Arizona Democratic lawmakers unveil their blueprint for new session
PHOENIX – Ahead of Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s annual State of the State address, Arizona’s Democratic lawmakers on Monday unveiled their vision for the new legislative session.
The Democrats, who remain in the minority in both chambers of the Legislature, released a 17-point “Blueprint for 2021” that focuses heavily on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first 12 points concern the pandemic, including vaccine distribution, small business relief, unemployment insurance, evictions and education resources.
“Arizona has had more than a half a million COVID-19 cases, and tens of thousands more could be infected — avoidably — before a vaccine is available to everyone,” the plan says.
“Thousands of our friends, family members and neighbors are no longer with us. Our government’s response has failed to meet this historic challenge and exposed severe flaws in our social safety net.”
The non-COVID priorities are criminal justice reform, climate change, election integrity, police reform and equality/women’s rights.
“Democrats remain stalwart in our commitment to the core values of supporting Arizona’s working families, uplifting the voices of the under-represented and protecting democracy for all,” the plan says.
Ducey was scheduled to outline his priorities at 2 p.m. Monday in a speech delivered virtually on the first day of the Legislature’s 2021 session.
The governor’s seventh State of the State address will be broadcast live on KTAR News 92.3 FM, our app or online.
In previous years, Ducey has utilized his annual address to tout successes and lay out his priorities for the upcoming year. He usually highlights the budgets, education, public safety and infrastructure.
This year, the coronavirus pandemic and its rippling effects on the economy, classrooms and health care industry are expected to dominate the discussion.