|PHOENIX (January 18, 2019)—Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer released the following statement regarding Gov. Doug Ducey’s Fiscal Year 2020 Executive Budget:
“Gov. Doug Ducey said in his State of the State address that his focus in 2019 would be on the things that matter. This budget proves he’s serious.
“The governor and the Chamber agree that adopting the Drought Contingency Plan is job one this session. We support his call for funding to support the DCP and to avert a dangerous drop in Lake Mead water levels.
“Arizona job creators are especially encouraged by the investments in our education system. Half of all new spending is education-related, encompassing the education continuum from K-12, to community colleges, to universities.
“First and foremost, Gov. Ducey committed last year to a plan that will deliver an average statewide teacher pay raise of 20 percent by school year 2020. Our teachers have earned the raise, and this budget delivers on that promise by protecting the dollars in last year’s budget for this year’s portion of the 20 percent raise.
“The governor throughout his tenure has committed to funding outstanding results. This budget continues that, increasing the number of schools in low-income communities that can access dollars that will make it possible to sustain and grow their ability to deliver a great education to more students.
“The budget is future-focused, ensuring our students are ready for tomorrow’s jobs. We strongly support the governor’s call for a Career and Technical Education (CTE) incentive program. CTE works. CTE students not only stay in school, but they graduate from high school ready-for-hire in in-demand fields and prepared for advanced technical training.
“The Chamber has long called for a replenished and expanded Rainy Day Fund. The governor’s call for a significant and historic deposit into the Rainy Day Fund ensures we’re better able to meet our education commitments and weather future economic volatility.
“The governor’s approach to infrastructure should also be applauded. Under this plan, Interstate 17 will be made safer for travelers, and highway maintenance will be fully funded. And the call for an infrastructure upgrade at the Mariposa port of entry in Nogales is smart. Gov. Ducey is ensuring our major commercial port will be ready for increasing trade volumes, especially with the nearing implementation of USMCA.
“We are also encouraged to see the call for an increase in funding for the Arizona Office of Tourism. Tourism is a crown jewel of the Arizona economy. It’s an export industry, and it’s a job creator.
“This budget is balanced, prudent, and enhances Arizona’s competitive standing for the future. The things that matter to Gov. Ducey matter to us. We look forward to discussing them with legislators as we all seek to best position our state for the future.”
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