Column: Am I liking the governor?

I’m not supposed to like this guy. He’s done some things that have made me squint with concentration wondering what, exactly, was the catch. As Mr. Bradford pointed out in his Letter to the Editor Friday, perhaps Gov. Doug Ducey deserves a tip of the hat.

The governor first got my attention when he expanded the “Infant at Work” program in January. This course of action allowed “parents to bring newborns from age four weeks to six months, or (when) mobile, to work,” according to the governor’s office. This was first implemented at a few locations, and it has now been expanded to the entire Arizona Department of Economic Security.

“We’re so excited to see this program expand to other state agencies to ensure more babies get a healthy start,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Department of Health Services and an OBGYN. “We see firsthand how babies in the workplace translates into productive parents and a noted increase in employee morale.”

It would even be better if parents could be given more time at home with their newborns, but this program can be seen as meshing the two ideas – stay-at-home and working parents – in order to bring about healthier children and parents. Kudos.

KTAR.com reported that for the first time in seven years, more children left the Arizona childcare system than those who entered it. The report stated that 17,400 were in foster care, down from about 19,000. Ducey has said he wants to do more to support grandparents and other extended family members who are trying to raise children who have been removed from home or left behind by their parents. That’s good news.

And the governor was out in front in trying to slow down the repeal of Obamacare. He was one of the first, if not the first, GOP governors who foresaw that if thousands of Arizonans were instantly kicked off of Obamacare, then the state would have a huge issue on its hands. Now, the politicians in control of Washington are realizing that same dilemma.

There are issues with the Affordable Care Act, and it is pressing that those issues get cured. Killing the system that has more than 500,000 Arizonans on its rolls and immediately going back to the old system where these folks can’t find insurance because of pre-existing conditions isn’t the answer. It’s impressive that Ducey stood out and took notice.

I still have disagreements with the governor. He seems to be making some positive moves about education, but he’s also shouting in favor of vouchers, which gives me pause.

It’s been a while since I liked someone like Ducey. Maybe, just maybe, that sentiment will return.