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January 12, 2016

What to expect during tonight’s State of the Union address

January 12, 2016

At 9 p.m. EST, President Obama will deliver his final State of the Union address. The White House hinted to CNN that tonight’s speech will be “nontraditional”; Politico predicted a “less policy-heavy and more big-picture” State of the Union than we’ve seen in past years.

In a video preview, Obama  promised to discuss "not just the remarkable progress we've made, not just what I want to get done in the year ahead, but what we all need to do together in the years to come—the big things that will guarantee an even stronger, better, more prosperous America for our kids.”

We can’t say for sure what issues will make the cut, but we suspect these are on the president’s agenda:

Economic opportunity: The economy continues to recover from the Great Recession, but many American families still face roadblocks on the path to prosperity.

Criminal justice: The Atlantic pointed out that one of the few issues with a chance of bipartisan support in Congress this year is legislation that addresses mass incarceration and criminal justice reform.

Gun control: Just last week, the Obama administration announced a series of executive actions aimed at expanding background checks for gun purchases.

Health care reform: Millions of formerly uninsured Americans now have coverage, but health care challenges remain for many.

Immigration: In late 2014, Obama announced a plan to grant work authorization permits and relief from deportation to some undocumented immigrants. These executive actions remain tied up in court.

For more Urban insights, follow along as our researchers share their State of the Union reactions, thoughts, and takeaways on Twitter. Tag your tweets with #SOTU to join the conversation.

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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