PHOENIX (KSAZ) - It is a big day at the Arizona State Capitol; Gov. Doug Ducey delivered his 2016 State of the State address marking the start of the 2016 legislative session.
Education funding, job creation, and fixing the child welfare system are just a few of the major issues facing lawmakers.
The Legislature is back, and let the battle of the budget surplus begin. An improving economy and leaner government means the state has hundreds of millions of dollars in extra money. But Gov. Ducey says he won't let the celebration get out of control.
"Some people never learn how much their head hurts in the morning. Someone needs to be the voice of sobriety so when they bring out the punch bowl, I will be here to say once again, not on our watch," said Governor Doug Ducey.
This morning state Democrats laid out their priorities for the funds, including an increase in education funding.
"The hope is that that will change this session. We do have those extra dollars, and it should be a priority to restore funding to those critical things that make not only our kids successful, but our economy successful, and our state successful," said Dr. Eric Meyer.
Among the many groups outside the Capitol, some retired teachers asked the Governor to make good on promises to improve schools.
"To this day I do not understand why they cannot see that if we do not have an educated workforce in this state, who is going to want to come here and offer jobs," said Patrick Barrett.
In his State of the State speech, the Governor said he visited schools across the state and has heard the concerns of parents and teachers.
"We enter 2016 in an effort united to deliver our students and teachers billions in new dollars, we will invest in education this year, next year, and the year after," said Ducey.