Getting People Back On Their Feet

Governor's Office

February 23, 2017

Arizona knows what it means to fall down and get back up.

We persevered through a deep recession—one of the hardest-hit states in the nation—and came out the other end even stronger. But, even though we've recovered all of the jobs we lost during that downturn, some people are still feeling the effects.

Today we have an opportunity to help these Arizonans who are willing to work get back on their feet so they can pursue the unlimited possibilities our state is known for. That’s what we’re doing now.

One way we’re accomplishing that is a proposal to waive licensing fees for Arizonans living in poverty, a new, common-sense policy that Governor Ducey highlighted in his 2017 State of the State address:

In the meantime, let’s help those most affected by these barriers: Arizonans who are struggling to get by and looking to start a new career.

Maybe they’ve gone to night school, to learn a new trade or skill. Perhaps they want to be a barber, or general contractor, or X-Ray technician.

Why stand in their way? With another tax, another fee—sometimes hundreds of dollars—before they can start earning a living. So for citizens who are living in poverty, I propose the state waive their licensing fee so they can build a better life.

There’s no shortage of bureaucratic barriers making it more difficult for Americans to find jobs, and we’re committed to making it clear that Arizona is a national model for empowering people—instead of hindering them.

Part of that means making sure our public-assistance programs include forward-thinking incentives that actually stop the cycle of poverty by helping people get off unemployment. For instance, Governor Ducey’s new Executive Budget extends 12 months of TANF cash assistance to Arizonans if they’re participating in job-search activities, getting their children to school, and more.

We’re also improving our state’s recidivism programs to give people who made a mistake a real second chance at getting their lives back on track.

We’re investing in a post-release fire crew for former inmates who want to repay their communities by protecting public safety. In addition, the governor signed an executive order in January to ensure that inmates suffering from drug abuse and addiction are less likely to return to those behaviors after leaving prison.

These are only a few examples of how we’re getting Arizonans back on their feet.

By focusing on the people of our state and lifting up our most vulnerable—those who simply need a quick hand-up before they can start moving forward again—we’re making a smart and strategic investment in Arizona that will continue to produce long-term gains for years to come.