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Will Obama's SOTU Goals Have Effect On State Laws?

Alexis Miller |
February 14, 2013 | 3:28 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Obama's goals carried through from campaign to SOTU speech. (Flickr Creative Commons)
Obama's goals carried through from campaign to SOTU speech. (Flickr Creative Commons)

About 33.5 million people tuned in to watch the President's State of the Union address last night and the overall consensus is quite positive, most people agreed with Obama's message. Surprisingly even some unlikely legislators agreed with Obama's message. During his address, viewers were treated to shots of influential Republicans nodding their heads to Obama's ideas on energy, fiscal policy, and immigration. 

Prominent Republican Louie Gohmer (R-Texas) expressed support for the President's plan for energy independence, while Paul Ryan (R-Wis) was seen with a positive reaction to Obama's immigration plan. Even Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he was "absolutely" behind the President's immigration demands, according to the Huffington Post

These frankly shocking reactions by these national Republican lawmakers begs the question: if Congress can possibly get their act together, can the states follow? 

In the state of California where Democrats have a super majority and Republicans only have 30% of the registered voters, it seems like California won't be a breeding ground for Obama's bipartisanship standard. However, it does seem likely that the ideas behind his energy, fiscal, and immigration policies have a good chance in California, especially fiscal policy reform. 

Governor Jerry Brown has already started tackling tax reform in California with proposition 30, which passed in November of last year. This sales and income tax initiative combined the previously competing initiatives, the "Millionaire's tax" and Brown's own tax increase proposal. Overall taxes in California will be increased over five years to help offset the state's debt and expenditures. 

Brown also hopes to combat environmental issues in his term as governor. Unlike the President, Brown doesn't support increased oil and gas permits nor international oil agreements. Instead the governor hopes to invest in clean energy resources to eventually replace fossil fuel in California. 

Ultimately in a supermajority state like California, the President's relatively conservative energy, fiscal, and immigration policies have a better chance for implementation than in a state like Mississippi, but still not as good as a chance as in a split state like New Hampshire. 


Reach Staff Writer Alexis Miller here



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Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.