2021 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.

Governors of states, territories and commonwealths are outlining their priorities for 2021 in state of the state or commonwealth addresses, as well as inaugural addresses for new and re-elected Governors.

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

Note:  The address given by the President of the United States is known as the State of the Union address.  Traditionally, a president of the United States should be in office for a year before they give their first State of the Union address.

In a State of the Union address, the president usually reflects back on the past year and how the nation is doing, as well as uses the opportunity to highlight the administration’s legislative agenda — which needs congressional support — and priorities for the country.

President Biden will give his first public address before a joint session of the United States Congress on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. His speech will be known as an “address to a joint session.”  As with previous presidents, it is expected that President Biden will use his speech on Feb. 23 to continue outlining his goals for his administration.


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

2. 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.

3. On what date will/did your governor give the 2021 State of the State? (Do an internet search to find this information. Visit your governor’s website for details.)

4. 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 “2021 state of the state+your state/governor’s name” – OR, If your governor has no State of the State scheduled for this year, watch last year’s State of the State address):

  1. Tone is the attitude a speaker takes towards a subject. What was the tone of your governor’s state of the state address?
  2. List some of the things the governor promised to do to improve the economy in your state.
  3. What new initiatives did your governor propose in his/her State of the State?
  4. Which issues of importance did the Governor bypass altogether, or just mention briefly?
  5. Do you think the Governor is focusing on the correct issues? Explain your answer.
    Ask a parent the same question.
  6. What issue presented by your governor was the most important to you or inspired you? Explain your answer.
  7. Did any aspect of the speech disappoint you? Explain your answer.
  8. IF WATCHING LAST YEAR’S ADDRESS: How many of your governor’s promises/proposals did he/she fulfill in 2020?


The National Governors Association (NGA) is the bipartisan organization of the nation’s governors:

For a chart of 2021 governors and legislatures: wikipedia

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