President Obama delivers his 2013 State of the Union address tomorrow, which begs the question: 'What union is he talking about? Which state?' We are going to take this out of Washington D.C. Just like the old saying about politics, all State of the Union addresses are local. Reporting from around the country are WGBH's Emily Rooney in Boston, Phil Latzman, host of the "Florida Roundup" on WLRN in Miami, and Ben Philpott, statehouse reporter at KUT in Austin.
Emily Rooney reports that residents of Massachusetts are hoping the President will address issues of global warming and rising sea levels. She points to a recent analysis based on data from the journal Science that predicts devastating permanent flooding of coastal areas of the United States: "This is a huge issue for Massachusetts because of its valued coastline tourist areas like Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, not to mention the Back Bay [neighborhood] and Logan Airport."
Reporter Phil Latzman says that Floridians are also, naturally, concerned with the rising sea level. And with over 800,000 of the estimated 11 million undocumented residents in the United States living in Florida, the issue of immigration is very much on their minds. According to Latzman, "Lots of dreamers are hoping for passage of the Dream Act so they can go to college affordably." An issue that many Floridians hope there will not necessarily be movement on is Federal gun laws. Latzman notes that, "there is a lot of resistance to changing any gun laws here."
Texas Statehouse reporter Ben Philpott says that sentiment is echoed in Texas, where Federal gun regulations are notoriously reviled. The issue has prompted Statehouse Republicans to introduce a bill in anticipation of such regulations: "We do have a bill filed…that would make it a crime for a federal officer to enforce a federal gun ban in Texas," said Philpott, noting that while it has support, it is unlikely to pass.