The opening of legislative sessions across the West brings "State of the State" speeches by Western Governors that outline their priorities.
The speeches provide a road map to the region's most high-profile issues. As you can see by the "word cloud" we've created above, highlighting the most-often used themes drawn from the 15 addresses made so far, issues such as education (K-12 and Pre-K), healthcare, the economy, taxes and water are among those highlighted by Western Governors.
Read on to learn more about the speeches by Western Governors' Association members and find links to the full text.
IDAHO: Gov. Butch Otter cited education funding, water and wolves as some of his top priorities in his address on Jan. 6. The Governor also noted that his 2015 budget proposal keeps spending down. Speech
Gov. John HickenlooperCOLORADO: Gov. John Hickenlooper noted how the state had endured wildfires and the shooting at an Aurora movie theater. The governor also cited the state's lowest unemployment rate since 2008, strong small-business climate, and high rank for future job growth in his address on Jan. 9. Speech
ARIZONA: Gov. Jan Brewer reaffirmed her commitment to "preserving and further advancing Arizona's fiscal comeback" and announced the "overhaul and transformation" of Arizona's child protection system in the Jan. 13 address. Speech highlights, Speech
WASHINGTON: Gov. Jay Inslee called on lawmakers to boost education investments by at least $200 million, pass a statewide transportation package and ensure all Washingtonians have an opportunity to earn a living wage. Speech
SOUTH DAKOTA: Gov. Dennis Daugaard unveiled Gov. Dennis Daugaardprograms aimed at training new workers for state businesses, including $5 million in grants to go to career and technical education programs in state high schools. Read, watch, listen
NEBRASKA: Gov. Dave Heineman focused on the need for property and income tax relief, the reform of the state's “good time” law and his opposition to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Highlights, Speech
KANSAS: Gov. Sam Brownback called for legislative all-day kindergarten, promised to create a comprehensive water strategy and implied that Supreme Court justices should back away from telling the Legislature what to do on state funding for schools. Read, listen
NEW MEXICO: Gov. Susanna Martinez noted increased and more accountable spending in education, as well as the creation of a more diverse economy, with a focus on technology and health care. in addition, continued work building and repairing water infrastructure. Read
HAWAII: Gov. Neil Abercrombie emphasized the state’s financial stability and long-term plans to sustain it. Areas highlighted included expansion of early childhood education; an increase in the minimum wage, and collaborative efforts to address homelessness, climate change, and invasive species. Highlights, Speech
CALIFORNIA: Gov. Jerry Brown discussed the creation of a million new jobs since 2010, a budgetary surplus in the billions, as well as work dealing with climate change and the recently declared Gov. Jerry Brownstate drought. Speech
ALASKA: Gov Sean Parnell urged lawmakers to make this the “education session,” proposing to raise the base student allocation for the first time in three years. He also touted the state’s plans to invest in a gas pipeline project and a path to reduce the state’s pension shortfall. Read or watch
UTAH: Gov. Gary Herbert outlined major challenges facing Utahans -- including quickly expanding population growth in the state and funding education -- and his plans for solutions. Speech
OKLAHOMA: Gov. Mary Fallin called for a cut in the state's income tax rate, from from 5.25 percent to 5 percent, and asked legislators to approve a bond issue to help repair the state Capitol. Speech
WYOMING: Gov. Matt Mead said "the time is now to invest in our state, our people and our future." Gov. Mead advocated for increased support for local governments, pay raises for most state workers and more funding for security in courtrooms and schools. Speech
GUAM: Governor Eddie Calvo, in his fourth and final State of the Island Address, touched on where the community has been and where it is headed. Speech, Video
OREGON: Gov. John Kitzhaber, March.
Because their legislatures are not in session this year, Western Governors Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Steve Bullock of Montana, Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota and Rick Perry of Texas will not deliver addresses this year.
Wondering what Western Governors said in 2013? Find their speeches here. Or check out this "word cloud" of the themes that resonated most.
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