Anti-poverty advocates have credited the federal earned income tax credit as a boon for low-wage workers, providing a lump sum cash payment at tax time. It generally enjoys bipartisan support, with Democrats touting its benefits for the poor and Republicans promoting it as a reward for hard work.
Ducey set aside $58 million for a corporate tax cut, but did not provide details. His aides said the exact plan would be worked out with lawmakers.
Ducey’s proposal is his opening address to lawmakers. He will negotiate a final spending plan with legislative leaders in the coming months.
Ducey also offered to give raises to thousands of state workers, including soldiers and corrections officers. He wants to cover the higher cost of transferring inmates to a private prison from a public facility in Florence, which he wants to close.
He proposed $50 million in new border spending, including an undetermined portion to pay for a prison-style fence on private property on the border.
He also wants to spend $26 million to provide free tuition to graduates of a one-year accelerated training program for nurses at Creighton University’s new campus near downtown Phoenix.
Ducey’s proposed new education spending includes nearly $120 million for two programs based on a school’s performance as measured by an AF grade. In general, the best performing schools – which tend to serve wealthier families – would be eligible for larger grants. He would also spend $20 million on transportation programs for parents who don’t send their child to their neighborhood school, a major boon to the school choice movement that Ducey has enthusiastically supported.