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JANUARY Friday Morning Breakfast 2020

Posted By Heather Garbarino, Thursday, January 30, 2020

 

 

 

‘The Arizona Way’

 

Gov. Ducey shares successes, future with Valley Partnership

 

Education. Jobs. Water. Transportation.

 

Each represent a success by the administration of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, but also present a challenge for the state in the future. Gov. Ducey shared his thoughts before a packed house at Valley Partnership’s January Friday Morning Breakfast.

 

Valley President President/CEO Cheryl Lombard moderated the Q&A session.

 

>> Calling on leaders to build the Arizona way

“The ‘Arizona Way’ is the reason people are fleeing places and California. Arizona is the No. 1 inbound state in the country. Maricopa County is the fastest growing in the country the last 3 years. This is not happening by accident. Arizona is winning. Lower taxes and lighter regulations benefit us. People in my business and influencers measure progress by how much a state is spending. I measure progress by how much a state is growing.”

 

>> Education is important to attract and retain new residents

“Education is something we can’t blame Washington, D.C., for. We are in charge of our state education. It’s almost hard to believe that at one point we had a $1 billion deficit. At the same time, education was mired in Iawsuits. Fast forward to today and we have a $1 billion surplus. We now focus on outcome and results. This goes for K-12, colleges and vocational schools and the trades. Funding will always be a part of the issue.”

 

>> Increasing taxes is a bad idea

“There is a lot of misinformation out there. The ground has softened for so long and there was not enough funding in education at the time of the Great Recession. Times have changed. People want to see more spending in education. Right now, we have $1 million sitting in the general fund; we have a booming economy. The last thing we should be doing is raising taxes and taking a page out of the California playbook.”

 

>> Water: Another economic driver for the state

“Water is a very heavy lift. The last big reform was 40 years ago. It brought together homebuilders, the business community, the construction industry. What’s amazing is we are in the middle of a desert and having this kind of growth. We planned ahead. We have excelled on this issue. These are things we need to be working on decades ahead. There was some pressure in that first year to change the policy and stunt the grow. We have to keep that kind of discipline, but also make sure it is focused and ongoing. We use less water today in Arizona than we did in 1959.”

 

>> Transportation: Focusing on future investment

“In 2015 when we had the budget deficit, I knew that the most important thinking to do was to make the tough decisions. I have lived through a couple of downturns and also come out of them. I wish I would have acted faster, but I didn’t use any tricks. There was real pain and political unpopularity. But it allowed us to clear the decks and make the tough decisions. The economy came back in 2016 and put us in position we’re in now. We are expanding I-17, widening I-10. We have the dollars to do some of these multi-million-dollar projects. The state is in position to address our infrastructure needs.”

 

Gov. Ducey also touted the success of the USMCA, developing state land and protecting the culture when it comes to tribal gaming compacts.

 

“… Go out and have tremendous success,” Gov. Ducey concluded.

 

Photos courtesy of SRP

 

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