Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

January 10, 2005


Host: Michael Grant

Governor Napolitano's 2005 State of the State Address


  • The first regular session of the 47th legislature commencing today with Governor Janet Napolitano's third state of the state address. The governor's theme this year, "moving Arizona forward," allowed her to touch upon the issues promising to be high on the legislative agenda such as full-day kindergarten, the AIMS test, water and land policy and, of course, the state's budget. Governor also talking extensively about homeland security saying previous governors didn't have to talk about that issue in state of the state addresses but the times have changed. Reactions and analysis in this special hour-long "Horizon."
Guests:
  • Chuck Coughlin - political analyst and president, High Ground


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon," Governor Janet Napolitano delivers her third state of the state address to the legislature. We'll show the speech in its entirety and reaction to it. Those stories in just a moment. Good evening. I'm Michael Grant

>>.Michael Grant:
Welcome to "Horizon." The first regular session of the 47th legislature commencing today with Governor Janet Napolitano's third state of the state address. The governor's theme this year, "moving Arizona forward," allowed her to touch upon the issues promising to be high on the legislative agenda such as full-day kindergarten, the AIMS test, water and land policy and, of course, the state's budget. Governor also talking extensively about homeland security saying previous governors didn't have to talk about that issue in state of the state addresses but the times have changed. We'll have reaction and analysis later in this special hour-long "Horizon," but first here is the speech in its entirety.

>> Ken Bennett:
Member of the legislature and public, please welcome the honorable Janet Napolitano. Governor of the State of Arizona.

>> Janet Napolitano:
Thank you. Thank you! President Bennett, speaker WEIRS, honorable senators and representatives, chief justice Jones and members of the Supreme Court, members of our congressional delegation, honored guests and my fellow Arizonans, two years ago on a beautiful Arizona day I was privileged to take the oath of office as your governor. On that day during a time of challenge in our state, I said these words... With a mixture of hope and skepticism Arizonans are asking will anything really change? Today I stand before you to say, yes, a lot has changed, is changing and will continue to change for the better. Arizona is moving forward, and if we work together, we will keep it moving forward. The people of this state work hard. They're building businesses. They're saving and struggling to educate their children. They are doing their part. They want us to do our part. We here in this chamber do not have the luxury of partisanship or defeatism. The choice we face is not between Republican or Democrat, but between those who say, no, not ever, and those who say, yes, we can. Can we continue to renew our schools from those for the youngest child to world-class community colleges and universities? Some say, no, not ever. I say, yes, we can. Can we build an Arizona economy with more high wage jobs and more highly trained people to fill them? Some say, no, not ever. I say, yes, we can. Can we be true stewards of our water and our land while encouraging responsible growth? some say, no, not ever. I say, yes, we can. I know we can. Just look at the progress we've made together. Two years ago I was a new governor joined by a huge class of new lawmakers. Our economy was down and our state was swimming in red ink. We promised the citizens of Arizona we would spend money more carefully. We wouldn't just preach fiscal responsibility; we would practice it. We would make government work better and cost less, and that is what we did. We erased $1.3 billion in shortfalls and balanced the budget. The national financial rating agencies have now removed their negative outlook for Arizona, which, in turn, saves us money on long-term capital projects. And because we have been careful with money, we will have a surplus in our rainy day fund of more than $100 million this fiscal year. [APPLAUSE ] We balanced our budget and eliminated our deficit without cutting education or gutting vital services. We did it without raising taxes. And we did it while making the most profound investment we can make, in the education of our children. This is the discipline I intend to continue and that this year's budget will embrace. Now, our government not only lives within its means, it invests in what matters. For instance, we created the copper card to provide discount drugs for our seniors, and we did it with a pioneering partnership between government and business. Today, nearly 50,000 Arizona seniors have saved millions of dollars. And our effort is now a model for the entire country. We invested substantially in our universities while launching a top-to-bottom review so we can redesign our higher education system. That redesign has a simple goal... To prepare our students for the 21st century. And we are bringing together in a way no other state has the resources and the drive necessary to maintain Arizona's and the nation's security. In this country we've witnessed the horror of an attack by air. We cannot live with a border too weak to withstand infiltration from the ground. [ APPLAUSE ] We're making these investments by shifting resources from government waste and inefficiency to government productivity. My efficiency review teams are combing the bureaucracy. We're changing the way state government works from how it buys paper and pencils to how it provides health insurance. We're not done. We will never be done. Efficiency review is now an established part of the way we do state business in Arizona, and over five years we will save the citizens of Arizona hundreds of millions of dollars. Too often these days politicians shout at each other about big government, small government. In Arizona, we're showing that what matters is smart government, efficient government, effective government. We're showing the rest of America how it's done. Yes, Arizona is moving forward, and we should all be proud of what we have achieved, but this is not a record to rest on. It is a record to build on. We have much more to do if we are to continue to move Arizona forward. This Friday I will send you my proposed budget. I will propose no tax increases. I will protect vital services like homeland security. And I will continue to invest in what matters for our long-term future. Our first priority today and always is education. [ APPLAUSE ] I know, I would not be standing here but for the love of learning imparted by parents, the public schools I attended, the high standards set by my teachers and I have a hunch that's true for many of us here in this room, but as our state is changing, our economy is changing, and our schools must change. So one of our most vital missions must be to extend all-day kindergarten so it is available to every child in every school in every community. [ APPLAUSE ] All-day kindergarten is voluntary. Making it one of the largest school choice programs in state history. And today the parents of nearly 10,000 children in the toughest schools have the choice of all-day kindergarten. I propose to make it available for the parents of 10,000 more children this year. [ APPLAUSE ] [ APPLAUSE ] And I challenge, I challenge all parents and grandparent, teachers and principals, and the business leaders who fought so hard for this priority, please join with us to shine a light on this program. Hold it accountable and hold us accountable. But voluntary all-day kindergarten does not end our mission to renew our schools. Here is my guiding philosophy. There is no substitute for high expectations. We will demand more of our students, but we must do more for them, too. We must insist on wide opportunities and high standards from the first day of preschool to the last day of college. As you know, this year's junior class will be the first that must pass the AIMS test to graduate. But more than half of them haven't done it yet. That's unacceptable. We must expect success from every child, but we have to help them, too. To provide that help, the Superintendent of Public Instruction and I have redirected $10 million to provide one on one tutoring for high school juniors who are struggling with AIMS. [ APPLAUSE ] Let me add one more thing... Special education students who have individual education plans should not have to add AIMS to the hurdles they already face. I ask you to support legislation to ensure these students do not have to pass a test that never was designed for them. Another hurdle that faces far too many families is child care, quality child care. Parents need to be able to go to work knowing their children are safe and are nurtured. We have more than 2,000 child care centers in Arizona. Some are spectacular. Some, not so spectacular. I have instructed the Arizona school readiness board to continue its work with both the private and nonprofit sectors to create a quality rating system for child care centers. My budget also includes funding so that children of low-wage, working parents can obtain quality child care without spending months on a waiting list. [ APPLAUSE ] Let's also continue our drive for early literacy. The early ability to read and write in English. It is such a pleasure to me to give the gift of a book. Last month more than 80,000 first graders received a volume of poetry called "confetti." This year 4th grade students will receive the book "coyote school news" as they learn about Arizona history. I want to thank the schools and districts that distributed the books and the businesses that paid for them, and today I'm pleased to reaffirm my commitment to Arizona that so long as I am governor, all children in the 1st grade and now the 4th grade will receive a book to enjoy as their own and for their lifetime. [ APPLAUSE ] As we know, next to a child's family, the most important element in raising student achievement is a qualified, experienced teacher in the classroom. So this year we will implement a statewide master teacher program to ultimately put at least one master teacher in every school, and with the leadership of Northern Arizona University, we will fix our outdated system of teacher professional development, and we'll continue to move money from administrative overhead outside the classroom and put it into the classroom so that low rates of teacher pay can be addressed. [ APPLAUSE ] We can't just stop when our students graduate from high school. They need to be ready to go on to enhanced career and technical education, a community college or a university. And our universities have a responsibility to make sure their students graduate, particularly in the fields of nursing, teaching and engineering. I am asking the Board of Regents to direct funding to universities that increase the number of students who earn their degrees in a reasonable time. And I also want to help ensure that no qualified Arizona student is precluded from a higher education because of money. Accordingly, I propose that we double our state's investment in student financial aid. [ APPLAUSE ] If we are serious about expanding opportunity, we must recognize that it depends on high skills, higher education and learning that lasts a lifetime. Today, and even more tomorrow, Arizona's children compete with children around the world. Every time a 1st grader can't read, or a 9th grader has not had algebra, we fall behind. The challenge in our schools is not just for poor neighborhoods or for our inner cities, it's not their children, it's our children. This is a perfect example where we must put politics aside and work together. We cannot let education be paralyzed by politics. Can we work together for positive change? Yes, we can. [ APPLAUSE ] Education is our most vital mission, but it is not our only great goal. We have more to move Arizona forward. Our strong progress and fiscal discipline today give us an opportunity to build and plan for the future, inspuring long-term economic growth, in stewardship of our natural resources, in modernizing healthcare and in strengthening our security. To expand opportunity, we must focus on economic growth. As we widen the pool of highly skilled workers, we should encourage businesses to create high-wage jobs. Jobs can be in many fields, from tourism to small business to high-tech companies. That's why I will propose a series of tax relief measures from guidelines for tax exemptions to actual tax credits to spur Arizona's competitiveness for new jobs. [ APPLAUSE ] There are some tax cuts we can now afford and should pass. We should expand the research and development tax credit for business that partner with our state universities. We should phase out the personal property tax for small business. And we should give tax relief to industries that manufacture goods in Arizona and export them all over the nation and all over the world. [ APPLAUSE ] Let's export our goods, not our jobs. [ APPLAUSE ] Arizona's growth cannot continue unless we deal realistically with water. We're a desert state in a prolonged drought. Yes, we've seen much-needed rain over the past weeks, but the experts tell us that it will take many years of average rainfall to replenish our reservoirs. I will propose legislation that will let the state do a far better job monitoring water conditions. We need your support to revitalize Arizona's department of water resources so it can help rural communities to plan better. I will urge every community, no matter what size, to adopt a long-term water conservation plan to ensure our families and businesses have the water they need. And we must continue to fight to make sure that Arizona gets its fair share of water from the Colorado River. [ APPLAUSE ] And with our three universities, we are creating a virtual water university to demonstrate to the world how to sustain vibrant communities in a desert environment. We also must move forward together to be better stewards of the earth God gave us, the undeveloped land that gives Arizona its breath taking beauty. In the past two years we have seen two devastating fire seasons. We need to prepare aggressively for fire and give Arizona homeowners the tools they need to prevent it. I will ask you to create a consolidated Arizona office of fire and life safety that will bring fire response, preparedness and planning together in a single focused effort. And I will include in my budget funding for even more inmate crews to fight fires throughout the state. [ APPLAUSE ] Many of our state's natural treasures are within the 9 million acres of state trust land. We have a duty to use these lands wisely and to find the right balance between development, preservation and generation of resources for our schools. Today the laws governing the trust are old and rusty. There is no mechanism to protect our natural resources and to better manage lands that we need to conserve and enjoy as open space. We don't have an effective way to market land for the highest return. It is pastime to give the State Land Department the rules and tools that are relevant today. We don't need to start from scratch. Last year much was accomplished by a diverse group of citizens that included businesses, developers, educators, conservationists and ranchers alike. Their plan is a good place to start. I am asking you to place state trust land among your highest priorities, and then allow the voters to make their decision. [ APPLAUSE ] Much as we care for our land, we must care for our people. More families need the security that comes from affordable healthcare. Costs are soaring. Nearly three quarters of a million working people in Arizona lack health insurance coverage altogether. They are one serious illness or injury away from catastrophe. All over the state small business owners are priced out of the private health insurance market. That's why this year we revitalized healthcare group and 13,000 Arizonans enrolled in healthcare group. That is not enough. Many employers in Arizona are small businesses that cannot provide health insurance. It is my goal with your help to expand healthcare group with new and affordable products to allow even more of our hard working people to find a way to buy affordable health insurance. [ APPLAUSE ] But health insurance means nothing if there's no one to take care of you. Won't surprise anyone that there is a shortage of healthcare professionals in Arizona. We need more nurses and doctors. This year we're already educating more nurses at our colleges and working to keep the ones we already have. And we are moving quickly toward a new medical school that can and should become part of a larger medical center. We've set aside old rivalries to join together Arizona State University and the University of Arizona to create an environment in which new medicines, new treatments and new cures will be born. Breakthroughs in diseases like autism and diabetes and cancer. Phase I is to provide funding so that one small class of new medical students can start in 2006. And for phase II I propose that we establish our own state medical center savings account so that as plans are completed we have the financial wherewithal for a truly world-class medical center that includes education, research and clinical facilities. If we do this, we will improve the quality of life for all Arizonans and leave a legacy for generations to come. [ APPLAUSE ] And quality of life means nothing without security, and security starts at home. We have done much to address the safety of families in Arizona. The first-ever state plan for domestic violence prevention, antibullying programs in our schools to keep our children safe and initiatives to combat elder abuse. And I will continue with the important job of reforming Child Protective Services. Arizona families deserve our continued support to keep them safe and secure. We must also focus on security for the entire state. Previous governors have not had to talk about homeland security in state of the state addresses, but we know these are not ordinary times. Three years ago America was attacked by terrorists who still plot to do us harm. Two years ago we went to war. We are deeply proud of the thousands of Arizonans who have served not only in the active military, but also in reserve units and the Arizona National Guard. [ APPLAUSE ] And our hearts break and we owe the greatest gratitude to those who have died or been wounded in the service of our country. These military men and women are neighbors and friends. They've taken time out their lives and are giving everything to protect us. Two members of the Arizona National Guard are with us today, and I'd like to ask each of you to stand. [ APPLAUSE ] Staff sergeant Sylvia Wessell mobilized to Iraq in 2003 and serve for a year operating supply convoys throughout country. Your husband Douglas and your children Brittany,Tess and Tanner waited with pride and anxiety for you to come home. It was a long year. Major Alejandro Navarette was deployed to Iraq in 2003. The unit under your command provided much needed air traffic control in three different locations in that country. Your wife Claudia and children David and Victoria held the home together while you were away. Staff sergeant Wessell, major Navarette will your families please stand and join you. [ APPLAUSE ] You have given us much and you honor us by being here today. We are so proud of you and all who serve with you, and together all of us say simply, "thank you.". These men and women have sacrificed for us. The least we can do is to live up to our own duty to protect the state. Arizona has proudly been host to military bases and installations for decades. Over the past two years working with you in the legislature we have positioned Arizona so as to keep our military bases and installations intact. We've also worked with the military to keep sharp focus on their missions. We are determined to preserve these missions and the thousands of military and civilian jobs as well as the billions of dollars the military brings to Arizona. [ APPLAUSE ] Because Arizona has such a large military presence, we have a large population of veterans. To them we owe no less than this... First, we must finish the job and open a second state veterans home in Southern Arizona. Second, we must acquire the land necessary for a veterans cemetery in Northern Arizona. And third, we must continue to support the ongoing public-private partnerships that create places for homeless veterans to live, to heal and to find work. And while -- [ APPLAUSE ] And while we here in Arizona will do our jobs, we need to insist that the people in Washington D.C. do theirs. The federal government has a long and nearly unbroken record of misunderstanding our region and our state. It continues to impose policies that may make sense in Washington D.C. but make little sense here. When it comes to homeland security, we read a lot of bold talk in the newspapers, but when it comes to resources, federal policy is nothing less than timid. Since I became governor, we adopted the first statewide homeland security plan in the nation. Arizona opened the first state consolidated intelligence center so we can tell whether what appears to be an isolated crime is, in reality, part of a terrorist pattern. We've conducted some of the largest training exercises in the country. Yet last year Congress cut Arizona's homeland security appropriation by 35\%. Has the terrorist threat really declined by a third? All of us, regardless of party, should demand that Washington give the states what we need to protect our people, and I will continue to work with our congressional delegation on this important priority. [ APPLAUSE ] And Washington must meet its responsibility to control our borders. If our borders remain undefended, the next time terrorists enter the country it may not be by airplane. Arizona has more people illegal crossing our southern border than the other three border states combined. It is time for the national government to step in, devote the resources and do its job of protecting the border. It is time for real immigration reform. And while we work well with our neighbors in Mexico on so many issues, it is time for the Mexican government to do its part to control illegal immigration. [ APPLAUSE ] Our broken border has real financial consequences. Did you know that today Arizona taxpayers pay to imprison nearly 4,000 people who were already here illegally and who broke our state's laws. Federal law requires the federal government to either pay for these prisoners or take them off our hands. They're doing neither. In October I requested the United States Attorney General to reimburse Arizona for these prisoners. I still haven't gotten a straight answer. Let's give Washington our answer... take responsibility, live up to the law and protect Arizona's borders. Today I've set out some big priorities, key areas in which we must continue to move forward. Let me talk about how to do it. For years politicians postponed problems, spent money and passed to laws without ever looking at the costs and consequences for our state. Over the past two years we've achieved fiscal discipline. It hasn't been easy, but we won't give up. Let's all agree to continue the fiscal discipline we've demanded of ourselves the past two years. We should neither spend money nor cut taxes unless we can afford it. Our budget and tax debates should all seek to move Arizona forward, not to score political points. [ APPLAUSE ] Renewing our schools, building a better economy, being good stewards of our water and our land, increasing the availability of healthcare, and improving the security of our state, these are my goals and dreams for Arizona, and I often think of the earliest Arizonans, the people who were here at the beginning of recorded time. They knew the challenges of this difficult but beautiful land, and they created new and innovative ways to work it and make it prosper. I think two of the men and women who came here in the 19th century, these pioneers who trekked across forbidding seemingly barren desert were also not afraid of challenges. They didn't pack up their families and belongings and cross the desert because it was easy. They felt guided by a Northstar of possibility they saw nowhere else. Opportunity wasn't a slogan, it was God-given and very real. I believe our mission must be nothing less, to build on these same values of freedom and opportunity that brought the settlers here. Tough times, tough terrain didn't stop them. They kept moving forward, and so will we. Can we do it? Will we keep Arizona moving forward? Yes, we can. We must. And we will. Thank you. [ APPLAUSE ]

>> Michael Grant:
As you heard the governor has promised no tax increases. She also announced a surplus in the rainy day fund of more than $100 million this fiscal year. Afterward, Republicans said they thought the speech sounded like Republican values. Democrat said it's not about Ds and Rs but about Arizona.

>>Senate President Ken Bennett:
We were very optimistic to hear the governor's state of the state address and hear her embrace apparently so many of the important principles that we have been stressing in our Republican majority program and in some of the things we have been trying to do for the last couple of years. We're checking to see if she has reregistered as a Republican yet, but she certainly is embracing a lot of the things that I think are important for this state, you know, balancing the budget, eliminating the structural deficit. Unfortunately those terms were used as though that has been done already. Having government work better and cost less. We're anxious to see that, but as of yet government continues to cost more. I think in the two years during this administration, spending has gone up almost $1.5 billion, and many of those dollars went into areas of priority that both Republicans and Democrats embraced, but to certainly say that spending is -- that government spending down seems a little bit of a stretch. So we're anxious to hear her talk about moving forward, balancing the budget, living within our means, allowing people school choice. We hadn't quite thought of all-day kindergarten as the fullest concept of real school choice, but I think the concept of school choice is a good one and we need to continue to move forward on that as well. So we're anxious to see the evidence of some of the things that she said come in the budget on Saturday -- or Friday, or whenever she can get it out to us, and we're anxious to see the actions go along with the talk that we heard today.

>> House Minority Whip Pete Rios:
What they need to realize is that we have a very smart and a very bright governor. She understands the reality of economic development. She understands the reality of who provides the jobs in the State of Arizona. And it's not typically the big companies, the big corporations. It's the small businesses. So when she can provide incentive and tax relief to small businesses, then it behooves everybody to support her because that's where the jobs are at. She wants to provide good-paying jobs to the citizens of this state so that they can support their families, send their kids to the best schools, the best colleges, the best universities, and so long as we're moving in that direction, my hope is that my Republican colleagues would not be so petty as to say, oh, she's stealing one of our issues, look at her. They should say, great, she's helping with an issue that's good for the State of Arizona, and good jobs and good pay don't have a D or an R behind it. It's good for the state, and I'm very glad that the governor is addressing that point.

>> Michael Grant:
Joining us now to talk about the issue, the governor focused on and to analyze the speech are Chuck Coughlin, political analyst and president of high ground and Alfredo Gutierrez of Tequida and Gutierrez. Gentlemen, happy new year.

>> Chuck Coughlin:
Happy new year to you, Michael Grant.

>> Michael Grant:
We don't do this frequently enough.

>> Chuck Coughlin:
Once a year.

>> Michael Grant:
Once a year.

>> Alfredo Gutierrez:
That should be enough already.

>>Michael Grant:
Alfredo, she looked very, very -- this was her third state of the state address and we were commenting she looked very comfortable up there.

>> Alfredo Gutierrez:
Very comfortable, very confident, and as she should be. The past two years have been one of great mastery over that legislature, even though she's face add Republican majority. And at times quite a confrontational one. She's proven to be a very competent leader vis-a-vis that legislature, and I think she was very comfortable and very confident in the speech.

>> Michael Grant:
Now, however, in both the primary and also the general the cards of that deck kind of got reshuffled and stacked a little bit more in front of the 9th floor. There was a right drift here. You think she's trying to move more to the center, to -

>> Alfredo Gutierrez:
This was -- this was a very traditional speech. It was a litany of things I've done and things we're going to do together, and all of those things we're doing together are excised of anything that might be controversial and offensive. Even the Republican leadership, whose role is to attack her, found it very difficult to do. It was a very cautious speech. It was very thoughtful. It was a very nice traditional litany of that we have accomplished, that we will accomplish. It was very purposefully done in a fashion that seemed to co-op not Republican values but Republican rhetoric. We talk about kindergarten as choice. We talk about appropriating for a medical school as a medical savings account. In both instance we simply -- she simply took the rhetoric of the right and refashioned it for what -- for what one would say is a democratic purpose.

>> Michael Grant:
Chuck, balanced budget, business tax cuts -

>> Chuck Coughlin:
Yeah, she talked -- I think that caught a lot of people by surprise that she talked about reducing the tax burden on business, property tax burden on business, but as senator Bennett said in your wrap-up section there, we're going to see a lot more on Friday when she delivers her budget. Spending, state spending, has gone up 22\% in the last two years, $1.3 billion in increase. She stacked some more programs out on that today and then also talked about tax cuts. So, you know, how those public policy objectives meld is going to be, I guess, an interesting side show at the legislature. Or the main show.

>> Michael Grant :
And I understand the points fiscally and I'm sure that the Republicans will continue to hammer on them, but, you know, a lot of those points don't resonate real well with John and Jane six-pack.

>> Chuck Coughlin: No, and I think it comes down to tend of the day there's a lot of programs out there that most everybody would applaud. We were talking earlier that she talked a real smorgasbord of issues that are fairly popular throughout the state. Nobody is going to be against education. Nobody is going to be against some of those things. Where the rub comes in and where we found it in the Republican primary is the issue that resonated there where you're spending more than you take in. There's about a $740 million structural deficit. We have carry-forwards. Our finance payments on school first are going to be more than the actual -- the debt for coming up here by 2010. There's big bills coming due, and I think there's a real desire on the part of the Republican leadership and the legislature, I think senator burns had an OP Ed piece in the paper a couple weeks about using this upturn in the economy to right the state's fiscal ship. Yet she continues to drive the boat on some spending programs which are fairly popular.

>> Michael Grant:
But if to a certain extent, Alfredo, you're kicking off your reelection for 2006 in January of 2005 with your state of the state address, isn't the course that she chose a pretty darn safe course?

>>Alfredo Gutierrez:
Oh, absolutely. I think there's very little here to criticize. Water, for example, immensely divisive issue in this state when you get down to the details because clearly if we're going to add active management areas, immensely divisive issue, but to simply say we're for water is going to -- who is going to oppose that? I think we all want water, we want clean water, too. None of that dirty water for us.

>> Michael Grant:
And we're not going to let California take any of that Colorado water.

>>Alfredo Gutierrez:
None of those Hollywood yuppies are going to be drinking our stinking water. The structural deficit as it is comes about because of students first, because we transferred local debt to the state, and that transfer of debt has to be paid for. And, yes, she didn't specifically refer to that, and Republicans try not to refer to that because it was a Republican program, but ultimately, that's the structural deficit we're talking about, this transfer of debt from local school districts -

>> Michael Grant:
Certainly a hefty chunk -

>>Alfredo Gutierrez:
It's a substantial portion of it. Without that we wouldn't have this crisis that senator burns and others are talking about, which they voted for, by the way.

>> Michael Grant: You know, Chuck, I was a little surprised she didn't lead off with, I think we need a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and why don't we load that thing up for a special election in 2005.

>> Chuck Coughlin:
I think she threw that off the ship last year and it didn't get any wings. I think it dove right off the front of the deck. She talked about trying to get on that a special election this fall. I think most everybody read that as trying to get that issue out of her election cycle, out of the next senatorial election cycle with Senator Kyl on the ballot, and I think the legislature responded saying, we're not going to pay for a statewide special election.

>> Michael Grant:
Is this legislative session going to be a session of -- in addition to other things that we've talked about and will talk about, but of wedge issues like that, like abortion measures, those kind of things?

>> Chuck Coughlin:
I think both the leadership in the house and the Senate see opportunities to do that. She's going to continue to talk about spending and priorities and children and education and healthcare, which are all resoundingly popular issues with the electorate. Republicans are going to turn around and talk about fiscal accountability, being able to afford those programs and some of those social issues which they'll want to line up on the deck for '06, which are wedge issues.

>> Michael Grant:
Agree, Alfredo?

>>Alfredo Gutierrez:
Not really. Fiscal accountability is not a wedge issue anymore. It was when there was insufficient funds. I think where die agree is you will see the gay issue, gay marriage issue driven and driven hard. There are going to be attempts at abortion becoming a divisive issue. And those instances, I do agree those are going to be issues that are pushed at her and pushed very hard. In the case of the abortion issues, she's going to be faced with vetoes. Very divisive. Very difficult for a democratic governor to deal with. In the case of the gay rights issue, it's going to pass right by her. It's going directly to the people. She does not have an opportunity to veto. So she's going to miss that bullet now but she will be facing it, of course, in -- at the election.

>> Michael Grant:
Although she's indicated that she does not support gay marriage.

>>Alfredo Gutierrez: That's correct. If you're supportive of gay marriage you lose a certain constituent. If you are not, you at least disappoint a certain constituency and that disappointed constituency is democratic. Now, one can make a political judgment, they have nowhere else to go, but nonetheless you have a disappointed constituency.

>> Chuck Coughlin: And there's actually two halves to that. There's the definitional issue of what marriage is, and then it becomes, then, what other benefits will you define for folks in a civil way that -- are you going to define those are you not going to define those? So there's really two halves to that question. On the electoral point I respect my colleague over here a lot -

>> Alfredo Gutierrez:
As he should.

>> Chuck Coughlin:
There was a lot of electoral casualties last September because of fiscal issue in the Republican primary. In fact -

>> Michael Grant:
About a half dozen.

>> Chuck Coughlin:
About nine of them took a bullet because they had voted for a budget where it's a very simple principle in Republican politics, you only pay for things that you can afford. You only pay for things that you have money for, and that's a very simple talking point -

>> Michael Grant:
That's a primary result.

>>Chuck Coughlin:
But it also resonates on the level of with Joe average voter in a general election. You only pay for what you have money for.

>>Alfredo Gutierrez:
I think that's very accurate Republican principle of a decade ago. I think George Bush has changed all that. You pay for -- and Social Security is each more. What you do is you spend. You just simply spend -

>> Michael Grant:
Republicans are the party of borrow and spend -

>>Alfredo Gutierrez:
Republicans are the party of borrow and spend.

>> Chuck Coughlin:
God help us if you're right.

>> Alfredo Gutierrez:
Chuck is just having a little bit of difficulty coming to grips with that, that overwhelming -

>>Chuck Coughin:
I think -

>>Alfredo Gutierrez:
Most of the Republicans support -- Republicans support George Bush and his budget like Jon Kyl, these are borrow and spend Republicans.

>> Michael Grant:
Let's move to some of the specific proposals. All-day kindergarten, obviously the GOP did not like that, but it's been launched. I don't think they're going to turn that ship around at this point in time, are they?

>>Chuck Coughlin:
I do not believe it's going to be part of the bigger budget discussions. I think senator burns, who is the chairman of the appropriations committee in the Senate put in an editorial in the paper in the republic during December. He said simply, it's not going to go. It's not going to go as an alone item. If it goes it will go as part of a budget package which we can afford. So, you know, last session there was some discussion after the session about some interest groups going to the ballot with their own initiative. I believe that's where we'll probably end up after this session as well.

>> Michael Grant:
Legislature going to reverse course on all-day K or not?

>>Alfredo Gutierrez:
No, no, it's just not going to happen. They're going to grunt and make threatening noises and take the right leg and kick dust, but at the end of the day --

>> Michael Grant:
Maybe tinker with the phase-in period -

>> Alfredo Gutierrez: Say it has to be part of a larger budget package and declare victory because some other poor program will get cut by $10 million and we're going to fund this thing. It isn't going to go away. It's now a reality. It makes sense to the people and it's going to happen.

>> Michael Grant: On the AIMS program, the governor doesn't care for the high-stakes test concept but she's stuck with AIMS, talked about the $10 million in tutoring and then just simply talked about we should exempt special education from AIMS.

>> Alfredo Gutierrez:
One more example of sort of stepping away from the bullet here. The issue this year is going to be the repeal of AIMS, but she wants us to repeal the AIMS requirement for special he Ed, $10 million for tutoring, and she kept silent on the overall question of whether we should have it or not. I think that's going to be a very divisive issue and she's going to have to deal with it. It's a bipartisan issue as well. Democrats and Republicans are prepared to repeal it and Democrats and Republicans are prepared to support it. It's going to be a difficult issue in -- for this legislature.

>>Chuck Coughlin:
I think you'll see leadership from Tom Horne on that issue. He's already advanced proposals for tutoring for providing additional resources for those students that still have yet to pass the test. He is committed to holding onto it with both hands throughout the legislative session. He is committed to not dropping the ball. I believe with his leadership, Alfredo's right, there is a coalition of interests here that one would call unholy in some respects because you have very conservative Republicans and most of the education establishment coming out against and trying to repeal it, in the middle of the road is trying to hold onto it. Very unusual set of circumstances, and one which will create lot of discussion.

>> Michael Grant:
It's a touchy game of brinksmanship because you get right up to that -- now, supporters of the AIMS test say this will not happen but you get right up to that brink and you look at 20, 25, 30\% of your senior class failing, politically that cannot stand.

>>Alfredo Gutierrez:
That cannot stand. You also have a situation of -- there's consequences to having youngsters without high school diplomas, or nonfunctional high school diplomas, as one of Tom Horne's proposals, they are going to be red or something, just -- that's going to be -- some sign of evil here. One of those consequences, we know for example in term of violence, just totally unrelated subject, but young people without high school diplomas are more apt to commit violence than those with. There are lots of consequences to not educating a child, not going forward with a child and simply saying, look, this is Wednesday, you take the test, you fail, good-bye, is a foolish way to do business.

>>Michael Grant:
Chuck, taxes, we have been talking about eliminating the personal property tax on business and also the tax relief for businesses that manufacture goods but mostly sell them outside the state, for years and years. When a Democrat governor proposes to that a Republican dominated legislature, does that mean 2005 is the year for some action on those two proposals?

>> Chuck Coughlin:
It's an invitation to the Senate finance committee. Dean Martin already has some proposals that he's worked up. I anticipate seeing some proposals with phase out or phase down of those business personal property taxes based on financial triggers in the budget. When we hit numbers then those phases will start to take place. Clearly she opened the door to it. So you'll see some discussion on it but again, it's colored by the larger picture of what's happening on the spending side of the equation, and can we get a control on the type spending we're doing.

>> Michael Grant:
Not an aggressive package of tax reform, though. She's got -- from the governor's tax review commission, who if I recall reported in about February of last year, there was an aggressive shopping list there, and these are really a couple of issues on the fringes.

>> Alfredo Gutierrez:
Well, they were on the fringes and they were part of a balance, a baffle getting rid of substantial number of loopholes before you add new ones.

>> Michael Grant:
Now we're talking a new one -

>>Alfredo Gutierrez:
In this instance we're going to add new hoop loopholes. Now, are they going to pass? Of course they're going to pass. The only discussion is what the governor is going to negotiate. But of course they're going to pass. It's like a great big piece of red meat that's been thrown out there, and the consequence of this big peace piece of red meat may be funding for kindergarten, may be some other proposals but of course it's going to pass.

>> Michael Grant:
Chuck, you thought it was good politics for her to kind of go off after Washington, maybe even the congressional delegation, on issues like immigration, cutbacks in the federal funding for homeland security -

>>Chuck Coughlin:
That was one of the things I said last year. I said, she didn't address the delegation's stance on immigration, she didn't talk about base closure issues last year. This year she did. She lined them up and said you haven't done your job, and, you know, good for her. They need to pay attention to what's going on here in the state. I think the numbers she used today were more people are crossing our border illegal than all the other places in California, Texas and New Mexico combined. Those are the kind of issues that she can develop a lot of capital on here in the state, put the delegation on notice that we want answers in Arizona and we want you to control that -- paying for the prison population. It was an old drill out of our administration when I was working for Fife. We would throw that that they need to pay for that and low and behold we went back and got money for it.

>> Michael Grant: Overall, if you were grading the speech, Alfredo, what would you give pit.

>>Alfredo Gutierrez:
I would grade the speech in terms of launching a campaign, and in that context this was very good. This was a good place to begin that long debate for reelection.

>> Michael Grant:
Chuck?

>>Chuck Coughlin:
You know, it didn't surprise me. I think what we've known -- what I have expected from her over time is that she is a lawyer, and she approaches things very tactually and she presented a list of issues she wants to work on and those are issues there is going to be work on this session. So it wasn't great political foresight, it wasn't great stuff but it was a workman's job and she did a good job.

>> Michael Grant:
Excellent workmanlike job, Chuck Coughlin. Alfredo Gutierrez. Thank you very much.

>> Thank you, sir.

>> Paul Atkinson :
Governor Janet Napolitano outlined her priorities for the legislative session. How did the Democrat's state of the state address go over with Republican leaders? Senate President Ken Bennett and House Speaker Jim Weiers respond to the speech and outline their legislative agenda Tuesday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

>> Michael Grant:
Wednesday Democratic leadership from the State House and Senate will give their response and reaction to the Governor's state of the state address and their priorities for the upcoming session. On Thursday we'll take a look at the question is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream more of a reality or still more of a dream in our state. And Friday, of course, it will be the Journalists Roundtable. Thanks much for joining us on this Monday evening. I'm Michael Grant

>>. Have a great one. Good night.

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