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Governor Ducey’s 2020 State of the State Address

Governor Ducey’s 2020 State of the State Address
January 13
18:00 2020

Governor Doug Ducey

Governor Ducey Delivers 2020 State of the State Address

News Release

January 13, 2020

Gov. Ducey: “Welcome To The Crackling Energy Of Booming Arizona”

PHOENIX — Highlighting Arizona’s roaring economy, bursting state revenues, balanced budget and demonstrated record of working together, Governor Doug Ducey today laid out his 2020 policy priorities — his most robust and aggressive agenda since taking office.

With over 350,000 new jobs since 2015 and over 300 new residents a day, Governor Ducey called on lawmakers and elected leaders to build on the state’s growing momentum, “The Arizona Way,” with a continued focus on lowering barriers to work, growing jobs in rural Arizona, honoring our veterans, maintaining fiscal responsibility, ensuring public safety, securing our water future, and investing in key priorities like teachers and students, infrastructure and child safety.

To view the speech in Spanish, click HERE.

Below are highlights from the Governor’s speech.

Honoring Those Who Served

Our vets have already earned their benefits. Put their lives on the line. The government shouldn’t be taxing their service to country, it should be honoring their service to country. Our budget does this, by eliminating all state income taxes on our veterans’ military pensions once and for all.

We have a goal: To make Arizona homebase for veterans everywhere in the country. These women and men make our state stronger. To all our veterans, everywhere, from California to New York State, Arizona wants you. All of you. You’ve put our country first; now with this budget, Arizona will put you first.

You heard me say I want Arizona to be the national leader for veterans. Well, Representative Joanne Osborne’s got the bill. For our heroes and military spouses — polish your resumes. We’re getting rid of your fees.

Arizona State Capitol

No New Taxes

Let me reiterate what I’ve said in five prior state of the state speeches, and two inaugural addresses—because apparently it bears repeating—no new taxes; not this session, not next session; not here in this chamber, not at the ballot box, not on my watch.

Investing In Teachers, Students and K-12 Public Schools

In total, we’ve pumped $4.5 billion in new investments into Arizona schools. With our latest budget, that figure will rise to $6.6 billion. And we’ve done all of this, without raising taxes.

In addition, an even larger investment in school counselors, cops on campus, and school safety. A stronger focus on CTE and the trades. More money for the Arizona Teachers Academy, and Teach for America. And a full, complete and accelerated restoration of flexible funding — two years ahead of schedule.

(And) by the start of the new school year, teacher pay will be up 20 percent.

Closing The Achievement Gap

And we have a proven model to scale success in our most struggling schools.

The idea is straightforward. Help struggling schools with tools, resources and expertise to produce better results for students. We call it “Project Achieve.” We’re working with Representative Michelle Udall to make it a reality. We owe it to the kids in these schools. They’re waiting. Let’s not let them down.

Getting More Teachers Into The Classroom

Through the Arizona Teachers Academy we made a commitment to our aspiring teachers — you stay and teach in Arizona, and we’ll cover your college tuition. The effort is paying off. Enrollment in the Teachers Academy has skyrocketed, with 2,170 students now participating.

This year, we intend to build on our momentum with reforms sponsored by Senator Paul Boyer, allowing even more students to go through the Academy. Students seeking degrees in math and science. Teachers specializing in educating blind children. Arizona’s future depends on these educators. Let’s provide them with access so they can get to the front of the classroom — debt free.

Focus On Rural Arizona

There’s no shortage of new jobs in Arizona —  but many vital jobs remain unfilled in our rural communities. So we’ve got a plan — a Rural Jobs Initiative.

First, tourism and state parks. There’s no place more beautiful to vacation than scenic Arizona. And with an infusion of new dollars, we’re going to work with Tourism Director Debbie Johnson to ensure the whole world knows it.

Next, workforce. Small business is the backbone of our economy. So we’re launching a partnership with Local First Arizona to strengthen small businesses, get rural Arizonans back to work, and bolster our local economies.

Long Term Thinking On Water

Last year we came together and passed the Drought Contingency Plan. It was the most significant water policy in 40 years. We will continue to protect Lake Mead, the Colorado River, groundwater, and our ag jobs.
But we shouldn’t be dealing with this issue one generation at a time. We need a strategic ongoing effort to turn Arizona into the international capital for water technology. Look at all that Israel has done. Why not Arizona? We’ve been a leader on water, and with this approach, we will continue to be an even stronger leader far into the future.

Improving Infrastructure WIth I-10’s Widening

The Phoenix-Tucson corridor is an economic artery for our state and it needs expanding. It’s time to accelerate completion of I-10’s widening, in both directions, between our two largest cities. Our budget puts the pedal to the metal, with the construction of a new six-lane bridge over the Gila River. This replaces a 56-year-old bridge. 62,000 people drive over it every day. That’s 23 million a year. So let’s break ground ASAP.

Connecting Rural Arizona To High-Speed Internet

We need to connect all parts of our growing state. Rural areas still lack high-speed Internet. Let’s triple our investment in Rural Broadband Grants, and also invest $50 million in Smart Highway Corridors to install broadband along our rural interstates. This will make our highways safer and smarter than ever before and pave the way to get all of rural Arizona logged on.

Equipping Arizonans For The Jobs Of Tomorrow

ASU, UofA and NAU have also stepped up to fuel our economy, and we’re about to pour on the gas. Regents Chair, Larry Penley, has proposed what he calls “The New Economy Initiative.” It’s an innovative approach that enhances our capacity to graduate more students for the critical jobs of today and tomorrow. It’s just the latest effort by our universities to solve problems, and do it The Arizona Way.

Expanding Mental Health Access; Preventing Suicide

With our kids: in the iPhone era, they face a world dramatically different than the one we grew up in. Modern technology. Social Media. Loneliness. Vaping. We need solutions that focus on the whole child, promoting personal resilience, leveraging our community and a supportive environment.Let’s start by increasing access to mental health care. We’re working with Senator Kate

Brophy McGee and Representative Jeff Weninger on a long overdue reform. Insurance companies should be covering mental health care, just like they cover an annual physical. And we’re going to make sure they do.

Investing In Child Safety And Loving Homes

Over at the Department of Child Safety, our dedicated caseworkers have led an unrivaled turnaround. Safely reducing the number of children in out-of-home care by 4,565 kids. They’ve reduced the average time to place a child in a foster home from a work week to same-day. It’s a national model for how to help our kids. For the second year in a row, our budget includes additional dollars to reward the selfless public servants responsible for the turnaround with a well-deserved raise.

Expanding Civics Education

We are blessed to have one Arizonan who’s the ideal of this aspirational creed. Her life is a living civics lesson — and Arizona is fortunate to be home to the Institute that bears her name. I’m talking about Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Who better to hold as a model for the next generation? That’s why I’m calling for a day when classroom instruction can be dedicated entirely to civics: Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Celebration Day.

Continuing To Wipe Out Needless And Costly Regulations

We’ve been on a blitz to wipe out needless regulations. 2,289. Gone. That’s the equivalent of a $134 million tax cut without impacting the general fund one penny. But we’re not done yet.

I’ve issued a new Executive Order, with a new reform: If the government ever deems a new regulation absolutely necessary, it must first identify three others to eliminate. The result: New regulations will naturally mean less regulations.

Rescinding 23 Executive Orders

I’ve called on you to get rid of old laws. Today I’m leading by example. Moments ago, I rescinded 20 old executive orders, resulting in the elimination of a dozen boards and commissions we just don’t need. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go through the list — you won’t miss them.

Reducing Barriers To Work

Last year, during budget negotiations, Senate Democratic Leader David Bradley alerted us to something new: boards stock-piling cash and sitting on bank accounts of millions in reserves — all while continuing to burden real people with fees. It’s time for that to end. Let’s freeze the fees and free the people.

Providing More Second Chances

This year, we are doubling down on this successful model, investing in more educational programming so more individuals can get their opportunity at a better choice and a better life.

The new Director, David Shinn, a former Marine turned public servant. He’s dedicated his life to this noble cause, and he’s building on these efforts to transform our corrections system. And change how we think — and speak.

Shutting A State Prison

We’ve provided more opportunities and we’ve decreased the amount of people returning to prison and helped many find meaningful work. There’s another marker we are going to meet this year. We’re shutting down a state prison.

Funding Locks And Corrections Officer Raises

And for the rest of our facilities, let’s make sure they’re staffed and secure for our correctional officers and inmates alike. That’s why my budget will fix the locks and provide additional pay raises for our correctional officers — on top of last year’s raises. All in the name of public safety.

Saying “Yes” To The Rule Of Law And “No” To Sanctuary Cities

If anyone needed a reminder, that here in Arizona, we respect the rule of law: last fall the voters of Tucson demonstrated that loud and clear.

And now it’s time for all Arizonans to make their voices heard, and enshrine it in our Constitution. T.J. Shope has the ballot referral. This November, let’s give all Arizona voters the opportunity to say YES to the rule of law and NO to sanctuary cities.

Funding Body Cameras For Every State Trooper

Incidents like these are reminders of the dangers our law enforcement face every day. These are the good guys, and we should do everything in our power to protect them. That’s why our budget includes funding to finally put body cameras on every state Trooper.


Governor Ducey’s 2020 State of the State Address - overview

Summary: Governor Ducey Delivers 2020 State of the State Address


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