“Now is not the time to be content, or complacent. Because the next generation of Arizonans – especially those facing challenges and hardships – are counting on us to rise to the occasion, and do everything in our power to create boundless opportunity in the state of Arizona.” Governor Ducey, State of the State 2017
INVESTING IN A GENERATION
OF HIGHER ED SUCCESS
Arizona Passes LANDMARK $1 BILLION
Infrastructure PLAN FOR UNIVERSITIES
Under a plan included in this year’s budget, Arizona’s three public universities will receive $1 billion in bonding authority to put toward research and development infrastructure. The landmark investment will enable Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University to upgrade current buildings and invest in new facilities, while freeing up dollars for student programs.
Governor Ducey continues to visit public schools across arizona
At schools across Arizona, Governor Ducey heard from teachers, students, administrators, and parents about the innovative approaches being used to teach our students– from those focused on workforce readiness to others excelling in computer coding, the arts, and more. Over the past three years, the governor has visited more than 40 public schools across the state.
Arizona budget increases K-12 funding by $223 million
Arizona’s K-12 public schools were the biggest winners in this year’s budget. The budget provided $223 million in new funding - including $163 million above and beyond inflation. The new funding included dollars to provide teachers a raise, which comes in addition to raises teachers may be seeing from other sources, such as Prop 123.
Other new investments include:
-$80 million for the construction and maintenance of school facilities
-$37.6 million for results-based funding at public schools, half of which is earmarked for teacher raises
-$20 million over two years for early literacy programs, including full-day kindergarten
-$7.3 million for IT upgrades to more efficiently make payments to schools at the Department of Education
-$3 million in matching funds for rural school access to internet connectivity/broadband generating approximately $100 million in total funds
-$2.6 million additional funds for small and isolated rural schools
-$1 million for high school graduates to complete JTED programs
-$250,000 to expand principal leadership training
-$250,000 to expand teacher loan forgiveness
-$100,000 for dropout prevention programs
Arizona Launches Teachers Academy
Arizona launched a partnership with NAU, ASU, and U of A that rewards students who commit to teaching in Arizona by allowing them to graduate debt free. The new initiative will help get qualified teachers to the front of the classroom and help them stay in the profession. It also includes programs such as mentorship to ensure our teachers are getting the support they need.
Signed in May, new legislation (SB1042) helps get more qualified teachers to the front of classrooms. The law reforms teacher certification requirements in order to empower principals and superintendents to make the best hiring decisions for their schools.
More jobs coming to Arizona
2017 saw more than 80 companies work with the Arizona Commerce Authority to expand to or relocate in Arizona, including names like Benchmark Electronics,Bank of the West, Tu Simple, Charles Schwab, and ZipRecruiter. Announcements from companies that worked with ACA alone represent nearly 20,000 new jobs and roughly $1.5 billion in investment.
AZ unemployment drops to lowest rate in a decade
Arizona’s growing economy added over 27,000 new jobs in 2017, helping the state reach its lowest unemployment rate in a decade. Since 2015, over 140,000 private sector jobs have been added and projections show employment growth will continue to outpace the national average.
PUTTING INNOVATION IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT
ARIZONA BECOMES GLOBAL HQ FOR DRIVERLESS CAR COMPANIES
When California put up roadblocks to Uber’s self-driving vehicle testing in December 2016, Governor Ducey welcomed the next-generation technology with open arms. That innovative first approach has made Arizona the go-to place for the development of this cutting-edge technology, with companies like GM, Ford, Uber, Waymo, Intel, TuSimple, and Embark looking to Arizona, and more on the way.
-“Where Driverless cars go to learn.” – New York Times -“How Arizona became a driverless car utopia” – Boston.com
-“Arizona getting ahead of autonomous vehicle industry by stepping aside” – Arizona Republic -“Gov. Doug Ducey welcomes Uber self-driving cars with open arms” – Arizona Republic -“Self-driving cars flock to Arizona...” – Wired -“Arizona Governor Doug Ducey welcomes Uber self-driving cars to Arizona” - AP -“Arizona leads the way in driverless cars...” – Arizona Capitol Times
TRANSPORTATION INNOVATION WITH OPEN SOCKETS
NEW AGREEMENT SIGNED TO CREATE “ELECTRIC VEHICLE CORRIDOR”
Governor Ducey signed an agreement in October with governors of seven other western states to establish an “electric vehicle corridor.” Under the agreement, the states will work together to facilitate and expand the usage of electric vehicles, keeping Arizona at the forefront of innovation in transportation.
REVITALIZING ARIZONA HIGHWAYS
Arizona is always looking for ways to enhance travel experiences for those who use our highways. In a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Governor Ducey requested the ability to allow public-private partnerships at highway rest stops, a move that would increase revenue to the state and revitalize Arizona’s aging rest stops.
SIGNED: PAVING THE WAY
FIRST STATE IN THE NATION TO PASS LEGISLATION USHERING IN 5G TECHNOLOGY
Arizona became the first state in the nation to pave the way for the next generation of wireless communications, also known as 5G. A law (HB2365) signed in March streamlines local and state regulations related to wireless infrastructure, making it easier to the deploy this groundbreaking technology faster.
Guaranteeing Arizonans the Right to Earn a Living
Law empowers individuals to challenge unfair licensing requirements
The Right to Earn a Living Act (SB1437) signed in April is empowering individuals to challenge in court unfair licensing requirements that limit competition and create unnecessary barriers to work. In signing the legislation, Governor Ducey called the opportunity to earn a living and pursue the American dream, “a right promised to every citizen.”
Executive Order Requires Boards to Justify Barriers to Employment
In March, Governor Ducey issued an executive order requiring boards and commissions to report on excessive licensing requirements. The order aims to keep Arizona ahead of the national curve by identifying unnecessary and burdensome requirements that are making it harder for Arizonans to find, keep, and create jobs.
JUAN CARLOS' STORY
STOPPING GOVERNMENT RUN AMOK
In honor of his mother and out of the goodness of his heart, a Tucson student was volunteering his time to provide free haircuts to the homeless. When the heavy hand of government stepped in to stop him, Governor Ducey intervened, writing a letter to the Cosmetology Board in February calling Juan Carlos’ actions an “act of charity that we should be celebrating.” Under the governor’s urging, the board ended their investigation and Juan Carlos was free to continue giving back to his community.
Providing a hand-up to those in need
Legislation (HB2372) signed by Governor Ducey in May provided an additional 12 months of economic assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and included important reforms to incentivize work and school attendance. Under the reforms, recipients are incentivized to seek a job or complete a work program and make sure their kids have at least a 90 percent school attendance record.
Waiving licensing fees for those in poverty
A new law (HB2372) waives initial licensing fees for those at 200 percent or below the federal poverty level, helping more people find work and get out of poverty. The legislation also expands SNAP to individuals convicted of a drug offense if they are receiving or have successfully completed drug treatment.
REDUCING EMPLOYMENT GAP FOR ARIZONANS WITH DISABILITIES
EXECUTIVE ORDER REQUIRES STATE AGENCIES TO PARTNER WITH PRIVATE SECTOR ON JOB OPPORTUNITIES
An estimated 418,000 Arizonans have a disability, and studies show these individuals are 40-50% less likely to be employed than individuals without disabilities. To address this gap, an executive order signed by Governor Ducey in November requires key agencies to partner with private sector vendors to expand job opportunities for disabled Arizonans and ensure agency policies are focused on helping individuals with disabilities prepare for and find quality employment.
Taking emergency action to address the opioid crisis
Following new data that showed an alarming 74% increase in opioid overdoses since 2013, Governor Ducey declared a statewide emergency to address opioid addiction. The declaration was followed by an executive order mandating real-time reporting of opioid overdoses that has allowed the Arizona Department of Health Services to get more life-saving resources into the hands of law enforcement, first responders, and community partners.
New steps to reverse overdoses, save lives
Since the governor’s emergency declaration in June, Arizona Department of Health Services has trained over 1,200 first responders to carry and administer Naloxone and provided over 5,100 Naloxone kits to law enforcement agencies to help reverse overdoses.
Enhanced data leads to statewide Opioid Action Plan
Using enhanced data as a result of the governor’s executive order, Arizona Department of Health Service in September released its Opioid Action Plan, a comprehensive strategy that includes 12 recommendations to reduce illicit acquisition and diversion of opioids, promote safe prescribing and dispensing, and improve access to treatment.
TREATING ADDICTION INSIDE PRISON
PILOT PROGRAM UTILIZES OPIOID BLOCKER TO HELP INMATES GET SECOND CHANCE
Under a new pilot program, the Arizona Department of Corrections is helping inmates address addiction before leaving prison, increasing their chances of success when reentering society. The program, which has no upfront cost to the the state, treats inmates with the opioid-blocking drug Vivitrol.
PROVIDING PATHWAYS TO EMPLOYMENT
AZ EMPLOYMENT CENTERS EQUIP INMATES FOR POST-RELEASE SUCCESS
New employment centers at three Arizona prisons are equipping inmates with in-demand skill sets and helping them find jobs BEFORE leaving prison. To date, over 530 individuals have graduated from an employment center and more than half have found employment upon their release.
SECOND CHANCE BOX
EXECUTIVE ORDER EXPANDS JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE SERVED THEIR TIME
Under a new executive order, state agencies will delay questions related to an applicant’s criminal record until after the initial stages of interviewing. While continuing to prioritize public safety, this policy helps ensure all individuals, including the estimated 1.5 million Arizona adults with an arrest or conviction on their records, receive full and fair consideration for job openings.
UBER FOR JOBS PROGRAM
Partnership with Uber Helps Ex-Offenders Find Jobs After Release
Surveys show that one of the biggest hurdles ex-offenders face when looking for employment is a lack of reliable transportation. Under a new public-private partnership launched in November, the Arizona Department of Corrections is working with Uber to help recently-released inmates utilize Uber’s ride services to get to and from verified employment events like a job or interview. The program aims to give individuals who have served their time the best chance of success after they’re released and keep them from returning to prison.
"FROM A ZERO TO A HERO"
BUDGET ADDS $1.5M FOR POST-RELEASE FIRE CREW
As part of efforts to provide former inmates real second chances, this year’s budget adds $1.5 million to establish a “post-release fire crew.” The program helps protect taxpayers and public safety by addressing recidivism and adding more resources and manpower to combat wildfires. Governor Ducey launched the program after meeting an inmate fire crew in Northern Arizona, where one firefighter remarked, “I felt like a zero, now I feel like a hero.”
Pre-enrolling inmates for Medicaid
Since September 2016, Arizona has worked to ensure that inmates eligible for Medicaid are pre-enrolled prior to release for the best opportunity for success. Medicaid provides important services like drug treatment and behavioral health to help prevent ex-offenders from returning to prison. To date, over 6,500 inmates have applied and been approved for Medicaid through the partnership.
Record Revenue and Attendance Leads to Gold Medal Award For AZ State Parks And Trails
Arizona’s state parks have come a long way since the recession. In Fiscal Year 2017, 2.78 million people visited an Arizona State Park, generating nearly $18 million in revenue - setting records for both. In recognition of their success and innovation, Arizona State Parks and Trails received the National Gold Medal Award in September for being the best managed state park system in the country.
Budget Adds $4M For New State Park: Rockin’ River Ranch
As part of improvements to and investments in Arizona State Parks and Trails, this year’s budget added $4 million to establish a new state park along the Verde River. Rockin’ River Ranch will provide visitors access to one of Arizona’s most unique and pristine natural landscapes as well as enhanced opportunities for outdoor recreational activities like fishing, kayaking, and wildlife viewing.
Saving Children and Pets from Hot Cars
In the governor’s State of the State address in January, he called for legislation that protects good samaritans who break into hot cars to save a child or pet. In May, he signed legislation (HB2494) that does just that.
Over 500 Regulations Eliminated
As part of efforts to shrink government, the governor set a goal to eliminate 500 unnecessary regulations by year’s end and invited Arizona citizens to submit their ideas for cutting needless regulation through a new web portal, redtape.az.gov. With input from the public and stakeholders, Arizona agencies met and exceeded this goal, eliminating over 600 government burdens.
Arizona Department of Child Safety Clears longstanding Backlog
In March 2015, the Arizona Department of Child Safety was plagued by a backlog of more than 16,000 cases. Today, that number has reached an all-time low and is now below the legislative-set benchmark of 1,000 cases. DCS met this benchmark four months before the July 2017 legislative deadline.
NEW INVESTMENTS, REFORMS LEAD TO HISTORIC DROP in the number of KIDS IN OUT-OF-HOME CARE
At the end of 2015, Arizona had roughly 19,000 children in out-of-home care. Thanks to the dedicated work of DCS caseworkers, those in the faith-based community who have participated in CarePortal, and many selfless individuals and families, that number now is below 16,000 and dropping faster than anywhere in the country.
Grandma stipend grows kinship caregivers by 300%
To encourage the best outcomes for children in vulnerable situations, Governor Ducey announced a new policy known as the “Grandmother Stipend.” The policy, which took effect in July, expands relief for family members who care for children in the absence of a parent, commonly referred to as Kinship Care. With the expanded assistance in place, the number of children benefitting from the stipend tripled, from 708 to 2,146, meaning thousands more children in uncertain circumstances are being cared for by family and loved ones.
SIGNED: Legislation Ensuring All Babies Are Tested For SCID
Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) is a disorder in which an infant fails to develop an immune system. If not detected early enough, SCID could be fatal, yet until 2017, Arizona was one of three states that did not test for SCID. Thanks to funding included in this year’s budget and a law (SB1368) signed by Governor Ducey in May, all infants born in Arizona hospitals are now tested for SCID.
HAPPY BABIES MAKE FOR HAPPY OFFICES
Expanding Arizona’s Infant-At-Work Program
Arizona’s successful infant-at-work program allows parents to bring newborns to work from four weeks of age to six months, or until the baby is mobile, allowing parents to spend more time with their babies during the early months of infancy. The program, which expanded to offices across state government in 2017, also brings positive energy to offices and helps state agencies recruit and retain the best talent.
GETTING DEADBEATS TO FULFILL THEIR
Launched in 2016, the deadbeat parent program at the Department of Economic Security continued its success of locating payment evaders and getting money to the families to whom it’s owed. Arizona has collected $455,707.92 in evader payments since the start of the program and 96 parents have been located.
Eliminating The Sexual Assault Kit Backlog
Provided $1.2 million to clear remaining kits and signed legislation to ensure all future kits are tested
In this year’s State of the State, Governor Ducey called the backlog of untested rape kits statewide an “injustice long ignored.” This year’s budget provided $1.2 million to test all remaining kits and new legislation (HB2268) signed in March set the standards to test all kits going forward. Actions since 2015 to clear the backlog and test past kits have so far resulted in 7 indictments.
Launching the CarePortal in Maricopa County
keepING more vulnerable families together
A new partnership with the Department of Child Safety, the Council on Child Safety and Family Empowerment, and the faith-based community is helping keep more vulnerable families together. The program equips caseworkers at DCS with a communications network through which to notify nearby churches of a specific child or family in need, allowing churches to fill that need based on the resources they have available.
SIGNED: Legislation Reducing Licensing Burdens on Veterans
New legislation (HB2271) signed in March is making it easier for veterans to transition to civilian life. The new law reduces duplicative licensure requirements and allows a veteran’s military experience, education, and training to count as credit toward the desired license in the trade of their choosing.
Calling on the VA to prioritize Arizona State Veteran Homes
In November, Governor Ducey wrote a letter to VA Secretary David Shulkin requesting the federal government prioritize the construction of new Arizona State Veteran Homes. The planned facilities, for which $20 million in matching state funds have already been appropriated, would provide space for 120 more beds.
THE TRAINING GROUND FOR
THE WORLD’S STRONGEST MILITARY
Arizona’s military contributions continue to be as important as ever. A report published in November showed that military installations across the state add 76,000 jobs and nearly $11.5 billion in annual economic output.
For the first time ever, the NCAA Final Four tipped off in Arizona - and its impression on the state was sizeable. Over the championship weekend, nearly 60,000 people visited our state, adding $325 million to our economy and further cementing Arizona’s reputation as the best place in the nation to host mega sporting events.
Agreement On Tohono O’odham Nation Gaming
Settlement Restricts Future Gaming and Paves Way To Modernize Tribal-State Gaming Compact
The Tohono O’odham Nation and the state of Arizona announced a new agreement in May, working out a deal for the Nation to join the tribal-state gaming compact and settling an ongoing dispute that complicated future gaming discussions.
Keeping our commitment to Southern Arizona
Governor Ducey made 15 trips to Southern Arizona in 2017, including touring all Arizona ports of entry in San Luis, Douglas, and Nogales. The governor has made over 40 trips to Southern Arizona in the past three years and visited all seven southern Arizona counties in just the last five months.
Hearing from All of Arizona
Governor Ducey has made it a priority to get out of Maricopa County and hear from Arizonans in every part of the state. Since taking office, he has made trips to all 15 counties, and events this year included breaking ground on the new Dot Foods facility in Bullhead City, touring Salome High School in La Paz County, meeting with community leaders in Clifton, and touring the Douglas Port of Entry, to name a few.
CONNECTING ARIZONA TO THE OCEAN
WORKING WITH THE SONORAN GOVERNOR TO EXPAND ROCKY POINT PORT
At a record-breaking Arizona-Mexico Commission Summit in June, Governor Ducey and Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich hosted over 700 attendees with the goal of expanding economic ties between Arizona and Mexico. During the summit, the two governors signed agreements committing to work together to grow jobs and expand the Rocky Point Port.
Building upon his 2016 executive order, Governor Ducey signed legislation (SB1123) enshrining into law the ban on taxpayer-funded contract lobbyists at all state agencies, boards, and commissions. The executive order terminated state contracts with professional lobbyists and ended the practice of state entities spending public dollars on contract lobbyists.
Stopping Cartels, Protecting AZ Communities
Arizona’s Border Strike Force continues to protect Arizona communities, seizing thousands of pounds of drugs and arresting over 2,000 traffickers and criminals.
Seized since September 2015:
-Rx pills: 5,206
-Marijuana: 47,842 lbs
-Fentanyl: 35 lbs
-Ammunition: 167,000 +
-Heroin: 11.7 million hits
-Currency: $10,000,000 +
& Over 2,480 arrests made.
Focused On Securing The Border
Toured the Border with then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and then-U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly toured the Arizona-Mexico border in February, discussing the unique issues facing states in the southwestern U.S.
PROTECTING THOSE WHO PROTECT US
Arizona has zero tolerance for anyone who would target law enforcement officers simply for doing their jobs. New legislation signed in April (SB1336) increases the severity of the punishment for attacks on officers that are motivated by hatred against law enforcement.
PROTECTING THE PROPERTY RIGHTS OF ARIZONANS
A new law (HB2477) signed in April enhances civil liberty and private property protections for Arizonans while ensuring law enforcement has the tools needed to do their jobs. The legislation increases oversight, accountability and transparency of funds, and property seized by law enforcement.
Over 34,000 constituent correspondences sent; Over 1,400 casework issues resolved.
Over 3,000 Proclamations, Commendations and Recognitions issued by the governor’s office