Governor Ducey signs legislation strengthening Arizona’s position as a national leader in civic education in the United States

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PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today signed legislation that ensures Arizona students demonstrate greater competence in civics before they graduate from high school, strengthening Arizona’s position as a as a national leader in civic education.

“We have a real responsibility to equip tomorrow’s leaders with knowledge of the founding principles of our nation,” Governor Ducey said. “These timeless principles have inspired and guided us for 246 years, and this legislation helps ensure they continue to do so as we continue our endless journey to form a more perfect union.”

Sponsored by Rep. Quang Nguyen of Prescott ValleyHB 2632 raises Arizona’s civics test passing score from 60 to 70 percent, allows students to take the test as early as middle school, and requires that test score data be made public online.

“It is up to us to ensure that future generations understand our government, our history and our principles,” Rep. Nguyen said. “There are far too many Americans who lack this vital information to make decisions. We must appreciate our federal structure, the separation of powers and the fundamental respect for natural rights. Thank you to Governor Ducey for signing this law to help the next generation have a strong and needed civics education.

Improvements to the test will begin with the Class of 2026.

The signing of HB 2632 comes a day after the governor signed a bill establishing the Arizona America250 Commission, which will plan a celebration of the 250th anniversary of the United States and reinforce the teachings of our nation’s founding in schools.

Governor Ducey has made civic education one of his administration’s priorities prioritiestake steps to establish Sandra Day O’Connor Civic Celebration Daystrengthen education on Holocaust and Other Genocides in Arizona Schools and implement the Arizona Civics Test.

At Governor Ducey’s budget for next year proposes to empower schools and teachers with bonuses for students who score high on the Arizona Civics test.

Also signed into law by Governor Ducey today was HB 2612which continues Arizona’s efforts to break down barriers for those working to obtain professional licenses.

Sponsored by Rep. Judy Burges of Skull Valley, HB 2612 removes undefined moral character provisions from professional licensing statutes.

Left ambiguous, the provisions are often interpreted to refer to a person with any type of criminal record. By removing these extrajudicial penalties, this bill opens doors and gives Arizonans a second chance.

“It’s important to open pathways for those who have served their time to re-enter the workforce,” Rep. Burges said. “By removing ambiguous language provisions, we are removing extrajudicial sanctions for people seeking a fresh start. My thanks to Governor Ducey for reinforcing Arizona’s responsible approach to criminal justice reform.

The Governor signed seven other bills into law today:

community property price HB 2104; sentenced spouse

taxi drivers HB 2108; prohibited for sex offenders

Housing Service HB 2165; Licence ; fingerprinting; penalties

Industrial Commission HB 2202; price list; note

HB 2434 surgical smoke extraction; conditions

vehicle serial numbers HB 2480; deletion; restoration

concurrent jurisdiction HB 2649; Yuma’s Proving Ground

CONTEXT

In 2015, Arizona became the first state in the country to pass the American Civics Act, requiring high school students to pass the citizenship test before graduation. Since then, 19 other states have followed suit by requiring students to take the civics test.

In March 2020, Governor Ducey signed legislation establishing the Sandra Day O’Connor Civic Celebration Day, a day in which the majority of classroom instruction is devoted to civics. School districts and charter schools statewide used a wide range of engaging activities on the day of civic celebration last year to teach students about civics and highlight O’Connor’s dedication to promoting civics.

In September 2021, Governor Ducey signed legislation to strengthen education about Holocaust and Other Genocides in Arizona Schools. He also announced his intention to work with educators and lawmakers to make the teaching about the attacks of September 11, 2001 compulsory in schools.

Today’s signing builds on the actions of the Governor and the Legislative Assembly to expand opportunities for those who have served their time. Last year Governor Ducey signed HB 2787 which balances public safety by helping to ensure that individuals are not able to re-offend because of their license, while strengthening measures that prohibit state agencies from negatively viewing an applicant’s past.

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