In an exclusive ABC15 interview, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey touts education funding as a political win as he prepares to sign the nearly $10 billion state budget approved by the legislature.
It includes a two-percent raise for teachers, over two years, that has some walking away disappointed. They say their salaries are still too low to compete with other states for quality educators.
ABC15 asked the governor to specify what would be a good "market-based" salary for teachers, but he would not give a dollar figure.
"People don't go into teaching for the money, but it is very hard work," Ducey explained. "When you're improving their pay and they're seeing raises, you're going to keep them in the profession."
Gov. Ducey did promise to fight for increased education funding every year he's in office. He also clarified his position on Proposition 301, a sales tax for education, which some people want to increase in a statewide vote in a few years.
"I am going to consider and advocate for education spending increases," Ducey said. "I'm not in favor of raising taxes on hard-working Arizonans."
Ducey is also weighing in on the national health-care policy debate.
"I don't want to see any Arizonan have the rug pulled out from underneath them," Ducey said, in response to the American Health Care Act, a bill in Congress that would undo much of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
More than 400,000 Arizonans on Medicaid, also known as AHCCCS, could lose their health insurance if the bill, passed last week by the U.S. House, becomes law.
"I don't think anybody wants to be on government assistance, but when government assistance as necessary, I want to make sure that safety net is there."'
As Ducey talks to our leaders in Washington, he also says health insurance should always cover preexisting conditions.
Watch the full interview: