YUMA, Ariz. – Governor Doug Ducey took center stage at Arizona Western College to deliver his State of the State Address.
In his speech he touched base on several controversial issues including the drug problem in the state, education and helping rural areas.
Ducey says that the border strike force is step one in lowering crime rate. He talks about Yuma’s meth crisis being not only in our neck of the woods but taking place all over the country, affecting a vast majority of public policy and the state of Arizona, tearing families apart.
In an interview Ducey tells News 11’s Heather Yako, “We want to treat people that are addicted and want to get off drugs. We want to have an opportunity for them with these community centers. So we want to come at it at both angles. We want to get the bad guys who’re selling this poison.”
Mayor of Yuma, Doug Nicholls said, “I think he’s on the right track. I think we’re on the same track and I think we’ll be able to work together to find ways to help the effort we’ve got going in Yuma in our anti-meth campaign and as well as the enforcement.”
Ducey said he valued and appreciates the work of Arizona’s three public universities, whose state funding was cut by $99 million last session. However, he didn’t mention whether any of those funds would be restored, but promised to “be a partner” in boosting higher education.
Ducey said, “It’s critical that these students in the rural community and in the border towns get the funding and have the flexibility. Their needs are unique and often different than what we’re going to experience in greater Phoenix or greater Tucson.”
Mayor Nicholls adds, “Working with the governor we’ll be able to work through whatever issues we have and at the end of the day he’s focusing on rural Arizona and that will only benefit Yuma.”
Ducey also touched base on how we can improve Arizona’s foster care system. With almost 19,000 children in state care, Ducey proposes moving foster kids whose parents want to send them to in-demand schools to the front of any waiting list.
Ducey adds, “For fathers out there who aren’t meeting their obligations, we also have a plan. I’m talking about deadbeat dads.”
With that said, the Department of Economic Security will begin tweeting pictures, photos and details of deadbeat parents who are delinquent on child-support payments. The #deadbeat campaign will focus on the hundreds of parents who have warrants out for their arrest.
Ducey adds, “For too long they’ve been able to remain anonymous. Able to leave their financial and legal responsibilities with no shame. Not anymore.”