Governor Ducey, Agency Directors Discuss State Efforts to Transform Government

Published by The Bee News

December 8, 2022

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Governor Ducey: “Arizona is better positioned than ever before”

PHOENIX — Arizona’s state agencies have dramatically transformed government over the past eight years, fulfilling a promise Gov. Doug Ducey made to run Arizona at the speed of business and better serve the residents of our fast-growing state.

That’s the message agency heads delivered to the governor at his final cabinet meeting today.

“Thank you to all the agency directors for serving Arizonans and expanding opportunities. What happened this week at TSMC is a great example of all the opportunities,” said Governor Ducey. “You’ve transformed government and made Arizona a model for efficiency. The state wouldn’t be here where it is without incredible agency leaders and state employees. The work you have done has been vital to the health, opportunity and safety to the citizens of this state.”

“We’ve built a strong foundation and Arizona’s future is bright,” he added.

Through a data-driven approach, Arizona has streamlined government and delivered efficient services for all Arizonans. And through the Arizona Management System (AMS), which Governor Ducey implemented in 2015, a strong foundation was constructed to solidify Arizona’s momentum.

“Today, AMS is simply the way we work,” said Art Harding, chief operations officer for the state. “Agencies measure what matters and set goals to deliver increased value and better service to our customers and constituents.”

State agencies have used AMS to develop a 21st century economy, ensure happy and healthy citizens, protect our communities and preserve our natural resources.

Below are a few examples of how efforts to improve government efficiency over the last eight years have benefited the people of Arizona.

21st Century Economy

Arizona Commerce Authority

Arizona’s economy has been completely revitalized over the past eight years. When Governor Ducey took office, the ACA managed 3 to 5 mega projects in the pipeline. Today, there are approximately 60 mega projects in the pipeline. In that same time frame, the ACA has successfully landed 816 competitive projects, creating 194,899 projected new jobs with a projected capital investment of more than $68.5 billion.

Arizona Department of Administration

Under Governor Ducey’s leadership, the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA) has modernized state government while making customer service more efficient. ADOA launched a streamlined Arizona Business One Stop in November, an easily accessible online location for small businesses and entrepreneurs to plan, start and grow their business in Arizona. ADOA has also worked to shrink the size of government while providing better results for Arizonans. The state has reduced one million square feet of office space, saving taxpayers $7 million a year. Furthermore, the department has helped secure Arizona’s future with prudent programs such as upgrading the 911 system.

Arizona Office of Tourism

Due to the efforts of the Arizona Office of Tourism, Arizona achieved its fourth record-setting year of visitation and visitor spending growth in 2019, bringing in more than 46.8 million visitors that spent $25.6 billion. Arizona is poised to once again welcome record numbers of domestic visitors in 2022.

Happy and Healthy Citizens

Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System

The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) administers Arizona’s medicare and medicaid programs. The agency has worked to reduce fragmentation to create a more efficient and effective health care system through integrated health care for members. This integration included expanded support for providers to develop and enhance a comprehensive, whole-person care system that effectively addresses the social risk factors that adversely affect health.

Arizona Department of Housing

Governor Ducey took over a sluggish economy and a housing market that was still wounded by the 2008 crash. Under his leadership, the Arizona Department of Housing eliminated burdensome rules and regulations that put roadblocks in the way of affordable housing development. The department reformed its Low Income Housing Tax Credit Qualified Action Plan reducing it from more than 300 pages down to less than 50 pages. As a result, ADOH funded 2,539 new affordable housing units in fiscal year 2022 – a 194 percent increase over the previous year.

Preserving Natural Resources

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality

By assisting 245 public water systems over seven years to return to compliance with safe drinking water regulations, the Arizona Department of Environment Quality (ADEQ) helped an additional 1.4 million Arizonans receive healthy drinking water. The department has been recognized or honored 28 times by local and national organizations for its innovation, citizen engagement and mission outcomes during the Ducey administration.

Arizona Department of Water Resources

Governor Ducey’s smart, pragmatic policies secured Arizona’s future for generations. To sustain Arizona’s growth, the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) implemented bold programs to ensure Arizona remains a land of opportunity. The department implemented data warehouses on its website for Arizonans to learn more about their state’s water resources, capped 80 percent of wells on file to conserve water, and increased the annual volume of water-level data for groundwater supplies collected by 16 percent.

Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management

The governor and the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management (DFFM) launched the Arizona Healthy Forest Initiative in 2021 to fight the threat of wildfires in Arizona and expand opportunities for low-risk inmates in the state’s correctional facilities. Prior to the Healthy Forest Initiative, Arizona was treating less than 4,000 acres of land per year. Thanks to Governor Ducey and HFI, Now, DFFM is able to increase those treated acres by 600 percent. As part of the Healthy Forest Initiative, Arizona has signed Good Neighbor Authority agreements that allow the state to treat more than 75,000 acres of federal land in the Coconino and Tonto National Forests.

Arizona Department of Child Safety

Under Governor Ducey’s leadership, Arizona overcame the seemingly insurmountable challenge to safely reduce the number of children 0-17 years old in care to below 12,000; the lowest level since March 2012. By 2022, there are under 12,000 children 0-17 years old in care and around 1,000 young adults aged 18-20 in voluntary extended foster care; reflecting a 30 percent decrease from a peak of 18,657 kids in 2016.

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