Gov. Doug Ducey's 2020 State of the State speech (Full text) - AZEdNews
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Gov. Doug Ducey’s 2020 State of the State speech (Full text)

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  • Gov. Doug Ducey   |   Governor of the State of Arizona

Gov. Doug Ducey, Center, Delivers His State Of The State Address At The Arizona Legislature With House Speaker Rusty Bowers, Left, And Senate President Karen Fann, Right, In Phoenix On Jan. 13, 2020. Photo Courtesy Of Arizona Capitol Television

Speaker Bowers, President Fann, House Leaders Petersen and Fernandez, Senate Leaders Gray and Bradley, Chief Justice Brutinel, Members of the Legislature and Judiciary, my fellow Arizonans — thank you so much for the warm welcome. It’s great to be back.

Allow me to start with a question. Show of hands: who here today in this chamber, was born somewhere other than the state of Arizona? 

As you can see — there’s a lot of us. I’ll always be a kid from Toledo. And we have folks here today from all over the country, and all over the world.

It’s uniquely Arizona. We choose to move here, live here, make this home —  and we’re not alone. As we stand here today, more than 70 percent of our adult citizens were born somewhere else. So were some of our greatest state icons. Leaders, like Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett. Trailblazers, like Raul Castro. Legends, like Jerry Colangelo. Quiet Saints like Bill Bidwill. Giants, like Sandra Day O’ Connor. And heroes, like John McCain and Pat Tillman. 

The newcomers keep coming. Last year we punched through 7 million people, and left Massachusetts in the dust. 120,000 people are moving here a year. That’s more than 300 a day. By the time I finish this speech, 14 new Arizona residents will have arrived.

I think it’s fair to say that I speak for all of us — the native Arizonans and the newcomers — when I say: We love it here.

It’s for good reason. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud to report: the state of our state is strong. And the best part is, it’s only getting better.

Look at all that’s happening around us. Our crime rate is dropping, and school test scores are rising. Our credit rating is up, and our debt is way down. Household incomes have hit a record high, and our poverty rate has dropped faster than any other state in the nation. 

As we enter a new decade, things look a lot different than when we entered the last one. 

Today, Arizona’s economy is more diverse. We have more manufacturing jobs than construction jobs — and we’re top 10 in transportation, science, technology, and health care. 

Our national reputation has never been better, our relationship with Mexico has never been stronger, and with the new USMCA, we’ve paved the way for an even stronger trade relationship with our valued neighbors to the south.

We got here by doing things our way, The Arizona Way. And I’m here to tell you: You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Here, common sense still rules the day. Other states, and D.C. politicians, might be focused on growing government — Arizona grows opportunity. Our population is surging, but the size of our government is actually shrinking — all while providing faster, more efficient customer service to taxpayers and citizens.

In Arizona, we believe in maximizing freedom and limiting government. We believe government should do fewer things, but do the things it does well. Let’s continue hacking away at the permanent bureaucracy and the “mother may I” state. 

The people don’t need the government’s permission — the government needs the people’s permission.

We believe in the freedom to work. On Arizona’s 50th birthday, someone wisely predicted: “Arizona will continue to be the haven for people who seek an outlet for initiative and a reward for work.” That was Barry Goldwater in 1962.

In that spirit, we passed Universal Recognition of Occupational Licensing, allowing anyone in America to bring their skills to Arizona and get to work.

Up in the governor’s office, our phones have been ringing off the hook. Red states, blue states — all wanting to replicate what Arizona has done. Representative Petersen — How’s that for “model legislation?”

Fact is, if imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery — then Arizona should be blushing.

We were the first state in the nation to pass the American Civics Act. 34 others have followed suit. Only 15 more to go.

Our unanimous work on opioids was the most aggressive and comprehensive policy in the nation, and prompted other states and the federal government, to take notice and take action.

And way back in 2016, we protected Free Speech on our college campuses. When it takes Texas three years to catch up, you know we’re doing something right.

Here you can brew beer, churn ice cream, and make an honest living. Now, all we need is Uber and Lyft back at Sky Harbor. 

We launched the “Happy Babies” program to let new parents bring their infants to work. And how do we know it’s a great idea? Because in California, it got vetoed.

We fired the lobbyists, freed the blow-dryers, and along the way, we even managed to legalize potlucks.

Cutting red tape? We were doing it before it was cool. 

But the most surprising news: not everyone is mimicking us. Places like California, Illinois, Washington State, Connecticut, and New York — they’re taking the opposite approach. Higher taxes. More regulations. Wasteful spending. Mountains of debt. That’s the wrong way. We’ll stick to the Arizona Way.

While those states are crushing people and businesses with burdensome regulations and unnecessary laws, their residents are flocking to Arizona.

Here, we’re not just open for business — we’re open for opportunity — for everyone. As a result, we’re now the number one inbound state in America.

Our economy is roaring: 350,000 new jobs since 2015. It’s reflected in our bursting general fund and growing revenues.

But for those of you who don’t know me that well yet — spoiler alert: We’re not going on a spending spree.

But old habits die hard for the spending lobby. There’s a chorus of special interests and lobbyists scheming, plotting and clamoring for new and higher taxes. They don’t seem to understand the reasons our new residents are coming here. It isn’t to import those bad out-of-state policies — it’s to escape them. So let me reiterate what I’ve said in five prior state of the state speeches, and two inaugural addresses – because apparently it bears repeating — no new taxes; not this session, not next session; not here in this chamber, not at the ballot box, not on my watch. 

We’re running a billion-dollar surplus, and somehow that still isn’t enough? Give us a break.  Even better – give the hard-working taxpayers a break. And let’s start with the ones who we can all agree have sacrificed the most

We are blessed to have more than 600,000 veterans in our state. One of the largest populations of veterans in the country. From World War II to Post-9/11. Our Greatest Generation to our newest generation. These brave men and women are heroes, to whom we as citizens owe a debt of gratitude for all the freedoms we enjoy each and every day.

I’d like to ask all the veterans in the chamber today to please rise, so we can recognize and honor your service.

Yours is a public service in a league of its own. As President Lincoln said of our veterans “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.”

To say these individuals are Great Americans is an understatement.

Once retired, our vets continue to give back.

We can never repay them, but we can at least do our part to demonstrate our appreciation. 

Our vets have already earned their benefits. Put their lives on the line. The government shouldn’t be taxing their service to country, it should be honoring their service to country. Our budget does this, by eliminating all state income taxes on our veterans’ military pensions once and for all.

We have a goal: To make Arizona home base for veterans everywhere in the country. These women and men make our state stronger. To all our veterans, everywhere, from California to New York State, Arizona wants you. All of you. You’ve put our country first; now with this budget, Arizona will put you first.

Eliminating taxes for our veterans is one way, but not the only way, we can honor our heroes. We’re connecting veterans to jobs. And we’re working toward the opening of two new veterans’ homes.

The battlefield isn’t the only place where our service members’ lives are at risk. Once they come home, they face new challenges, with suicide rates three times higher among Arizona veterans.

Our Department of Veterans Services, under the direction of Colonel Wanda Wright, is a national leader in addressing veteran suicide.

Through the BeConnected program, veterans are connecting with one another for support and behavioral health services. But more needs to be done, for all Arizonans struggling with this growing crisis.

It’s now the 8th leading cause of death in our state. This is a national problem. One needing Arizona solutions. Last year, Dr. Cara Christ — leader of the Department of Health Services — convened a group of stakeholders and mental health experts to develop a plan to combat suicide and save lives.

When it comes to our kids: in the iPhone era, they face a world dramatically different than the one we grew up in. Modern technology. Social Media. Loneliness. Vaping. We need solutions that focus on the whole child, promoting personal resilience, leveraging our community and a supportive environment.

Let’s start by increasing access to mental health care. We’re working with Senator Kate Brophy McGee and Representative Jeff Weninger on a long overdue reform. Insurance companies should be covering mental health, just like they cover an annual physical.  And we’re going to make sure they do.

I’ve called on you to get rid of old laws. Today I’m leading by example. Moments ago, I rescinded 23 old executive orders, resulting in the elimination of 18 boards and commissions we just don’t need. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go through the list — you won’t miss them.

We’ve been on a blitz to wipe out needless regulations. 2,289. Gone. That’s the equivalent of a $134 million tax cut without impacting the general fund one penny. But we’re not done yet.

I’ve issued a new Executive Order, with a new reform: If the government ever deems a new regulation absolutely necessary, it must first identify three others to eliminate. The result: New regulations will naturally mean less regulations.

Overall, we’re doing more with less. Our hardworking state employees are rooting out waste. They’ve consolidated, and even eliminated, entire state agencies. And they’ve reduced the state fleet by 767 vehicles, saving taxpayers $31 million.

Other areas of government could follow their lead.

There are hundreds of unelected boards and commissions that exist in a dark corner of state government — often escaping accountability and scrutiny.

We’ve sought to chip away at the deep-rooted cronyism. But there’s still too many insiders and industry good ol’ boys. It’s time to clean this up. Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita has a bill that puts real people — unbiased people — on these boards. Let’s pass it.

Last year, during budget discussions, Senate Democratic Leader David Bradley alerted us to something new: boards stock-piling cash and sitting on bank accounts of millions in reserves — all while continuing to burden real people with fees. It’s time for that to end. Let’s freeze the fees and free the people.

Plumbers, barbers, nurses, and engineers — no one should ever have to buy their freedom back from government, least of all, the women and men who served our country.

You heard me say I want Arizona to be the national leader for veterans. Well, Representative Joanne Osborne’s got the bill. For our heroes and military spouses — polish your resumes. We’re getting rid of your fees.

We’re also going to target more resources toward our trade programs with an eye toward Achieve60AZ. At our community colleges: a full restoration of STEM and workforce development funding. In our public schools: more dollars to CTE trade programs that train students in the high-demand careers of the future. These are worthy and responsible investments, so with money in the bank, let’s make them.

We prioritize fiscal responsibility. We’ve learned from the mistakes of the past. This building? We now own the deed. We’re sitting on our highest credit rating — ever. Treasurer Yee, how about that Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund? $6.2 billion, the largest in history. And last year, instead of going on a sugar high and spending through our surplus, we brought our Rainy Day Fund to a record-breaking $1 billion.

That allows us to return dollars back to the hard-working taxpayers, and make smart, targeted investments.

Like new roads and bridges. We’ve fully and permanently restored transportation dollars for our rural communities. The widening of I-17. State Route 189 in Nogales. U.S. 95 in Yuma. Last week, I called on the federal government to fund the Tonto Basin Bridge. And we cut the ribbon on the newly completed Loop 202 into the West Valley.

It’s progress, and next on the list: I-10. The Phoenix-Tucson corridor is an economic artery for our state and it needs expanding. It’s time to accelerate completion of I-10’s widening, in both directions, between our two largest cities. Our budget puts the pedal to the metal, with the construction of a new six-lane bridge over the Gila River. This replaces a 56-year-old bridge. 62,000 people drive over it every day. That’s 23 million a year. So let’s break ground ASAP.

We need to connect all parts of our growing state. Rural areas still lack high-speed Internet. Let’s triple our investment in Rural Broadband Grants, and also invest $50 million in Smart Highway Corridors to install broadband along our rural interstates. This will make our highways safer and smarter than ever before and pave the way to get all of rural Arizona logged on. 

All throughout our priorities you’ll see a focus on rural Arizona.

Because there are 15 counties and news flash: there are needs outside the “great state of Maricopa.”

Nearly 20 years ago, Arizona voters passed the Tribal-State Gaming Compact. It’s been a net positive for all Arizonans. These compacts begin expiring within the next few years. For months, we’ve been working to develop a modern, updated agreement. One that is regulated, safe and limited. And that preserves the culture of our state.

I’d like to thank all tribal leaders who have been hard at work on these negotiations. It’s been a give and take; and a worthwhile agreement is THIS close. We owe it to our tribes and our citizens to get it done.

Last year we came together and passed the Drought Contingency Plan. It was the most significant water policy in 40 years. We will continue to protect Lake Mead, the Colorado River, groundwater, and our ag jobs.

But we shouldn’t be dealing with this issue one generation at a time. We need a strategic ongoing effort to turn Arizona into the international capital for water innovation. Look at all that Israel has accomplished. Why not Arizona? We’ve been a leader on water, and with this approach, we will be an even stronger leader far into the future.

There’s no shortage of new jobs in Arizona —  but many vital jobs remain unfilled in our rural communities. So we’ve got a plan — a Rural Jobs Initiative.

First, tourism and state parks. There’s no place more beautiful to vacation than scenic Arizona. And with an infusion of new dollars, we’re going to work with Tourism Director Debbie Johnson to ensure the whole world knows it.

Next, workforce. Small business is the backbone of our economy. So we’re launching a partnership with Local First Arizona to strengthen small businesses, get rural Arizonans back to work, and bolster our local economies.

Our community colleges are creating a pipeline of talent. So we’re expanding these efforts, with a $4 million investment in our rural colleges. There are currently over 2,000 manufacturing jobs available outside of Maricopa and Pima Counties — let’s get these jobs filled and attract even more.

ASU, UofA and NAU have also stepped up to fuel our economy, and we’re about to pour on the gas. Regents Chair, Dr. Larry Penley, has proposed what he calls “The New Economy Initiative.” It’s an innovative approach that enhances our capacity to graduate more students for the critical jobs of today and tomorrow.

It’s just the latest effort by our universities to solve problems, and do it The Arizona Way. Like working to address the national teacher shortage.

Through the Arizona Teachers Academy we made a commitment to our aspiring teachers — you stay and teach in Arizona, and we’ll cover your college tuition. 

The effort is paying off. Enrollment in the Teachers Academy has skyrocketed, with 2,170 students now participating. We’re proud to have some of the students and graduates of our Teachers Academy here today. Ladies and gentlemen, will you join me in welcoming these new Arizona teachers.

This year, we intend to build on our momentum with reforms sponsored by Senator Paul Boyer, allowing even more students to go through the Academy. Students seeking degrees in math and science. Teachers specializing in educating blind children. Arizona’s future depends on these educators. Let’s provide them with access so they can get to the front of the classroom — debt free.

There’s still work to do to address the teacher shortage, but a recent study by the Center for American Progress is encouraging. Arizona has experienced the second-highest growth in new teachers enrolling in teacher preparation programs. We’re actually one of only five states out of 50 seeing an increase in enrollment. And this is news we can all celebrate, because the state of our state can only be strong with strong public schools. 

Here are the facts:

  • Over the past five years, we’ve increased per-student spending more quickly and consistently than at any time in the past 20 years.
  • Today Arizona is one of only a few states in the nation demonstrating academic improvements over the last decade. 
  • We provided funding to get schools built faster and on-time to meet the growing demand.
  • And most importantly — by the start of the new school year, teacher pay will be up 20 percent.

In total, we’ve pumped $4.5 billion in new investments into Arizona schools. With our latest budget, that figure will rise to $6.6 billion. And we’ve done all of this, without raising taxes. 

In addition, an even larger investment in school counselors, cops on campus, and school safety. A stronger focus on CTE and the trades. More money for the Arizona Teachers Academy, and Teach for America. And a full, complete and accelerated restoration of flexible funding — two years ahead of schedule.

Speaker Bowers, President Fann — when you’re ready to vote, I’m ready to sign.

There’s still more we can do to help children in our state who are facing the biggest challenges.

The late, great John McCain called education, “the civil rights issue of the 21st century.” And he was right.

As he put it: “What is the advantage in a low-income area of sending a child to a failing school and that being their only choice?”

In that spirit, we’ve worked hard to create more choice and opportunities for kids and their parents. Open enrollment. Public charter schools. Education savings accounts. And in Arizona, much of this work has been bipartisan.

We’re celebrating 25 years of public charter schools in our state. Another Arizona idea, that’s been a model for the country. And today, we are honored to have the two trailblazers who led this bipartisan innovation — one Republican, one Democrat. They’re back in the chamber today. Former Superintendent Lisa Graham Keegan, and former State Senator Armando Ruiz.

This is truly something that makes Arizona unique — it’s the Arizona Way. Here, kids are not trapped in failing schools. And despite what you hear from some folks on the national campaign trail, school choice isn’t about charter schools versus private schools versus district schools. It’s about kids and families.

When we debate these issues at the capitol, it’s easy to forget the fact that real people, and real kids, are impacted by these policies. Kids like Adonis Watt.

At age 5, Adonis was diagnosed with a rare form of congenital glaucoma and, as a result, went blind. And while he may have lost his sight, he did not lose his drive.

Today, at age 15, Adonis is a hero of many. A superhero to be exact. His passion is an inspiration to fellow students at Brophy Prep, and to everyone who sees him score a touchdown at a Friday night game. And now, his story is being shared across the world, through Marvel Comics’ first braille comic book: The Unstoppable Adonis.

He’s here today with his mom, Veronica, as guests of Angela and I, and he is unstoppable… please welcome Arizona’s own superhero, Adonis Watt.

Faced with the expense of braille textbooks and specialized education needs, Veronica chose to pursue Adonis’s education using an ESA.

He’s just one example of how school choice has helped so many families, and empowered so many Arizona children. Children of women and men in uniform. Children with special needs. And our Native American population.

Like every other Arizona parent Savannah James is dedicated to ensuring her child, Bethany, receives a quality education. She selected a school near their home on the Navajo Nation.

For years, Hilltop school served Bethany well. Imagine their surprise when they received a letter from the heavy hand of government declaring the school was out of bounds, and demanding repayment of funds from their education savings account.

This is an example of government losing sight of the people it’s supposed to serve. Savannah and Bethany are here today, and we have a message for them: We won’t stand for it. Help is on the way.

When it comes to what’s next, we plan to focus our resources on the places it can make the most difference: Targeting the achievement gap in low-income schools.

We’ve reduced waitlists and expanded and replicated success. In Maryvale, a new Vista College Prep is evidence. More than 90 percent of their students qualify for free and reduced lunch. The school is a recipient of the prestigious National Blue Ribbon award for closing the achievement gap.

This is what equal opportunity in education looks like; this is what we need more of in the state of Arizona.

Results-based funding has been one way to reward and replicate success in our best public schools. It’s working. Let’s expand it and continue to recognize the achievements and needs of high-poverty schools, where educators are doing amazing things to beat the odds.

We’re also going to fully fund the cost for low-income students to take advanced placement tests, so just like every other kid, they can earn college credits in high school.

And we have a proven model to scale success in our most struggling schools.

Avondale Elementary School District serves more than 5,000 west valley students. Nearly 70 percent of them residing in low-income areas.

In 2015, Superintendent Betsy Hargrove didn’t like what she saw on the report card.

So she rolled up her sleeves to turn things around.

And did she deliver. By 2018, through a targeted strategy, the district had double-digit growth in math and English — triple the average growth rate of other Arizona schools. Same deal in Deer Valley and Wickenburg.

Superintendents Betsy Hargrove, Curtis Finch, and Howard Carlson are here today. Please join me in congratulating these school leaders.

With these proven results and outcomes, we intend to invest more, and transform more Arizona schools.

The idea is straightforward. Help struggling schools with tools, resources and expertise to produce better results for students. We call it “Project Rocket.” We’re working with Representative Michelle Udall to make it a reality. We owe it to the kids in these schools. They’re waiting. Let’s not let them down.

We will continue to lead as the state that prioritizes our nation’s founders and their founding principles. We are called to participate as citizens, not spectators, and that responsibility demands knowledge and action.

Today, only one in four Americans can name all three branches of government. Seventy percent don’t know that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. In Arizona, we’ve taken steps to ensure the next generation is equipped to inherit our Republic. 

Already, our high school students must pass the citizenship test before graduation. I’m proposing we expect more, start them even earlier, and give our middle schoolers the chance to complete this exam. Because there is more to learn.

As Margaret Thatcher said, “European nations were made by history. The United States was made by philosophy. Unique among all nations, the United States knows precisely when and exactly why it was founded.”

We are blessed to have one Arizonan who’s the ideal of this aspirational creed. Her life is a living civics lesson — and Arizona is fortunate to be home to the Institute that bears her name. I’m talking about Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Who better to hold as a model for the next generation? That’s why I’m calling for a day when classroom instruction can be dedicated entirely to civics: Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Celebration Day.

It’s not enough to just teach the values of our founding principles; we must demonstrate them in our daily lives. Around the country, free speech and other constitutional rights guaranteed to the people are being assaulted or abandoned for safe spaces and trigger warnings. Some people would rather silence speech than hear an opposing view. Have they read our constitution? Do they know why America was founded?   

Thankfully, we have three university presidents, Presidents Crow, Robbins and Cheng, who ensure Arizona’s campuses are models for the rest of the country. Where the marketplace of ideas is alive and well — and where diversity of thought and discourse are given room to grow — the Arizona Way. 

The safety of our citizens. It’s what keeps me up at night.

As you’ll see in our balanced budget, we’ll continue to put a focus on our Border Strike Force to combat the influx of dangerous drugs and crime at our border. New surveillance cameras along highways in Southern Arizona, and upgraded, state-of-the-art radio systems for law enforcement.

In Arizona, we are fortunate to have so many brave women and men protecting us 24/7 — our National Guard and Active Duty military personnel, our first responders, firefighters, and our cops.

They brave challenges on-duty and off, with courage and dignity.

In December, Phoenix Fire Chief, Kara Kalkbrenner, shared the news she was diagnosed with breast cancer. With the same strength she confronts the most blazing of fires, she took the diagnosis head-on. We are so grateful to have her here with us today. Thank you Chief, we’re with you!

These women and men run into danger, to protect us.

We saw it recently. One of our own state Troopers. Brutally attacked in Tempe; fighting for his life after what seemed like a routine stop. By the grace of God, Trooper Hugh Grant is with us today. He’s a hero. Thank you, Trooper Grant.

Incidents like these are reminders of the dangers our law enforcement face every day. 

These are the good guys, and we should do everything in our power to protect them. That’s why our budget includes funding to finally put body cameras on every state Trooper.

This is an idea backed by law enforcement and clear research. So let’s make it happen.

There’s no doubt about it, public safety is the most important thing we do. In correctional facilities across the state, we’ve led to provide second chances to those serving their time, setting up job training workshops and partnering with employers.

Since 2017, more than 3,900 of our fellow Arizonans have completed Second Chance programs, equipping them with the tools and skills to make a better life. More than 2,400 had a job upon release, with hundreds more in programs now. We know these programs work. This year, we are doubling down on this successful model, to give more individuals their opportunity at a better choice and a better life.

The new Director, David Shinn, is a former Marine turned public servant. He’s dedicated his life to this noble cause, and he’s building on these efforts to transform our corrections system. And change how we think and speak.

So, going forward, the Department will take on a new moniker. One that more clearly reflects the agency’s mission: “The Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, and Reentry.”

We’ve provided more opportunities and we’ve decreased the amount of people returning to prison and helped many find meaningful work.

There’s another marker we are going to meet this year. We’re shutting down a state prison. It will enhance safety at our remaining facilities and save taxpayers $274 million over the next three years.

And for the rest of our facilities, let’s make sure they’re staffed and secure for our correctional officers and inmates alike. That’s why my budget will fix the locks and provide additional pay raises for our correctional officers — on top of last year’s raises. All in the name of public safety.

If anyone needed a reminder, that here in Arizona, we respect the rule of law: last fall the voters of Tucson demonstrated that loud and clear.

There, in our state’s second largest city, a troubling proposal to defy federal law was soundly and overwhelmingly rejected by Democrats and Republicans alike. It wasn’t even close. 

And now it’s time for all Arizonans to make their voices heard, and enshrine it in our Constitution. T.J. Shope has the ballot referral. This November, let’s give all Arizona voters the opportunity to say YES to the rule of law and NO to sanctuary cities. 

Over at the Department of Child Safety, our dedicated caseworkers have led an unrivaled turnaround. Safely reducing the number of children in out-of-home care by 4,565 kids. They’ve reduced the average time to place a child in a foster home from a work week to same-day. It’s a national model for how to help our kids. For the second year in a row, our budget includes additional dollars to reward the selfless public servants responsible for the turnaround with a well-deserved raise. 

And if you want to shut down more prisons and reduce the homelessness rate, there’s no better place to start than putting our children in loving homes. Too many of our youth who age out of foster care without being adopted will experience homelessness. It’s tragic, and government can’t solve this problem alone. 

We need the faith-based community, our churches, pastors, priests, non-profits, and families to play a part as well. And to get more of these children into permanent loving homes, I’m proposing a $19 million investment in funding new adoptions. Our goal: keep brothers and sisters together, and help children with disabilities. We will also be doubling the grandma stipend, to provide needed resources to keep families together.

If you need an example of someone to look to, someone who has fought for children her entire life, you don’t have to look far. Arizona is blessed to be home to an international leader in the fight against human trafficking. Her efforts have shed a light around the world on this dark practice, and she does it with a humility and grace that is every bit as Arizona as she is. We have her with us today.

Ladies and gentleman, join me in recognizing, Cindy McCain.

For those of us who have called Arizona home for decades, we know what makes our state truly special.

We see it every day.

For those who got here just yesterday, welcome to the crackling energy of booming Arizona. We’re glad to have you.

Here we do things a little differently. 

Here we believe in opportunity for all.

We believe in solving the problems of today, so future generations won’t have to.

We believe in the free market, the free exchange of ideas and the freedom to make your own way.

We believe in life and the potential of every child, along with the dignity of every individual. 

We believe when we put others first—and work together—we can make a difference.

Just this past Friday, the four leaders of these chambers—Democrat and Republican—sat together on the same stage, for a civil, thoughtful and honest discussion about the session in front of us. I enjoyed listening, and I learned a lot.

And I couldn’t help but think: Can you imagine this ever happening in Washington, DC?

It’s called statesmanship.

Let’s follow the example set by Karen Fann, David Bradley, Rusty Bowers and Charlene Fernandez. Let’s demonstrate we can get things done. That the campaign can wait. That we can govern, and that we can do it together.

It’s how we do things here. It’s the Arizona Way.

Let’s get to work.

Thank you and God Bless.