Doug Ducey through the years: A timeline of notable moments from Arizona’s 23rd governor
PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is in the final month of his tenure after serving two terms as the state’s highest-ranking elected politician.
Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs will assume the governorship from Ducey in early January, bringing to an end an administration that focused on the state’s economy, navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic, educational priorities, election drama and more.
Here’s a timeline of Ducey’s notable moments over the years:
- The first bill Ducey signed into law was the American Civics Act. The bill requires Arizona students to pass 60 of the 100 questions on the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization civics test to graduate high school. Eighth grade is the first opportunity for students to take it and they can continue to test until they pass. Nineteen other states have enacted similar legislation since.
- Launched the Arizona Border Strike Force Bureau, which aims to secure the southern border and stop crime.
- Apple announced it would be expanding in Arizona with a $2 billion command center in Mesa.
- Stumped for Prop 123, which passed and put $3.5 billion into K-12 education over the next 10 years. The bill was designed to settle a long-running lawsuit over K-12 school funding. Schools sued over the Legislature’s failure to follow a voter-approved law and increase school funding each year to adjust for inflation. The settlement cash came from about $1.3 billion in general fund money and $2.2 billion from a state land trust.
- Committed to getting thousands of backlogged rape kits tested by creating the Arizona Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Task Force.
- Electric vehicle maker Lucid Motors announced it would build a plant in Casa Grande to pump out thousands of vehicles per year.
- Cleared a 16,000 inactive case backlog from the Department of Child Safety that had plagued the agency since March 2015.
- Launched the Arizona Teachers Academy that allowed free tuition to teachers who instructed in the state after graduation.
- Implemented Second Chance Centers so inmates were better equipped to reenter society after release.
- Won reelection, beating out Democratic candidate David Garcia. Ducey’s campaign stressed border security, a booming state economy and the need to remain focused on making the state’s business climate better to boost job growth.
- Appointed Jon Kyl to serve in the U.S. Senate in early September following the death of longtime Sen. John McCain. Outgoing U.S. Rep. Martha McSally was then appointed to the position in December.
- Ducey and state lawmakers agreed to give teachers a 20% pay raise by 2020 and agreed to give $371 million in flexible spending to public schools over the next five years following the “Red for Ed” movement.
- Signed the Opioid Epidemic Act, which aimed to curb opioid issues in Arizona.
- Arizona is awarded the 2023 Super Bowl, which will be played in Glendale in February.
- Signed the Drought Contingency Plan, which allowed Arizona to join six other western states and Mexico in a water agreement and laid out ways to conserve Colorado River water.
- Arizona’s rainy day fund surpassed $1 billion for the first time in state history.
- The Arizona Department of Transportation was awarded a $90 million federal grant to widen Interstate 17 north of Phoenix.
- Pulled a $1 million grant to Nike after the sneaker company canceled sales of its shoes with a Betsy Ross-era American flag design that activist and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick called offensive.
- Declared a state of emergency designed to provide hospitals and health care facilities the flexibility to enhance their safety protocols as COVID-19 ramped up.
- Issued an order closing bars and restricting restaurants to takeout and delivery service in counties with confirmed COVID cases. Movie theaters, gyms and other businesses where people gathered were also ordered closed in those counties.
- Issued an executive order that listed the businesses deemed essential that would be exempt should a shutdown be enacted. The list was criticized for including barber shops, salons and golf courses.
- Ordered all Arizona residents to remain in their homes except for essential needs to limit the spread of COVID.
- Lifted the stay-at-home order and moved the state into Phase 1 of reopening.
- Issued a statewide Declaration of Emergency and curfew in response as tensions and protests boiled over following the death of George Floyd.
- Certified Joe Biden’s win in the state despite pressure from former President Donald Trump to have him as Arizona’s pick.
- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company selected Arizona as home for a new high-tech factory, picking the Grand Canyon State for the coveted $12 billion project after a national search.
- Phoenix was announced to host the 2026 NCAA women’s basketball Final Four.
- Announced State Farm Stadium in Glendale would be used as a 24-hour COVID-19 vaccination site. The location was hailed by Biden for its effectiveness and similar sites popped up across the state and nationwide as a result.
- Signed an amended tribal gaming compact and associated legislation to authorize a wide-ranging expansion of legal gambling, including sports betting, in Arizona.
- Announced the state will stop paying the weekly federal unemployment booster and instead offer bonuses of up to $2,000 and other incentives for people who return to work.
- Intel announced a plan to invest $20 billion and expand its semiconductor manufacturing operations in Chandler by building two new fabrication facilities.
- Installed a flat income tax rate of 2.5% in the state that will kick in for the 2023 tax year.
- Selected as co-chair of the Republican Governors Association.
- Signed a bill that makes all Arizona K-12 students eligible for Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. Ducey has called the voucher expansion his proudest accomplishment.
- Issued an executive order to fill out nearly a quarter-mile of gaps in the border wall on federal land near Yuma with shipping containers, a program he has expanded.
- Signed a pair of bills that restrict transgender surgeries and participation in athletic events.
- Signed a bill that would outlaw abortion after 15 weeks.
- Announced a summer camp that will take place in hopes of combatting the effects COVID-19 had on learning.
- Signed legislation that will provide $1.2 billion over three years to boost long-term water supplies and implement conservation efforts that will see more immediate effects.
- TSMC announced it was strengthening its presence in Arizona and would build a second facility in the state and increase its investment to $40 billion.