Big plans to boost the state's economy
The leading candidates, Republican Doug Ducey and Democrat Fred DuVal, have offered big plans to boost the state's economy and bring in more revenue. But those ideas will take time and add millions — if not billions — to the impending shortfall.
Ducey wants to begin eliminating personal and corporate income taxes, which would take a $4 billion bite out of the state's $8.8 billion revenue. He's promised to veto any tax hikes.
DuVal wants to restore education funding to 2008 levels and fully fund all-day kindergarten, adding about $500 million to state costs. He's also proposing a variety of tax credits and wants to kick-start construction of a multibillion-dollar passenger train between Phoenix and Tucson, all of which would drain an unknown amount from state coffers.
Big ideas are to be expected in a campaign, say candidates and political experts.
"We are not the governor today," Ducey said. "We are candidates. What the campaign demonstrates is where a candidate's priorities are."
Still, the financial reality one of those candidates will confront has begun to set in. Ducey and DuVal are starting to talkabout how their ideas are more long-term goals, meant to be implemented over an entire term — or two — as opposed to during their first year.