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Ducey to deliver ‘state of the state’ speech virtually

January 5, 2021 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey will deliver his annual “state of the state” address virtually due to the pandemic, forgoing the traditional speech to a crowd of lawmakers, their guests and state dignitaries on the floor the House of Representatives.

Instead, the Republican governor will give his speech from his office in the state Capitol’s executive tower.

Ducey has traditionally used his address on the first day of the Legislative session to tout his successes and lay out his priorities for the budget and the coming year.

The House and Senate plan to begin the session on schedule Monday despite the pandemic with precautions that include air filters, plexiglass dividers, capacity restrictions and temperature checks. Masks will be required, though some Republican lawmakers have pledged to defy the mandate.

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The governor’s office had been considering remote locations for his opening day speech, including Chase Field in downtown Phoenix.

Republican Senate President Karen Fann said forgoing the traditional joint session of the Senate and House will take away “a kumbaya moment” that kicks off the legislative session.

“Usually we’re all on the floor together over in the House, and everybody’s shoulder to shoulder and we’re having all that pomp and circumstance and everybody being sworn in,” Fann said Monday. “None of that’s going to happen this year, so it’s definitely going to be quite anti-climatic.”