Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey delivered his State of the State speech Monday in Phoenix with heartfelt optimism and pride, praising the state’s substantial evolution in the year since he was inaugurated.
Improved finances and credit rating, new jobs, population growth and innovation were all credited by the governor as playing a part in Arizona’s transformative year. Ducey issued a special welcome to newly appointed State Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick and commended legislators for their collaboration on achieving improvements against what he described as considerable odds when he first took office.
When he was elected, Ducey said, the state was “broke;” outdated laws hindered growth and education funding was threatened. Without raising taxes, his administration has managed to balance the budget.
“Today, because of our decisions, there’s money in the bank, we can pay our bills and our credit rating upgrades will save taxpayers millions,” Ducey said. “I’m proud to stand here today and say: The state of the state isn’t just strong – it is on the rise.”
In his speech, Ducey cautioned against becoming overconfident and advocated continued fiscal prudence. With plans to release his annual budget on Friday, Ducey emphasized that education and public safety remain front and center and waste is all but eradicated.
“We can be responsible with our budget, invest in the future and allow the people to keep more of the dollars they earn,” Ducey said. “After all, it’s the people’s money, not the government’s.”
Ducey said he hopes to eliminate obsolete laws and cumbersome licensing requirements to streamline application procedures, to facilitate privatized transportation options and to centralize employment regulations statewide to protect small business.
Touching on innovation, sustainability, education, child and adult welfare, border issues, justice and much more, Ducey ended on the same positive note at which he started.
“We’ve demonstrated government can work. Positive things can happen at this Capitol,” Ducey said. “We can think big and aim high.”