Education also ranked high on the governor's list in his speech. He believes it's an area that needs improvement.
"It is one thing to say our children matter. It is quite another thing to do something about it," he said.
Ige is making education a priority.
"This blueprint for change is now in the hands of new Department of Education leadership," Ige said.
The governor added the DOE is now using his blueprint.
It includes three priorities, starting with school design, giving students a voice and focusing on teacher collaboration.
Ige says it's not a one size fits all approach. Instead, a way for every school to serve their communities.
"We know that the only way to improve student learning is in the classroom. It really is interaction between teacher and student that makes a difference," he said.
Meanwhile, the Governor's time spent talking about education was criticized by the house, senate and minority leadership.
"We're 43rd in education and if he was serious about the keiki not going away, we got to better educate them here," Rep. Gene Ward said.
"I think I would've liked to see a little more meat in it as to how we were going to work with our new superintendent and look at some of the issues such as teacher recruiting and retention," Sen. Michelle Kidani, senate vice president said.
Gov. Ige did re-iterate the state's recently gave teachers pay raises.
He also pointed out they've cooled off 1,200 of the state's hottest classrooms and are working to keep that number climbing.
The governor responded to criticism saying he could've went on into detail about education, but instead chose to just point out the big ideas - talking about what's been done, what made a difference and laid out what he's asking from lawmakers during the upcoming season.