This is just the latest in a string of good news for our state and a loud message that Arizona is open for business.
See, while everyone was watching the Super Bowl, our office was working. The day after the big game, we announced that the most successful company in history—Apple—was making one of its largest investments ever right here in our state: a $2 billion data center to serve as a command center for the company's global networks.
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A lot of what we're doing in Arizona is forcing our government to enter the 21st century so that 21st-century companies can operate here.
We lifted inexplicable caps on craft breweries. We ended restrictions on the use of medical testing, allowing Theranos—a company started by the world's youngest self-made female billionaire, Elizabeth Holmes—to provide the public easy access to instant lab results. And we passed an equity crowdfunding bill that enables innovative access to capital for Arizona entrepreneurs at workshops like TechShop in Chandler, Arizona. If you've ever used Square to pay with a credit or debit card at a farmer's market or coffee shop, you'll be interested to know that the first prototype came out of a TechShop.
Along the way, we tackled a $1 billion budget deficit by forcing government to live within its means. We rejected calls for higher taxes. We instituted a state hiring freeze. Our budget is on the path to structural balance for the first time since 2007. Our state government will actually spend less next year than it did this year. And just this month, we put forward a plan to invest $1.8 billion in our schools—without raising taxes—by better utilizing funds Arizona has earned from the sale of state lands.
It's no accident that two of the world's top credit-rating services have upgraded Arizona's credit outlook. Standard and Poor's recently assigned us the strongest rating we've had since 2008.
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Our goal is simple: We are committed to getting Arizona back on a path to job creation and economic growth. Our recovery from the Great Recession—like much of America's—was much slower than expected, and the price our workers and job seekers have paid has been high.
The first five months are just the beginning. Arizona has many natural advantages over other states—our climate, our people, our independent culture. Now we're seeking some man-made advantages based on sound policy and smaller government. While there is much more to do, these actions are already paying dividends for our state.
Our leaders in Washington would do well to look up from their petty fights and instead look west and follow our lead. There is a better way.
—By Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, former co-owner and CEO of Cold Stone Creamery and a member of the CNBC-YPO Chief Executive Network.
CNBC and YPO (Young Presidents' Organization) have formed an exclusive editorial partnership consisting of regional Chief Executive Networks in the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. These Chief Executive Networks are made up of a sample of YPO's unrivaled global network of 20,000 top executives from 120 countries who are on the front lines of the economy. The opinions of Chief Executive Networkmembers are solely their own and do not reflect the opinions of YPO as a whole or CNBC.