Democratic legislative leaders are not impressed with State of the State Address
Jan. 9, 2018
State democratic leaders are disappointed with Governor Doug Ducey’s State of the State Address, saying he presented the issues but did not offer any solutions.
Senate minority leader Katie Hobbs and House minority leader Rebecca Rios agree that Ducey’s address lacked detail and substance. Rios says the governor avoided “a conversation about revenue for public education” and “refuses to discuss Prop 301.”
Politicians are in agreement that improving education is one of the major priorities in the state. However, as Hobbs notes, there can’t be a discussion about revenue funding schools without a conversation about taxes. Since the governor has made promises about not raising taxes, he is left “digging for change in the couch cushions,” Hobbs says.
Rios says she is concerned about Ducey’s track record of “cutting funds and then coming back a year or two later and playing the hero by saying ‘I’m going to restore these dollars.'” It’s down to a matter of priorities says Rios. There will either be a stronger focus on taxes or on funding schools.
One part the governor’s address spotlighted sexual harassment. It’s the elephant in every room, Hobbs, who is known to be critical of the Senate’s harassment policy, says. There was an ethics training that included sexual harassment in the House recently. Rios says that she is worried that some of the men aren’t understanding the issue, especially when “many male republicans were concerned there was no statute of limitations on when somebody could bring forward a sexual harassment charge.”
Ducey recognized Hobbs, Rios and other female leaders during his State of the State Address when he acknowledged Arizona as having the highest percentage of women legislators.