2017 State of the State addresses

Daily News Article   —   Posted on January 17, 2017

2017 State of the State addresses

NOTE: In place of our regular “Daily News Article” we have provided information on the annual “State of the State” addresses, and included questions below.

The State of the State Address is a speech given once each year by the governors of most states. The speech is customarily delivered before both houses of the state legislature sitting in joint session, with the exception of the Nebraska legislature, which is a unicameral body.

This address is also known by other names.  In Iowa, the speech is called the Condidion of the State Address.  In Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia it is called the State of the Commonwealth Address.

The speech is given to satisfy a constitutional stipulation that a governor must report annually, or in older constitutions described as being “from time to time,” on the state or condition of a U.S. state.

There are also many cities in the United States in which the mayor gives a State of the City address.

The address given by the President of the United States is known as the State of the Union address.

Questions

1. What is the purpose of the “State of the State” address?

2. On what date will/did your governor give the 2017 State of the State?

Watch your governor’s State of the State address and answer the following questions. (If the address has already taken place, watch it online by visiting your governor’s website or youtube page, or by doing an internet search for “2017 state of the state+your state/governor’s name”):

3. Tone is the attitude a speaker takes towards a subject. What was the tone of your governor’s state of the state address?

4. List some of the things the governor promised to do to improve the economy in your state.

5. What new initiatives did your governor propose in his/her State of the State?

6. Which issues did the Governor bypass altogether, or just mention briefly?

7. a) Do you think the Governor is focusing on the correct issues? Explain your answer.
b) Ask a parent the same question.

8. a) What issue presented by your governor was the most important to you or inspired you?
b) Did any aspect of the speech disappoint you?
Explain your answers.

9. Many State of the State addresses are given during the day. The President gives the State of the Union address in the evening.  What time of day is best for a State of the State address?  Explain your answer.


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Background

Republicans now dominate state government, with 32 legislatures and 33 governors

  • Republicans now control the governor’s office in 33 states, amounting to 60 percent of the population, while Democrats control just 16 states with 40 percent of the population. (Alaska has an independent governor supported by the Democrats.)
  • Republicans now hold a greater number of governor’s offices than they have in several generations.
  • Following the 2014 midterm wave, Republicans dominated state legislatures at a rate not seen since the Civil War. Democrats had hoped to rebound in 2016, but only made modest gains. Democrats flipped four chambers, but lost control of three, leaving Republicans in charge of 68 state legislative chambers and Democrats just 31.
  • Republicans control both chambers of the legislatures in 32 states, including 17 with veto-proof majorities. Those 32 states cover 61 percent of the U.S. population.
  • Democrats, meanwhile, control the legislature in just 13 states, amounting to 28 percent of the country’s population; only four of those chambers have veto-proof majorities.
  • With a firm grip on the presidency, Congress, and soon the Supreme Court, Republicans have won more political power in 2016 than in any election since at least 1928, when Herbert Hoover was elected to the White House.

Resources

The National Governors Association (NGA) is the bipartisan organization of the nation’s governors.  For a list of governors, visit the website at: nga.org/cms/governors/bios

For a chart of 2017 governors and legislatures: wikipedia or multistate.com/site

For a chart of 2017 State of the State addresses by state: multistate.com/site.nsf/sosaddress2017