January 14,2019 | Triadvocates
January 14, 2019
Just hours ago, Gov. Doug Ducey delivered the 2019 State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate. In his speech, the governor called on state leaders to put party labels aside and focus on the “things that matter” — enhanced school safety, expanding economic opportunity, investing in public education, and securing Arizona’s water future. Here are the highlights:
Drought Contingency Plan
Gov. Ducey called for urgency in the passage of Arizona’s Drought Contingency Plan, a critical step in securing Arizona’s water future. With a federally imposed deadline of Jan. 31, 2019, the Arizona Legislature must act with urgency in ratifying the plan. The governor’s FY 2020 Executive Budget will include an additional $30 million for conservation efforts dedicated to protecting water levels in Lake Mead and $5 million to support infrastructure projects for agriculture. For more info, click here.
Universal Recognition of Occupational Licenses
Gov. Ducey called for Arizona licensing boards and commissions to recognize occupational licenses granted in other states, something already done for spouses of military personnel deployed to Arizona. For more info, click here.
Expanded Investment In Career and Technical Education (CTE)
Gov. Ducey’s plan will address the increasing demand for technical skills in our growing workforce by creating a new CTE program that will incentivize schools to offer students more opportunities to earn industry certifications that align with Arizona’s needs. Details of this new investment will be included in the governor’s budget, which will be released on Friday. For more info, click here.
Expanding the Arizona Teachers Academy
The initiative, which Gov. Ducey launched in September 2017, aims to lift the financial burden of student loan debt off of teachers’ shoulders, making it easier for educators to do their jobs and pursue career opportunities in Arizona public schools. For more info, click here.
Enhanced School Safety
Gov. Ducey remains committed to the Safe Arizona Schools Plan he unveiled last session. The key priorities outlined in his plan include placing a school resource officer on every high school campus that needs one, continuing to invest in more behavioral and mental health counselors, and establishing a tool, known as the Severe Threat Orders of Protection (STOP), to keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a lethal threat to themselves or others. The governor's FY 2020 Executive Budget will include increased investments to fund elements of the Arizona School Safety Plan. For more info, click here.
Other ideas offered by Gov. Ducey include:
- The repeal of legislative immunity, meaning legislators would be subjected to the same laws as everyone else.
- Increasing the Rainy Day Fund to $1 billion in an effort to prepare for financial setbacks—economic downturns are unexpected but inevitable.
- Taking “regulation rollback” a step further by proposing the repeal of three current laws for every new law passed.
For the full transcript of the governor’s remarks, click here.
Keep an eye out for another special edition of The Navigator later this week—we will provide our analysis of the governor’s spending plan when he releases his Executive Budget proposal on Friday.