Op-Ed by Doug Ducey
Arizonans are known for our rugged independence. Call it toughness. But we deserve credit for another quality: our ability to work together.
Just four years ago, Arizona struggled to recover from the recession. We had a $1 billion budget deficit and our schools were stuck in a decade’s old lawsuit.
We could have looked for excuses. But we didn’t. Instead, we came together and looked for solutions.
We got to work tightening our belt, just like families across Arizona had to do. We eliminated needless regulations – over 676 and counting.
We shut down agencies more focused on targeting businesses than helping them succeed.
We simplified our tax code, balanced our budget and put out the word that Arizona was open for business.
Today, I’m proud to report that Arizona is on the rise.
Since 2015, Arizona has added 260,000 jobs. More than 300 companies have moved or expanded here. Paychecks are going up and unemployment is the lowest it’s been in a decade.
These wins aren’t just happening in Maricopa County. They can be found all over the state – like Dot Foods, which brought over 125 jobs and a $30 million investment to Mohave County; Amazon, which is bringing 1,500 jobs and a $145 million investment to Tucson; and Nikola Motors, which announced plans to bring over 1,700 jobs and a $1 billion investment to Coolidge.
More jobs and more people have brought in more revenue than ever before. We’ve invested these dollars where it matters most: our K-12 public schools and public safety.
Since 2015, Arizona has added $2.7 billion to K-12 public schools, including double-digit raises for our teachers. We’ve also added hundreds of thousands of dollars for important needs like school busses, textbooks, and classroom supplies – and we’ve done it with bipartisan support.
But more is needed. That’s why I’ve pledged to continue increasing dollars for education every year – and I’ll veto any budget that doesn’t do so.
We’ve also worked together to improve border security. In 2015, we launched Arizona’s Border Strike Force, linking Border Patrol, State Troopers and county sheriffs together in a new effort to stop the flow of drugs, weapons, people and illegal cash across our border.
Through this partnership, we’ve made thousands of criminal arrests and seized over $10 million in cash and tens of thousands of pounds of meth, marijuana, and heroin. This effort is working, and over the next four years, we want to expand it to even more areas.
These gains show what we can achieve when we focus on a strong border and expanding economic opportunity. But some have proposed taking Arizona backward – higher taxes, unsustainable spending, more regulations on small businesses, and less funding to secure the border and keep our communities safe.
This is an extreme agenda for California or New York, not Arizona.
This election, we have a choice – to continue building on the gains of the last four years, adding jobs and investing in our schools or go backward and jeopardize all that we’ve accomplished.
We’ve come a long way in just four years. And we’ve done it by working together – our teachers, law enforcement, first responders, social workers, small business owners, volunteers, and everyday Arizonans.
Imagine what we can do together in the next four years.
I’m asking for your vote because I want to continue working for you to secure Arizona’s future. A secure economy. Secure schools. A secure border. Safe neighborhoods.