Governor Doug Ducey is set to present his sixth State of the State address on the opening day of the annual legislative session Monday.
The Republican is expected to tout his administration's accomplishments in the past year and present proposals for lawmakers in the coming session. Education, public health and safety and infrastructure proposals are likely to make up a good part of his speech. The governor has said he'll continue to simplify or cut income taxes. Political observers say that probably won't sit well with Democrats and many educators who believe the state's schools and universities remain underfunded. But, Republicans who hold the majority in both chambers like the idea.
Meanwhile, Ducey is quick to push back on any question that he hasn't fixed the major issues he faced when he assumed office in 2015. Those problems included a woefully underfunded K-12 education system, a massive budget deficit and myriad other financial issues plaguing state government.
Ducey said in an interview with The Associated Press that the state budget was broken and he faced a billion dollar deficit but those days are now over and the state general fund is “bursting.”
According to the governor’s office the state budget now has a nearly 700-million dollar surplus.