Here’s what Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey had to say on border strike force, water, wildfires
PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey came in studio Wednesday to talk about a variety of issues as his final year in office and legislative session continues.
The Republican discussed a newly announced border strike force, water, wildfires and more over two segments with KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.
Here is a sampling of Ducey’s answers, edited for clarity:
Q: This border strike force announcement is a big announcement. Can you explain what this is going to do and who’s involved and how it happened?
A: We’ve seen the good work that [Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Col.] Heston Silbert is doing with our county sheriffs that are on the border and local law enforcement in interdicting fentanyl, methamphetamine and everything bad that’s coming over the border. And this really came out of a Republican governors meeting where [Texas Gov.] Greg [Abbott] and I are sitting around the table with all the other governors across the country and we go around and give quick updates. Gov. Abbott and my update is always around the border … so we came up with the idea of the American Governors’ Border Strike Force and this is going to be a sharing of intelligence of law enforcement of our fusion centers to get after these cartels and human traffickers that are wreaking havoc all over our nation.
Q: What about the states that said no? Was there any pushback of reasons why they didn’t join?
A: It didn’t used to be that the border was a partisan issue. It used to be a federal issue and federal policy, so you’d have to ask them. They just don’t seem to want to put any attention on this.
Q: What are we doing to address our water situation in the state?
A: Nobody’s been better in the country than Arizona for water. I mean here we are in the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the country, the fastest growing and we’re in the middle of the desert.
Everybody is digging a pool and putting in a front lawn and it isn’t actually home building that takes the water. It’s other industries that do this. But we’re in a position and [Arizona House] Speaker Rusty Bowers and [Arizona Senate] President Karen Fann and I worked over the summer so that we can secure Arizona’s water future for the next 100 years with an Arizona state water authority. And we can also use the technology that began in biblical times. But today is affordable for Arizona to actually use desalination, so that we are in charge of our water future and not concerned in the least.
Q: So you’re comfortable and you’re confident that this billion dollar investment you talked about in the State of the State address is going to have us on track to secure that water future?
A: There’s no doubt about it, but we have to get the billion dollars passed and that’s why we wouldn’t want to consider a skinny budget. There’s too many good things that we can accomplish with really common sense policy here in this next year. I know there’s an election cycle out there and people want to get in front of the voters. But I’ve always thought, in my experience, the best way to get in front of the voters is with an accomplishment of achievement and talk to them about what you’ve done in your day job as you ask for their vote.
Q: Wildfire season is starting very, very early. We know we have a wildfire up in northern Arizona. Can you address that issue and what’s going to happen?
A: This is the earliest and most intense start to fire season that we’ve had … we’ve got a $100 million package in front of the Legislature and if we need additional resources to address what we’re going to need in the state of Arizona, we need to get that to these people. But I’m concerned right now. So please thoughts, prayers and good personal responsibility on anyone that’s going to be enjoying our beautiful outdoor areas all over Arizona to just make sure we don’t start these fires in the first place.