In addition to the excitement of a fresh start, the New Year brings government contractors one of our most hotly anticipated events: the State of the State Address. We eagerly awaited Governor Ducey’s agenda for 2017  – and he delivered.

It’s the second week in January, which means it’s the start of the Arizona legislative session. We began the week with excitement and enthusiasm as the 53rd Arizona Legislature swore in all 90 lawmakers – 24 of whom are new. While it’s always entertaining to watch the opening ceremony, our eyes were on the State of the State address by Governor Ducey. The governor’s highly anticipated speech did not disappoint this year, and it is clear he plans to “go big” in his third legislative session.

Governor Ducey’s 2017 edition of the State of the State address was aptly themed “Boundless Opportunity.” Around 5,150 words long, his speech focused on perseverance, leadership and ambition. He outlined a number of proposals concerning a range of topics from K-12 education to Arizona being removed from the jurisdiction of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. For government contractors, Governor Ducey has made clear that Arizona is “open for business.” He is dedicated to finding ways to enhance the local economy.

Here are four key takeaways from Governor Ducey’s 2017 agenda.

Cybersecurity. Governor Ducey declared that it is the government’s responsibility to protect the personal information of its citizens, and promised additional investments to improve the state’s security posture. This comes on the heels of what the State CISO believes was a malware attack involving the state’s human resources system. Those state employees who clicked on the link saw a screen with Russian writing pop up. We will wait to see if the Governor’s Executive Budget includes additional funding.

Regulation Roll-back. With a goal to do away with 500 regulations by year-end, the Governor urged the business community to help his administration identify burdensome and “job-killing” regulations. The Governor even created a new website to make it easy – RedTape.AZ.gov. For contractors, this is an opportunity to participate in the process and be heard.

“Government At The Speed Of Business.” Building upon the operational efficiencies the state has already accomplished through Lean management, the governor remains committed to making Arizona government work smarter for its citizens. Citing shorter wait times at MVD offices, as well as issuing contractor licenses 76 percent faster, it’s important for contractors to find ways to add value through improved operations.

Education Broadband. Governor Ducey remains focused on achieving educational excellence. Number seven of his 18 education proposals is to connect rural and tribal schools to high-speed broadband. The governor also expressed the need to develop a statewide computer science and coding initiative to equip students to succeed in today’s workforce.

If you would like to read more about Governor Ducey’s address, you can check out his website. And, stay tuned for Traversant Group’s recap of Governor Ducey’s Executive Budget and ongoing updates from Arizona.

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