Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

June 26, 2012


Host: Ted Simons

Business Perspective on SB 1070 Ruling

  |   Video
  • Glenn Hamer, President and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry comments on the U.S. Supreme Court decision on SB 1070.
Guests:
  • Glenn Hamer - President and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Category: Business/Economy   |   Keywords: SB 1070, business, commerce,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court upheld part of Senate Bill 1070 while ruling that three others were preempted By federal law. Here to share the business perspective on that decision is Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona chamber Of commerce and industry. I keep saying upheld. Actually they just did not strike it down. It could have a future life here. In general, your response to the court's decision?

Glenn Hamer: I believe that the supreme court did a brilliant job and justice Kennedy really wrote a very thoughtful decision that is going to help not only Arizona, it will help the 49 other states in terms of how they approach this issue. But there is also a very strong statement out there to the United States Congress and to the administration that the ball is in their court. Ultimately it is going to be the federal government that is going to have to fix our immigration system.

Ted Simons: And yet the decision also pretty much neutered what was left -- I mean, the surrounding decisions left what was remaining somewhat lifeless.

Glenn Hamer: It is a little bit -- I'm not sure I would agree with that. It certainly took out three of the provisions. There were several provisions of the bill not before the U.S. Supreme Court. It was really a split decision. If you looked at the "New York Times" headline, it basically said that the heart of the bill will remain in effect. Wall street journal had a little bit of a different take. The key will be implementation. And, you know, one of the things that really -- I believe Governor Brewer deserves a lot of credit for how since day one she has made sure that if this law is going to go into effect, there is proper training through AZ post. We will never in the state have an Alabama situation where after Alabama passed a law, there were -- they were detaining and arresting German and I believe Japanese executives. That will never happen in the state of Arizona.

Ted Simons: The concern regarding the backlash and the impact of a backlash just for having this back in the news, just for having Arizona and 1070 connected, any concern there?

Glenn Hamer: Zero.

Ted Simons: None.

Glenn Hamer: The way the U.S. -- from the ruling and from the way the governor has approached how the implementation will occur, there is absolutely no reason why there would be a backlash. It is very clear from the U.S. Supreme’s decision with the provision that remains in effect that there are guidelines. There can't be prolonged detention. There wouldn't be able to be as there shouldn't be, of course, racial profiling. I -- I believe that this will -- this decision and the reaction from our officials will keep this from causing any sort of economic issue.

Ted Simons: The entire 1070 fight, talk about the impact on Arizona. Talk about the impact on labor needs. Not just, you know, the seasonal work force needs, but skilled labor. Whole nine yards.

Glenn Hamer: And that -- the business community in -- and the statement that we released with the greater chamber of commercial, other groups, we made it clear that we need to focus on the positives. On the labor needs. We still need farm workers. We still need high-tech workers. Let's take advantage of one of the greatest assets of this country, best, brightest; hardest working people all over the world want to come here. Enough with the, you know, we have hit the theoretical limit with these types of state level enforcement provisions. It's time to focus on making sure that we have a federal solution that includes making sure that we get the best and the brightest to this country.

Ted Simons: You mentioned, as well, the threat of what you called your quote here, confusing patchwork of state laws. I have to tell you, Glenn that sounds like a lot of opponents of 1070.

Glenn Hamer: There is a patchwork. Since 1070 went into effect, five or so states have passed copycat or similar type laws. I believe the U.S. Supreme Court was looking at that. It has reached a point where you can't have 50 secretaries of states. There is a quote in their by Justice Kennedy that is really dead on. Immigration policy can affect trade, investment, tourism, and diplomatic relations for the entire nation. The Supreme Court is saying this is a federal responsibility. But at the same time the supreme court did acknowledge, appropriately so, that states like Arizona have had some real issues, and there needs to be some sort of way that the state can deal with the public safety portion of this.

Ted Simons: Indeed. But the court said you can’t make it a state crime. So critics of what the court did and those who do not see this necessarily for pro 1070. They're looking at business and saying business still will be building on the backs of illegal immigration and that is what business seems to want. They are not fighting 1070 very hard. What is your response?

Glenn Hamer: Businesses are not -- the employer sanctions case was decided in a different way. I mean, the Supreme Court said that the legal Arizona workers act passed by Arizona passed constitutional muster. No, the business community, we want a rationale system where we can bring in the workers that we need to improve our economy. I mean, when you take a look on the higher tech side, an a very significant percentage of tech companies have a founder who is not a native of the United States of America. Think of the ecosystem. Think of all of the jobs that are created.

Ted Simons: Was this decision a Victory for Arizona?

Glenn Hamer: It was a Victory for the American people.

Ted Simons: Glenn, it is good to have you here. Thank you for joining us. We appreciate it.

Glenn Hamer: Thank you.

Education Sales Tax Initiative Disqualified

  |   Video
  • Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett disqualified a voter initiative from going to the ballot because the petitions were not filed properly. Find out what happened, and what’s next for the initiative that seeks a permanent sales tax increase to pay for education, from Ann-Eve Pedersen Chairman of the Quality Jobs and Education Committee that’s backing the initiative
Guests:
  • Ann-Eve Pedersen - Chairman of the Quality Jobs and Education Committee
Category: Education   |   Keywords: Sales tax, pay for education,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome To "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. A voter initiative to keep a one-cent sales tax to pay for education and construction projects may not make it to the ballot. A day after organizers submitted over 290,000 petition signatures Secretary of State, Ken Bennett, announced that the petitions are not valid because they were not attached to the full and Correct copy of the initiative that was filed with his office. Here to explain what happened and what's likely to happen next is Ann-eve Pedersen, Chair of the quality education and jobs committee group that's backing the initiative. Good to have you here.

Ann-Eve Pedersen: Thank you.

Ted Simons: What does this initiative call for?

Ann-Eve Pedersen: The initiative provides a permanent dedicated revenue source for education in the state of Arizona and prevents the legislature from making further cuts to K-12 education. It also provides scholarships for community college and university students, and it reinvests in our very successful vocational education programs and GED programs.

Ted Simons: Are those things spelled out specifically in the petitions?

Ann-Eve Pedersen: Absolutely. All of the language is connected to every single petition. We're required by law to staple the ballot language to every petition that we circulated. So, all of the 290,000 plus people who signed the petition had a copy of the ballot language attached to their petition.

Ted Simons: Okay. So it makes the current temporary sales tax increase from a few years ago permanent, correct?

Ann-Eve Pedersen: That's correct. It will take the place when that expires in 2013, this is a seamless transition into an extension of the one cent.

Ted Simons: You just said it also means no more cuts to K-12. Does that mean you can't sweep the money out of this or does that mean no more cuts?

Ann-Eve Pedersen: It means both actually. We wanted to make sure that we put a lot of voter protections into this initiative. When we were out circulating the petitions, that was the number one question that we were asked. How can we be assured if we vote for this our dollars will be spent the way we want them spent? We were able to assure everyone that we worked very hard to protect these dollars. The legislature, number one, cannot continue to make cuts to K-12 education. And then these new dollars for education must be spent as voters direct. Prop 100 funds went in the general fund and legislators could use them as they wished. I think there was some disappointment that they didn't use them as we had been told they would to completely protect education from further cuts.

Ted Simons: Just to be clear, it is not just you can't touch this particular pot of money. You can't touch any K-12 funding?

Ann-Eve Pedersen: The current funding levels for K-12 cannot be reduced because what we were afraid of is voters would approve this new one cent and then the legislature would come in and undercut the other funding. When we talk about this publicly in front of big groups, that's always the question that we get asked first.

Ted Simons: What happens now with the petitions, secretary of state today disqualifies this initiative from the ballot.

Ann-Eve Pedersen: This is really disappointing. We had parents, grandparents, people from all over the state came to help us carry 60 boxes filled with almost 300,000 signatures up to the secretary of state's office. We deposited them there. Received the receipt. We were alerted early this morning that the secretary of state's office made a determination that in their viewpoint we had not legally complied. What we are now forced to do is go to court, which we will be filing a court action tomorrow, to ask basically the judicial system to overturn secretary Bennett's decision which we don't believe is the correct legal decision.

Ted Simons: The decision was made because 150 some odd words on the petition -- there was a difference in language, correct?

Ann-Eve Pedersen: Right. What happened when we filed our language back on March 9th, we submitted several different things. We submitted the language electronically on a computer disk. That electronic version is the version that is attached to every single petition. We also submitted a statement of organization and we submitted a paper printout and the paper printout is the missing -- missing several lines containing the 152 words.

Ted Simons: It sounds, though, critics are saying what is missing is relatively substantial in that if you hit a 1.1 or whatever it is billion dollar level, it means the money then goes to colleges and no more would go to K-12. Is that accurate?

Ann-Eve Pedersen: No, that is not accurate. It is important to remember that of all of these funds, between 68 to 71% will go to K-12. 80% goes to education overall. So, that assertion is really not accurate. And also, it really is not legally pertinent. The legal issue here is going to be whether or not we substantially complied. And the version of the language that is attached to every petition and that we submitted to the secretary of state's office are the same. You are legally required to submit a text of the initiative, which we did, and to have that text attached to each petition which we did.

Ted Simons: But I want to get back to the idea to ask you if this $1.1 billion benchmark, everything stays the same as it was toward the $1.1 billion?

Ann-Eve Pedersen: The language issue deals with a contingency which may never occur. It depends on whether or not the fund reaches a certain level based on what we receive in revenues statewide. And so, this was language in here that deals with the contingency issue. It doesn't go to the heart of what the initiative does at all. Statements that it somehow takes money away from K-12 are just not accurate.

Ted Simons: Last question, for those watching, yeah, yeah, the law is the law. They are supposed to match it. If they don't match, the secretary of state did the right thing. How do you respond?

Ann-Eve Pedersen: Okay. The law in Arizona, citizens initiative, which is what this is, being brought forward by a grass roots group of parents, grandparents, business owners. In a citizens’ initiative, you must substantially comply. We have substantially complied. It is not a strict compliance requirement. Under the letter of the law, we are in compliance with the law and we are confident that the courts will agree with that.

Ted Simons: And they will start looking tomorrow.

Ann-Eve Pedersen: They will.

Ted Simons: Thank you for joining us.

Ann-Eve Pedersen: Thank you, Ted.

Focus on Sustainability: The Valley’s “Bikeability”

  |   Video
  • Transportation planners and bicycle advocates talk about what’s being done to make the Valley a better place to travel by bicycle.
Category: Sustainability   |   Keywords: horizon, sustainability, valley, bikes, ,

View Transcript
Bicycling video: How to make the valley more bike-able? That is the focus on sustainability. First producer David Majure and photographer Cano take us for a ride.
I can't remember a time in my life where I really never owned bike.
John calls himself a lifestyle cyclist. He rides to compete and just for the fun of it.
The same reason people run. The same reason people hike. You know, it floods the brain and body with endorphins. It is the sheer enjoyment of being outdoors in the wind, moving.
RAMIRO also rides to work on a regular basis.
South mountain, 20th street, South Mountain.
12 mile trek to downtown Tempe. The trick getting there safely knows the best way to go.
Low density traffic. Two lane roads as opposed to four lane thoroughfares.
He cuts through neighborhoods and follows paths along canals as much as possible. When he is ready to crossover Interstate 10, he rides in a lane --
Indicate that even though there is no bike lane here, you know, bikes are still coming through here, and, you know, yield to them. Allow them to use the lane. Signs posted that say -- that show a picture of a bicycle, may use full lane.
He doesn't give valley drivers very high marks for knowing how to share the road with bikes.
I would say four. It also depends on the area you are in. Tempe is a very bike-heavy community. People are far more aware. A lot more people here that bike. When I ride on the west side of I-17, not so good. You know. Not such good bike infrastructure. A lot less awareness. I think Scottsdale, another great place to ride. A lot of impatient drivers there too. Big vehicles, moving fast and sometimes they don't give you the right of way that you should get.
When Ramiro reaches his workplace in downtown Tempe, he doesn’t have to shift gears at all because his job is bicycle advocacy. Cofounder of the bicycle cellar, bike shop located on the first floor of the Tempe transportation center. It is a public/private partnership with the city that gives commuters a place to store their bikes and get cleaned up before heading into work.
You come here, you park your bike, and it’s safe. You get key card access. Access the facility 20 hours a day, 365 days a year. Shower facilities --
So I can change after my morning exercise, changing into clothes and head into work.
The cyclists we talked to said the valley is a pretty good place to ride, but there is plenty of room for improvements.
There are challenges. Intersections where there are not bike lanes, you have to be careful because motorists may not see you or run into you or turn in front of you.
My scariest moment is crossing major intersections where the bike lanes disappear and turn into turn lanes for cars.
A lot of cyclists say it is a great place to ride. The weather is so good. We have nine months of spring. Increases the quality of living when a city can say, you know, we live in a bike-able community. Family friendly, bike friendly, you know, tourist friendly, those sort of livability qualities for a city, they’re invaluable.

Ted Simons: Here to talk about bicycling in the valley, Reed Kempton, chair of the bicycle and pedestrian committee for the Maricopa association of governments, Eric Iwersen, and the bicycle coordinator for the city of Phoenix and cofounder of the bicycle cellar. Good to have you here.
All: Thank you.

Ted Simons: A lot of folks look like they’re getting the job done bicycling. How does the valley compare to other regions?

Reed Kempton: We think we're really high. We have several cities in the valley rated by the league of American bicyclists as bicycle friendly communities. And the improvements made in the past two decades are tremendous. 400 something miles of bike facilities in 1992 to almost 3,000 today.

Ted Simons: Very good. What can we do better? Where is the area for improvement?

Eric Iwersen: I think there has been a tremendous effort, regional coordination, cities working together. There has been a big push by several cities and the region to fund these types of projects. And I think to get better, we should continue that focus of funding projects and have that political and community support and pull it all together more and keep moving in that direction.

Ted Simons: Let's talk about some of the projects. Phoenix and Tempe have this bicycle boulevard going on here. What is that all about?

Joseph Perez: Bike Boulevard a great way to get from Tempe, Glendale, downtown Phoenix. It is really neat. Somewhat experimental. Using green paint. And it is pretty neat the way we are combining street lane markings with green paint to put something where bike lane is not currently.

Ted Simons: Okay. How much does something like that cost?

Joseph Perez: Depending on what we are doing, bike lane costs about 1,000 per side per mile. This particular green paint is a little more expensive. A little wider. Shared lane markings a little wider. $250 each. Green paint couple thousand for the paint.

Ted Simons: Let's talk other areas of improvement. A bicycle map out there. How much does that help? Is that a factor? Do people look at these kinds of things?

Reed Kempton: I think they do. Especially if they are just thinking about starting to commute to work. Pull down the map, available online. A lot of people call us and say how can I get to work from here? Here is where I live. Those riding a lot can help out. We try to keep people off the major streets, but in a lot of cases that is the only way you are going to cross the rivers and freeways.

Ted Simons: Tempe did what was called a bike count. Like a survey, interesting things in there. What did you find about cycling habits and concerns out there? It sounds like people are riding on the wrong side of the road all of the time.

Eric Iwersen: That is a real common problem, riding against the flow of traffic. A big reason why people are doing that is they feel they don’t have a safe way to get from point A to point B. And so it is a matter of having enough facilities on every road, having safe facilities on every road and having the ability to cross a road at convenient points so that people can get to the right side of the road to go with the flow of traffic. Removing obstacles, like freeways, railroad tracks and getting over the things easily so you can go with the flow of traffic.

Ted Simons: What makes a dangerous intersection? What makes safe intersections? And how can cities and municipalities keep the traffic moving but keep the bikes moving too?

Joseph Perez: Well, it is certainly not safe when you are riding against the flow of traffic. Bicyclists should realize that that is the easiest way for them to realize to get into a collision with cars. They should ride on the right side of the street with the flow of traffic. The cars in an intersection, left turn arrow, solid green ball. Intersecting arterial streets. Arterial intersections are much more risky than a collector or local. So, if I'm riding a bike, I usually like to ride back streets. I don't like to ride down 7th avenue or 7th street. I like to ride down 3rd avenue or 5th avenue or 3rd street.

Ted Simons: Again, would you talk about what makes a safe intersection and what makes a dangerous intersection. 7th avenue, 7th street, seems a little dicey for some cyclists. What makes a safe street and how municipalities can encourage that change.

Reed Kempton: Speed of the traffic, volume of the traffic, width of the outside travel lane. Wider the outside travel lane is the more comfortable it will be for the bicyclists. A street with 15-foot lanes, we narrow them down and make room for the bike lane on the side. That gives the cyclist a place to ride. Little thing. When you approach an intersection, we keep the like lane between the right turn lane and the through travel lane. That gives the cyclist very clear spot to be when they’re at the intersection.

Ted Simons: And that gets to things like buffer lanes, correct? The idea of separating the bike from the traffic with a little lane, a little couple of lines, is that what that is?

Eric Iwersen: Yeah, certainly that is a technology that can be used. Having a separator between the bike lane and the rest of the vehicle lanes. Large issue, how do you make a street safer? How do you make an intersection safer? We have been building them a certain way for 50 years, 75 years, and that was to encourage faster traffic and more vehicle traffic. And I think we have to be conscientious to try to re-characterize streets a little bit more towards having them include all types of travel on those streets. It is a redesign and re-characterization of how we are thinking about intersections and streets.

Ted Simons: Last question. Are city leaders thinking along the same lines or is it a battle?

Joseph Perez: No, certainly city leaders are thinking about this on the same line. Recently, went on a bike ride down Central Avenue in honor of a young boy. A great Saturday morning ride, three miles central, Dunlap -- it is coming. Leadership is seeing the fruits of what cycling can bring.

Ted Simons: That is right -- all right. Good to have you all here.

Talking about the city’s deal with the Phoenix coyotes.

Ted Simons: What Peoria is doing to grow companies that make medical devices. That is Wednesday on "Arizona Horizon," 5:30 and 10:00, right here on 8-HD. That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you for joining us. You have a great evening.

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