Ducey plots $1 billion water plan, few details in final State of the State address

Clouds cover Lake Mead in 2019/Wikipedia

By Nick Phillips | Arizona Capitol Times

Gov. Doug Ducey touted his accomplishments and outlined a legislative agenda that includes action on water issues, education, border security and infrastructure in his eighth and final State of the State address on Monday. “The state of our state is strong,” Ducey said. But he added: “The job isn’t done.” 

Plans announced on Monday include launching a summer camp to help kids that lost educational ground during the pandemic, increasing school choice, speeding up work on Interstate 10, continuing to cut taxes and even adding to the border wall. The 50-minute speech featured applause lines about conservative priorities like tax cuts, school choice and support for law enforcement; it also contained withering criticism of President Joe Biden and lawmakers in Washington D.C. 

The governor kicked things off with praise for his role in turning the state around since his first run for job back in 2014, when the state was in a fiscal hole. “Today, a lot is different in Arizona. We have lived within our means: We have more citizens, our budget is balanced, our economy is roaring and our government is smaller and more efficient than it’s ever been.” 

This year is the governor’s last chance to solidify his legacy and burnish his credentials as he contemplates his next move and he indicated he’s going to hit on some of the same notes in his last year. “I’ll present a budget on Friday that keeps this stewardship going – paying off more debt, and topping off our rainy-day fund, so that we don’t just own this house, but we leave the people’s house truly in order,” he said. 

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