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Gov. Ducey looks ahead to more work on safety for Arizona schools

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LISTEN: Doug Ducey, Governor of Arizona

PHOENIX — With a budget for state spending signed and teachers back at work after a walkout, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said he was committed to other ways to improve schools.

“I’m proud we were able to get (school funding and teacher raises) done in Arizona,” Ducey said Monday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News, but he was disappointed with the lack of advancement on a school safety bill.

Legislators wrapped up the 2018 session by passing a $10.4 billion budget but didn’t take any action on a proposed school safety measure Ducey introduced in March.

“It didn’t get as far as it should, but we were able to do something around behavior and mental health. But I do think we need tools inside schools,” Ducey said.

“We took a big next step,” he said. “We’re going to be addressing school safety in the next session.”

The bill was watered down and then died because of a provision that would allow family members to obtain a court order to remove guns from a person at risk of committing a shooting, and allowing them to be ordered held for a mental evaluation.

Some legislators were concerned with civil rights violations.

“There’s always more to do,” Ducey said, but he pointed to success with his response to the opioid crisis and the state’s low unemployment, which was 4.9 percent in March.

“The last time unemployment was this low, people were renting movies from Blockbuster,” Ducey joked.

The University of Arizona’s Eller School of Business’ economic and business research center reported that the 4.5 percent unemployment in October was its lowest since December 2007.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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