Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

January 12, 2009


Host: Ted Simons

State of the State Address

  |   Video
  • Governor Janet Napolitano gives her final State of the State address before leaving for Washington, D.C., to join the Obama administration as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. HORIZON presents the address in its entirety with reaction from lawmakers. Former lawmakers Stan Barnes and Pete Rios discuss the speech with host Ted Simons.
Guests:
  • Stan Barnes - Copper State Consulting and former Republican legislator
Category: Government   |   Keywords: janet napolitano, obama, arizona, homeland security,

View Transcript
Ted Simons:
Tonight on "Horizon" Governor Janet Napolitano delivers what will almost certainly be her final state-of-the-state address. You'll see it in its entirety. We'll also have an address to the response to the address by Republican leaders and analysis by our experts, both former lawmakers. That's next on "Horizon."

Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible from contributions from the Friends of 8, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Ted Simons:
Good evening. Welcome to "Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. It's a state-of-the-state address like none we've seen. The sitting Governor delivering a speech, knowing that within days, she will likely no longer be Governor. Janet Napolitano leaves tomorrow for Washington in an upcoming confirmation hearing for her nomination as Secretary of Homeland Security. This was her seventh speech to the joint session of the legislature in this special one-hour Horizon, we'll deliver the state-of-the-state speech in its entirety followed by Republican response and then by a discussion by two political experts on the address. First, though, Governor Janet Napolitano and her 2009 state-of-the-state address.

Janet Napolitano:
Speaker Adams, President Burns, honorable senators and representatives, Chief Justice McGregor, justices of the Supreme Court, Secretary of State Brewer and other constitutional officers, tribal leaders, honored guests and my fellow Arizonians. It is my honor to stand before you today as Governor and to deliver my report on the state-of-the-state. This is a day of mixed emotions. On the one hand, I'm very sad that this is very likely the final time I'll address Arizonians in this manner. On the other hand, I'm confident about the future of this state and proud of the work we have done together. I've been called by our president-elect to serve in a new way during extraordinary times. I'm not alone in this call to serve. Indeed, this difficult time calls upon all of us to offer ourselves to the greater good, to build a stronger state and a stronger country. The call to serve comes in many forms. For some, it means service in our armed forces. Others will feel called to work on change here at the state capitol, yet others will offer service as volunteers in our communities. For this legislature, your call to serve will demand you make decisions that are difficult in the short run but need to be wise in the long run. Your task is to make Arizona safer, stronger and more prosperous than ever before. In the past six years we've traveled a long way together and came a long way in safety, strength and prosperity. As Arizona is swept by national afflictions like faltering markets and growing deficits, it could be hard to remember the basic fact that should drive our state. Arizona is young and dynamic. It is primed for success. [Applause] the task is to meet these great challenges with short-term decisions that do not dim the bright future of this remarkable state. When I took office, our state faced the budget deficit that many thought would sink our priorities for Arizona. Since then in surplus and in deficit, I've always presented you with a balanced budget plan that moved Arizona forward. That's an important lesson as we look at our situation today. We don't have to go back. We do have to go forward. As revenues increased, we set aside money in a rainy day fund, cut taxes and provided tax incentives for important areas like research and development. We implemented 26 of the 36 recommendations of the citizens' finance review commission. We reviewed all state expenditures and undertook actions such as restructuring procurement and curtailing our use of energy. All tolled, our efforts have saved more than $1 billion. We have passed a balanced budget every year but we still need to make significant adjustments in this year's budget because of the continuing recession. I have already given to you a balanced budget plan for 2009. And as I have in every year I've served, I will present to the legislature a detailed plan on how to balance next year's budget. Still protecting important investments and accomplishing that without raising taxes. But even as I deliver that budget plan this week, I harken back to a statement from my first inaugural address. Generations to come will not remember us for how we balance the budget or how we expand it or contracted the size of government. Instead, they will remember how we educated our children; how we protected our seniors, how we built a new economy and how we made this wonderful state an even better place to live. Together, we have provided better educational opportunities for our children. We have protected our seniors and built towards a new economy. We have moved Arizona forward. And the budget I present to you will be balanced and will protect what we have achieved. As you know, there's nothing more important to me as Governor than the education of Arizona's children. We have added and protected a new grade level, voluntary full day kindergarten that gives thousands of Arizona students a head start in education that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. By vote of the people, we've set aside critical funding for early childhood education, enacted historic teacher pay raises and started a new center to train teachers in the critical fields of science, technology, engineering and math. We've quadrupled the funds going to our schools from our state trust lands. We've increased standards in high school for math and science. And we have cut the high school dropout rate nearly in half. Yet as always, there's more to do. We must build on what we have begun. Expanded resources must translate into ever-increasing levels of student achievement. The proportion of our education funds spent in the classroom must increase. The professional status and the pay of our classroom teachers must continue to improve. While we demand more of our administrators and our elected school boards. Difficult times, our state has called to show its commitment to the children of Arizona. Our public schools system educates 82\% of Arizona's students. Their future has to be Arizona's number one priority. School choice is important. We can expand and preserve that choice through the continuing institution of quality public charter schools. Today's short-term budget decisions must not harm the long-term future of Arizona's children. If this legislature cuts classroom spending, the people of Arizona will recognize such a cut for what it is, not a budget necessity but a willful and unwise choice. We must look at higher education in the same way in past six years, we have institutionalized the p-20 model in Arizona which recognizes the reality that education is not neatly segmented but are instead a continuum of learning that begins at birth and lasts well into a chosen career path. We've built up a new medical campus and labs that are attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in new grants. We have tripled the state's commitment to student financial aid and launched a new program to put more middle school students on the path to college. Last year, the legislature also passed a plan to build and improve the physical infrastructure of our universities. A forward-thinking plan that accommodates future enrollment growth while quickly creating desperately needed construction jobs. It's a good plan. We can afford it. We should put it into action now. As we build up education, I'm also proposing to you legislation that will widen our embrace of Arizona's veterans. Let us give them greater access to education by extending in-state tuition to every single veteran in Arizona. This'll continue the important work of both supporting our veterans and increasing the number of college graduates in our state. Our universities and community colleges are economic engines. They give our students the skills they need to work in the good jobs of the future. We need to show the world even during these hard times, Arizona is open for business. We'll demonstrate this by continuing to build a highly educated work force and by increasing our research capacity through our universities as well as institutions like tigen and science education Arizona. In the past years, I've given the universities a significant charge, to double the number of bachelors degrees earned in Arizona by 2020. This is where we need to be to thrive in the high-tech economy. Universities have already experienced budget cuts and we need to avoid deeper cuts that impair their educational and economic missions. Our investment in higher education is investment driven by this simple fact. The better future for Arizona that we are called upon to build cannot happen unless we train more doctors, engineers, teachers, scientists, entrepreneurs and those educate in the humanities and the arts. Protecting education is what I mean when I say we cannot sacrifice the long-term for the sake of short-term expediency. As we commit to this critical knowledge infrastructure, we must also invest in our physical infrastructure. This is timely, because it is likely an infrastructure stimulus plan is on its way from the federal government and it is important because we know this kind of investment creates jobs and creates wealth. Last year, I asked you to hold hearings and prepare a statewide transportation plan for referral to the ballot. Sadly, the legislature failed to do this and then a citizen's initiative was kept from the ballot. That citizen's initiative proposal made sense and it still makes sense. Both for our present because we need the jobs and for the future because we will need roads, highways, rail and transit to support our growth. I ask you to build from the citizens' proposal, hold additional hearings and allow the people of Arizona to have their say on this critical issue by 2010. An infrastructure doesn't stop with transportation in my budget; I'm giving you a plan for desperately needed school buildings. These new buildings will be energy efficient, provide an economic stimulus and build a legacy that's able to serve this state for decades. Arizona must also stay on the path towards a greener future. We must continue to implement forest health measures that create new industries and protect our forest communities. We must work to limit our greenhouse gas emissions through the western climate initiative and move forward in building a strong, renewable energy sector particularly with respect to solar energy. The entire nation is going in this direction and Arizona has much to gain by being the leader. Of course as we continue to prepare for our future, we must not overlook those in need right now in these difficult times, we're called to serve the Arizona families hit hardest by the economic storm. The national recession has meant we have more people out of work and making less money than they did before. More Arizonians now depend on food banks as a regular source of food. A 42\% increase in demand from one year ago. In the past year, more than 70,000 Arizonians enrolled in state care for access in kids care. More than 150,000 Arizona families have received foreclosure notices. It would be wrong to hurt our seniors, our youngest children and those who are ill or disabled in the name of balancing the budget. Many of those who need help now you are people who have always worked hard and played by the rules who have never had to ask for help before. All of these Arizonians deserve the chance to work towards a brighter future. It is our job to protect and continue to invest in the safety net for those hardest hit in Arizona so they can prosper when the storm passes. By way of example just this past year, we refocused our efforts to ensure Arizonians are using the programs that could benefit them such as the federal earned income tax credit. In the last year, this tax credit has placed nearly $16 million back into the pockets of Arizona families. Nearly one quarter more than the previous tax year. In response to rising foreclosures, we have secured millions in federal funds to stem the worst effects of mortgage foreclosure in our neighborhoods and dedicated millions of state dollars to fighting foreclosure and homelessness. Budget deficits mean cuts. Cuts are hard. In the past two years, we have already cut 1.8 billion dollars. the budget I will present to you later this week will provide for further cuts yet as we tighten our belts, we must remember this part of our call to serve means still caring for those less fortunate and protecting services like education, foreclosure assistance, health care and shelter from abuse, neglect and domestic violence. To serve today means an added duty to protect the children who might otherwise fall through the cracks. These children are growing and learning today. They deserve to be able to do so safely without becoming sick or hungry or homeless. Another imperative is to protect our advances in health care including expanded access to Kidscare for families that need it investments in health care technology to improve the delivery of care and substantial savings on prescription drugs. some fear that little can be done right now about these pressing problems but congress is likely to increase aid for state Medicaid programs and when this happens, Arizona could continue its work to improve health care by enacting quality of care measures, building our electronic health records infrastructure and implementing other reforms necessary to ensure that every Arizona family has access to a dollar when they need one. A doctor. [Laughter] a dollar, too. There's no more fundamental function of government than to protect the public and I'm proud of what we've achieved in the past six years. Crime in Arizona has gone down in almost every category. We are preparing ourselves to be ready for any disaster. We prepared increased sources at the border. State task forces have arrested hundreds of human smugglers. We've used innovative methods to attack the tools of trade such as the money laundering and ID fraud. We have addressed the problem head on of our nations' broken boarders. We have to keep up this intense pressure on the border criminals who use violence and fraud to smuggle people and drugs into our country. This effort includes a bill I'm presenting to you today that goes after those criminals by broadening the human trafficking laws we use to crack down on those who smuggle people across the border. To be called to serve in difficult times means doing as much as possible with limited resources. We don't have as many law enforcement resources as any of us would like. We're called to use them wisely to promote public safety the best we possibly can. We must continue to fight human smugglers just as we have fought to take away their illegal weapons, stolen cars, drop houses and money laundering channels. Tough law I enforcement means smart law enforcement for which we must always hold ourselves accountable. In carrying out the call to serve in challenging times, the public must be our highest guide. There are several areas of government reform you should take up in order to strengthen the voice of the people and allow you them a greater say in how Arizona could address its current obstacles and thrive into the future. You must reform Arizona's initiative and referendum processes. While I disagree strongly and respectfully with the state Supreme Court's decision to keep initiatives on transportation and state trust land reform off the ballot, our statutes must be revised to further the ability of the people to enact legislation. While it is incumbent on this legislature to revisit transportation and state trust land reform, you must also consider reform of the initiative process itself. When crafting these reforms, I urge you to increase access to the ballot by lowering our high signature requirements but at the same time crack down signature fraud by increasing the number of signatures to be examined, banning payment by signature and registering paid circulators. You also must remove the initiative sponsors' now unlimited ability to give their initiatives misleading names. These changes -- you know it. These changes will help ensure that bureaucratic requirements don't mute the voice of the people in charting our future. I also ask that you consider changes to the referendum process. The legislature shouldn't be able to refer a potential law to the ballot without the same number of votes it'll take to override a governmental veto making this change simply to preserve the balance of power between the legislature and executive branches. Those of us who are public officials face a dual serve that is demanding but each difficulty presents an opportunity to improve the quality of life in Arizona. Arizona would be well served if we follow the examples set by our fellow citizens, Arizona's 1.1 million volunteers, those volunteers dedicate more than 180 million hours a year to serving their communities. They strengthen our neighborhoods and our state by giving their time and efforts to serve the young and the old, those who are sick and those who are struggling. Even state government has benefited from Arizonians' volunteer service. The thousands of Arizonians that volunteer their time for agencies such as our game & fish, parks and public safety departments work hundreds of thousands of hours every year and save taxpayers millions of dollars. Building upon this spirit of service I'm proud of a new addition to our state's 211 on-line systems called "give help." which connects Arizonians with opportunities to serve. Arizonians could now you go to az211.gov to donate resources or volunteer time to their communities and their state. We must also recognize the inspiring service of the men and women of the Arizona National Guard. More than 6,000 of them have served in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, some on as many as three tours of duty. The sacrifice of these guard members and their families is the highest example of service to our communities, our state and our country. It is by working together and by giving a greater measure of ourselves that we will change the direction of our state and our nation. Secretary of State Brewer answering the call to serve means taking on a major unexpected role. I appreciate the duties and responsibilities that she will assume if I am confirmed as secretary of homeland security and she becomes Governor. I have and will continue to work closely with her on the transition of the Governorship. I ask that all of you in this chamber, Republicans and Democrats alike, join with her in the spirit of service to move our state forward. For me, the call to serve in these difficult times means that I will leave Arizona soon and if I'm confirmed will take on a new and demanding role working with our new president to protect our nation. It is an honor to be asked to serve in this way but it is also bittersweet. I want to thank Arizonians for giving me their confidence and allowing me the privilege to lead our state for the past six years. I want to thank my staff and my cabinet for all they've achieved. I want to thank my family and friends who's stood by me. Leaving is very difficult but I believe the post our new president has asked me to fill is critical to the safety of Arizonians and to all Americans. And I will do my utmost there as I have done here. And I hope one day to return to this state that I love. In the meantime, there's much that I will miss. I'll miss early mornings on my balconies smelling orange blossoms as I read the paper. I'll miss spring training. I'll even miss the dry heat. Above all, I will miss the wonderful people of this state. I grew up in the west and I've lived here nearly all of my life. I'm a westerner. Arizona is my home. And while these are arduous times and the tasks that lie ahead won't be easy, I trust that when I return home, I will find an Arizona that could continue to build its long-term future, an Arizona that's realized even more than what it could be. I ask that you keep me in your thoughts and prayers just as I will keep you in mine. Thank you for your attention today and thank you for your service to and belief in Arizona. Thank you very much.

Ted Simons:
Shortly after the Governor's address, Republican leadership offered its response.

Bob Burns:
We have a super challenge in front of us with the deficit we're facing and we need to obviously get to work on that and so starting tomorrow, we're going to start what we're calling a summit in the senate and a boot camp over in the house and we're going to start addressing this budget problem that we have so that is the major issue. Obviously if you look at the deficit, that is it. And so that's our plan of action.

Reporter #1:
So what do you think of the speech?

Bob Burns:
Well, I think it was a nice farewell speech and I think it's probably counterproductive for us to get into critiquing that speech at this point. We need to move forward and we're going to be working with the next Governor, Jan Brewer -- we've been working with her already. So we need to continue to do that.

Reporter #1:
Are you going to heed the advice she had on protecting certain things in the budget?

Bob Burns:
Well, I think the issues we agree with we'll work on. those that we don't, we won't, I suspect, but, you know, there's been others in this body, I think the speaker has addressed the issue of the referendum and initiative process in the past. I think that's an issue that's high on his list and so I would probably yield to him to answer that specific area.

Kirk Adams:
I just want to first off say this is a great day for the new members, particularly the legislature. Fun and games end today. Tomorrow morning, we get to work. Like senate president said, we have a busy schedule this week as relates to the budget. there's a press release you should have now that shows you the members of the two panels that we will have later he this week to discuss how other organizations are managing their budget short falls and we look forward starting tomorrow morning to getting going with a running start.

Reporter #2:
Mr. Speaker, what do you make of her plea to lower the number of signatures required of the initiatives to make the ballot and increase the vote threshold you folks need to refer measures to the ballot?

Kirk Adams:
Really the substance of the Governor's speech is nothing more than curiosity value at this point. We'll begin the session fresh tomorrow. That's certainly the initiative system. It's certainly an area that's been legislated in the past before in the house particularly and we'll move forward on those kinds of legislations as the body dictates.

Reporter #3:
Let's talk to the other half of that. Do you think it should be harder for you people to take things to the ballot? Should you raise that from the simple majority to 2/3?

Kirk Adams:
Well, I know that that was somewhat of a throw-away line today in the speech. I think when you look at the initiative referendum process, there are a lot of things that we have to do and whatever is done has to be part of a comprehensive package. Whether or not that particular item is part of it is something that we'll have to wait and see.

Ted Simons:
Joining us now to give you their impressions of the Governor's address, Stan Barnes of Copper State Consulting and a former Republican legislator and Pete Rios, Pinal County Supervisor and a long-time Democratic legislator. Pete, we'll start with you. Your thoughts on the speech.

Pete Rios:
I think given the Governor's situation and the fact she's accepted a higher role in government and is going to the federal government, I think she did a darn good job, because I think we all have to remember one thing. This is one of the most popular Governors at the state of Arizona. If you look at her ratings year after year, people rated Janet Napolitano very high. Today she tried to give us a message about continuing to invest in the future and even though we're having hard financial difficult times, I think we still need to keep our eye on the ball. I think she basically did a good as job as she could have done given the situation.

Ted Simons:
Stan, thoughts?

Stan Barnes:
This is a fun topic. She's in this blink of an eye between realities, between being Governor of our beloved state and leader of a cabinet post for this new president and how to pull this off in that moment is a work of art. I'm not sure it really mattered is one of my reactions to it there was a lot of members on the floor. Maybe even on both parties that said why is this all happening? We all know she's really not going to be the Governor. As you saw from Speaker Adams when asked, he said something very polite, he could have said, well, I didn't even take any notes because what she says doesn't matter anymore is what he could have said. That's the way politics is. The hand in the bucket of water theory and no sooner is she out of Arizona and a new Governor takes over that the entire dynamic changes but the mood in the room was polite and interested. The energy was low. Enthusiasm both from her and the floor members from I was looking at the set was low really.

Ted Simons:
It seemed odd. The whole situation seemed a little odd. Your thoughts?

Pete Rios:
I think it was odd because what you had there in that chamber was Republicans basically asking themselves, what are you doing here? Should this not be the Governor to be Jan Brewer? And Democrats kind of feeling like, oh my God, we're losing the person that has really made state government effective. We're losing the person that gave Democrats a chair, a seat at the table during negotiations. And I think that's why it was odd, because most Democrats were kind of -- I can't say depressed but they weren't very happy about seeing our good Governor leave.

Stan Barnes:
It's not a one-for-one comparison but imagine if George Bush were giving the state of the union address right now but we all know Barack Obama is coming in and so it's kind of like that there's honor for the office. There's honor for her service and there's an amazement an Arizonian is going to be in the cabinet.

Ted Simons:
You use the Bush comparison to a slight degree here. You're talking about a Governor that was elected, reelected by a considerable amount, a considerable margin here leaving. It's not as though the voters said, "we've had enough of you. You're gone." and she said, "I'm leaving as a call to serve." Lawmakers haven't been given a mandate to really change much, have they?

Stan Barnes:
Fair enough. That's part of the flux the state is in. what now? What now? There was a mandate for a Democratic Governor that espoused the policies that Janet Napolitano espoused. Now she's gone. Jan Brewer is taking over. That's her mirror opposite in many ways. I think things are going to evolve right in front of our eyes. Pete and I were talking off camera for a moment. There wasn't even a twinkle of emotion in her voice as she was personalizing it and giving her good-bye.

Pete Rios:
But I kind of suspect, Ted, that the majority of the people in Arizona would want Governor to be Brewer to continue some of the policies that Governor Napolitano had initiated, specifically when it pertains to full-day kindergarten. I think that's a very popular program. I know some legislative leaders have targeted that when it comes to the universities and the stimulus package, I mean, what the Governor was saying is this is part of what could right Arizona, put it back on the right road. Let's go through with it. Because we need a lot of infrastructure in our universities. That stimulus package provides jobs. So I think a lot of people still want Governor to be Brewer to follow some of those priorities that Napolitano had.

Ted Simons:
And that phrase "call to serve" which was used repeatedly. Obviously, she was called to serve. You look at the lawmakers out there and you say, you've been called to serve as well. Don't drop the ball, in her way of looking at things, do not slow. Do not go backward. We need to move forward. A number of lines. Arizona is a young dynamic state, primed for success. These sorts of things. It wasn't a loud plea but a pretty clear message.

Stan Barnes:
She wanted to convey that although she knows it may fall on many deaf ears. I also thought that rhetoric was made contextual, if you will, with the state of the economy. it felt like this -- I'm called to serve here, you're called to serve here, the next man is called to serve here," that felt like to me when I heard her say it, her way of touching on the strange economic times and the uncertainty we're in and the need for the citizenry to keep the faith and to step in and do things to make everything work again. I mean, I -- it's not as Roosevelt did when he took over back in 1932 or whenever it was in the 30's but it was something like that. They were in difficult times. Everyone is going to serve in some degree.

Ted Simons:
What you got out of it, Pete, as well? The call to serve message was repeated often throughout the address.

Pete Rios:
But I think another twist to that is call to serve means to you Republican majority. To you Republican Governor, because now you control everything. It means don't hurt the vulnerable populations of the state. Don't hurt the school children. Don't hurt programs like Kidscare, health programs that brings in federal dollars. 3-1 to ensure that young children get health care services. And I think some of that call to serve meant let's serve. Let's not do damage or harm to the public.

Ted Simons:
Stan, there was one to quote from the address that this legislature, if it cuts classroom spending, people will recognize it as a willful and unwise choice. Sounds like a bit of a threat there.

Stan Barnes:
I heard that loud and clear. I think she meant that as a very serious point in her address. that was written purposefully to lay down a marker if you will that this thing is -- in -- in the worst circumstance, in the stereo typical circumstance, she may believe or some in the Democratic activists may believe some Republicans will dismantle everything that was done in the last six years and that was her marker on the bottom line.

Ted Simons:
Again, she sounded like she had things she wanted to protect but eventually, Pete, things are going to have to get cut and things are going to have to be sacrificed. What's the mood? I mean, will lawmakers look at this address and say, have a nice time in Washington? Here we come with the ax? What are they going to do?

Pete Rios:
I think that's probably the reaction you're going to get from most of the Republican caucus in the House and in the Senate. Thank you very much. Have a great life in D.C. But we've got to take care of business and they're going to bring out the ax and start chomping. I think the Democrats are going to try to say, slow it down. Let's use the scalpel. If we can't get there, we'll keep cutting. Let's not whack the whole tree from the trunk. What I would advise the legislature to look at is across-the-board cuts. Right now, we're only looking at certain areas. Most of the areas are the social services, education, universities, and community colleges. We not look at the prisons or law enforcement. I think we need to look at everything across the board, because the cuts have to be that deep.

Stan Barnes:
I got a sense -- an interesting comment from a legislator that was sitting near me. He said, "What's the magic answer she's talking about?" she ended up saying on, "we in trouble but we can preserve this and that and the other thing and we can get out of this," boy, I'll tell you what. That doesn't pay the bills is what Republicans are saying. That kind of nice, happy talk doesn't pay the bills when the state is percentage wise in as bad shape as the famous California position. Worse than any legislator living today has had to deal with in terms of a budget deficit so many -- so in many ways, it's good timing for Governor Napolitano. She's got an answer, she says is plausible but it doesn't have to prove itself. She's going and that answer will be used as a doorstop in the speaker's office never to be read and the new Governor and the new leadership are going to set agenda.

Ted Simons:
It sounds like you have the happy talk on one side and you have the hanging-on-every-word on the other side somewhere in the middle you're saying perhaps across the board, I've heard go back to 2006 budget levels which, again, department of corrections is saying we simply can't do those sorts of things. Secretary of State Brewer on the program was saying she wants to look at things individually and she doesn't want to make a meat cleave to them and that's the way she presented it. Is this happy talk from the administration or is it basically now that we're in front of it, we're going to cut it.

Pete Rios:
There's a couple of ways to look at Governor Brewer's comments. If she decides to run in 2010 to be governor, she has to be careful with what she does with this year's budget and next year's budget. That'll either make her or break her when I say look at everything across the board and then people want specifics and I say, look at corrections as well. And people say, well, we can't let them out. I'm not advocating that you can consider alternatives to incarceration. We spend millions and millions of dollars in warehousing inmates. We can look at alternatives with ankle bracelets, with intensive probation services for those inmates that are not your violent rapists, murderers but maybe dui inmates.

Ted Simons:
But does that play as well -- you're talking about opponents now coming out saying you're soft on crime. You're not locking up these people. What holds true? You soft on crime or cut education?

Stan Barnes:
The point you're making is that this is a political document as well as a policy document and there's not a lot of Republicans who are running the place who want the label of letting prisoners go free, even if they're in the circumstances that Pete is has described. No one wants to be known as someone who took a meat cleaver to the budget. Everyone wants to be known as thoughtful and having done right by the people of Arizona. The problem is of course, there's 90 different ways to get to that with 90 legislators and the clock is ticking. July 1 will be here before you know it which is the end of the fiscal year and the state only has so many options. What's not said very often -- I'm glad on your program to say it is that the legislature has its hands tied so tight in so many directions on budgeting; it's not like even if they had the votes they can simply take off giant percentages of state agencies. It's not even legal. They have to go back to voters to do that and, of course, that's out of cycle. We don't have time to go back to voters for the time we have now. It's the working -- that's not an overstatement we have to make big decisions.

Ted Simons:
I found it fascinating she addressed the referendum process. A couple of things she really wanted this last go around didn't make the ballot for different reasons. Were you surprised that was as big an aspect of her final address as it was?

Pete Rios:
I wasn't surprised because when you look at the issue of transportation and finding a revenue source to build our highways and freeways and that was taken off the ballot by the courts that was a revenue generator it created jobs. If we could have had that on the ballot -- because many suspected the people would have supported that revenue source. I can understand why she put that on the board or on the table again and then she also put the issue of state land reform, trust land. Again, that gives tools to the land department so that we can move more of the land but have plans that go with it.

Ted Simons:
What I was addressing is her looking at the process itself. Fraud in the process. A number of signatures you need. These sorts of paying signature gatherers. These sorts of things. I was surprised that got the play it did. Were you surprised?

Stan Barnes:
Not really. It's because as it turns out, that's really one of the few issues that the Republicans and the present Governor, Napolitano, actually agree on. everyone agrees that there needs to be some sort of reform in the initiative process but, you know, after that no one really agrees on what the reform ought to be so strangely enough, that was one of the better applause lines in which there weren't many, because for the most part, Republicans were sitting on their hands and the applause lines were led by the Democratic leadership on the house but the -- there's more commonality on that issue than you might think. It's not a perfect system. Everyone could see the flaws in it.

Ted Simons:
That'll be one of the things that the incoming Brewer administration would look at with the Napolitano administration and say main this is something we want to move forward. The whole concept as we discussed earlier of an obligation to continue the ideas of a popular-elected Governor got the attention to someone at the capitol today whom we talked with and someone you might recognize.

Pete Rios:
Ok, who was that?

Rebecca Rios:
Well, I'm not looking forward to it. I mean, clearly she's done a fantastic job for Arizona. Um, you know, the nation's gain will be Arizona's loss. I think it'll be important for our new Governor to take into account that a lot of initiatives that Governor Napolitano was successful in getting through was with the overwhelming support of most Arizonians. Anyone coming in and filling her shoes needs to be mindful if they try undo that, they're, in essence, undoing the will of the people in the state of Arizona.

Ted Simons:
Ok, you have social services, education, and health care, all of these things. The Governor has one idea. The legislature has another. Do they even come close to the middle or is it just pretty much we're in charge, let's go?

Stan Barnes:
They're closer to the middle than you might think. Let me state on the record. I'd rather be on the air with Senator Rios, the one who is serving, than this one. [Laughter] it's easier to solve this mess when the party is aligned, the executive branch and the legislature branch but only a little. In this case, our Democratic members and the house and senate have very little incentive to help the Republican majorities figure out how to solve this problem and the Republican Governor. Partisanship does play at some level. We have to do what is right for the state of Arizona. Partisanship is the nature of our state and our government. With the Democratic Governor, there's blame you can pass around. It's different now.

Ted Simons:
Again as Stan was saying, the goalie is no longer standing in front of the net. It's an open net now for the GOP. legislature. New set of concerns? New set of problems when you have that control?

Pete Rios:
Yeah, I think you're going to have that exactly because the Democrats both in the house and in the senate, they want to help the Republican majorities in both chambers and the Governor trying to resolve this but not by destroying programs. And they want to be at the table but they want to be more cautious. and the fear right now by both caucuses, Democratic caucuses is they won't even be invited to the table at all so they do want to participate and my hope, again, with Governor to be Brewer running for her own term in 2010 is that she would want to be inclusive and bring the Democrats and ask them to help resolve some of the issues.

Stan Barnes:
Look at it this way. Governor Napolitano governed from the -- she governed in the center left. Governor Brewer will govern from the center right. There's a lot of room there. She's going to have a pragmatic centrist street. It'll take that to get over the hump. The question will be, the Republicans do it together -- excuse me, just they, the Republicans? Will that be the way it plays out? Or will the Republicans fracture and will Democratic members have to provide votes and will policies shift to accommodate that phenomenon?

Ted Simons:
That's what Pete just mentioned. The policy of Democrats. Will they be at the table? That's a valid concern.

Stan Barnes:
It's very valid. There's some buzz already that Representative Gallardo who decided not to swear himself in after just being elected, one reason he didn't is because it's no longer fun to be there as a minority member when the big sister in the Governor's chair is going to Washington and no one will invite to you decide how anything happens. A lot of Arizonians will agree that the action is on the vote on the house floor. The action is really everything that leads up to that point. Democratic members may not play the big role depending on how Republicans hold together.

Pete Rios:
There's another factor here though that we haven't touched upon that there is such a thing as a few moderate Republicans in both chambers. moderate Republicans may be just a hand full but may be just enough to deny the 31 votes if some of the cuts are so draconian that they don't want to be part of it that may force the Russell -- and I like you dearly, Russell Pierce, but the Russell Pierces of the world and the Representative Cavanaughs to move more to the center.

Stan Barnes:
The unseen but real accounting walls are up. The money reality is such that everyone is going to get real pragmatic real fast because philosophy will start to melt away as we look at trying to find votes to keep the state, following its own constitution and out of bankruptcy. It's that bad. It is red alert bad down there financially.

Ted Simons:
It is and yet we keep hearing there's a stimulus package somewhere off in the wilderness that may come on into town any day now and might help the state economy upwards of $1 billion. Obviously it's a one-time-kind-of-a-situation. Is the ringing of hands and gnashing of death premature down there? Other aspects of the budget?

Pete Rios:
If there is that, it's something that the Governor is privy to. Governor Napolitano. I don't know that that information is out amongst legislators because I've not heard anything with respect to relief around the corner from the legislators. Even if there is and it's one-time money, I can hear my Republican colleagues say, well, that doesn't help resolve the structural problem we have in the state so they're not going to count it for purposes of 2010. I mean it's as if it never came. You're going to solve some immediate problems but they won't consider that for 2010.

Ted Simons:
Does that change the dynamic if the stimulus money comes in?

Stan Barnes:
I think all it really does is to put a tourniquet on the very bad bleeding that's happening. It is one time. Republicans, he's right, won't see it as money they can count on year after year as they shouldn't. The natural instinct to pair down government from a Republican perspective in tough times is going to be the dominant factor. We might have to have the federal money to make our end of the year coffers balance. Without it, no one really knows how it's going to balance. That's the scary part. No one really knows how this is going to play out. It's so bad that it's hard to project how it's going to play out.

Ted Simons:
From a Democratic standpoint, from a leader, a past leader now, how do you tell lawmakers right now you with "D's" after their names that they can be relevant? Here's what you do, says Pete Rios. What do you do?

Pete Rios:
They are relevant but they have to stay united and they have to reach across the aisle and talk to some of the so-called moderate Republicans especially as we get into the budgetary process and I understand that this process is going to be more open, that they want to do everything in open hearings in their appropriations committee and I think they can reach across and get enough votes. If the cuts are too draconian, I think they can get some assistance and if nothing else, leverage it to the point where you can get some of my conservative to the right of Attila the Hun members moved a little bit this way.

Ted Simons:
Conversely from the Republican side, how do you tell voters, whether it's the morning paper or what they see on the screen, however they get their news, where it says legislature/prison budget, all sorts of other budgets, whatever, how do you explain this is good for Arizonians?

Stan Barnes:
Thankfully from the Republican leadership point of view, a lot of that is being done. There's not an Arizonian now that thinks times are good. Most everyone understands it's bad. There's a sense that tough decisions have to be made down there in the legislature with due respect to Pete, I think the Democratic members will have to really raise their hands loudly to be a part of the action. I mean, the senate so united that Bob Burns could make himself the Rules Committee Chairman which hasn't been done since Pete Rios himself did it back in the day and for that matter, the House as well. Kirk Adams has a tremendous many of good will in his caucus. Both of these caucuses are as united and enthusiastic as I've seen it in years.

Ted Simons:
We'll stop it right there. Gentlemen, thank you for joining us. Thank you for joining us on "Horizon."

Pete Rios:
Thank you

Stan Barnes:
Thank you.

Ted Simons:
Tomorrow, we'll hear from Kirk Adams and bob burns have to say about the new session. They'll talk about their plans for the new budget Tuesday at 7:00 on "Horizon." Wednesday, we'll hear from Democratic legislators about what we can expect in the 2009 legislative session. That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening.

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