On Monday afternoon, Governor Doug Ducey addressed a joint session of the Arizona Legislature to deliver his second State of the State Address. Economic development, education, and eliminating burdensome regulations were all named as top priorities for his administration.
Ducey noted several accomplishments from his first year, including Arizona being named the best state for future job growth by Forbes magazine. His staff also uncovered hundreds of buried regulations that are harmful to business.
The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce is extremely excited about the pro-business approach taken in his speech. For example, Governor Ducey called on cities to halt “patchwork plans” of wage and employment laws, declaring he would do everything in his power to protect small business. He also called for legislation that will eliminate burdensome regulations that bog down business.
The governor will continue to position Arizona as a place for businesses to migrate through “Arizona Commerce Authority 2.0,” adding that education is key when marketing and promoting Arizona in this way.
Proposition 123, the initiative that will bring $3.5 billion to the K-12 system and settle the school-funding inflation lawsuit, is headed to the ballot this spring. Governor Ducey called on all lawmakers to support Prop. 123, which he described as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide for the younger generation of Arizona residents. Governor Ducey would like to see taxes lowered while simultaneously investing in education.
Along with Prop. 123, his office has been working to make it easier and more affordable for the best public schools to expand by using funds appropriated for the Arizona Public School Achievement District and non-general fund dollars. Along with expansion, this plan would allow older schools to upgrade and repair their facilities and incentivize schools to educate students with AP-level and college-prep courses. In addition, he is focusing on technical education for high-employment careers, which will further economic development in the state. He also promised that he will spend more on universities.
The governor also highlighted water management during his address, as he praised the 1980 Groundwater Management Act that has kept Arizona ahead of the water crisis. Under his direction, the Arizona Department of Water Resources has hired new staff, furthered the investigation of water and infrastructure needs and identified a new long-term water source.
Governor Ducey also touched on eliminating burdens in the foster care system, putting pressure on deadbeat dads to pay child support, allowing Uber and Lyft to operate at the airports, and addressed the nationwide problem of drug addiction, which is also prevalent in Arizona. He would like to identify the best treatments and reduce barriers for those who are seeking treatment for drug addiction.
Overall, Monday’s State of the State focused on the most important aspect of Arizona, the people who live here. The hardworking residents of Arizona deserve the most credit for making Arizona a state on the rise.
Governor Ducey expects Arizona to become nationally recognized for all the great things Arizonans are accomplishing.