New Sessions Begin With Governors’ Speeches

By: - January 10, 2011 12:00 am

Arizona’s 50th legislative session gets under way today (January 10) despite the shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson over the weekend. In the wake of the attack, which left Giffords critically injured and six others dead, Governor Jan Brewer will deliver a scaled-back “state of the state” address that will focus on public service and sacrifice, The Arizona Republic reports .

The remarks Brewer originally planned to deliver “were to have laid out a comprehensive policy agenda for her coming term, and were expected to lay the foundation for her upcoming budget plan, which is scheduled to be released Friday,” The Republic notes. “It’s not clear how or when she will unveil those legislative priorities.”

Brewer is one of a dozen governors who will deliver speeches this week as new legislative sessions begin. Other speeches will take place in Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Dakota, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

State of the state speeches typically give governors a chance to lay out their priorities for the coming legislative sessions – which, in most states this year, tend to focus on budget-cutting and job creation, as they did last year. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his speech last week , unveiling an ambitious agenda to cut spending, encourage business and cap property taxes, among other things.

In New Jersey, where Governor Chris Christie will deliver his speech on Tuesday (January 11), the focus will be “education, public pensions and benefits, and fiscal discipline,” according to The Wall Street Journal . Christie’s speech, the paper notes, comes after a year in which the governor “took New Jersey by storm…thrilling Republicans by taking on entrenched Democratic power centers in the name of fiscal responsibility.”

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