ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Gov. Ducey promises busy 2022 with focus on education, border in State of State address

Jan 10, 2022, 2:58 PM | Updated: 10:00 pm
(KTAR News Photo/Jeremy Schnell)...
(KTAR News Photo/Jeremy Schnell)
(KTAR News Photo/Jeremy Schnell)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey promised a busy 2022 and focused on improvements in education and border security during his eighth and final State of the State address on Monday.

Ducey, a Republican, spoke at the House of Representatives to kick off his final legislative session as governor and ahead of unveiling the 2022 budget on Friday.

“For those who think it’s going to be a quiet year on the Ninth Floor, you haven’t been paying attention,” Ducey said during his speech. “And as I stand here today, the job isn’t done. The goodbyes will come later, much later.

“I intend to make the most of every moment and work hard all along the way for my employers, the citizens of this state.”

Ducey spoke heavily on the state of education in Arizona, singling out the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and reiterating schools would remain open for in-person learning.

He vowed to open free summer camps in June aimed at catching up students in math, reading and American civics.

The governor also said critical race theory wouldn’t be taught in schools, six months after he signed a bill banning state or local governments from requiring training in the area.

In another request, Ducey said he wanted to expand school choice, whether that be through more open enrollment, new transportation models or more charter schools.

“Let’s think big and find more ways to get kids into the school of their parents’ choice,” Ducey said. “Send me the bills and I’ll sign them.”

On border security, Ducey laid out a five-point plan to limit what he called a public safety and humanitarian crisis.

He asked for more resources, stricter criminal penalties and stronger coordination with federal leaders.

The Republican also promised to build a wall where possible at the southern border.

“Our border is a patchwork of federal, state, tribal and private lands,” Ducey said. “Where Arizona can add physical barriers to the border, we will.”

Ducey argued Democratic U.S. Sens. from Arizona Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema shouldn’t vote yes on legislation until President Joe Biden builds a wall, adds virtual surveillance and increases resources for affected border communities.

Action at the border from Biden and the federal government has been a hot-button topic for Ducey in recent months as migrations have soared in Yuma and at other ports of entry.

“In Arizona, we will secure our border. We will protect public safety. We will not back down. We will fight this fight until Washington D.C. finally acts,” Ducey said.

Ducey also spoke at length on water conservation, lowering taxes, job creation and infrastructure needs.

Prior to the address, Arizona Democrats released their legislative priorities for the 2022 session.

The minority party in both chambers of the Legislature unveiled a seven-point “Blueprint For a Better Arizona” that, heading into an election year, covers hot-button issues such as education, election integrity and reproductive rights.

The eight-page document also presents Democrats’ ambitions for pandemic recovery, community health, criminal justice and water/climate concerns.

Ducey promised to find ways to work across the aisle in his final legislative session as governor.

“No doubt, there will be challenges. In fact, some have said we can’t get much done this year,” Ducey said. “Divided chambers. An election. Why bother? I disagree. Let’s aim high and think big.

“We’re smarter today, and as I look around this chamber, I see the wisdom of our veteran lawmakers, side-by-side with the energy and fresh perspective of the newcomers, and that’s a combo that is sure to produce results.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Brophy College Preparatory)...
Associated Press

Brophy College Prep in Phoenix reports widespread cheating

The principal of Brophy College Preparatory says the prestigious private Phoenix high school has learned of “widespread even pervasive” cheating in its all-male student body.
23 hours ago
Clouds pass over drought-stricken Lake Mead on May 10, 2022 in the Lake Mead National Recreation Ar...
Associated Press

Tucson willing to take 20% less water to help Lake Mead shortage

The Tucson City Council included its potential willingness to take 20% less CAP water to keep more in the reservoir.
23 hours ago
(Facebook photo / State Farm Stadium)...
Associated Press

Glendale adopts new short-term rental regulations ahead of Super Bowl

Glendale has preemptively adopted rules regulating short-term rental properties before the city welcomes visitors for the 2023 Super Bowl.
23 hours ago
(Pexels photo)...
KTAR.com

Arizona sees significant jobs increase in April, per employment report

The state of Arizona saw a 13,100 jobs increase in the month of April, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority's monthly report.
23 hours ago
(Pexels photo)...
KTAR.com

Rio Salado’s Dental Clinic offering free dental work to Arizona’s veterans on Saturday

Arizona's veterans can receive free dental cleanings, dentures, fillings, oral surgery and crowns Saturday at Rio Salado’s Dental Clinic.
23 hours ago
A 9mm pistol build kit with a commercial slide and barrel with a polymer frame is displayed during ...
KTAR.com

Felon from Arizona convicted of firearm, ammo possession, including ‘ghost gun’

An Arizona felon was found guilty of illegally possessing over 20 firearms, including a “ghost gun,” and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Christina O’Haver

Stroke month: Experts call attention to stroke prevention

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
(Twitter photo / Coco5)...
Coco5

Suns star Devin Booker’s all-natural sports drink Coco5 perfect for any activity

Devin Booker is leading the Suns in pursuit of their first NBA championship while also working to provide people proper hydration with Coco5.
Arizona Gov. Ducey promises busy 2022 with focus on education, border in State of State address