Arizona Gov. Ducey Prioritizes COVID-19, Vaccines And Economy Ahead Of State Of The State Address
Before his annual State of the State address, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said he’ll remain focused on weathering the coronavirus pandemic and distributing vaccines to Arizonans.
The address is a tradition that marks the beginning of a new legislative session. A new class of 30 senators and 60 representatives will be sworn in Monday afternoon, before Ducey gives a speech outlining his policy priorities in 2021.
At an event hosted by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce on Friday, Ducey defended his administration’s response to the pandemic.
The governor has garnered national attention for Arizona’s inability to control the spread of the coronavirus. Last week, Arizona had a higher rate of new cases than any other state in the country.
Ducey, who in May declared Arizona was clearly on the other side of the pandemic, said now the state is back in the thick of it.
“If I saw somebody who had a better approach for Arizona, I mean, I apply it with attribution,” the governor said. “But we've done what's right for Arizona through this.”
Ducey expressed confidence in Arizona’s ability to distribute vaccines that could help slow the spread.
As for other policy priorities, the governor was bullish on the state of Arizona's economy, his next top priority.
“Next is the state budget and finances, and how does the state weather the storm there, and then who can bring jobs back fastest? I think no state is better positioned than the state of Arizona,” Ducey said.
Lawmakers are hoping better-than-expected revenues will allow for increases in spending a year after adopting a budget that reduced the state’s expenses.
The governor will offer his own budget proposal on Friday.