Arizona Governor Jan Brewer outlined plans for the state’sfuture during the Centennial State of the State address at theTucson Metro Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 10. This was the second time Brewer delivered the speech. The firstreading was in Phoenix on Dec. 9 as the Arizona Legislaturereturned for the 2012 session. Before Brewer took the stage, Mike Varney, CEO of the TucsonMetro Chamber of Commerce, expressed optimism for Arizona’scontinuing economic growth, citing feedback he continues toreceive.“I spoke with a broadcaster who said he had the best month everin December,” said Varney. “I talked with a CPA, and his assessmentof his company’s future and the future of all of his clients wasthat everybody is doing better right now.”Varney said survey results show people are expecting morefinancial success in 2012.Speaking on the economy, Brewer’s plan for 2012 consists ofmultiple levels.Brewer said she plans to push for the planned connection of aninterstate that will connect Phoenix and Las Vegas.“These are the two largest cities in the nation not connected byan interstate highway system,” she said. “This project will promotecommerce, tourism and trade across the Western United States. Wemust not wait.”Brewer also expressed her support for the ArizonaCompetitiveness Package, a program she believes will create morejobs by simplifying the tax code for new businesses.Criticizing Proposition 100, Brewer promised that the three-yearone-cent sales tax approved last year would go away as promised in2013.While the promise was met with applause, Brian Clymer,Legislative District 26 Chairman, expressed concern regarding thetax cut.“She is giving a corporate tax break that she hopes will spuradditional revenues, but the state needs tax revenues to help usout of the deficit we are still in,” he said.Clymer cited a study by the Morrison Institute, which suggeststhat the deficit actually began largely before the recession, duein part to tax cuts. Still, Brewer claims that Arizona’s economy is continuing togrow from 2011, a year that added 46,000 jobs.“Arizona’s job growth ranks seventh best in the nation, andwe’re just getting started,” she said. “Arizona is open forbusiness.”While Brewer noted the improvements, she acknowledged that toomany Arizonans remain unemployed or underemployed.On the topic of education, Brewer advocated strongly for reform,promising accountability for education institutions and strongerguidelines for teachers with yearly benchmarks.At the federal level, Brewer said the government remainscritical of how involved they are in the state’s business, citingthe Arizona fires in 2011 that burned one percent of the state’slandmass.“How long will Arizona and other western states have to burnbefore the federal government will do something about it? We needthe federal government to do its part,” she said.Despite the fires and poor economy over the last year, Brewervoiced her optimism that in 2012, and the rest of the secondcentury, Arizona will not only recover, but will thrive.“We emerged from tragedy and crisis because we are Arizonans. Weare Western strong,” she said. “We have a plan, and it’s the rightplan. Arizona now has a balanced budget. Arizona now has a positivecash balance. Arizona will remain the last frontier ofopportunity.” © 2012 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.