State of the States: Western governors push education, economy and environment


Compiled by Ryan Joyner

SALT LAKE CITY — As Utahns get ready to listen to Gov. Gary Herbert deliver his speech Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. live at the Capitol or on television or radio, they may find it interesting to see what other western governors said in their “State of the State” addresses. Click on the highlighted governor’s name to read their entire speech.

Education, business, environmental and climate-change issues are all talking points of 2014 State of State addresses around the West. But A few new slogans and topics appeared among buzzwords state governors championed.

In Arizona, Republican  Gov. Jan Brewer addressed human trafficking, probably among the first times the topic has been addressed in a traditional “State of the State” address and called out perpetrators saying, “Your days are numbered. “

Brewer also called on state educators and legislators to “stop funding the status quo… and instead reward
innovation and measured outcomes.”

Idaho Republican Gov. Butch Otter coined the term K-through-career addressing education in Idaho.  Otter’s governors’ statements appear directed at Idaho’s education struggle. As the state combats a dropping rate of college enrollment according to studies performed by National Center Higher Education Management Systems.

Otter also called for a “Wolf Control Fund” and recommended the state spend 2 million to curb Idaho’s growing wolf population.

Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper was one of few to address his constituents by citing studies that reflected increases in the states economic growth. Saying that Colorado “small-business climate, this year … earned a grade of “A.”… up from a “B+” in 2012.”

In resemblance to national issues, Hickenlooper also reflected on the States individual struggles to balance the oil and gas industries damaging effects to the environment. Saying “Critical to the success of the oil and gas industry is that operators recognize their moral and legal obligation to protect our air and water.”

Hopeful of the future of there States all three western governors closed their statements by evoking God’s blessings.

  • Brewer, Arizona “May God bless us in that work, and may God forever bless and protect the great State of Arizona and the United States of America”
  • Otter, Idaho “Good luck, Godspeed, and may God continue to bless America and the Great State of Idaho. Thank you.”
  • Hickenlooper, Colorado “Thank you, and God bless Colorado.”
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