Swearing-in ceremonies have taken place for the five Western Governors elected and re-elected in 2016. Following is a roundup of their inaugural speeches.
Gov. Steve Bullock was sworn in Jan. 2, 2017, for his second term as Governor of Montana. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported that the Governor appealed for bipartisan cooperation in the state's best interests. Gov. Bullock asked legislators during his inaugural address: "How will you positively influence Montana?” He also expressed optimism in their ability to "rise above the political discourse."
Doug Burgum was officially sworn in as North Dakota's 33rd Governor on Jan. 3, 2017. The new Western Governor delivered a State of the State address at the ceremony that urged North Dakotans to embrace change. The Bismark Tribune reported that the Governor called on lawmakers to help him reinvent state government and rethink budgeting, education, addiction treatment and tribal relations.
Kate Brown was sworn in for her first elected term as Governor on Jan. 9, 2016. The Oregonian reported that Gov. Brown highlighted Oregon's work for equality and said "we can not and will not retreat" in a speech that also served as her State of the State address. The Governor also focused on her policy goals, including legislation aimed at bridging the "economic fault line" between the state's urban and rural communities. Read the full speech.
Gary Herbert was sworn in on Jan. 4, 2017, for his second full term as Governor of Utah. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the Governor's speech praised the work of past and present pioneers. Gov. Herbert explained during his address, "I see the Utah spirit as we set aside differences and work together for the common good." Read the full speech.
Jay Inslee delivered his second inaugural address on Jan. 11, 2017. The Seattle Times reported that the Governor largely sought to use the speech to motivate lawmakers to finish the job of fully funding the state’s K-12 schools. Gov. Inslee also asked legislators to continue work on issues such as mental health, homelessness and opioid addiction. He closed by reiterating the state's commitment to ensuring equal rights: "No matter what happens in that Washington, here in this Washington, we will not forget who we are." Read the full speech.