My father owned a small window cleaning business and my mother was a homemaker. We never had a lot, but I never wanted for anything. I accepted that and they were wonderful and I was fortunate enough to be in that mainstream of that River of Opportunity, that now I can stand here as Governor of the state of Michigan.

How do we create opportunities for those people who are not in the main stream of the River of Opportunity is the question. And, why do people fall out of the main stream or are not in it? In some cases, they don’t have parents or they don’t have parents at home. They have severe poverty in their family. They maybe in a situation where either to get to school or get to work they need transportation and it is not there, creating a barrier to success. They may have an illness, they may have a disability, they need government support and non-profit support. Government moves to the forefront then and how do we help them succeed? Now, how have we done this in the country. If you go back to the 1930s, we built a system that was about adding programs and these are good well-intentioned people, but if you look back over the last 80 years, what have we done? We have added prescriptive program after prescriptive program. Where do we stand today? We’ve counted 145 plus programs already and still counting: 35 in health care, 40 in work force, 70 in child services. The system is failing folks, that’s not how you solve the problem of helping people have opportunities. What we have done is sliced and diced people into programs. We have moved away from treating them as real people. In fact, in some cases we have taken some of their dignity away as a person, by putting them through so many programs.

The other problem with all of these programs is what we have done. Quite often we are addressing systems, we are not addressing real causes, we are actually facilitating dependency on government. That’s not right. We have also built a lot of bureaucracy and inefficiency in the system and that’s not right. In fact if you look at it, where our society is today, and you look at people who are in the main stream of the river and the people at that gap of differences only increasing. That is unacceptable and we should not take it. We need to stand up and say there is a better way to do things and how is that? It is time to set back and say let us restructure government to create the River of Opportunity by understanding that we are talking about people, not programs and there are five guiding principles we need to stay up and say, we should be following to help create opportunities of success for people.

The first one is again: It’s about people not programs, the second point is it is about root causes, not symptoms, third is about maiming results not spending money in government programs, fourth is about recognizing that it’s not just about government, this is about community, this is about friends and neighbors. We need to engage the entire community. We need to be that village of support together. And, fifth we need to measure outcomes and results and what’s the measurement of success. It’s not how many people who were fail citing or maintaining their dependency. It’s how many people that were outside of that mainstream of opportunity that we have now moved into the mainstream so they can be successful. That is what this is about.

[1]

—Governor of Michigan, (2015), [17]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Rick Snyder (R)
  • Date of speech: January 20, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 7,981
  • Most commonly used words:
    • People: 65
    • Michigan: 43
    • State: 38
    • Need: 37
    • Terms: 36
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Mississippi

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Mississippi address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in Mississippi

Most every state’s success is largely judged by its education system. Admittedly, our public education system has been a challenge for as long as any of us can remember. In fact, there is no recorded history of Mississippi’s public education system that shows statewide success. However, I believe the transformational changes brought about by the Mississippi Legislature in the past three years will finally begin to show progress. A brief review can begin with the Literacy Program that will end social promotion at the critical point of entering the fourth grade. Charter schools for the first time in Mississippi history will offer hope to those children trapped in failing school districts. Funding early childhood learning programs began in our first Legislative session together, and this year I will support doubling the funding for the Pre-K Collaborative Program with a total appropriation of $6 million. Because of our success, Education Week ranks Mississippi number nine in the nation in pre-school enrollments.

To put more funding in the classroom, I signed into law a historic two-year $100 million teacher pay raise. Performance Based Pilot programs continue in 14 school districts and over $1 million has gone to teachers who are performing at the highest levels. We have also appropriated $65 million in the last three years for the National Board Certified Teacher Program. Nationally certified teachers can receive a $6,000 annual salary increase. Your commitment to this program has resulted in Mississippi becoming number seven in the nation for Board Certified teachers. As I have said many times, we must find the best teachers possible and pay them well.

You and I together have offered complete scholarships to students achieving high marks on their ACT and who want to become teachers. We have, working with the Institutions of Higher Learning, increased the demands on students who major in education in our universities. And we have put into place a dyslexia training program for teachers and funded scholarships to help with this training.

I can assure you from personal experience, this response to dyslexia will result in direct benefits. This reading disorder is the number one reason children drop out of school. If we confront it aggressively, we can see a dramatic decrease in our state’s dropout rate and help turn around our reading scores for thousands of Mississippi children.

This year, we must also do all in our power to help children with special needs. The Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act will empower parents with educational choice to get their children the services they need. When only 22.5 percent of special needs children graduate from high school, something is terribly wrong. I call on you to send this bill to my desk. Mississippi children with special needs, and their parents, deserve nothing less.

Now let’s spend a moment on the reality of education funding. The Education Week Research Center ranks Mississippi as 19th in the nation for state expenditures on K-12 education as a percentage of state taxable resources. No less authority than the U.S. Department of Education lists our state as number twelve in the nation for school expenditures as a percentage of the state’s gross domestic product. My Executive Budget Recommendation increases MAEP funding by $53 million over the current year. Under my recommendation MAEP funding will reach nearly $2.2 billion or a 2.5 percent annual increase. Funding for K-12 overall will reach $2.5 billion. It includes $41 million for the second year of a $100 million teacher pay raise and $15 million for more reading coaches to assist in the literacy program within the Third Grade Gate. I believe most of us want to fund reforms in education that work and make certain the money goes to the classroom.

[1]

—Governor Phil Bryant, (2015), [18]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Phil Bryant (R)
  • Date of speech: January 21, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 3,874
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Mississippi: 64
    • State: 35
    • Year: 24
    • Million: 19
    • Economic: 12
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Missouri

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Missouri address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in Missouri

As we search for long-term strategies to promote equality and economic opportunity, we don’t need to look further than education.

Education is the great equalizer.

Because when every child has a quality education, every child has the opportunity to succeed.

And education is the best economic development tool we have.

That’s why we’ve increased funding, while also raising our expectations with more rigorous classes ... tougher tests, and stricter accountability.

And Missouri schools are rising to the challenge.

Over the past six years, math scores have gone up ... reading scores have gone up … and we’re starting to see solid progress in some of our most troubled school districts.

Tonight we are joined by Dr. Tiffany Anderson, the Superintendent of the Jennings School District in North St. Louis County, and Breyannah Parker, a 7th Grade student at College Prep Academy with a 4.0 GPA.

More than 90 percent of the kids in her district come from poor families – but they aren’t letting anything hold them back.

Jennings students have made big leaps forward over the past several years with higher test scores and higher graduation rates.

Please join me in thanking Dr. Anderson for her leadership and dedication to the success of students like Breyannah.

Visit communities across our state – and you’ll get a sense for how strongly Missourians support their local public schools ... and their teachers.

Last fall at the polls, voters overwhelmingly rejected a wrong-headed attack on public school teachers with more than 76 percent of Missourians voting against it.

That initiative, bankrolled by a narrow special interest, lost in every single county of the state.

In Stone County and Sullivan County … Wayne and Washington … Greene and Iron County, Missourians demonstrated just how fiercely they stand behind public schools.

Because Missourians know we need to pay our teachers more.

Not chip away at their job security.

Where our public schools thrive, our communities thrive.

And if we’re completely honest about where our schools stand … we’ve still got work to do.

Because better isn’t good enough. Our kids deserve the best.

My budget will invest an additional $11 million in pre-school, so that more children, regardless of their circumstances, start kindergarten … ready to learn.

And once again, I am proposing record funding for K-12 education … with an additional $150 million for our local public schools.

That means more technology in classrooms ... smaller class sizes ... more hands-on learning ...

It also means better pay for the folks that do the toughest, most important job there is: teaching our kids.

I appreciate the good, bipartisan discussions we’ve had about the school transfer law. And I am confident the legislature will get a clean fix to my desk this session.

We know that the fastest-growing, highest-paying jobs in the global economy are in science, technology, engineering and math.

But right now less than 20 percent of undergrads at our public universities are getting degrees in these demanding academic disciplines.

We’ve got to expose kids – at an early age – to programs that bring science and math to life … like Project Lead the Way.

I’ve been to Project Lead the Way classrooms where kids were analyzing DNA and designing software. It’s a real game-changer.

We now have more Project Lead the Way computer science programs than any other state.

But not enough schools are using Project Lead the Way at the elementary level. We need to ramp that up dramatically.

That’s why my budget provides start-up grants to expand Project Lead the Way to another 350 elementary schools.

[1]

—Office of Missouri Governor, (2015), [19]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Jay Nixon (D)
  • Date of speech: January 21, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 5,209
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Missouri: 50
    • State: 43
    • Year: 23
    • Missourians: 21
    • Need: 18
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Montana

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Montana address

Excerpt

In recent years, some states have experimented with the idea that a state could grow by decimating revenues and making deep cuts in their schools. It’s the idea that the middle class is somehow going to grow by prosperity trickling down from the top.

As we gather this evening, both celebrating our past accomplishments and looking to the future:

  • Wisconsin starts its legislative session with a projected $2.2 billion deficit for the next biennium – that’s billion, with a “B."
  • Kansas? $650 million upside down, a court order requiring better funding for their schools, and they’re considering millions in new taxes.
  • And New Jersey has had their credit rating downgraded eight times in the last five years, and has record debt.

These experiments have failed. I’m glad that we’ve not chosen that path. We’ve taken a balanced approach. We’ve protected our fiscal health. We’ve invested in our priorities. We’ve maintained cash surpluses. And we’ve done all of this while also being named one of the most tax-friendly states in the nation – both for businesses and individuals.

I insist that Montana remain the most fiscally responsible state in the country. We must balance our budget. And we must keep money set aside for those unexpected rainy days.

Now, some people in this room have chided me for insisting on setting a little money aside. At the end of the last legislature some asked what these rainy days were that I was saving for.

Unlike most states, our fiscal health and our balanced budget meant we didn’t have cuts in service to taxpayers or layoffs during the federal government’s irresponsible shutdown.

The fiscal discipline that I’ve demanded and Montanans expect, that’s what has led to all of these accolades about our budgetary health. But it’s not just about federal government shutdowns and awards.

I ask that we leave $300 million in the rainy day fund at the session’s end. Since 1990, Montana’s ending fund balance has fallen below $300 million 16 times. In nearly half of those years, a special session of the legislature was required. I believe that we – you and I – can get our job done while you’re here in town for the next several months. We must balance our budget and appropriately plan for the rainy days that we don’t foresee. We shouldn’t need a special legislative session, costing Montanans over $70,000 each day, to either raise taxes or cut essential services.

Please join me in making responsible fiscal management our top shared priority.

[1]

—Office of the Governor of Montana, (2015), [20]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Steve Bullock (D)
  • Date of speech: January 28, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 5,929
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Montana: 61
    • State: 50
    • Montanans: 26
    • Years: 16
    • Jobs: 16
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Nebraska

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Nebraska address

Excerpt

We have a great way of life and great jobs to offer. Now, we need to highlight that and invite people to make a home in Nebraska. Unemployment in Nebraska is about 3 percent, which is a blessing and a challenge. A recent State Chamber study said retaining a skilled workforce is one of the top concerns of our business leaders. We have long discussed the problem of brain drain, and I can tell you as a dad that I want all roads to lead back to Nebraska. To do that we need to remove the obstacles.

Which is just one reason why we must reduce taxes.

According to one national business news network, we are the third overall highest taxed state behind only California and New York. Think about that for a second. We can do better.

Our high tax reality does not just hit the wallets of our citizens—it creates a reputation. It discourages new business investment. Our high taxes also discourage people from choosing Nebraska as a place to live, work and raise a family.

There is one consistent message I have heard in every corner of the state: property taxes are too high. My budget adds $60 million each year to the property tax credit relief fund—an increase of nearly 43 percent—for a grand total of $400 million in property tax relief this biennium. This property tax relief will help all Nebraskans: homeowners, small business owners, and our farmers and ranchers.

An example of someone we can help is Roger Brandt. Roger is a farmer from Carroll up in Wayne County who is here with us today. Last spring, Roger showed me his tax assessments for the three pieces of property he owns. His assessments increased between 36 to nearly 50 percent for each parcel in just one year. That is not sustainable. That is why I also want to work with you to reduce the ag land valuation. I have funded a phased in approach in my budget to reduce valuations from 75% to 65%.

We did not get to be a high tax state overnight, and we won’t get taxes down overnight either. But together, we can take important steps toward providing tax relief.

[1]

—Office of the Governor of Nebraska, (2015), [21]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Pete Ricketts (R)
  • Date of speech: January 22, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 3,448
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Nebraska: 41
    • State: 28
    • Work: 21
    • People: 21
    • Need: 17
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Nevada

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Nevada address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in Nevada

I submit to you this evening that an education system for this century requires bold new ideas to meet the reality of our time.

I am asking the Legislature to join me in beginning the work of comprehensive modernization of our education system to meet the needs of today's students and the New Nevada.

This work begins with our youngest learners.

Nevada has the lowest preschool attendance of any state in the nation.

Thanks to a recent federal grant, and matching funds provided in my budget, we will improve this worst-in-the-country statistic. 6 My budget also finishes what we started two years ago, the expansion of all Day Kindergarten to every elementary school in Nevada.

These two efforts provide a foundation for the future success of all our children.

We must also improve our students' reading skills.

Studies show that a child's chances of graduating from high school are cut in half if they are not reading at grade level by third grade.

I will therefore work with Senator Becky Harris and the Senate Committee on Education to introduce a "Read by Three" bill to help ensure every student is reading by third grade.

My budget includes nearly $30 million to support this literacy effort.

My budget also begins modernizing our classrooms through instructional technology.

Today, we invest less than $4 million over the biennium in school technology.

My budget will launch the Nevada Ready 21 Plan.

This plan will put digital devices in the hands of middle school students throughout Nevada and ensure teachers have the necessary training for this new environment.

As we expand technology, we must take steps to protect privacy.

I encourage this Legislature to work with the various stakeholders to enact legislation protecting student data.

Our most troubling education statistic is Nevada's worst-in-the-nation high school graduation rate.

We have to do better.

My budget includes a new grants program designed to ensure students are college and career ready by graduation – as well as a significant expansion of Career and Technical Education, Jobs for America's Graduates and STEM education.

In total, this effort will make over $20 million available to our high schools.

We must remember that the New Nevada will be different in other ways from 50 years ago. Our students are different, and their needs are different.

The 40-year-old Nevada Plan for School Finance must be modernized to consider the needs of individual students.

A better alternative uses "weighted formulas" where students with differing needs would receive additional dollars based on a percentage of the base amount.

In the second year of the coming biennium, my budget will establish the first of these funding categories in Special Education and then work toward a final weighted formula.

Other categories will follow in subsequent years.

Last session we introduced for the first time additional resources for Nevada's English language learners.

We created the Zoom Schools, and early indicators point to the kind of success we expected.

My budget doubles our original investment for a total of $100 million this biennium.

But English language learners are not the only school population with differing needs.

My budget includes $50 million for students in the most impoverished parts of our state.

Their schools require a solution to win the struggles their students have every day.

I propose calling them "Victory Schools," signifying our commitment to help these students overcome adversity.

We have also historically neglected our gifted and talented learners, allocating less than $200,000 per year for these students.

My recommended budget provides $10 million to establish a true Gifted and Talented Learner allocation.

These initiatives represent a down payment on total modernization of the Nevada Plan.

Legislation this Session will also adjust when we count student enrollment, increase transparency in the funding model, ensure money reaches the classroom, and modernize equity allocation. 8 A hard reality of today's Nevada schools is that they are simply overcrowded and need maintenance.

Imagine sitting in a high school class in Las Vegas with over forty students and no air conditioning.

The need is real.

Therefore, I will support legislation to approve a temporary rollover of bonding authority for the construction and maintenance of local schools, with state oversight.

While many must recognize the hard truth that our education system will not improve without more funding, others must accept the reality that improvements will not be made without accountability measures, collective bargaining reform, and school choice.

Our new investment must come with performance measures and accountability.

We will only pay for programs that make a difference in the lives of students.

I will again support Opportunity Scholarships, giving tax credits to businesses that provide tuition-based scholarships for at-risk students to attend private schools.

Through the leadership of Assemblywoman Woodbury, the Assembly Committee on Education will introduce this legislation.

I will sign it when it reaches my desk.

I support legislation that increases the quality of public charter schools.

My budget provides $20 million in matching funding to encourage successful, proven charter school organizations to open more charter schools in Nevada.

Based on recent events, I have concluded that local school boards should be appointed, not elected.

Although well intended, some of these boards have become disconnected from their communities.

I will therefore support legislation to provide for the appointment of members of local school boards. [1]

Governing, (2015), [22]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Brian Sandoval (R)
  • Date of speech: January 15, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 4,830
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Nevada: 59
    • School: 42
    • State: 34
    • Education: 30
    • Million: 27
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New Hampshire

Word cloud of most commonly used words in New Hampshire address

Excerpt

In addition to a highly skilled workforce, we know that our businesses need a healthy workforce in order to grow and thrive.

Last year, we came together across party lines to pass a historic health care expansion plan. New Hampshire’s business community, as well as our hospitals and health care providers, support this bipartisan plan because it reduces health care cost-shifting onto our families and businesses, strengthens the health of our workforce, and boosts our economy.

Because of our expansion plan, nearly 34,000 hard-working Granite Staters now have the health and economic security that comes with quality, affordable health coverage.

And next year, these individuals will move to private coverage through the state’s health insurance marketplace, helping increase competition that will improve affordability and increase choices for all of New Hampshire citizens.

Across the nation, more and more states are moving forward with health care expansion, and states without it will see higher costs and find it harder to compete.

This budget provides for the reauthorization of our expansion plan and includes the funds needed to cover New Hampshire’s share in the next biennium, maintaining our commitment to our people and businesses, and to the future of our economy.

Our budget also recognizes the savings we will see in the next two years from our work on health care expansion, including estimated reduced costs for uncompensated care and the ability to move people formerly served by several special programs to the marketplace or the health protection program.

And those savings don’t even include the long-term savings that come from a more productive and healthier workforce.

In addition, our budget also recognizes a significant increase in insurance premium tax revenue from the health protection program and the marketplace.

Allowing expansion to sunset would result in reduced savings and reduced revenues.

Allowing expansion to sunset would result in increased cost-shifting onto all of our people and businesses.

And allowing expansion to sunset would cause significant harm to the health and financial security of the thousands of men and women receiving coverage.

We must maintain our commitment to our bipartisan health care expansion plan.

In order to continue strengthening our health care system and to maximize our health care dollars, this budget also moves forward with implementing the “so-called” Step 2 of Medicaid managed care.

For me, and for the families we serve, the most important thing is doing Step 2 right. Our driving force should be better services. That is why this budget includes stable rates and stable funding for both years of the biennium, ensuring that implementation is based only on a timeline and principles that work for recipients, families, providers, and all other stakeholders.

And to further ensure that our most vulnerable have the services that they need, our budget proposal maintains funding for services for people who experience developmental disabilities, people with acquired brain disorder, those needing long-term care, and other ‘waiver’ services.

It also funds what has historically been called the waitlist, but that term suggests that we don’t have a moral and legal obligation to provide these services. We do – which is why we have renamed that budget line, now calling it transitional services, which will fund care for the estimated 600 people who will become eligible over the next two years.

We must also continue our work to ensure that our veterans and their families, who have sacrificed bravely in defense of our freedoms, receive the full care and support that they deserve.

This budget adds a Veterans Services Officer to the State Office of Veterans Services and it will allow us to open 25 additional beds at the State Veterans Home.

In addition, our capital budget includes funding for an additional unit at the State Veterans Home that will be dedicated to care for veterans with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

As we work to improve health care for all of our citizens, we must continue our efforts to address our strained mental health system, which remains a pressing challenge facing our families, health care providers, police officers, and communities across the state.

This budget funds the new crisis unit at New Hampshire Hospital to help relieve overcrowded hospital emergency rooms.

And by including the funds necessary to maintain our commitment to our landmark mental health settlement, this budget will help alleviate the strain on our state’s mental health system and ensure that we are providing appropriate care at the right place and time, before the point of crisis.

Substance misuse – which at times co-occurs with mental illness – also remains a serious public health and safety challenge facing our state.

In 2014, we had more than 280 drug overdose deaths – an unprecedented number – with many of those caused by heroin or related drugs.

To address the rising rate of heroin and opioid overdoses, we have worked to train our first responders in the safe and effective use of Narcan, an emergency treatment for someone who has overdosed.

We recently announced rules to create a new license that would allow all trained police officers the option to carry and administer Narcan. While increasing the safe and effective use of Narcan will help us save lives, we know that we must also strengthen our prevention and treatment efforts.

Our bipartisan health care expansion plan provides coverage for treatment for substance and alcohol abuse, and this budget adds funds in the second year of the biennium to extend the full substance use disorder benefit to traditional Medicaid.

This budget also builds on our efforts to address the substance misuse challenge facing our state, tripling funding over the biennium to the Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery.

These steps together will help ensure that our state remains among the healthiest in the nation, while promoting a healthy, highly skilled workforce that is prepared for success in the innovation economy. [1]

—Governor of New Hampshire, (2015), [23]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Maggie Hassan (D)
  • Date of speech: February 12, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 6,246
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Budget: 84
    • State: 49
    • People: 29
    • Businesses: 28
    • Health: 27
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New Jersey

Word cloud of most commonly used words in New Jersey address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in New Jersey

We have also done much in the past five years to reform our education system.

For the first time in 100 years, we came together to reform tenure, so that failing teachers can be removed from the classroom.

For the first time, we brought the concept of performance-based pay to schools in our largest city, Newark -- so that we can pay the best teachers more.

We’ve reformed and re-energized public education in Camden under the leadership of Paymon Rouhanifard, a cooperative school advisory board and a supportive mayor and council.

We have expanded charter schools.

And together we have enacted urban hope legislation to create renaissance schools in our highest risk districts.

Finally, for four years in a row, we’ve provided a record amount in aid to our public schools -- over $11.9 billion in the current fiscal year.

But on this, we cannot and should not rest.

More school reform is needed.

And a great first step would be to pass the opportunity scholarship act, to give parents a choice of a school that meets their child’s needs.

Let’s give families an alternative to chronically failing neighborhood schools.

Let’s keep driving for better outcomes.

Let’s give parents and students more choice.

At its heart, education is about realizing the potential of every individual. [1]

Governing, (2015), [24]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Chris Christie (R)
  • Date of speech: January 13, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 4,211
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Jersey: 40
    • State: 31
    • Years: 27
    • Year: 22
    • Government: 18
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New Mexico

Word cloud of most commonly used words in New Mexico address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in New Mexico

And, if education is the most powerful tool in the life of a child, we should honor and reward our best teachers and intervene quickly to help those who need it.

But, we must choose courage over comfort. The status quo is comfortable – each teacher paid the same, every evaluation identical, and the misguided belief that all teachers should be simply labeled as meeting competency.

Those are comfortable notions. But, they do not center on the one question we should be asking above all others when it comes to education: are our kids learning?

If that is the central question then there is no doubt we would embrace reform.

Yes, we are evaluating our teachers in a more meaningful way than ever before, and I understand that change can be difficult and challenging. But we continue to listen to ways in which we can improve and make the process better. I will meet anyone halfway, so long as our children learning is the only goal in front of us.

We also continue to look for ways to better support our teachers, because we know how important their work is. For example, teachers tell me two things most often – that starting teachers aren’t paid enough, and that they shouldn’t have to spend money from their own pockets on school supplies in their classrooms.

I couldn’t agree more, and that’s why I’m proposing that we raise starting teacher salaries by an additional $2,000 per year, to help us recruit and retain more teachers.

And to help teachers who are having to pay for classroom materials out-of-pocket, we should provide every New Mexico teacher with a pre-loaded $100 debit card for the purchase of classroom supplies.

I also recognize how difficult it can be in a state as large and rural as ours to recruit certain types of teachers – bilingual, special ed, math and science. So, let’s offer two-year stipends to these types of teachers if they’re willing to teach in schools or districts where recruitment or retention has been a challenge.

And I firmly believe that we should allow adjunct teachers into our high schools to teach certain difficult subjects, such as scientists from Los Alamos or Sandia teaching one or two chemistry classes, or well-trained researchers teaching geometry or calculus. Again, if our goal is to provide our kids with the best instruction possible, these are opportunities we cannot pass up.

Let me say this, however. If education is the key to a brighter future for our children, then we must have the courage to demand that our kids are in their seats and learning. Truancy is a cancer in our schools. Today’s habitually truant kids are indeed tomorrow’s dropouts. It is our collective problem. And we know who the at-risk kids are; teachers say they can spot them a mile away – detached, behavior issues, lack of interest in school and their peers.

So I propose that districts with high truancy problems come to the state with local plans to stop it. Which middle schools could really benefit from having social workers on campus, to interact with at-risk kids? And in the high schools that are fed by these middle schools, let’s hire dropout prevention coaches whose sole purpose is to see these kids receive a diploma.

Of course, despite our best efforts, some young people will not get the message until we have the courage to be tougher. To that end, we should pass legislation that would not allow habitually truant students to obtain or keep their driver’s license.

But ask yourself this: how did many troubled students end up that way - uninterested in school, dropping out, perhaps engaging in criminal activity, achieving far lower than their potential? As a prosecutor for 25 years, as someone who has listened to the stories of teachers who try to reach these kids, chances are, it’s because they can’t read very well.

They fell behind early, couldn’t read a children’s book…passed along.

Words got bigger, chapters got longer, and subjects got harder…passed along.

Asked to read out loud in class? No way. Too embarrassed.

Homework? Can’t read it and stopped trying, tired of failing.

“I’m struggling” becomes “I’ll never understand this,” which becomes “I’m not smart, so I’m done trying.”

When children cannot read, and yet they are passed along anyway, we do them no favors. We discourage them. We frustrate them. We hurt their chances for success in life. We hamper their ability to get a good job. My friends, that does not build self-esteem in a child!

We have condoned this for far too long, taken the easy way out, and made the comfortable decision.

It takes courage to do the right thing. Now is the time, this is the moment, when we stop being complicit in this practice. We must stop passing our children from one grade to the next when they cannot read.

On my watch, we’ve more than doubled pre-K funding, and I’m proposing more this year. We’ve made K-3 Plus permanent, allowing 18,000 struggling readers to take advantage of summer tutoring. I know it starts early, and our efforts to stop social promotion are jam-packed with interventions, starting at kindergarten, to get children help so that retaining them is not necessary. But let’s acknowledge the devastating negative ripple effects of socially promoting our youngest children. It impacts their ability to learn and succeed, it makes it harder for teachers in later grades to bring them up to speed, and it makes it harder for businesses to find the qualified workforce they need.

Let’s choose progress, not politics, on this issue. [1]

Governing, (2015), [25]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Susana Martinez (R)
  • Date of speech: January 20, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 4,800
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Mexico: 34
    • State: 30
    • Child: 22
    • Teachers: 21
    • School: 20
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New York

Word cloud of most commonly used words in New York address

Excerpt

Education – the great equalizer. And this is the area, my friends where I think we need to do the most reform and frankly where reform is going to be difficult, given the situation of the way education is funded in this state. Our education system needs dramatic reform and it has for years and I believe this is the year to do it. This is the year to roll up our sleeves and take on the dramatic challenge that has eluded us for so many years for so many reasons.

We will pursue an ambitious P-12 agenda. Professionalize teaching and increase standards, strengthen teacher evaluations, reward excellent teachers, transform the state’s failing schools, expeditiously but effectively removing failing teachers, expand charter schools, pass the ETC and the DREAM Act, extend mayoral control, continue support for four year olds and pre-K. Let’s do them one at a time.

We want the best teachers in our classroom. Every study says the quality of the teacher makes a difference in the school. We must start treating teaching like the profession that it actually is. In 2013, this legislature put in place a bar exam – an entrance exam for teachers. Last year every prospective teacher had to take a twelfth grade literacy test. Of the teachers who took it, 32% failed. It was a twelfth grade literacy test. And these are the teachers who are about to walk into a classroom. These are teachers who we are giving to our children.

We need a real set of standards for entering the profession and we also want to recruit the best and the brightest and I believe you have to incentivize for that. We are proposing that we will pay full tuition for SUNY or CUNY for top graduates if they commit to going to teach in New York schools for five years. And we will create a residency program to give teachers early training just the way we do with doctors.

Now everyone will tell you nationwide, the key to education reform is a teacher evaluation system. Why? So you know what teachers are doing well, what teachers need work and what teachers are struggling. A teacher evaluation system. New York has talked about it for years and years and years. We were supposed to implement the teacher evaluation system five years ago in exchange for receiving federal money for Race to the Top. The schools were reluctant to do it. Last year we said if a school didn’t complete a teacher evaluation system, they wouldn’t get state funding – the excess funding. Low and behold, 100% of the teachers now have a teacher evaluation system. 100% of the schools adopted a teacher evaluation system. That’s the good news – we have teacher evaluation systems for every school in the system. The bad news is they are baloney.

Now 38% of high schools students are college ready. 38%. 98.7% of high school teachers are rated effective. How can that be? How can 38% of the students be ready, but 98% of the teachers effective? 31% of third to eight graders are proficient in English, but 99% of the teachers are rated effective. 35% of third to eighth graders are proficient in math but 98% of the math teachers are rated effective. Who are we kidding, my friends? The problem is clear and the solution is clear. We need real, accurate, fair teacher evaluations.

We asked the State Department of Education for their ideas and they gave us their feedback and we accept their recommendation. To reduce the over-testing of students we will eliminate local exams and base 50% of the evaluation on state exams. Second, the other 50% of the evaluations should be limited to independent classroom observations. Teachers may not be rated effective or highly effective unless they are effective in the test and the observation categories. We will stop local score inflation, which is resulted in virtually all teachers being rated by setting scoring bans in the state law.

We propose tenure to only be granted when a teacher achieves five consecutive years of effective ratings and once we have a fair evaluation system, we can incentivize performance. And we will. I believe the teacher evaluation system should be used to incentivize and reward high-performing teachers and if a teacher is doing well, incentivize that teacher who is doing well and pay them accordingly. We would pay any teacher who gets highly effective, a $20,000 bonus on top of the salary that that teacher is getting paid because we want to incentivize high performance.

In 2013, we created the Master Teacher Program, which rewards the highest-performing teachers in this system. Today we have 552 Master Teachers. These are the best of the best. These are mentors to their colleagues; they have achieved the highest scores on tests. They are teachers who go above and beyond and give more to their students than anyone has a right to ask. We are joined by them today. Let them stand so we can honor them and thank them for their contributions.

For teachers who need support after the evaluation, we will offer a teacher improvement plan to get them the help they need. In the unfortunate case that we have a chronically ineffective teacher who despite our teacher who does not improve, we must help our students by removing the chronically ineffective teacher from the classroom. Under the current 3020a system, it is so hard to remove an ineffective teacher that most districts will tell you that they don’t even try. We will follow SED’s recommendation and reform the process to make it easier, fairer and faster to remove ineffective teachers from the classroom. We propose allowing a district to remove a teacher after two ineffective ratings unless the teacher can show that their scoring was fraudulent.

Let’s remember. I know these reforms are tough but the purpose of the education system and why we do this and why taxpayers give us money to fund education is so we can teach and nurture our children. This was never about protecting and growing a bureaucracy. It was about helping young people. It was not about creating an educational industry that then supports ancillary organizations. Let’s remember the children in this process and then we’ll wind up doing the right thing.

We must acknowledge that while education should be the great equalizer – education is what made the American dream a reality. My father could go from behind a grocery store through public education and become governor. Colin Powell who grew up in the Bronx and went through public education could become Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. For too many it is now the great discriminator and the truth is we have two systems; one for the rich and one for the poor and the greatest symbol of disparity is our failing schools. Students in failing schools lag well behind in virtually every academic category. State average for graduation is 76%, in a failing school it is 47%. Worse – more than nine out of ten students in failing schools are minority or poor students. Nine out of ten are minority or poor students.

There are 178 failing schools in New York State. 77 have been failing for an entire decade. Over the last ten years, 250,000 children went through those failing schools while New York State government did nothing. Just think about that and that has to end this year. I understand the obstacles. I also understand what our students need to move forward. We should be ashamed of those numbers.

The education industry’s cry that more money will solve the problem is false. Money without reform only grows the bureaucracy. It does not improve performance. The state average per student is $8,000. The state average in a high-needs district is $12,000. A failing district like Buffalo, which has been a failing district for many, many years, the state spends $16,000 per student. So don’t tell me that if we only had more money, it would change. We have been putting more money into this system every year for a decade and it hasn’t changed and 250,000 will condemn the failing schools by this system.

Let’s end it this year. We’ll take another recommendation from SED and propose using the Massachusetts in New York. When a school fails for three years, a not-for-profit, another school district or a turn-around expert must take over the school and they must create a plan to dramatically overhaul and improve the entire school. We’ll turn each school into a community school and develop a management overhaul plan. The takeover entity will take overhaul the curriculum, override agreements will terminate underperforming staff, provide salary incentives and grant priority for Pre-K extended learning community schools, early college high schools, wraparound services so we are giving the students the services they need but we are making the changes that we have to make.

In this mix, charter schools provide a viable option for many of our students. We propose giving students in failing schools a preference in the charter school lottery. The current charter cap is 460. There are 159 slots left. Only 24 available are left for charter schools in New York City. We want to add another 100 to the cap and allow the cap to be statewide and to eliminate any artificial limits on where charter schools can open.

To ensure that charter schools are serving all of the public, we will propose an innovative anti-creaming legislation to ensure charters are teaching their fair share of high needs populations, English language, learning disabled and free lunch so no one can say that the charter schools aren’t taking the same cross-section of public students that the public schools have.

All students deserve a fair shot at the American Dream and that is why we want to pass a $100 million tax credit for public and private partnerships. And let’s pass the DREAM Act for $27 million in this budget and let’s make it a reality. If we’re serious about fixing this problem, then cities also have to be part of the solution. We are calling on the mayors to join us.

[1]

Governing, (2015), [26]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Andrew Cuomo (D)
  • Date of speech: January 21, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 10,377
  • Most commonly used words:
    • State: 124
    • York: 82
    • Years: 44
    • Million: 43
    • Year: 42
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North Carolina

Word cloud of most commonly used words in North Carolina address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in North Carolina

A key part of any jobs plan is a quality education so students can be competitive in a global economy. Connecting his students to the greater world is the mission of Garinger High School history teacher James Ford. Ford, once an Illinois teacher, chose North Carolina to continue his career and fulfill his teaching potential. Not only did he become North Carolina’s Teacher of the Year, but Charlotte Magazine’s Person of the Year, beating out business and civic leaders. Now that’s the type of respect teachers deserve. Ladies and Gentlemen, help me welcome a member of my Teacher’s Advisory Committee, Mr. James Ford.

Because of teachers like James Ford, we have some good news to report. Our most recent graduation rate is the highest in North Carolina’s history. With continued investments in Pre-K and continued reforms, such as NCWorks, in job training at our community colleges, we can expect to see even higher graduation rates, and more people filling the skills gap in North Carolina. Still, we have to build an education system that rewards teachers like James Ford for their results-driven leadership. So that North Carolina is a teaching destination, not a layover for our state's best and brightest. Teaching is hard, very hard. I know this firsthand. As a 20 year old student-teacher at North Rowan High School in Spenser, I thought I had the perfect lesson plan for my first day of teaching. I worked for days preparing an hour’s worth of teaching material. But I ran out of material after 10 minutes. With my advisor and all 30 students looking to me for direction, the remaining 50 minutes were the longest of my life. Teaching is hard, so to support our teachers, we must: Fulfill our promise to raise teacher base pay to $35,000 a year.

We also must give our teachers and students the gift of time by testing less and teaching more. My administration is finalizing a plan to reduce tests working with Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, State Superintendent June Atkinson, State School Board Chair Bill Cobey, as well as our district superintendents, principals and teachers, to distinguish which tests improve a student’s performance and which tests simply waste time. We will eliminate unneeded testing by next year. We are continuing our efforts to bring Wi-Fi to all our classrooms and long distance learning to both our children and adults.

To help our schools hire the teachers they need now, we are moving to expedite teacher certification, recognizing an individual’s experience and subject expertise. For example, my education advisor Eric Guckian taught for two years in the South Bronx for Teach For America and has a master’s degree in education from Harvard. Yet, he was required to take 18 months of courses to earn his North Carolina teacher certification. This bureaucratic process must change. We want, and should be encouraging, accomplished people who want to join the teaching profession. The bureaucracy should never, never, stand between their talents and our children.

Cost must also not become an obstacle for students at our community colleges and universities. We must look at our community college and university balance sheets to make sure we’re making investments in the programs that will prepare our students for the global economy and close North Carolina’s skills gap. Now, we in North Carolina are fortunate to enjoy the benefits of the best research universities in the world.

We are leveraging the advantage provided by our public and private research universities through our Innovation to Jobs initiative that we just presented to the UNC Board of Governors. It’s designed to convert more of our research dollars into products and services that are patented and introduced into the marketplace. Increasing the commercialization of university research and connecting it to our greater economy will create more high-paying jobs. As governor, my goal is to have North Carolina become the third vertex of the National Innovation Triangle connecting North Carolina to Boston and the Silicon Valley. This effort is a top priority. Therefore I’ve asked my Chief of Staff Thomas Stith to lead this Innovation to Jobs initiative. [1]

—State of North Carolina, (2015), [27]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Pat McCrory (R)
  • Date of speech: February 4, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 5,577
  • Most commonly used words:
    • North: 61
    • Carolina: 61
    • State: 47
    • Year: 19
    • People: 18
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North Dakota

Word cloud of most commonly used words in North Dakota address

Excerpt

See also: Energy policy in North Dakota

Throughout North Dakota, we are making major investments to meet the needs of our growing population.

Some may ask if spending is getting out of control. It’s a fair question, especially in light of recent drops in oil prices and the potential impact on state revenues.

It’s important for the people of North Dakota to know that we are committed to a structurally balanced state budget, where ongoing spending never exceeds our available, ongoing revenues.

There are risks associated with any economy that relies on the value of commodities, and those risks must always be carefully considered. We guard against these risks in several ways, including directing the vast majority of our oil and gas revenues – about 96 percent – to special reserve funds that are not used for ongoing operations.

Our statewide infrastructure upgrades and other capital projects require one-time funding that doesn’t have to be repeated should there be a significant downturn in state revenues. In the end, I expect our Legislature will find that we can continue to fund our priorities, maintain healthy reserves and provide even more tax relief.

With OPEC’s recent decision not to curb its oil production and declines in the price of oil, there is a lot of discussion about what this means to North Dakota’s oil industry and state revenues.

I believe we will see a correction, a re-balancing in worldwide production. In North Dakota, production may concentrate in core areas where production is especially high and operating costs per barrel are low. But in the end, energy independence in the United States is a game changer. No longer can OPEC and other foreign oil producers hold our country hostage to their control of oil supplies.

Moving forward, we will rely on Moody’s Analytics to provide us with an updated revenue forecast this winter that includes the impacts of the lower price of oil. If adjustments to our spending plan are needed, I am confident our legislature will make prudent decisions based on the best available projections. In the end, our growth may be slowed, but it will not stop. [1]

Governing, (2015), [28]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Jack Dalrymple (R)
  • Date of speech: January 6, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 4,099
  • Most commonly used words:
    • North: 62
    • State: 57
    • Dakota: 52
    • Nation: 19
    • Oil: 19
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Ohio

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Ohio address

Excerpt

I believe the most important thing that we can do to plan ahead is to continue strengthening Ohio's economy by further cutting taxes, and that means we must restrain government spending. We need to cut taxes and we need to restrain the growth of government.

I'm proposing that we cut taxes by $500 million on top of the $3 billion in tax cuts we've already made because high income taxes punish risk taking. High income taxes punish risk taking, investment and job creation—and they drive some of our best and some of our brightest to other states in search of lower taxes and better opportunities. And you all know what I mean. I don't care what part of Ohio you come from—you know that some of our best and our brightest and most successful—they leave. Those are our jewels, and yet they go other places. So we've got to continue to do the things we need to do to cut their taxes.

The budget I've proposed holds growth to below historic inflation. It's only 2 percent the first year and 2 percent the next—2 and a half percent the next year. So think about this. We want to restrain the growth in government spending, and it is critical that we grow at a level where we can meet our priorities, but at the same time can have the space for tax cuts.

That doesn't mean we don't invest in some priorities, like education, but we're always looking for ways to innovate and improve and reduce because our administration has been successful in doing that.

We've been able to keep growth in check so that there's money to give back to Ohioans in the form of a $500 million tax cut because we have restrained ourselves, we're able to give 500—a half a billion dollars—back to the people of this state. So—

So now we're going to have a little bit of an explanation of all this. So to make sure we're all on the same page, let's remember what tax cuts do to strengthen Ohio. When people get to keep more of their money, the money they earn, they have more control over their lives. When they get to keep more, they've got more control. They have more power to decide their futures, more flexibility to respond to changes in their lives or changes in the economy.

Folks, it's not the government's money that we let them keep. It's Ohioans' money. It's our money, and we want them to keep as much of it as possible. Because what they do, they will always know how to spend it better than government ever could. In other words, when they've got the money, they're going to do a better job of exercising choice than any government will ever do for them. Don't forget that.

But here's another thing you need to understand. Low taxes signal to job creators that Ohio is a safe and attractive place to invest. When you're looking at investing, you want to go where things are solid, where budgets are balanced, where you know that government is being restrained, and you also know that that is a—that is a government or a group of leaders who understand the philosophy of reducing taxes and empowering people from the bottom up. It sends a signal of strength. And that's exactly what we want to do.

Let's take the small business owner, for example. The small business that has more money can hire more people. They can buy more machinery and equipment to increase production. And, therefore, have a better chance to thrive. Small businesses get healthier. They can hire. They can be stronger. This is not a Republican philosophy. This is just a simple fact. High taxes discourage it. High taxes, especially the income tax, punish a small business owner's willingness to take the risk to hire more people, to invest in improvements, and work harder to be successful.

Lower taxes incentivize all of those things. And when small businesses across this state take risks when they invest and expand, it echos throughout our economy. It's called growth. It's called job creation. And it lifts Ohio. That's why—one reason why—we work so hard to cut Workers' Compensation premiums by 12 percent and $409 million in savings, and we have given private employers $1.75 billion back in rebates while investing in worker safety. You think that doesn't free up money? Call your small business and ask them. It's also why I want to eliminate income taxes for virtually every small business in our state, to help fuel and accelerate growth.

I want to send a message that if you want to start a small business with no income taxes on a small business up to $2 million. If you want to start a small business, if you're an entrepreneur if you're a young person coming out of college, do it in Ohio. Think about it. Do it in Ohio. Come here. Stay here or come here because we're going to give you the help you need to open the doors. And that helps us with the population drain that we've seen in this state.

We see similar—right. Exactly right, Tim.

We see similar good things happen when families get to keep more of their own money. They've got more power and control over their own lives. They have the freedom to direct their own futures. They can save for a rainy day or for college education, or they can make needed home repairs. Maybe they can go into business or maybe take a special trip, like my mom and dad used to take us when they had a little bit more money in their pockets.

I want to give families this kind of power over their own lives, and that's why I'm proposing to cut the income tax rate by 23 percent. We've already cut Ohio's income tax rate from 5.9 to 5.33 percent, and our budget will take it all the way down to 4.1 percent over the next two years.

I want you to think about it, and would love you to support it.

Let's keep going, and let the common sense growth strategy of cutting taxes strengthen Ohio, as well as helping us attract the best and brightest to our state. Don't forget, many of our most successful job creators, CEOs and innovators leave Ohio for states with zero income taxes. And what they do is take their good ideas, their philanthropy with them.

Let me put this in simple terms. So you work a whole lifetime, maybe you build a business. You become successful. My dad carried mail on his back. I used to say, “Dad, how do we feel about the rich?” He said, “Johnny, we don't hate the rich. We want to be one of them.”

The fact is, in Ohio, punishing success will drive people out. So these folks, many of whom we all know, whether we live in Steubenville, whether we live in Youngstown, whether we live in Cleveland, whether we live in Toledo, Cincinnati, or Columbus, somebody has an opportunity to cash in what they earned. And they want to sell some stock. I want you all to think about this for a second. They want to sell some stock. If they go to Florida and live, they pay the federal capital gains rate, 20 percent. They don't pay anything else. If they live in Ohio, they pay the federal capital gains rate plus an additional 5.3 percent. Now, what would you rather pay, 25.3 percent in taxes or 20 percent? And for many of these people who were successful, it's a large amount of money. So that's why when you go to Naples and you drive around down there, you keep bumping into Ohioans, because they've all moved. And with the savings they make by not paying Ohio's income tax, they could buy another house down there.

This is not complicated. We can’t lose our best and brightest. I'm just pleading with you to understand that we drive them out. And they go down there. When they go down there to Florida, they're building a new performing arts center down in Naples. You know, they're down there hanging out. They're creating jobs down there. I want them building performing arts centers in Wilmington, Ohio, not down in Naples, Florida. I want to keep them here.

So that's the easy—that’s the easy part of it. Okay? And you can all debate about how you want to do it. That $500 million gets paid for by the savings that we've been able to generate. But I've got to tell you about something that, frankly, I think is almost as important. I believe we can achieve even more if we start fundamentally changing the way that Ohio's tax system works so that taxes have less of a drag on the private economy.

Look, no tax is great, but some are worse than others. I don't know if you've ever studied that some taxes have a greater drag on economic growth than other taxes. So if we're going to raise taxes—or if we're going to have taxes–let's have the taxes that have the least negative impact on the private economy so we can create jobs.

A certain level of taxes—of course—is inevitable, to pave the roads, run the schools and care for the needy. The government's got to make that money go as far as it can. And those taxes must be generated in the least harmful way. This means we must reduce Ohio's traditional overreliance on income taxes and lean more on consumption taxes.

Now, let me finish this. I think we should lean less on income taxes which punish investment and the growth and seek to lean more on consumption taxes. [1]

—Governor of Ohio, (2015), [29]

Quick facts
  • Governor: John Kasich (R)
  • Date of speech: February 24, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 10,588
  • Most commonly used words:
    • People: 54
    • Taxes: 50
    • Ohio: 45
    • Need: 41
    • State: 39
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Oklahoma

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Oklahoma address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in Oklahoma

We must encourage more Oklahomans to continue their education beyond high school.

Currently, Oklahoma’s workforce is not meeting the education levels needed to sustain potential job growth. For Oklahoma businesses to meet labor demands and Oklahoma citizens to find good jobs and careers, we need to address the emerging “skills gap.”

In five years, studies predict that only 23 percent of Oklahoma jobs will be available to those who have a high school degree or less. But today, 46 percent of our working population fits that description.

Forty-nine percent of jobs five years from now will require a workforce credential or associate’s degree. Today, only 31 percent of working Oklahomans have achieved that level of education.

Similarly, 28 percent of jobs will require a bachelor’s degree or higher, but only 24 percent of Oklahomans have one.

If we don’t address that skills gap, those jobs will go elsewhere.

Just as importantly, there will be a lot of Oklahomans who do not have the educational level they need to begin good careers and command good salaries.

There are many things we can and must do to increase education levels in Oklahoma. Whether it’s raising academic standards to ensure our high school graduates are actually graduating with 12th grade level skills, increasing funding – which I support – or finding ways to empower parents and students, we must do more.

I look forward to working with educators, parents, and our new Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister in support of those goals.

One thing we know we can do NOW, that doesn’t require large sums of new money, is to help strengthen partnerships between local businesses and local schools where students can dual track their education and work skills.

Here’s an example: “Mid-America Delivers” is a collaborative effort between the Mid-America Industrial Park in Pryor, Oklahoma and Mayes County schools. Mid-America is home to over 70 businesses, including several Fortune 500 companies.

This is the largest cluster of private employers in the region, and they need hundreds of workers every year trained in advanced manufacturing, electrical work, medical services and more.

Through “Mid-America Delivers,” K-12 students take tours of local businesses, which are encouraged to place them in internships. The goal is to expose students to the job and career options available to them after graduation, as well as the skill-sets they’ll need to obtain those jobs.

Along with their partnership with the Mid-America Industrial Park, Mayes County Schools also work with Northeast Technology Center, OSU-IT, Rogers State University and other post-secondary degree programs.

These partnerships allow high school students the opportunity to be concurrently enrolled in classes to pursue a degree or credential in a career-area they choose.

This innovative program seeks to graduate high school seniors with hours towards a college degree or career tech certificate as well as a high school diploma.

By the time they leave high school, they will already have a career path option and the necessary skills to pursue it, if they choose to.

To make sure we are duplicating success stories like this across the state, I have established a team to launch a new program called “Oklahoma Works.”

Oklahoma Works is a cooperative effort between the public and private sector designed to strengthen the talent pipeline between K-12 education, career technology centers, higher education institutions, and businesses.

We will work to aggressively develop local partnerships to help ensure both children and adult students have access to the training and education they need to enter a career.

Many times businesses across the state tell us they can’t find the employees they need to fill jobs.

Meanwhile, students enter the workforce every year looking for the right job to match their education and skill-set.

This program is designed to realign our education and work-skill training systems to better meet the needs of both students and employers. [1]

—Governor of Oklahoma, (2015), [30]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Mary Fallin (R)
  • Date of speech: February 2, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 3,601
  • Most commonly used words:
    • State: 38
    • Oklahoma: 27
    • Need: 19
    • Government: 16
    • Education: 14
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Oregon

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Oregon address

Excerpt

Between 1945 (the end of WWII) and 1973 worker productivity in the U.S. increased 96% and wages increased 94%. But between 1973 and 2011 while worker productivity increased 80% wages only increased by 10%. In short, our workers are more productive today than ever – but they are not sharing equitably in the wealth that they are helping to create – and that trend is accelerating.

That should be troubling to us all because one of the most basic premises on which our nation was founded is the belief that hard work will be rewarded with a better life. Yet for a growing number of Oregonians this is simply no longer the case. In the midst of this economic "recovery" a growing number of people are now trapped in low-wage and/or part-time jobs on which they cannot possible support a family – and with no hope of getting ahead. Why?

Why are one in five Oregon children still living in poverty? Why do over 30 percent of Oregon children face food insecurity on a daily basis? Why is poverty among Latinos 27% and poverty among African Americans, Native Americans, Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders and people with disabilities over 30%? And most importantly why is that acceptable to us?

I think we can all agree that this situation is not only unfair – but that it serves to widen the disparities that divide us and makes it more difficult for us to come together as a community. [1]

—State of Oregon, (2015), [31]

Quick facts
  • Governor: John Kitzhaber (D)
  • Date of speech: January 12, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 2,720
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Years: 16
    • Community: 14
    • Oregon: 13
    • State: 12
    • People: 12
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South Carolina

Word cloud of most commonly used words in South Carolina address

Excerpt

Our economic competitiveness as a state is in really good shape, but the nature of competition is that just when you think you're doing well, your competitors are gaining on you. In order to continue our state's remarkable progress, we must take further steps to improve our standing.

We are competing for jobs internationally, nationally, and regionally. Where we stand compared to our neighboring states matters.

Some southeastern and southwestern states – Tennessee, Florida, and Texas – have no income tax at all. Georgia's tax is a full percent lower than ours, and just last year North Carolina cut theirs by two full points, to below even that.

In that competitive environment, our state's 7% income tax rate stands out and puts us at a disadvantage. In order to keep the ball rolling in our economy, we must bring down our income tax.

At the same time, it is widely recognized that we have major infrastructure needs in our state.

We have a very real problem with the way our transportation dollars are spent. Our system screams out for reform and restructuring. The condition of our roads and bridges is a statewide concern and yet our dollars are being spent with zero statewide perspective.

The current system, with commissioners representing Congressional Districts and selected by local delegations, is the ultimate exercise in parochialism. Instead of fighting for the needs of South Carolina at large, they fight for the needs of their districts, which means they fight each other. I don't necessarily blame them – until we make wholesale changes to the system, doing so is in their best interests.

The problem is it is not in South Carolina's best interest. So I will not support more revenue for our roads and bridges until we restructure the Department of Transportation. Simply shipping more money into the current bureaucracy would be like blasting water through a leaky hose. Some of it would reach the right destination, but too much of it would end up in a mess on the ground. I won't do it.

That said, deficient roads and highways are an economic issue. That's why we supported $1 billion in new road funds last year, which was the biggest infrastructure investment in a generation. It's why we proposed in our Executive Budget dedicating an additional $61 million in auto sales tax funds entirely to roads. But we know that's not enough. We still have very substantial infrastructure revenue needs that have to be addressed.

We have studied every option.

Some have advocated raising the state gas tax. Yes, we do have the third-lowest gas tax in America. Gas prices are now down to their lowest level since 2009. Non-South Carolinians who visit our state would pay a portion of the tax. And we would boost the revenue stream that is dedicated to improving our roads and highways.

But there are also major problems with it. We have not gotten to where we are as a state, with our strengthening and growing economy, by raising taxes. Quite the opposite. If all we do is increase taxes, whether it's the gas tax, or some other tax, we will hurt our citizens, we will discourage job creators, and we will dampen our economy. As I've said many times, I will veto any straight-up increase in the gas tax. That's just not going to happen while I'm governor. It's the wrong thing for South Carolina.

So here's the deal. Let's do three things at once that will be a win-win-win for South Carolina.

Let's cut our state income tax rate from 7% to 5% over the next decade. That's a nearly 30% reduction in state income taxes. Nationally, it will take us from 38th in income tax competitiveness to 13th. Regionally, it will put our rate back below those of North Carolina and Georgia. It will be a massive draw for jobs and investment to come to our state.

And it will put more money in the pockets of every South Carolinian, letting them keep more of what they earn. It will reward work, savings, and investment – all the things we need to do to make our state stronger and our people more prosperous.

Next, let's change the way we spend our infrastructure dollars and get rid of the legislatively elected transportation commission so the condition of South Carolina's roads is no longer driven by short-sighted regionalism and political horse trading, and we stop wasting our tax money.

Finally, let's increase the gas tax by ten cents over the next three years, and let's dedicate that money entirely toward improving our roads. That will keep our gas tax below both Georgia and North Carolina, and we can do it without harming our economy, because when coupled with the 30% income tax cut, it still represents one of the largest tax cuts in South Carolina history.

[1]

Governing, (2015), [32]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Nikki Haley (R)
  • Date of speech: January 21, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 5,103
  • Most commonly used words:
    • South: 60
    • Carolina: 50
    • State: 35
    • Tax: 22
    • People: 21
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South Dakota

Word cloud of most commonly used words in South Dakota address

Excerpt

Maintaining our roads and bridges is one of the most basic functions of government and it is vital – for this year and for decades to come. I don't want to leave this problem to future governors, future legislators, and future generations.

As President Ronald Reagan said when he proposed a gas tax increase in 1982: "America can't afford throwaway roads or disposable transit systems. The bridges and highways we fail to repair today will have to be rebuilt tomorrow at many times the cost."

President Reagan was exactly right. Let's fix this problem – for good – this year.

Of course, while South Dakota's highways are a vital component of our transportation infrastructure, our state needs to maintain an efficient rail system. Our roads remain in good condition longer, when we use rail. We all know that trucks can take a toll on our roads. One truck with a legal load causes the same road wear as 9,600 cars. And one unit train can haul as much cargo as 450 trucks.

Our farmers depend on rail to ship grain – using privately owned rails and those owned by the state. Last year, South Dakota faced a potential grain storage crisis. The causes were many – unusual snow in switchyards, increased demand for oil by rail, and temporary inefficiencies caused by the sale of the Canadian Pacific line. These problems all limited capacity, when we needed GREATER capacity, to handle record harvests in 2013 and again last fall.

Over the past year, I have focused on improving rail transportation in South Dakota. We engaged with the Canadian Pacific as they proposed sale of their SD line. Members of my administration and I also traveled to Washington to meet with the Secretaries of Agriculture, and Transportation, and members of the Surface Transportation Board, to draw attention to our rail challenges. Thanks in part to our efforts, but especially with the aid of Senator John Thune, our rail carriers have responded and our rail shipping volumes are showing improvement.

We are also acting to improve our rail infrastructure for the long term. We completed a new state rail plan – it's posted on line if you want to read it. Last month, I announced $56 million in public and private investments in four rail projects in our state. In response, two grain handling facilities worth $40 million each have been announced, one in Kennebec and one in Britton. The state is offering another $4 million in matching grants to encourage additional private investment in rail. Our modest investments are leveraging millions of dollars in private capital, toward building a railroad system that will serve our shippers well for decades to come. [1]

Argus Leader, (2015), [33]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Dennis Daugaard (R)
  • Date of speech: January 13, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 8,702
  • Most commonly used words:
    • State: 75
    • South: 48
    • Dakota: 38
    • Year: 38
    • Roads: 32
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Tennessee

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Tennessee address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in Tennessee

As we drive more students to our community colleges, technical colleges and universities, we are expecting more from our schools than we ever have before. We are asking them to move full speed ahead too. We want to make sure they’re keeping expenses low and working to control tuition costs. We’re asking them to make sure they’re providing the right instruction and classes that lead to real jobs.

We know that we have a role to play in this process too. We’ve made education, both K-12 and higher ed, top priorities - both from a policy standpoint and through our budgets. This year is no exception.

In response to our schools’ new focus on success and completion, we will be investing $25 million to fully fund the Complete College Act formula.

The budget will also include $10 million to fund more need-based scholarships for students.

We’ve budgeted more than $260 million for higher ed capital. That funds new science facilities at Jackson State Community College and the University of Tennessee. It also includes nearly $25 million for improvements to our colleges of applied technology all across the state, and it includes the funds to complete the long awaited fine arts building at East Tennessee State University.

The reason we continue to make these investments in education is we want Tennesseans to have the education, training and skills necessary to have a good paying, high-quality job.

And we’re having a lot of success in attracting those jobs to Tennessee. Tennessee has become known around the world as a leading automobile manufacturing state. That’s good news because those are good jobs that bring a lot of other good jobs with them through the supplier network.

In the past, while companies might have trusted us to build their automobiles, they typically put their research and development efforts elsewhere. Today that’s changing, and more and more research and development jobs connected to manufacturing are coming to Tennessee. We want to be known as a state where employers can find the job skills that they need no matter what the skill level of the job might be.

If we are going to achieve the goals of the Drive to 55, then Tennesseans must first have a strong foundation through what they learn in elementary, middle and high school.

I truly believe that getting education right is critical to the well-being of our state – today and in the future. We have to keep going full speed ahead. We can’t afford to go backwards.

We’ve come too far to sell ourselves short. It would be an injustice to our students, to our teachers, to Tennessee families, and to ourselves.

There has been a lot of discussion about education, here and in schools and communities across the state. Most of the discussions have been around three things: state standards – what we will expect every student to know at every step along the way in his or her education journey; student assessments – how we will measure what students have learned through the year; and teacher evaluations.

Let’s start with standards. Standards are the foundational skills that students should know at different grade levels. For example, one of the kindergarten reading standards is to “demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds,” which includes recognizing and producing rhyming words and counting, pronouncing, blending and segmenting syllables in spoken words.

We typically review education standards - like that one - every six years, but because of the ongoing conversation on a state and national level, we thought it was appropriate to take a fresh look at them now, after four years. It is important for us to realize that there are more than 1,100 standards for English language arts and more than 900 for math.

Back in November, we launched a website where Tennesseans can go to review and make comments on our existing state standards. This spring, the Southern Regional Education Board, an independent, third party organization, will collect the input from the website, which will then be reviewed and analyzed by six advisory teams divided up by subject matter and made up of Tennessee educators. Those teams will then make recommendations to two expert committees of educators, which will then propose changes to the State Board of Education.

If you haven’t visited the website, I encourage you to do so. So far, nearly 82,000 comments have been submitted. I expect that we’re going to talk about state standards this session, and I think it is important that we know exactly what the standards are that we’re talking about and possibly voting on.

To me, it doesn’t really matter what we call our standards. What does matter is that we have the highest standards possible. What does matter is that we continue to have high expectations for our students, teachers and this state. We can come up with Tennessee standards that allow our students to compete with anyone in the world.

Over the past four years, I’ve met with thousands of educators to get feedback on what’s going well in our schools and classrooms and what’s not. One thing I hear a lot is frustration about the feeling that their profession is treated like a political football. We have to give our educators more stability and certainty in their classrooms and not change the game on them session after session.

We’ve proposed legislation that specifically addresses many of the concerns I’ve been hearing from teachers including the alignment of what they’re teaching with our year-end assessment and having the Department of Education provide more information about the annual tests so they can better prepare their students every year. We are also proposing to make reasonable changes to teacher evaluations, and we’re focusing on overall improved communication and collaboration with educators.

We are asking more of our teachers and their students than ever before. And guess what? Teachers and students are rising up to the challenge.

By now, almost everyone knows that Tennessee is making impressive gains in academic achievement. I expect there will be a lot of discussion about education this session, and there should be. You’ve heard me say it before, but it bears repeating: There is nothing more important to our state than getting education right. That’s why in this year’s budget, we are proposing nearly $170 million more for K-12 education.

The budget includes nearly $44 million to account for growth in the Basic Education Program. While other states are cutting K 12 education, Tennessee continues to be one of the few states in the country to make significant investments. In fact, our state spending on K-12 education over the past four years increased at a rate more than double the national average.

We know that a big part of success is to have a great teacher leading every classroom. Just like with state employees, we want to recruit, retain and reward the best and brightest educators. A big piece of doing that is paying good teachers well. One of our goals in Tennessee is to not only be the fastest improving state in academic achievement gains but to also be the fastest improving state in teacher compensation. Tonight, I am pleased to announce that the budget includes $100 million for increasing teacher salaries. That amounts to a four percent pool that local education associations will have available as they make decisions on increasing teacher pay.

We are also including $5 million in the budget to create the Educators’ Liability Trust Fund to offer liability insurance to our teachers at no cost.

We will continue doing all we can to work with educators and support them as professionals who are shaping the future of our children and our state.

[1]

—Governor Bill Haslam, (2015), [34]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Bill Haslam (R)
  • Date of speech: February 9, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 4,072
  • Most commonly used words:
    • State: 49
    • Tennessee: 41
    • Year: 32
    • Million: 25
    • Budget: 23
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Texas

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Texas address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in Texas

Today I submitted a budget that charts a course that will keep Texas number one. Our journey begins with striving to create the best education system in America.

We’ve seen that we can do it. In Dallas, African-American and Hispanic students pass AP exams at a higher rate than anywhere in America. In the Rio Grande Valley, I visited the IDEA Weslaco charter school, where about 99 percent of the high school seniors go on to college. And I’m very proud to say that Irving ISD has been recognized as the 2015 Advanced Placement District of the Year. Irving is the best in the entire nation.

The leader of Irving ISD is Superintendent Jose Para. He is with us today. Dr. Para, congratulations.

We must not rest – we must not relent – until we replicate success like this across the state. We can be number one in education if we apply the same tenacity and commitment to education as we do to job creation.

I’d like to recognize Representative Will Metcalf from Montgomery County. Congratulations on your election – you are unique among your peers. Rep. Metcalf, you were born in 1984. For your entire life, the State of Texas has been mired in litigation about school funding.

Members, whether this is your first session or you’re Tom Craddick, I think we can all agree it’s time to put school finance litigation behind us. It’s time to stop fighting about school finance and start fixing our schools.

To improve our schools we must begin by building a strong foundation at the very beginning. Our goal should be to ensure all Texas students are performing at grade level in reading and math by the time they finish the 3rd grade.

To begin that process, my budget provides additional funding for schools that adopt high-quality Pre-K programs. My plan also provides Pre-K through 3rd grade teachers with world-class literacy and math teacher training.

I want to thank Senators Judith Zaffirini and Donna Campbell and Representatives Dan Huberty, Helen Giddings and Joe Deshotel for carrying my Pre-K legislation to improve early education.

To begin the process of building a better education system in Texas, we must improve early education. This is why I’m declaring early education as my first emergency item as governor. Our children and their future have no time for delay.

Another essential ingredient to better schools is ensuring we have the best teachers in our classrooms. In part, that means saying no to common core. We can bring out the best in all of our teachers by getting rid of the one-size-fits-all mandates and trusting our teachers to truly educate our students. My budget invests in more STEM teachers and in teachers who serve our most disadvantaged students.

We must also return genuine local control to our schools. Last session, you took a big step in that direction. Now, let’s take another step.

This book contains all the education-related laws in Texas. It’s absurd to micromanage educators with all of these laws. Let’s cut it down to size by allowing school districts to opt out of parts of the education code so they can design an education plan that best fits their community needs.

Local control, however, doesn’t end at the school district level. Real local control rests with parents. Parental involvement is critical to student advancement. The ultimate parental involvement is giving parents more choices in their child’s education.

No one said it better than Keisha Riley from Houston. She tearfully pleaded for the opportunity to send her young daughter to a better school. Keisha said: “Having a school in my area that doesn’t fit my needs is frustrating. It makes me feel helpless because I want her to be in a good school and I want her to get a good education so she doesn’t have to struggle like I have.”

As she spoke, her little girl reached up and wiped tears away from her mother’s cheek.

This story forces us to look Keisha in the eye and ask ourselves: Are we working for her and her daughter? Or are we working for the status quo?

The truth is when parents have more options, students win.

For example, Grand Prairie ISD is an open enrollment school district that allows parents to choose the school that’s best for their children, and the results show substantial improvement in student achievement. Grand Prairie ISD’s graduation rates improved dramatically over seven years with 20 percent point gains among Hispanic, African-American and economically disadvantaged students.

Our parents deserve these choices. Our children deserve these results.

[1]

—Office of the Governor of Texas, (2015), [35]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Greg Abbott (R)
  • Date of speech: February 17, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 3,389
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Texas: 47
    • State: 25
    • Budget: 21
    • Education: 21
    • School: 14
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Utah

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Utah address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in Utah

As you have heard me say before: “Education is not all about the money, but it is some about the money.”

We have the means to increase our education investment by approximately $500 million in new money. That would be the largest true increase in student funding for public education in 25 year, raising the total of new money going to education over the past four years to $1.3 billion. This session we should continue our collective efforts to give our students and teachers the financial support that they need to succeed.

As important as funding education is, it is even more important to make each and every dollar count by setting benchmarks for what we will achieve with that investment.

Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

I am working with elected officials, education leaders and other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive 10-year education plan so we know where we are going and we end up exactly where we want to be. This plan will allow us to better connect the money we invest to improved outcomes for all students, and provide greater academic achievement. Part of that plan is for Utah to become a Top 10 state in graduation rates, ACT scores, and in math and in literacy.

There is also a need for a more robust discussion in our schools about the founding principles of this country. Our students must understand the importance of the United States Constitution, our free market economy and the responsibility we all share as Utahns and as Americans to participate in the democratic process. We need to understand the sacrifices of past generations that have made America great. Our young people must learn those lessons and never, ever forget them.

Local school administrators and their boards know more about the needs of their students than anyone. As champions for local control, we should not only ensure that they have the resources they need, but we should empower them to apply those dollars where they are needed the most.

Whether that means raising teacher salaries, hiring more teachers to reduce class sizes, investing in more technology, increasing the number of guidance counselors, or addressing a variety of other high priority needs–with appropriate accountability measures in place, local school districts and charter schools should be in control of those decisions.

As we continue to step up our investment in education, we must not sidestep our commitment to the principle of local control.

Next week I will join with Attorney General Sean Reyes and others to deliver a report to the state school board reaffirming that our state is now, and always will be, in control of every aspect of our education system. Rest assured, we will assert our rights to exercise local control over what we teach and how we teach it.

We will never back away from the challenge that every state in America faces today—the constant overreach of the federal government. If states fail to stand up and speak out for our right to self-determination, we will lose that right to an ever-expanding federal bureaucracy.

Washington really does believe that “one-size-fits-all;” they really do believe that a Washington bureaucrat knows better than a Utah parent or a Utah teacher; and they really do believe that the federal government can manage our affairs more efficiently than we can here in our home state.

They believe it. I don’t believe it. And I know you don’t believe it, either.

[1]

—The Office of the Governor of Utah, (2015), [36]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Gary Herbert (R)
  • Date of speech: January 28, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 3,037
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Utah: 28
    • State: 24
    • Utahns: 12
    • Education: 12
    • People: 12
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Vermont

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Vermont address

Excerpt

When I listen to the voices of Vermonters, from every corner of our state, from every background, and of every political persuasion, their frustration and uncertainty about their future is clear. They play by the rules, work hard - sometimes at more than one job, but their bills keep piling up faster than they can bring in the money to pay them. At a time when the wealth gap between the people at the top and everyone else is more extreme than since before the Great Depression, Vermonters hear about the recovery both in Vermont and nationally; they hear about our state’s low unemployment numbers; and they wonder: Why aren’t I seeing it? Why is my family being held back?

We know many of the drivers of this unease. Rising health care costs and rising property taxes, among others, with no corresponding rise in incomes and property values. Many hardworking Vermonters who would be proud to call themselves members of the middle class are left with a feeling that they are treading water or, worse, dipping below the surface.

Like a family trying to adjust its budget to meet reality, it is our responsibility as state leaders to match spending with Vermonters’ ability to pay. Government must be effective, efficient, and affordable.

Let’s not forget that the budget is just the math that shows us how we will achieve what really matters: to provide the services Vermonters need while creating opportunity for all of us to fulfill our full potential as citizens, family members, workers, and business owners.

Though many Vermonters are struggling with affordability, all the news is not bad news. Our state economy is doing much better now than when I became governor four years ago. Unemployment is down; jobs are up; and foreclosures and bankruptcies have dropped sharply. General Fund revenues grew $175 million from FY11 to FY14. Contrast that with 2008 and 2009, when state revenues fell by more than $97 million and Vermonters were losing jobs left and right. [1]

—Governor of Vermont, (2015), [37]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Peter Shumlin (D)
  • Date of speech: January 15, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 7,269
  • Most commonly used words:
    • State: 57
    • Vermont: 53
    • Vermonters: 43
    • Care: 39
    • Budget: 37
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Virginia

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Virginia address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in Virginia

As we improve our workforce development system, we cannot forget that our economic future runs through public school classrooms across this great Commonwealth.

That is why my budget contains NO program cuts to K through 12 education and NO additional cuts to higher education.

Public education is the backbone of a healthy economy. So let us pledge tonight to avoid acrimony on this topic and agree that we will not cut a single dollar from our schools during this legislative session.

If we are going to lead in a global economy, we cannot wait until our students reach kindergarten to begin preparing them for success.

Last year I formed the first ever Children’s Cabinet, as well as the Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success and I asked them to take a 360-degree approach to increasing economic opportunity for Virginia students from before birth through adulthood.

We are already making great progress.

I was proud to work with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to help Virginia win a $17.5 million grant last month to expand our pre-school program so that another 1,600 at-risk four-year-olds can learn in a Pre-K classroom in their community.

We will put every federal dollar we can get to work preparing our students to succeed. But it is equally important that we make pragmatic use of the money we already have.

So I have introduced budget language that will allow communities that have exceeded their pre-K budgets to receive leftover funds not used in other divisions, so that they can offer more children the great start to their education they deserve.

I am also proposing legislation to keep our children safe by increasing the number of day care facilities across Virginia that are licensed and properly inspected by state and local governments.

Just as some students need a little extra encouragement, entire schools sometimes need additional support.

I’ve included funding in my budget to help train principals in areas with underperforming schools so they can steer their teachers and students toward greater academic success.

And a key element of increasing student achievement is ensuring that every single child has access to quality nutrition.

Early last year Dorothy and I met with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who informed us that Virginia was leaving millions of our federal dollars on the table that could be going to feeding hungry children at school.

The First Lady has put this issue front and center, and we are already seeing great results.

I am proud to say that 89 Virginia public schools have already enrolled in a brand new school nutrition initiative, which enables qualifying high-need schools to serve every student breakfast and lunch at no cost to the students.

Dorothy has also worked to increase Virginia’s participation in summer nutrition programs.

That is a great start, but we still have more work to do.

My budget plan includes funding to help schools expand their breakfast programs so that every Virginia student can start his or her day ready to learn.

Dorothy, thank you for your leadership on this important issue.

I have also budgeted an additional $2.5 million in financial aid to help more young people realize the dream of a college education.

That dream is a key step toward economic success for people across this Commonwealth. We should extend it to every single student who works for it, including Virginians whose parents brought them to this country when they were children. [1]

Governing, (2015), [38]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Terry McAuliffe (D)
  • Date of speech: January 14, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 5,523
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Virginia: 79
    • Work: 30
    • Economy: 30
    • Economic: 29
    • Year: 24
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Washington

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Washington address

Excerpt

See also: Environmental policy in Washington

There's another thing my transportation plan does. It institutes a carbon pollution charge that would have our largest polluters pay rather than raising the gas tax on everyone. Under my plan, it's the polluters who pay.

We face many challenges, but it is the growing threat of carbon pollution that can permanently change the nature of Washington as we know it.

It's already increasing the acidity of our waters, increasing wildfires and increasing asthma rates in our children, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color.

We have a moral obligation to act. Our moral duty is to protect a birthright. Future Washingtonians deserve to a healthy Washington.

Every generation has the duty to pass on healthy air and water to the next. And when we do, we will know that although we are a small part of the world, we are 7 million Washingtonians strong who stand for preserving the grandeur of our state. If we don't stand up for the health of the state, who will?

The people who are less than 1 percent of the world are leading the world in aerospace, leading the world in software and now can lead the world in clean energy, because that's who we are.

What we lack in numbers, we more than make up for in our innovative spirit.

And we are not acting alone. By next year, countries and states that are responsible for half the world's carbon pollution will have instituted limits on those emissions. And when we act together with other states and nations, we can do something even bigger. By locking arms with Oregon, California and British Columbia through the Pacific Coast Collaborative, we become a region of 53 million people comprising the world's fifth-largest economy. Won't it be great when the West Coast leads, while Washington DC is stymied by gridlock?

I am pleased there is a growing consensus that it is time to act. We must meet the carbon pollution limits enacted by this body in 2008. I have proposed a comprehensive solution that caps carbon emissions, creates incentives for clean technology and transportation, invests in energy efficiency and makes our own government operations more efficient.

For all we do here together in the next few months, for all our fiscal woes, for all our short-term demands, we know that the most enduring legacy we can leave is a healthy, clean, beautiful Evergreen State.

I will not, and in the deepest part of my heart I hope you will not allow this threat to stand.

We also know the challenge of carbon pollution brings great economic opportunities for our state.

I've seen companies in Washington moving full steam ahead to seize these opportunities and create jobs: At Itek in Bellingham, which is not only one of our state's largest solar panel manufacturers, but produces the most powerful solar panels in the industry. At UniEnergy in Mukilteo, where its groundbreaking vanadium flow battery is leading the way in the field of storage technologies for renewable energy. And at MacDonald-Miller, which is not only reducing the carbon footprint of commercial buildings, but last year added 300 jobs to our state.

We are leaders in this state. When we act, others follow. Let's shape that action together. Let's test our ideas. Let's fashion a Washington carbon pollution action plan suited to the genius and leadership capabilities of our great state. [1]

—Washington Governor, (2015), [39]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Jay Inslee (D)
  • Date of speech: January 13, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 2,578
  • Most commonly used words:
    • State: 23
    • Washington: 16
    • Washingtonians: 10
    • Transportation: 10
    • Carbon: 10
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West Virginia

Word cloud of most commonly used words in West Virginia address

Excerpt

See also: Energy policy in West Virginia

In 2011, we were the first state to pass comprehensive legislation regulating the drilling of Marcellus Shale. Since then, we’ve taken significant steps to ensure we remain at the center of the Marcellus and Utica shale boom.

Companies are investing billions of dollars in our state to support the production, processing and transportation of natural gas and creating a number of new opportunities to develop these rich deposits. This October, Southwestern Energy invested more than $5 billion in West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania to acquire Marcellus and Utica shale properties. This investment is one of the largest of its kind, not only in our state, but across the country.

Tonight, I’d like to welcome home West Virginia native and the new general manager of Southwestern Energy’s West Virginia operations, Derek Cutright and Senior Vice President of Southwestern’s West Virginia division, Paul Geiger.

Derek and Paul, please stand so we may welcome you and thank you for Southwestern’s significant investment in the Mountain State.

Tens of thousands of our residents are already benefiting from these developments, and I’m committed to ensuring our state continues to capitalize on this abundant natural resource and the opportunities it brings. With this in mind, I’ve directed the Department of Revenue to launch a comprehensive review of our state’s public lands to identify opportunities where West Virginia can take advantage of this energy revolution.

We have the potential to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in bonus and royalty payments, monies that can be invested to improve our state parks, support tourism initiatives across the state and finance a number of other worthy endeavors to strengthen job creation.

For generations, West Virginia has been one of our nation’s leading energy producing states. As we continue to explore opportunities to diversify our state’s energy portfolio, we must ensure the safety of hardworking West Virginians at drilling sites, production facilities and pipelines across the state. That’s why I am requesting a study to determine how we can best protect workers at natural gas operations. We must ensure our workers have the proper training and skills to do their jobs in the most effective way possible and return home safely.

Workforce safety must be the expectation for businesses operating in West Virginia, not an afterthought.

Economic investments, as well as those we are making to improve our infrastructure, are important to all of us, but they come at a cost. [1]

—Office of the Governor of West Virginia, (2015), [40]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Earl Ray Tomblin (D)
  • Date of speech: January 14, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 4,976
  • Most commonly used words:
    • State: 74
    • West: 54
    • Virginia: 37
    • Work: 17
    • Year: 17
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Wisconsin

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Wisconsin address

Excerpt

See also: Public education in Wisconsin

Tonight, I call on the members of the state Legislature to pass legislation ensuring objective information is available for each and every school receiving public funds in this state. Provide the information and allow parents to make the choice.

No need for bureaucrats or politicians to make that choice--I trust parents. Give them access to objective information and they will make the choice that is best for their children.

And speaking of what is best for our students, I call on the members of the state Legislature to pass legislation making it crystal clear that no school district in the state is required to use Common Core standards. Going forward, I want to eliminate any requirement to use Common Core.

My sons graduated from outstanding public schools in Wauwatosa and my nieces are in public schools as well, so I have a vested interest, like parents all across the state, in high standards. But those standards should be set by people from within Wisconsin--and preferably at the local level. [1]

Governing, (2015), [41]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Scott Walker (R)
  • Date of speech: January 13, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 2,269
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Wisconsin: 26
    • State: 25
    • Tonight: 13
    • People: 12
    • Government: 11
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Wyoming

Word cloud of most commonly used words in Wyoming address

Excerpt

See also: Energy policy in Wyoming

In my second term, I will continue to focus on the areas I've talked about today. They've been important from day one. They remain important, and there's more we can do on each.

To add these initiatives -- to add to these initiatives, I would add coal initiatives, advancing our energy strategy, increasing international trade, forest health, Medicaid expansion and implementing our water strategy.

Again, I ask that we take on a great deal, but, again, I say Wyoming is always up to the challenge.

Regarding coal. Coal is critical to Wyoming, and we must assure its future. Beyond that, coal is critical to this country's future. And in my lifetime, I've never seen an onslaught against a single industry, a single commodity, like the Obama administration's anti-coal agenda. The EPA has had a green light to go after the coal industry, and six years later coal is still targeted by federal regulators.

The coal industry provides about 40 percent of electricity for this country. It keeps us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It keeps the lights on and the factories humming. It is, in fact, the fastest growing energy source in the world.

Here in Wyoming, the industry provides revenue for schools and infrastructure and thousands of direct and indirect jobs for Wyoming workers. In the coming years I will continue to work with bulldog determination on coal initiatives, port expansion, new technology and value added products. In the coming years we don't need to let up, we need to double down. We must assure coal's continuity. There are legitimate opportunities, such as the Integrated Test Center project, and we must seize them.

We fight for coal, and we will fight for oil, and we will fight for gas and trona and uranium and other resources if they are targeted by oppressive federal regulations.

And part of that is advancing energy strategy. Last -- last session you funded continued work on initiatives identified in the energy strategy. Our task is to go further to advance the strategy issued two years ago this May, by continuing the work on the initiatives and identifying new initiatives. [1]

—Governor of Wyoming, (2015), [42]

Quick facts
  • Governor: Matt Mead (R)
  • Date of speech: January 14, 2015
  • Full transcript
  • Number of words: 7,843
  • Most commonly used words:
    • Wyoming: 102
    • State: 62
    • Years: 38
    • Funding: 25
    • Year: 24
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Pending state of the state addresses

The following states have not held state of the state addresses or have not made texts of these speeches available. These states will be summarized as texts of addresses are made available.

  • Alabama - March 3, 2015
  • Arkansas - TBD
  • Florida - March 3, 2015
  • Louisiana - TBD
  • Massachusetts - TBD
  • Minnesota - TBD
  • Pennsylvania - March 3, 2015
  • Rhode Island - TBD

Historical State of the State Addresses

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References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  2. The State of Alaska, "Speech: State of the State," January 21, 2015
  3. Office of the Arizona Governor, "State of the State Address," January 12, 2015
  4. Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., "GOVERNOR BROWN SWORN IN, DELIVERS INAUGURAL ADDRESS," January 5, 2015
  5. State of Colorado, "Gov. Hickenlooper delivers State of the State," January 15, 2015
  6. The Connecticut Mirror, "Text of Malloy’s 2015 State of the State," January 7, 2015
  7. Governor of Delaware, "2015 State of the State," January 22, 2015
  8. Governing, "Georgia Governor Nathan Deal's 2015 State of the State Speech (Text)," January 14, 2015
  9. Governor of the State of Hawaii, "GOVERNOR DAVID IGE DELIVERS STATE OF THE STATE," January 26, 2015
  10. Governor of Idaho, "State of the State and Budget Address," January 12, 2015
  11. Governor of Illinois, "Transcript of Governor Bruce Rauner's State of the State Address," February 4, 2015
  12. Governing, "Indiana Governor Mike Pence's 2015 State of the State Speech (Text and Video)," January 13, 2015
  13. Kansas Office of the Governor, "State of the State 2015," January 15, 2015
  14. Governing, "Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear's 2015 State of the State Speech (Text and Video)," January 7, 2015
  15. State of Maine, "2015 State of the State Address," February 3, 2015
  16. Governor of Maryland, "State of the State Address," February 4, 2015
  17. Governor of Michigan, "2015 Michigan State of the State Transcript," January 20, 2015
  18. Governor Phil Bryant, "Gov. Phil Bryant Delivers 2015 State of the State Address," January 21, 2015
  19. Office of Missouri Governor, "Gov. Nixon delivers 2015 State of the State address," January 21, 2015
  20. Office of the Governor of Montana, "The State of Our State," January 28, 2015
  21. Office of the Governor of Nebraska, "GOVERNOR RICKETTS’ STATE OF THE STATE REMARKS," January 22, 2015
  22. Governing, "Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval's 2015 State of the State Speech (Text and Video)," January 15, 2015
  23. Governor of New Hampshire, "Budget Address," February 12, 2015
  24. Governing, "New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's 2015 State of the State Speech (Text and Video)," January 13, 2015
  25. Governing, "New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez's 2015 State of the State Speech (Text)," January 20, 2015
  26. Governing, "New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2015 State of the State Speech (Text and Video)," January 21, 2015
  27. State of North Carolina, "TRANSCRIPT: 2015 State of the State Address," February 4, 2015
  28. Governing, "North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple's 2015 State of the State Speech (Text and Video)," January 6, 2015
  29. Governor of Ohio, "Gov. John R. Kasich's State of the State Address," February 24 2015
  30. Governor of Oklahoma, "State of the State Address," February 3, 2015
  31. State of Oregon, "Governor Kitzhaber's Historic Fourth Term Inaugural Address," January 12, 2015
  32. Governing, "South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley's 2015 State of the State Speech (Text and Video)," January 21, 2015
  33. Argus Leader, "Text: Gov. Daugaard's State of the State Speech," January 13, 2015
  34. Governor Bill Haslam, "State of the State Address, Tennessee: Full Speed Ahead," February 9, 2015
  35. Office of the Governor, "Governor Abbott Delivers State of the State Address, Releases Governor's Budget," February 17, 2015
  36. Office of the Governor of Utah, "Investing in Utah's Next 'Greatest Generation'," January 28, 2015
  37. Governor of Vermont, "Budget Address," January 15, 2015
  38. Governing, "Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe's 2015 State of the State Speech (Text and Video)," January 14, 2015
  39. Washington Governor Jay Inslee, "2015 State of the State," January 13, 2015
  40. Office of the Governor of West Virginia, "Governor Tomblin Delivers State of the State Address," January 14, 2015
  41. Governing, "Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's 2015 State of the State Speech (Text and Video)," January 13, 2015
  42. Governor of Wyoming, "Documents," accessed January 20, 2015