ARIZONA NEWS

Here are the highlights of Gov. Doug Ducey’s State of the State address

Jan 14, 2019, 3:10 PM | Updated: 5:37 pm
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey gestures while giving his state of the state address Monday, Jan. 14, 2019,...

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey gestures while giving his state of the state address Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ushered in a new Legislature on Monday with his annual State of the State address, in which the Republican laid out his priorities for the upcoming session.

In the approximately 45-minute speech, Ducey closed the door on a record-setting election year for Arizona, welcomed new lawmakers and paid tribute to the state leaders who died in 2018, including U.S. Sen. John McCain and U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor.

Ducey also called on lawmakers to pass several pieces of legislation introduced in the previous session to address issues such as school safety and legislative immunity.

Here are the highlights of Ducey’s speech at the state Capitol below:

Water issues

“Here’s the bottom line: We’re in a 19-year drought. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Arizona and our neighboring states draw more water from the Colorado River than Mother Nature puts back.

It’s time to protect Lake Mead and Arizona.

It’s time to ratify the Drought Contingency Plan, and we have 17 days to do it.

Doing so will require compromise. No one stakeholder is going to get everything they want. Everyone is going to have to give. And I’ve been impressed by the willingness of those involved to do just that.

…This issue is important and it’s urgent. Our economy. Our environment. Our future.

Let’s prove we can work together in a bipartisan fashion and get this done.”

Legislative immunity

“I’m challenging this legislature let’s chop the stacks and stacks of statutes down, so that the laws make sense and are relevant to the Arizona of today.

And how about we start with eliminating the most unnecessary law of them all: legislative immunity.

We are a nation of laws, not men. No one — not me, nor you — is above the law.

Now, Congress likes to exempt themselves from the law — but isn’t that why Americans hold them in such contempt?

Let’s show the people of Arizona that their elected leaders will live under the same laws as every man and woman in this state.

Send (Arizona state Rep.) T.J. Shope’s referral to the ballot and let the people speak on special privileges for elected officials.”

School safety

“One year ago, most of us didn’t know Parkland, Florida, even existed. But now, tragically, it’s another on the list. Ingrained in our memories and American vernacular. Columbine. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook.

So last spring, I convened Arizonans in my office. Parents. Teachers. Principals. Law enforcement. Prosecutors. Mental health experts. Democrats and Republicans. People who weren’t Democrats or Republicans. Students themselves.

With a goal of being proactive, and taking action to stop a tragedy from happening here. We researched the five deadliest school shootings of the last 20 years, and asked: How could these have been prevented?

We built a plan that could make a real difference: The Safe Arizona Schools Plan. More cops on campus. More school counselors. Improved background checks. A STOP order that protects Second Amendment rights while keeping guns out of the hands of individuals who are a lethal threat.

These are solutions that will make schools safer, and it’s time for us to get it done. I’ll be including some elements of this plan in my budget that you’ll see Friday — with an even greater investment than I proposed last year.

We know when a police officer is around, it makes things safer. Who do we call whenever there’s trouble? Our brave men and women in blue. And that’s why we’re including enough dollars to put a cop on every campus that needs one.

And I’ll be working with legislative leaders to pass the rest.”

Education

“Our education leaders are creating the ‘shop’ classes of the 21st century — it’s called Career and Technical Education — CTE.

Today, students in these programs are training to becoming nurses, pilots, pharmacists, bankers, firefighters and software developers — all before graduation.

In fact, 99 percent of CTE students graduate high school–99 percent– a rate much higher than the national average.

They perform better in mathematics and reading — and their technical skills rival professionals in the same trade.

Just take a look at some of these programs: Aviation at Pima Community College. Advanced manufacturing at Maricopa Community Colleges. Diesel mechanics at the Western Maricopa Education Center. And culinary arts at the East Valley Institute of Technology.

Today, we have more jobs available in the state of Arizona than we have people to fill them.

Whatever and wherever the skilled trade is needed, Arizona is prepared to meet the demand.

I want to recognize education leaders who are paving the way: Lee Lambert, Maria Harper-Marinick, Greg Donovan, Doug Pruitt, and Sally Downey. Thank you for your leadership.

These are programs we plan to build, expand and align with the jobs of tomorrow. And my budget will do just that.

If people want to work, let’s let them work! 100,000 people will move here this year. There’s a job available for every one of them.

Lots of them are trained and certified in other states. Standing in their way of earning a living in Arizona, our own licensing boards, and their cronies who tell them — ‘You can’t work here. You haven’t paid the piper.’

Let’s stop this foolishness. Pass (Arizona state Rep.) Warren Petersen’s bill to grant universal recognition for all occupational licenses — and let them work.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

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Here are the highlights of Gov. Doug Ducey’s State of the State address