News 11's Adonis Albright breaks down the Governor's annual speech
PHOENIX, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - On Monday, Governor Doug Ducey (R - Ariz.) gave his annual speech, where he delivered an update to Arizonans on his vision for the Grand Canyon state. His tone, however, was markedly different than in years past.
He began his speech by directly condemning the violence that took place in the nation's Capitol last week.
“Perpetrators should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Let us condemn it, and resolve that it never happens again", said Governor Ducey.
He quickly switched gears to the big matter at hand: the coronavirus pandemic. After praising frontline workers for their efforts these past few months, the Governor outlined his priorities for the state's vaccination process. Although he noted there is a long road ahead for Arizonans, he's making vaccine distribution one of his top priorities.
“But Arizona is going to do it fast. We are going to do it right, and I assure you that we’ll do it with a real sense of urgency and purpose.”
Governor Ducey also mentioned his recent executive order, which aims to expedite the vaccination process and streamline distribution.
“The state has launched a 24/7 vaccination site at a large and notable location: State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals. Everyone needs this vaccine, and the sooner we all receive it, the quicker we can get on with life as it should be.”
Ducey also appeared to take a swing at states who have implemented strict lockdown restrictions in response to the holiday surge, like California. The Governor responded to criticism from officials and the media regarding lockdown restrictions, and why more haven't been implemented despite Arizona reporting more than 31,000 COVID-19 cases as of Monday.
“What do they have to show for their strict mandates and orders? They’re still dealing with the worst of it.”
Ducey went on to praise educators, who are included in the state's 1B phase of vaccination. He said once teachers have been fully vaccinated, he wants children to go back to in-person learning.
"Distance learning has not been good for these students, who often don’t have wi-fi or a laptop available. So starting now, let’s direct resources to helping these children catch up. Summer school, longer school days, one-on-one targeted instruction, tutoring. It should be our goal that every student graduates high school on time and at grade level."
Governor Ducey said he plans to send his 2021 proposals for the new legislative session in the coming days.