PHOENIX- Senate Democratic Leader Rebecca Rios issued this response to Governor Ducey’s State of the State Speech today.
“We’ve spent too much time trying to keep our kids alive and fighting a pandemic,” is what I heard in Governor Ducey’s right-wing panderfest speech today. If it wasn’t clear from his past year of inaction, it’s evident now that our Governor has abandoned Arizona to COVID-19. His slogan for the state of the state is “Arizona Unstoppable” and if he’s referring to Arizona’s still rising cases of COVID, then he’s correct.
The Governor also failed to mention the most urgent issue facing our schools. If we do not increase the aggregate expenditure limit for public schools before March 1, school districts across Arizona will need to cut a total of nearly $1.2 billion from their budgets this year. Without an immediate bipartisan resolution to lift this arbitrary cap on education spending set in 1980, we will not be able to make any further investments.
It’s clear from this final State of the State that Governor Doug Ducey’s legacy will be that of leaving Arizonans to fight a deadly pandemic on their own, while hoarding needed funds that could’ve saved lives, businesses and protected our children. But Democrats’ priorities have never been clearer as we enter the third year of this pandemic. We are absolutely committed to slowing the spread of this pandemic, while fighting to provide resources and relief to working families, our schools and our businesses.”