Gov. Doug Ducey returned to Tucson on Tuesday to give a slightly modified version of the state of the state speech he gave on Monday in Phoenix.
The Republican governor told more than 500 at the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce-organized luncheon that he wants to get back to work following the November election, vowing to work with Democrats and Republicans.
The issues facing the state, he argues, aren’t partisan, signaling he’d work with anybody with “good ideas.”
The two-term governor discussed the looming water crisis, continued support for K-12 education funding, touched on several of his legislative priorities this year as well as hinted what would be in his recommended budget when it is released later this week.
Here are several takeaways from Ducey’s visit to Tucson:
INTERSTATE 10 SAFETY IS A SERIOUS ISSUE
While talking to reporters after the luncheon, Ducey said that he considers the issue of cross-median crashes along Interstate 10 is a serious issue.
The governor said he is aware that the Arizona Department of Public Safety is studying the issue, including a stretch of I-10 where there have been several deadly cross-median accidents, but said he wanted “the facts” before committing to a course of action.
A cross-median accident in December just northwest of Tucson killed four people a few days before Christmas.
TEACHER STRIKES IN LA UNLIKELY TO SPREAD TO Arizona
Ducey also told reporters that he isn’t concerned that the teacher strikes in California would spread to Arizona, citing the strides he has made in raising the salaries of teachers in the last year.
He will continue to work with teachers to improve funding for education in the coming year, saying he wants to work with them directly.
During his speech at the Chamber luncheon, he warned school districts not to even think about taking the funding awarded for teacher raises and using it for other purposes.
WATER STILL TOP ISSUE
With a clock ticking before federal officials will step in, Ducey said the Legislature must come together in the next 16 days to sign off on a drought-contingency plan.
“It’s been said: whiskey’s for drinking; water’s for fighting,” Ducey said.