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State of the States 2024: AI Ushers in ‘Dawn of a New Era’

From broadband and electric vehicles to social media and AI, we look at where governors hope to invest state budgets as they deliver their biggest speeches of the year.



Each year, our Government Technology writers and editors dig into governors’ cornerstone speeches to get a sense of which states might be making big investments in tech in the year ahead. While the topics they cover run the gamut from health care and taxes to cost of living and border security, a handful of governors highlighted technology work that points to a more digital 2024.

“With AI, I believe we are at the dawn of a new era, much like we were 30 years ago, with the Internet,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said.

It’s a big statement, reflective of the massive surge in AI technology, policy and discourse that took place in 2023 and shows no signs of abating. The Garden State is betting big on AI with the appointment of the state’s first chief AI strategist and training state workers in generative AI to improve services from education to health care. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul also introduced Empire AI, a $400 million consortium to build an AI computing center in the state.

Transit tech made a central appearance in Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ speech this year, and many states are investing heavily in expanding infrastructure for electric vehicles, from passenger cars to school buses. Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentucky has become the country’s “electric vehicle battery production capital,” while in South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster highlighted EV training institutes at the state’s technical colleges.



Other major themes threaded through governors’ speeches include ongoing work toward broadband expansion, which will in turn fuel efforts toward building a tech-savvy workforce. Governors also are keeping an eye on kids’ social media use, as well as investments in school security. Our analysis of the speeches follows, and we’ll update this story as additional addresses are delivered.

Alabama


Address date: Feb. 6, 2024
Stars: 4
To sum it up: Gov. Kay Ivey made two major mentions of technology in her State of the State address. First, she announced she would be using the power of executive order to create an AI task force to better understand artificial intelligence moving forward. Ivey pressed that the technology could be beneficial but dangerous in some cases, adding, “We are going to make sure AI is used properly.”

Ivey also expressed excitement for the state’s broadband expansion, promising a total investment of $2 billion. She compared broadband connectivity to roads and bridges, classifying it as a vital resource serving as digital highways. “Ensuring our entire state has the ability to connect to high-speed Internet is the most significant thing we can do to support a modern economy,” said Ivey.


Ivey also mentioned a $100 million investment in school safety, legislation that would create harsher punishments for those who traffic minors, and the launch of a pilot program that will provide health checkups for pregnant women at county health departments in areas of need.

Read the governor’s speech here.


Alaska

Address date: Jan. 29, 2024
Stars: 1
To sum it up: During his annual State of the State address, Gov. Mike Dunleavy made note of Alaska’s recent efforts to prepare more students for jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-related careers such as “emerging energy technologies” and other increasingly tech-integrated job fields. He said the state has increased higher-ed enrollment amid the ongoing national enrollment crisis. The governor touched on budget priorities, noting that his budget includes additional funds for the University of Alaska to build new programming with the goal of becoming a leader in research and workforce development, with an emphasis on STEM.

In addition, the governor highlighted frequent state efforts to cut energy costs, including new legislation aimed at “eliminating electrical tariffs on the Railbelt system that currently stand in the way of transmitting the lowest-cost power.” He said that by eliminating these tariffs, the state will reduce the amount of toll roads. Also touching on energy and transportation, the state is working to upgrade the Railbelt transmission system using federal grant funding secured by the Alaska Energy Authority, which will increase residents’ access to affordable power. He said such projects will require a highly skilled STEM workforce.

“It’ll take our skilled tradesmen and women to complete. These projects will create jobs that will attract a skilled workforce, but keeping that workforce in Alaska will also require affordable housing. Affordable energy and housing are magnets for economic growth, and while Alaska’s population hasn’t grown much over the past decade, it has relocated,” he said, noting the need to keep more residents in the state for future efforts to attract more industry to the state.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Arizona


Address date: Jan. 8, 2024
Stars: 2
To sum it up: Border security, water management and better jobs — those are among the main priorities in Arizona, according to Gov. Katie Hobbs, and dealing with them means the wise use of technology.

Criticizing the money wasted on “cheap political stunts,” Hobbs nonetheless emphasized the importance of a strong border with Mexico. She touted the improved communications systems and other tech tools that help officials manage migration. Hobbs gave every impression that such work will continue.

Hobbs said that state government will keep investing in “workforce accelerators” that help residents prepare for work in such areas as semiconductions, renewable energy, aerospace and defense. She called for more apprenticeships in the trades and praised the state’s universities and colleges and access to child care — factors vital to the 21st-century economy, she said.

“We will continue this success by building the infrastructure, and deploying the technology needed to expand high-speed Internet to every community across our state,” Hobbs said, noting that connectivity is particularly critical in health care and education, and for rural and tribal communities.

Fighting drought, an ongoing battle in Arizona, also will require better tech. Hobbs said continued work in this area will include not only conservation and more investment in public-private partnerships, but also new technologies.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Arkansas


Address date: TBD

California


Address date: TBD

Colorado


Address date: Jan. 11, 2024
Stars: 3
To sum it up: Transit technologies are key to Gov. Jared Polis’ vision for the state of Colorado. In his sixth State of the State address, the Democratic governor talked about the benefits of mass transit and the need to create transit-oriented neighborhoods, which his administration hopes to do by reducing obstacles to construction. He also said he intends for Colorado to participate in the federal government’s announced $66 billion plan for a rail system, and he supports legislation to cut red tape and expedite projects in renewable and clean energy, for example to build transmission lines and store carbon dioxide pollution underground. He said the state is on track to exceed its goal of 80 percent clean electricity by 2030.

Outside of transit and clean-energy initiatives, Polis praised the results of technology investments to locate and return stolen vehicles, and he alluded to technology as a linchpin of workforce development. He lauded the expansion of technical colleges and a new scholarship to support innovation in education, referenced the quantum industry and new frontiers in computing power and job creation, and gave the state credit for becoming the home base of U.S. Space Command.

Read the governor's speech here.

Connecticut


Address date: Feb. 7, 2024
Stars: 2
To sum it up: Gov. Ned Lamont’s 2024 State of the State address focused on the future. Noting Connecticut’s population growth in the past several years, he said they need to manage that growth wisely and envision what they want the state to look like in 2035. While tech will almost certainly be a part of that future Connecticut, Lamont’s speech was relatively light on technology. He did discuss working to find the next source of clean energy that will support the electric grid as it comes under more strain from electric vehicles, as well as supercomputers and data centers. He also announced a partnership between the University of Connecticut and Yale on quantum computing that will help fuel the biotech industry.

Lamont’s other mention of tech related to social media in schools. He said that to limit phone use at school, he will advise to either have students leave their devices at home or to put them in a Yondr pouch at the beginning of the day, which essentially “locks” the device away until it is released by a specific tool; the pouches are often used at high-profile entertainment events.

The major themes of Lamont’s speech this year, however, centered on doubling Connecticut’s investment in housing, especially affordable and multifamily housing, as well as a major investment in child care — $90 million more in the next year to increase pay for early childhood educators as well as to ease operations for home-based providers.

Read the governor’s speech here.


Delaware


Address date: TBD

Florida


Address date: Jan. 9, 2024
Stars: 1
To sum it up: During his annual State of the State address, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis shared very little about technology, instead focusing on K-12 education, international affairs, diversity, equity, and inclusion, higher education, implementing a toll relief program, executing tax cuts, supporting law enforcement, and other topics. One area he really focused on was reducing the state’s debt, saying, “My budget proposal reduces the budget by $4 billion from the previous year, placing $16.3 billion in reserves and paying down another $455 million in state debt ahead of schedule.” The few mentions of tech he did share involved praising the state’s efforts in crafting a digital bill of rights and protecting Floridians against a central bank digital currency.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Georgia


Address date: Jan. 11, 2024
Stars: 1
To sum it up: Technology was not a prevalent part of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s recent State of the State address. While the governor made the case for growing the state’s business sector with new industries and jobs, he stopped short of calling out any particular industry. Much of the address highlighted the substantial political divide between the state and federal government.

Kemp touched on the need for new technology and resources when talking about school safety. He called on lawmakers to permanently fund school safety enhancements. This year’s budget request totals $104 million that Kemp said could be used for things like resource officers and technology enhancements.

The topics of mental health and health-care access were also part of Kemp’s address, though it was unclear how technology and IT systems factored into these initiatives.

Read the governor's speech here.

Hawaii


Address date: Jan. 22, 2024
Stars: 0
To sum it up: Mentions of technology were scarce in Gov. Josh Green’s address this year. He noted that Hawaii is planning to invest in energy research and development with a goal of becoming a hydrogen hub in the future. He also called for continued investment in sustainable and renewable energy to combat the effects of climate change.

A large portion of Green’s address was dedicated to the wildfires that devastated the town of Lahaina on the island of Maui last year. After a moment of silence to honor those whose lives were lost in the fires, he thanked the community for their efforts in responding to the fires and assisting in recovery efforts. He also detailed the state’s plans for continued recovery efforts, including federal and community funding.

Green’s speech also touched on initiatives in a number of other areas including affordable housing, homelessness, health care, and tourism and the economy. He detailed the state’s housing crisis and called for initiatives to curb short-term rentals and create more long-term rental options. He outlined his plans to lower the cost of living in Hawaii, curb gun violence and address a statewide shortage of health-care professionals. He also praised the state’s efforts to support education and counter a shortage of teachers.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Idaho


Address date: Jan. 8, 2024
Stars: 1
To sum it up: In his State of the State Address on Jan. 8, 2024, Idaho Gov. Brad Little highlighted fiscal responsibility and economic strength. Although he didn’t say much in the way of technology, he did underline the need to protect children online in the face of social media, calling on partners in the Legislature to pass reforms to protect children from cyberbullying and social media addiction. In December 2022, Little banned TikTok on state-issued devices to mitigate data security risks posed by the platform.

He also touted the state’s LAUNCH grant program, which helps support education and training opportunities to prepare high school graduates for in-demand careers; while not tech-specific, some of these careers are technology related. This program has already seen high demand for participation —12,500 students have applied — and the state is building on this progress with IDAHO WORKS: a plan that includes continued financial support for the LAUNCH program.

Read the governor’s full address here.

Illinois


Address date: Feb. 21, 2024
Stars: 0
To sum it up: During Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s State of the State Address, there was no direct mention of technology. The governor noted that “across all 50 states, Illinois is No. 2 for infrastructure, No. 2 for education and No. 3 for power grid reliability.” However, he didn’t expand further on the technological aspects of how their power grid is being harnessed or strengthened throughout the speech. Pritzker did mention that Illinois is fourth in the world's data center market.

Instead, he focused on how state funding is being set aside for early childhood education and passing bipartisan tax credit legislation, as well as strides made in maternal health, health-care costs, combating homelessness and workforce development.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Indiana


Address date: Jan. 9, 2024
Stars: 3
To sum it up: Now in his last year in office, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s State of the State speech called attention to the significant tech-related investment the state has seen in the last year. He pointed to $28.7 billion in committed capital investment last year across rural and urban communities, developing projects like clean hydrogen, micro-electronics and biotech manufacturing hubs.

“Each will result in millions in new investment, and thousands of good high-paying jobs, and they position Indiana to benefit disproportionately from America's renewed focus on defense-related manufacturing and our reshoring strategy,” Holcomb told a joint session of the Legislature.

In other technology areas, this year the state plans to finish connecting more than 70,000 households and businesses, completing $320 million in Next Level Connections Broadband investment. Holcomb also urged the Legislature to move forward with requiring coursework in computer science as part of high school graduation requirements.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Iowa


Address date: Jan. 9, 2024
Stars: 1
To sum it up: In her state of the state address, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds gave tech a quick mention, highlighting ongoing efforts to shift more than 80 state agency sites onto a single platform to improve user experience. Her wide-ranging speech addressed education topics like a new partnership training elementary school teachers on the science of reading, a proposal to reorganize how special education services are overseen and funded, and a call for raising teachers’ starting salaries.

Reynolds also called for more coordination and consolidation across the state systems providing mental health and substance abuse services, including combining the two focuses into unified “behavioral health” services. Other topics included cutting government agencies, boards and open positions; a bill enhancing efforts to prevent China and other foreign governments from purchasing agricultural land; opting in to expanding Medicaid postpartum coverage; and proposing a lower income tax rate.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Kansas


Address date: Jan. 10, 2024
Stars: 1
To sum it up: While little was mentioned about tech-centered initiatives in Kansas during her annual State of the State address, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly applauded state policymakers’ recent efforts to increase investments in projects aimed at expanding the state’s broadband infrastructure. As a result of those investments, she said, the state managed to connect 9,000 homes and businesses to high-speed Internet this year alone.

The governor also briefly discussed the state’s public education investments as schools continue to adopt new ed-tech tools to enhance instruction, among other uses. She also made a pledge to oppose diverting funds from public schools, particularly rural schools where this funding is most needed to support ongoing efforts to combat learning loss, a major concern for educators across the country since COVID-19.

Kelly also proposed additional funding for a new Kansas Water Institute at Kansas State University to “develop innovative solutions” to address the state’s water quality and infrastructure challenges, as well as additional resources to help farmers and ranchers implement water-saving practices.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Kentucky


Address date: Jan. 4, 2024
Stars: 2
To sum it up: In his annual address, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear highlighted the state’s growth in transportation technology, namely in Kentucky’s role at being a leader in the Battery Belt. Envision AESC’s $2 billion, 2,000-job battery facility is the second-largest economic development project in state history. And in December 2023, Kentucky broke ground on the BlueOval SK Battery Park in Hardin County, a project with Ford and SK On. The project, the largest in the state’s history, will invest nearly $6 billion and create 5,000 new jobs. “Because of these great projects, Kentucky has cemented its status as the electric vehicle battery production capital of the United States of America,” Beshear said.

In other areas, Beshear praised what he called the largest public-sector investment in high-speed Internet expansion. He also urged the General Assembly to take up his proposed increase in teacher pay by 5 percent to start the process of addressing the state’s shortage of K-12 teachers, which has reached 11,000. “The simple fact is you can’t address learning loss without enough educators. Put another way: You can’t catch a kid up in math without a math teacher,” Beshear told lawmakers.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Louisiana


Address date: TBD

Maine


Address date: Jan. 30, 2023
Stars: 2
To sum it up: Gov. Janet Mills’ two-part State of the State address lauded Maine for its place as one of the few states in which every school has mobile computer science labs. Maine has also been grappling with violent storms as recently as this January, and Mills warned that climate change will make such events only more frequent. Alongside weatherizing buildings, the state is pushing back against climate change with efforts to install heat pumps, expand EV charging networks and otherwise promote “cleaner and more efficient technologies.”

The October mass shooting in Lewiston also weighed heavily in the governor’s speech, and she discussed plans to support victims’ medical care and curb future violence. Those include efforts to get a more holistic look at violence-related data to inform prevention efforts, expand mental health crisis supports and make it harder for dangerous individuals to get or keep weapons.

The speech also celebrated GDP and job growth, and forthcoming plans for business tax credits. She praised work to expand child care and preschool and, eventually, implement paid family and medical leave, but said the state must change how it handles preschool for children with disabilities. Mills also advised investing further in emergency housing relief programs alongside incentivizing developers to build more affordable housing stock. Her speech also addressed efforts to prevent fatal overdoses with more treatment services, naloxone distribution and school anti-drug education.

Read the governor’s speech here (part 1) and here (part 2).

Maryland


Address date: Feb. 7, 2024
Stars: 2
To sum it up: Maryland Gov. Wes Moore used this year’s State of the State address to deliver a new state plan, which he said was Maryland’s first in nearly a decade. And, indeed, the plan does touch on tech where relevant. Moore didn’t directly connect technology with the plan in his remarks; however, there were several other quick mentions of how Maryland is moving forward and evolving its use of technology.

The most specific came when Moore discussed digital inclusion and equity, noting that the state has helped get more than 130,000 laptops to underserved households, furthering its goal of narrowing Maryland’s digital divide. In addition, he said the state was looking to invest in future-facing industries, funding life sciences, bio tech, data centers and cybersecurity. Finally, although he didn’t elaborate, the governor said that he had toured an electric vehicle plant located in Hagerstown, Md., adding more to the idea that Maryland is positioning itself to benefit from emerging tech in the future.

Read the governor’s speech here.


Massachusetts


Address date: Jan. 17, 2024
Stars: 2
To sum it up: Climate change was a major theme in Gov. Maura Healey’s first State of the Commonwealth speech, so many of her technology-related initiatives and priorities involve renewable energy and water. For example, she referred to the commonwealth’s recent climate tech initiative, stated her intention to support climate tech companies going forward and lauded several for leading the way: the fusion power company Commonwealth Fusion, the wind farm Vineyard Wind and the startup Sublime Systems, which makes low-carbon building materials. She also praised the commonwealth for creating the nation’s first cabinet-level climate chief and a new Federal Funds and Infrastructure Office, which was set up to track and apply for federal grant opportunities, and which secured $33 million in grant funding for electric school buses, among many other things. Her proposals included more wind power projects to meet up to a quarter of the commonwealth’s energy needs and more infrastructure funding for towns to build up their water and drainage systems. She also talked about improving access to digital services for people with disabilities.

The other technology-related priority in Healey’s speech was workforce development, notably demonstrated by Massachusetts receiving a Microelectronics Hub designation from the U.S. Department of Defense through the federal CHIPS and Science Act. She also mentioned wanting to fund HVAC training at schools across the state, and she made references to the Student Opportunity Act and MassReconnect, a program to boost college enrollment, which shows interest in a future-ready workforce.

Read the governor's speech here.

Michigan


Address date: Jan. 24, 2024
Stars: 0
To sum it up: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer focused much of her attention in the Jan. 24 State of the State address on what steps the state can take to reduce costs for residents. She proposed rebates for new car purchases — $1,000 for a conventional gas-powered car, and $2,000 for an electric vehicle. If the car was assembled by a union shop, add another $500.

The governor called attention to policies put in place to have Michigan reach 100 percent clean energy production by 2040. Whitmer highlighted economic developments in technology sectors like Nel Hydrogen’s gigafactory in Plymouth Charter Township, Fortescue’s battery plant in Detroit and SK Siltron’s semiconductor wafer plant in Bay City, to name a few.

“We’re showing the world that we make a lot more than just cars. In the decades ahead, we will dominate the manufacturing of batteries, chips, and clean energy too,” Whitmer told the Legislature. She also urged lawmakers to establish an Innovation Fund to invest in high-growth startups “that will create the future, right here in Michigan.”

“With the new Innovation Fund, we can launch hundreds of new Michigan-based startups and create thousands of jobs,” she added.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Minnesota


Address date: TBD

Mississippi


Address date: TBD

Missouri


Address date: Jan. 24, 2024
Stars: 1
To sum it up: Gov. Mike Parson’s sixth and final State of the State address looked back at his tenure, alongside plans for the coming year, and emphasized developments around workforce, K-12, infrastructure and other areas. Progress on digital equity also made the list of accomplishments. Parson celebrated the work done so far to expand broadband and anticipated Missouri could fully close the digital divide in five years, helped in part by incoming federal funds. In a speech heavy on economic development and job training, Parson also pointed to semiconductor projects and said the state will invest in advanced semiconductor research, development and skills training, and critical mineral development.

Beyond technology topics, the speech highlighted trends like growth in state GDP and revenue and decline in unemployment. And Parson oversaw several tax cuts, elimination of nearly 20 percent of state regulations and several pay increases for state employees.

His speech also celebrated K-12 funding and an education savings account program to promote school choice, plus announced a bump in teachers’ base pay. The state has been investing in both higher education and non-college skills training programs, and Parson proposed several new child-care tax credit programs. Another big win, the governor said, was a widescale infrastructure improvement initiative repairing many bridges and highways, and now a proposed fund would support two interstate expansion projects.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Montana


Address date: TBD

Nebraska


Address Date: Jan. 18, 2024
Stars: 2
To sum it up: Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen’s 2024 state-of-the-state speech was cold: The governor delivered his remarks after 11 days of what he described as “historically brutal winter weather,” noting that subzero temperatures, two blizzards and unrelenting winds had hammered the state. And he opened by thanking first responders for their service keeping people safe from the elements.

After that, the highlight for government technology talk was the governor mentioning the creation of the Nebraska Broadband Office. Pillen said the office will work to leverage historic federal funding to get Nebraskans connected to the global economy, especially farmers and those in rural areas. But he didn’t elaborate as to how. The only other mention of tech came when the governor discussed agricultural efficiency, noting that the state would do well to incentivize its farmers to do more with less water, in part by using technology. Again, however, the speech did not go into detail about how.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Nevada


No speech given this year.

New Hampshire


Address date: TBD

New Jersey


Address date: Jan. 9, 2024
Stars: 4
To sum it up: Gov. Phil Murphy has big plans for artificial intelligence and how to make New Jersey a leader in generative AI. He called for the state to mount an “AI Moonshot,” with newly appointed Chief AI Strategist Beth Noveck, an expert on public uses of AI and also the state’s chief innovation officer, helping to steer that effort. “We have already begun training thousands of our government workers to use generative AI to help New Jerseyans access benefits and services,” Murphy said. “And that scope will only grow in years to come.” He added that the state government “will be a catalyst for bringing together innovators and leaders to invest in research and development, and ultimately, establish New Jersey as the home base for AI-powered game-changers.”

As Murphy sees it, AI will not only lead to better public services, but also new medicines and medical treatments, personalized tools for education focused on literacy and math, climate change resilience programs, and other innovations.

“With our state’s talent, our resources, and our thriving innovation ecosystem, we are going to pioneer breakthroughs — not for the benefit of a small group of stakeholders — but for the benefit of everyone,” Murphy said.

Read the governor’s speech here.

New Mexico


Address date: Jan. 16, 2024
Stars: 1
To sum it up: In a time of inflation and economic uncertainty, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham focused her State of the State address on job growth and financial stability in New Mexico. The two-term governor spoke about her state’s history of innovation, including the development of the atomic bomb and the sale of the first personal computer, but only glancingly touched on technology throughout the speech. Most of that was focused on transportation and energy; she lauded a solar energy company moving in as well as the beginning of construction on the SunZia Transmission Line to carry clean electricity to other states. She also asked the Legislature for a $100 million matching fund to boost infrastructure projects statewide, specifically singling out building electric vehicle chargers as a goal. Aside from that, Lujan Grisham called for more affordable housing, health-care funding and a gun safety package.

Read the governor’s speech here.

New York


Address date: Jan. 9, 2024
Stars: 4
To sum it up: Technology was briefly but importantly highlighted during New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address as having the potential to transform the state’s economy. Specifically, Hochul announced Empire AI, a consortium intended to create and launch an AI computing center in New York; $400 million in funding in private- and public-sector investments have already been secured, including $275 million from the state.

The majority of Hochul’s speech focused on public safety goals, such as reducing crime and investing in mental health, and on addressing cost-of-living challenges with initiatives like significant investment in the building of public housing. However, she underlined that investments in communities and their infrastructure not only attract new tech companies like Micron to invest in the state, but they also support homegrown companies.

Finally, she touched on social media, arguing that it is contributing to the mental health crisis that New Yorkers, especially young New Yorkers, are facing. As such, she assured the public that the state will advance legislation to protect children’s privacy and regulate algorithms that target them.

Watch the governor’s speech here.

North Carolina


Address date: TBD

North Dakota


Address date: Jan. 23, 2024
Stars: 5
To sum it up: In his final State of the State address, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum highlighted myriad areas of growth in technology. He noted that the state government is actively working alongside the sovereign tribal nations to improve their cybersecurity posture. He touted the expansion of a cybersecurity operation center through the North Dakota Information Technology (NDIT) team’s adoption of AI. Burgum also stressed the importance of protecting citizen data. In 2023, NDIT responded to 4 billion cyber attacks, and by leveraging AI, the team neutralized those threats in a more efficient way than they would have been able to without the technology.

Burgum also divulged plans to continue advancing the agriculture industry through automation. Continuing to use autonomous tractors is just one of the examples of how North Dakota positions itself as a state that prioritizes innovation in all areas. Other examples of this include the state’s well-equipped broadband infrastructure, a new single sign-on business gateway that streamlines user experience for business owners, and a Cyber Madness competition that encourages middle and high school students to explore cybersecurity.

Watch the governor’s speech here.

Ohio


Address date: TBD


Oklahoma


Address date: Feb. 5, 2024
Stars: 2
To sum it up: In Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s sixth State of the State address on Feb. 5, there were several broad mentions of technology, but the speech focused more heavily on highlighting the work of state leaders to “get government out of the way” rather than create more government programs. He touted economic growth and education choice as strengths of the state.

In one of his only mentions of technology, Stitt noted the state is attracting new businesses due to its stature as the “manufacturing, the AI and the data center capital of the world.” To accomplish the vision of being the most business-friendly state, he underlined the need to limit government growth and promote free enterprise. With a focus on reducing regulatory barriers, he believes the state can enhance its competitiveness in areas like mineral supply chain technologies. He also broadly noted that technology has transformed higher education, and that colleges and universities should help students meet the changing workforce needs.

Read the governor’s speech here.


Oregon


Address date: TBD

Pennsylvania


Address date: Feb. 6, 2024
Stars: 3
To sum it up: In his address to the state on Feb. 6, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro made several important mentions of technology. His economic development plan for the state focused resources on five sectors: agriculture, energy, life sciences, manufacturing, and robotics and technology.

On education, Shapiro directed the Department of Education to develop a digital literacy toolkit for teachers and parents. He underlined the importance of efforts to help children improve their STEM skills and to address online misinformation in classrooms. He touted significant investments in education in the state, with $1.1 billion in new funding for schools slated for this year. He also talked about addressing discrepancies in funding processes for education to strengthen the sector. And in addition to investing in mental health of students, he wants to keep investing in the 988 crisis hotline.

Shapiro also underlined the state’s workforce initiatives, such as an executive order to make state job hiring skills-based and efforts to increase training programs to meet workforce needs in areas like cybersecurity. He also noted he wants to create a new “Career Connect” program to connect jobseekers with employers. He noted that Ohio has been exceeding Pennsylvania in terms of economic development investments and said that he wants to change that.

Read the governor’s speech here.


Rhode Island


Address date: Jan. 16, 2024
Stars: 1
To sum it up: Gov. Dan McKee, halfway through his first full term, cast himself as his state’s basketball coach in his 2024 State of the State address. The bulk of the speech was dedicated to efforts to cut taxes while raising per capita income, with a few budget proposals and bond referenda mentioned throughout. These included projects that touch on technology and innovation such as an effort to grow the State Institute for Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies at Rhode Island College with a goal of graduating 250 students per year within five years, as well as a proposed bond to create a new life sciences school at the University of Rhode Island. The state is already supporting the industry with the construction of the State Health Lab, a public-private partnership. The governor’s other initiatives include increasing the housing stock, raising health-care provider rates, supporting behavioral health and early childhood intervention, as well as increased math and English Language Arts coaching in schools.

Read the governor’s speech here.

South Carolina


Address date: Jan. 24, 2024
Stars: 2
To sum it up: Gov. Henry McMaster’s 2024 State of the State speech did not include an in-depth analysis of current or future technological efforts, but occasional mentions of tech related mostly to one industry: electric vehicles. He noted that South Carolina is home to four major electric vehicle manufacturers, major international EV battery manufacturers, the nation’s largest EV battery recycling facility and many other industries in the electric vehicle manufacturing supply chain.

From there, he rounded out his address by discussing economic development, financial surpluses and more specifics on EVs including a company in Richland County that is “revitalizing an American brand as an all-electric, next-generation truck and rugged SUV with a $2 billion investment and 4,000 jobs” and an “EV Working Group within their tech consortium that is a ‘one-stop shop’ to recruit and assist with electric vehicle investment and manufacturing,” along with $50 million being used to create specialized “EV training institutes” at the state’s technical colleges.

McMaster did include one other notable technological achievement during his speech — the South Carolina technology consortium, S.C. Nexus, which won the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration’s designation as one of the national Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs.

Read the governor’s speech here.

South Dakota


Address date: Jan. 9, 2024
Stars: 1
To sum it up: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem broke down the state’s standards for societal freedom in her State of the State address titled “Ways That Freedom Works Here.” While there was not any mention of the word “technology” throughout, Noem did share one success South Dakota has seen in telemedicine.

“We are the first state in the country to implement Telemedicine in Motion,” she stated. “And we are using telemedicine to connect physicians, nurses and paramedics with the EMS personnel in the field. We work with our partners at Avel eCare to do it, and there is nothing else like it in the country. Nearly 90 ambulance services throughout the state have installed Telemedicine in Motion.”

She then provided one example that occurred when a South Dakota rancher was attacked by one of his animals. The man suffered critical injuries, but his life was saved by a local EMS agency who connected with the Avel team via telemedicine. A physician and nurses were on camera to help stabilize the rancher, coordinate with the receiving hospital and activate the care flight team to expedite the transfer of the patient.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Tennessee


Address date: Feb. 5, 2024
Stars: 1
To sum it up: Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee promoted his state’s economy while calling for steady job growth, continued low tax rates and minimal debt levels. He proposed infrastructure improvements for roads, bridges and sewer systems, and increased funding for public safety, water quality, education, mental health services and improved health-care services for rural areas.

Any mention of technology was regulatory. Gov. Lee proposed a new law, The Elvis Act, which he said would protect the creative property of musical artists who are vulnerable to AI impersonation. He also proposed youth social media use regulations where any child under 18 must obtain parental consent to create a social media account.

Read the governor’s speech here.


Texas


No speech given this year.

Utah


Address date: Jan. 18, 2024
Stars: 0
To sum it up: Utah Gov. Spencer Cox enumerated the many qualities that make the state “weird” in his State of the State address, but he threaded the term throughout his remarks with affection. Touching on policy issues like taxes, water, housing and the rights of transgender children, he rejected the view of politics as zero sum, where a win for one group must mean a loss for the other. Cox also invoked his current position as chair of the National Governors Association, where he said momentum is building among his colleagues across the country toward the “Utah way,” which is “to remember how to stand up for our own beliefs without demonizing our opponents.”

Cox’s remarks contained no direct references to technology. The closest he came was a mention of the legislature’s recent action limiting kids’ access to social media.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Vermont


Address date: Jan. 4, 2024
Stars: 1
To sum it up: Gov. Phil Scott’s economy-focused speech gave a brief nod to technology as one sector that could help growth. Federal CHIPs Act funding will help the state create a tech hub and expand local semiconductor manufacturing, he said. Plus, the green tech sector is getting a boost, thanks to electric aircraft company Beta Technologies’ opening a new production facility.

The bulk of Scott’s speech focused on the cost-of-living strains of a state where the retirement-age population is growing faster than the population of children or the core workforce. That reduces the sales and income tax base, and Vermont needs to find ways to attract working families and enable current residents to stay. The small student-age population also hampers the public school system’s efforts to achieve an economy of scale, Scott said. He advocated against an anticipated property tax hike and other planned fee and tax increases, to avoid increasing living costs. Housing affordability is another prominent issue, and Scott proposed revising development regulations in hopes of encouraging greater and faster production of residential housing stock, to better sate demand and drive down prices.

Scott also addressed catastrophe recovery and praised residents’ efforts to support each other following July and December flooding. His speech ended with a call for embracing community service.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Virginia


Address date: Jan. 10, 2024
Stars: 1
To sum it up: During his State of the State address, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin highlighted state efforts focused on education and workforce development to prepare residents for careers in increasingly tech-integrated industries. Among other funding priorities, he said, the state has renewed its focus on career and technical education.

The governor also applauded lawmakers’ advocacy and support of the state’s ALL-IN Virginia Plan, which expanded access to intensive math and reading tutoring in grades 3-6 to support student learning, a key concern for many educators since COVID-19 and the shifts to and from digital learning. He added that annual state funding will have increased by $2.1 billion over 2021 levels by next fiscal year, which includes “more support for student services” and other potentially tech-related expenditures. In addition, he said, the state’s new Workforce Development and Advancement Agency has ramped up efforts to prepare students for future workforce careers in fields like tech and jobs relating to alternative energy, another major area of focus for state policymakers.

Noting the challenges that came with remote learning during COVID-19, Youngkin also lauded the state’s Building Blocks for Virginia Families plan, which aims to expand parents’ access to affordable child care.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Washington


Address date: Jan. 9, 2024
Stars: 1
To sum it up: Most of Gov. Jay Inslee’s State of the State address focused on gun control, homelessness and the environment, declaring his goal to reduce greenhouse gases in Washington state by 95 percent before 2050.

Any mention of technology was related to environmental measures. That includes the Climate Commitment Act, which Inslee said will fund electric school buses, free chargers for electric vehicles, free transit rides for youth, and updated school filtration systems that would be activated during wildfires. The governor wants to invest in hybrid-electric ferries, which he said continues his work building a clean energy economy that previously established a clean bus program, an EV battery manufacturing facility, and the new Pacific Northwest federal hydrogen hub.

Read the governor’s speech here.

West Virginia


Address date: Jan. 10, 2024
Stars: 2
To sum it up: Gov. Jim Justice’s eighth and final State of the State address highlighted West Virginia’s success in job growth and economic development but made scant mention of technology. The topic was only specifically mentioned when Justice spoke about the state’s new partnership with Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Skills to Jobs Tech Alliance, noting, “Amazon is coming to West Virginia again. But this time, Amazon is coming with AWS. You know we can’t even run the Internet without AWS.” West Virginia is the fourth state in the U.S. to join the alliance and the first to focus specifically on developing a tech pipeline to rural communities, which means the state government is working to collaboratively grow tech careers, particularly in cybersecurity. The state is also prioritizing expanding broadband access and received a significant amount of funding per capita from the BEAD grant program.

Justice also proposed several funding initiatives that would likely incorporate technology including $150 million for flood resilience, $50 million for a state-of-the art agriculture lab at West Virginia State University and $10 million for firefighters and EMS agencies.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Wisconsin


Address date: Jan. 23, 2024
Stars: 0
To sum it up: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said little about technology in his State of the State speech but did address some of the state’s “wins” as well as areas where the state needs to improve. He said, without citing statistics, that fiscally speaking the state has never been in better shape and that has enabled the state to invest in fixing the roads and bridges that were in disrepair when his administration took over. He said since 2019, Wisconsin has improved more than 7,424 miles of road and 1,780 bridges, as well as 900 miles of road and 200 bridges just last year.

But, he said, the state needs more affordable housing, although since he took office Wisconsin has invested in building nearly 15,000 affordable housing units, including 2,500 last year, with plans to invest another $500 million in workforce housing — one of the largest investments in the state’s history.

Read the governor’s speech here.

Wyoming


Address date: Feb. 12, 2024
Stars: 0
To sum it up: Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon was quick to express discontent with the federal government and President Joe Biden in his 2024 State of the State address but said little about the role of technology in the state’s future.

While technology was not specifically mentioned, much of the speech centered on supporting and defending the state's coal, fossil, fuel and natural gas industries from federal government policies. The governor did not go into details about how he was supporting green energy but did share that he believed in an “all of the above” energy policy. He also expressed optimism about the harvesting of lithium in Wyoming, an element often used in rechargeable batteries.

Other topics mentioned in Gov. Gordon’s speech included an emphasis on a need for increased border control, urging the Legislature to support a property tax relief program and praising the state’s economy, stating that “Wyoming is on a roll.”

Watch the governor's speech here.