3 things to watch for in Gov. Hobbs' State of the State address
Gov. Katie Hobbs is expected to reveal her full legislative plan during her State of the State address Monday, and her executive budget proposal will follow on Friday.
In the meantime, here are a few big items we're expecting her to tackle this session:
Water: Hobbs at an Arizona Chamber luncheon last week said she expects water to be the major issue at the Legislature this year.
- She convened a bipartisan water policy council last January, and the group delivered a list of recommendations in November that are expected to wind their way through the Capitol this session.
- They include: closing loopholes that have created "wildcat" developments without assured water supplies and the launch of a new rural groundwater framework
Border security: The governor also told business leaders she plans to work with the Legislature on border security this session.
- "I know that an orderly and safe border is critical to business and success in our state," Hobbs said.
- Hobbs was critical of President Biden's administration for closing the Lukeville border crossing last year. The port of entry reopened last week after almost a month.
ESA reform: Last week, Hobbs announced a plan to rein in the state's universal school voucher plan, which has already exceeded its budget by $40 million halfway through the fiscal year. This is a departure from her stance last year, when she called for the repeal of the program altogether.
- The new plan, which would require legislative approval, calls for instructor fingerprint background checks, more financial documentation and other accountability measures.
- Reality check: House Speaker Ben Toma said last week Republicans would not allow bills that "strangle ESAs and private education with bureaucracy and regulation" to move forward.
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