Recap: State of the Union 2015

State of the Union 2015

Here are our top 5 proposals presented by President Barack Obama during last night's State of the Union Address. A special thank you goes to everyone who participated in our live Twitter chat last night!

  1. Free community college. Raising taxes on the top 1 percent and Wall Street would pay for “America’s College Promise,” the President’s plan to eliminate tuition for 2 years of community college. This plan is modeled on the “Tennessee Promise,” which boosted community college enrollment in Tennessee to almost 90 percent of high school seniors, more than twice as many as expected, and substantially increased enrollment among black and Hispanic Tennesseans. As states have decreased investment in public education, being able to earn half of a bachelor’s degree tuition-free would be a lifeline for low- and middle-income students.
  2. Strengthen the Voting Rights Act. The President proposed ways to strengthen the Voting Rights Act, in a continued effort to build up this landmark legislation following the Supreme Court gutting preclearance, a key tool in ensuring that everyone has the right to vote.
  3. Reform the criminal justice system. The President proposed ways to reform the criminal justice system and improve police-community relations, such as enhancing data collection on fatalities involving police.
  4. Address sexual assault. According to the Department of Justice, one in five women experience an attempted or completed sexual assault while in college. The President proposed ways to address the prevalence of sexual assault on campus, ensuring the promise of college as a safe space for students to learn and live in peace.
  5. Expand paid family leave. The President proposed that Congress follow his lead in expanding paid family leave to workers for up to six weeks as well as require that workers be allowed to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave.