Much of Govenor Ducey’s State of the State Address centered on continual investment in the core functions of government such as education, public safety and helping those in need. He also called for a hiring freeze of state agencies as well as streamlining government, especially for small business.
Here are some highlights from the address.
- Governor Ducey called on the Legislature to confront and resolve the state deficit and implement a responsible, balanced budget.
- The governor announced his budget proposal will prioritize money in the classroom through a Classrooms First Initiative.
- Through executive order, the governor is assembling a team of education and finance professionals charged with scrubbing every dollar in every formula in statute in order to identify ways in which to get maximum dollars into the classroom.
- The governor called for the passage of the bipartisan American Civics Bill, to ensure every Arizona high school graduate understands basic American civics. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has called this the “quiet crisis in education.”
- The creation of the “Arizona Public School Achievement District,” to give Arizona’s best public schools new and innovative options to expand so that the thousands of families sitting on waiting lists can finally ensure their kids get a quality education.
- A plan to give public schools more access to capital so they can spend more in the classroom and less on debt service. The governor’s budget will reserve resources that our best public schools can borrow against to bring down their debt service costs. And half the projects funded will be in low-income communities.
- The governor will implement a state government hiring freeze – with protections for vital areas, like child safety and public safety.
- The governor called for an unbiased inspector general mandated to find areas of savings – and where corruption exists, shine a light on it.
- A proposal to permanently index Arizona’s income tax to inflation, eliminating an automatic tax increase Arizonans face each year.
- Adding a small business person to the Regulatory Review Council.