SUNDAY FEATURE: As Arizona sees COVID-19 skyrocket, Gov. Ducey to give State of State speech like no other

ILLUSTRATION: GOVERNOR’S OFFICE

By Maria Polletta | Arizona Republic

With COVID-19 ravaging Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey’s annual “State of the State” address will look a lot different this year.

Rather than presenting his legislative priorities to a packed crowd of lawmakers and advocates at the Arizona House of Representatives at 2 p.m. Monday, he’ll deliver a virtual address broadcast live from his Capitol office.

It’ll probably sound different, too.

While 2020’s upbeat address painted the state as a model for the nation, Ducey this year will take the stage as Arizona faces one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the world, with more than 10,000 of his constituents dead so far. 

And while the governor largely expected his priorities to move easily through the Legislature last year before the virus shut it down, he now confronts a harder-right GOP caucus with fewer allies.

Indeed, the Republican governor has drawn criticism from lawmakers of all political stripes over the past 10 months, upsetting both those who believed he could do much more to protect residents from the virus and those who felt he overstepped his authority in implementing mitigation measures.

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