Governor Doug Ducey delivered his state of the state address yesterday. He focused on Arizona's improving economy and his plans to continue supporting business friendly policies. Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports.
Ducey reaffirmed his plans to continue to lower taxes and cut back on regulations. He highlighted the state’s current $218 million budget surplus, but didn’t commit to how it should be spent.
Ducey also proposed changes to the state’s foster care system. He wants to make it easier for foster children to be raised by their extended families. The governor also said he wants to place Arizona’s foster children at the top of waiting lists for the state’s best-performing schools.
The governor also proposed funneling more state money to higher-performing K through 12 schools. But the governor didn’t say he’d use Arizona’s budget surplus to do that. He also didn’t mention the possibility of reinstating the more than $99 million cut from the state’s three universities last year.
But in a list of priorities for 2016, Democratic lawmakers said they want to use the state’s surplus to restore university funding, along with welfare programs that were also cut last year. The Democrats' plan also calls for more funding of state parks and water quality programs.
Governor Ducey will introduce his budget for the upcoming year on Friday.