“The housing market is collapsing around us.”
Everyone remembers hearing those words in the late 2000s. Arizona was at the epicenter of an economic earthquake. Our state’s unemployment rate stood at 4.4 percent in December 2007. By December 2009, it had swollen to 11.2 percent. The state was faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges. Meeting payroll. Keeping the lights on. In fact, even when I took office in January 2015, our state was still facing a more than $1 billion budget shortfall.
Today, thanks to some tough decisions, the determination of Arizona workers and employers, and a growing economy, things look much brighter. We’ll have a $21 million structural balance in fiscal year 2018 and a Rainy Day Fund balance of $463 million. And our credit ratings have improved as a result. A major part of that is due to the state paying down more than $400 million of debt.
Businesses and job creators are expanding, and putting Arizonans back to work. Apple, Caterpillar, Raytheon, Houzz, Intel, Dot Foods – just to name a few. These jobs stretch outside of Maricopa County. Finally, Southern Arizona and rural Arizona are also seeing relief.
Through it all, Arizona’s universities continued to shine. Arizona State University was named the most innovative university in the country two years running, beating out MIT. University of Arizona continues to lead in optics research and technology. And Northern Arizona University consistently produces some of the best teachers in the nation.
With the state’s finances finally in order, we’re proudly taking the opportunity that this turnaround gave us to invest in the future of our state. And that starts with education.
For more information or assistance, contact Governor Ducey's press office: (602) 542-1342.