Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

January 12, 2005


Host: Michael Grant

Arizona Department of Water Resources


  • Water conservation and Colorado River water revitalizing the Arizona department of water resources were topics Governor Napolitano spoke about in her state of the state address. Herb Guenther, Director, State Department of Water Resources, spoke to "Horizon" on the issue.
Guests:
  • Linda Aguirre - Senate minority leader
  • Phil Lopes - House minority leader


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon," democratic leaders from the state house and Senate talk about the governor's state of the state address as well as their agenda for the 2005 legislative session. Plus water conservation, Colorado River water revitalizing the Arizona department of water resources. Also were topics the governor spoke about. Those stories next on "Horizon."

>> Michael Grant:
Good evening. I'm Michael Grant. Those stories in just a moment, first, looking for places to cut spending, leaders of the house appropriations committees have their sights set on AHCCCS, Arizona's state Medicaid program. Republican representatives Russell Pearce of Mesa and Tom Boone of Glendale say they want Arizona voters to repeal their 2000 decision to expand AHCCCS coverage. That voter initiative allowed anyone earning below the federal poverty level to apply for AHCCCS. More than a million people are projected to be in the program this year and next year the cost to Arizona taxpayers is expected to exceed a billion dollars.

>> Michael Grant:
The vice Mayor of Phoenix Peggy Bilsten joined the relief effort to help victims of the tsunami in south Asia. Bilsten arrived at Sky Harbor before Dawn today on her first leg of a journey to Sumatra. She was joined at the airport by Mayor Phil Gordon, Bilsten will be travelling with a local partner of food for the hungry, a nonprofit Phoenix-based international relief group. Sheila lives on an island of Sumatra that the city has adopted, a place just 93 miles from the earthquake epicenter. The vice mayor says she wants to offer hope to the people and to find out how we can help. Local businesses are funding the relief trip.

>> Michael Grant:
Governor Janet Napolitano delivered an optimistic state of the state address on Monday and the 2005 legislative session kicked off to a busy start. Projected battles are brewing over spending on certain programs, among them might be funding full-day kindergarten and expansion of K-12 education. The governor also spoke about some other issues, typically credited to a Republican agenda such as the importance of attracting business to Arizona through tax relief. In a moment democratic leaders of the house and Senate join us to talk about some of those issues. First Merry Lucero gives us a look at some of the post speech spin.

>> Merry Lucero:
After her speech the governor briefly allowed herself to be surrounded by jostling reporters, some of the questions focussed on how she would get the conservative legislature to go along with some of her agenda.

>> Janet Napolitano:
By incredible powers of persuasion. No, you know, it's always a process, and it requires an appreciation of the different roles of the executive and legislative branch. It requires, I think, us to keep pushing, to keep saying we're not going to go back, we're going to keep moving Arizona forward, we're not going to retreat on all day kindergarten. We're going to move Arizona forward. We're not going to retreat on Arizona universities. We will not give up the issue of state trust land reform because it's comma indicated. We're going to keep moving Arizona forward. I'm here as long as they want to be here and I will meet with them any time they want to meet.

>> Merry Lucero:
House and Senate Republican leaders were positive but predictably critical.

>> 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 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 dollars.

>> Merry Lucero:
But much of the governor's proposed spending is for programs that both Republicans and Democrats support.

>> Pete Rios:
She addressed issues with business that's of interest to the business community having to do with doing away with the personal taxes on -- personal property taxes on businesses. That's something that they have want for quite some time and she's willing to come to the table and work with them on that issue. So I think she covered a lot of point that are near and dear to the hearts of Democrats and near and dear to the hearts of Republicans. And that's what the governor is, and that's what the governor is supposed to do, address all issues, regardless of the party affiliation.

>> Michael Grant:
joining me now to talk more about the speech and the 2005 legislative session from their perspective, Senate minority leader senator Linda Aguirre and house minority leader Phil Lopes. Nice to see both of you. We had a governor talking about balanced budget and tax cuts for businesses and those kind of things. Made the Republicans feel warm and fuzzy. Senator, how indict make you feel?

>> Linda Aguirre:
Actually, I was endorsed by the chamber of commerce so it made me feel real good. We had a pre-briefing with the governor and she went over some of the proposals she was going to be putting in her budget. One of the thing I think our constituents don't realize is Democrats to step up to the plate and support business. I always have and a lot of my colleagues always have. Somehow we've gotten labeled anti-business, you know, we don't care about small business in Arizona. I know many of my members do and now this governor, as a matter of fact in the past, president Clinton when he was president, did an initiative to make Democrats more pro active in business. I think she's following that course and I real excited that business drives this state. It is our meat and potatoes on our tables, and as Democrats, we're ready to help her do that.

>> Michael Grant:
Well, in fact, representative Lopes, the comment has been made somewhat analogous to president Clinton that the '94 Republican takeover of Congress forced him more to the center and some people are saying, yeah, it's done the same thing to Janet Napolitano. What do you think?

>> Phil Lopes:
Well, I think the difference with the governor is that when she talks about business tax cuts, for example, it's accompanied by a benefit to society, not simply cutting taxes for cutting taxes' purposes, for example. But she feels strongly that by adjusting taxes on business that's going to attract new business or keep businesses here, and I think that's the difference, the nuance, that it has a been fit to -- to Arizona.

>> Michael Grant:
We got the money, though? I mean the JLBC cut loose its numbers, says we're about $500 million in the hole. I understand that different people will debate those numbers differently, but a-- differently, but assuming numbers are tight and you want to do all day K, and assuming you want to do other things, do you have the bucks to, for example, repeal the business personal property tax?

>> Phil Lopes:
Well, I think we need to wait and see the governor's budget that comes out on Friday. She's required to have a balanced budget. We're required -- the constitution requires a balanced budget. And it will be balanced. So I think we're going to debate over what the revenues are and the Republicans will say that we need to pay cash for school construction. We disagree about that. Republicans will say that we need to put more and more money in a mattress instead of using it to invest in programs and the future of Arizona, and that's where the difference is going to be. But we've got -- we're required to have a balanced budget, we'll have one.

>> Michael Grant:
Senator, what's your position over there in the Senate? I mean, you're down to 12, yet -- you lost one of the caucus and you also lost a couple of Republican allies. In fact we've joked on this program that Republicans might have finally gained control of the state Senate, but is your position considerably weaker than it was the past couple of years?

>> Linda Aguirre:
Michael, I don't think so. We've established roles and we've established -- I have a wonderful working relationship with Ken Bennett. Many members of the Republican side of the aisle, a lot of my colleagues, we all have established those kind of relationships with members. So it depends on the issues. Now, are there going to be issues that are clearly Republican driven and we're not going to be able to vote on any of that? There may be. We have a little bit more of a partisan edge now to it in the Senate than ever before that I've been there. But I think overall we've always worked well together. The president is going to continue to meet with the Democrats on a weekly basis so we can discuss issues and bills. He hasn't changed his protocol whatsoever. So are we low on numbers, yes. I think eventually we'll be at the table discussing all the issues with them, with patients, and waiting until they decide what direction they want to go. Then we'll be there.

>> Michael Grant:
Over in the House of Representatives, you guys picked up a couple.

>> Phil Lopes:
We picked up two seats.

>> Michael Grant:
But it's still fairly lopsided. How are the communications between the caucuses, if any, over in the House of Representatives?

>> Phil Lopes:
Unlike the Senate, we have a whole new set of players in the house, and Speaker Weiers has assured us all that we will be at the table and we will be involved in everything, appeared I have no reason to disbelieve that. Quite to the contrary, his history is, from his previous term as speaker, he involved the Democrats. So we fully expect that to happen.

>> Michael Grant:
He has the reputation. That's true. Let me go to a few specific proposals here. We've talked a lot about the budget issues over the past couple you will of days. One of the things the governor talked about was state trust land reform. That one knocked on the door late in the session last year but didn't fly. How do you rank its -- number one, is it a good idea and number two, how do you rank its chances this time around?

>> Phil Lopes:
State land reform is necessary. There's no question about that. And what the governor is proposing is that we use the consensus that was reached last time among the stakeholders as a starting point. And look at the issue of, for example, of the -- of the adequacy of funding for the State Land Department to assure that it can, in fact, do its job. So that will be the starting point. But we anticipate that something will happen.

>> Michael Grant:
Actually, it was a fairly broad-based coalition that brought that to the table, the Arizona education association was actively in support of it, certainly some environmental groups, other development business interests. How duty prospects for that look in the Senate?

>> Linda Aguirre:
Again, I think they're pretty good. We've got members that have worked on it, Senator Connell, Senator Arzberger, and they've got all the knowledge and I think they're ready to start work on it again.

>> Michael Grant:
What about the proposal to continue the five-year phase-in of all-day K, the feel that I'm getting is that there might be tinkering with that but the legislature is not going to reverse course.

>> Linda Aguirre:
Michael, I would hope we wouldn't reverse course. I worked on that. That was the legislation I carried for the governor last year and we negotiated that as part of the budget, and what I had to give up was phase II and phase III. We had all three phases worked out, the money was set aside, and the money was in the budget. So now it's just going back and reissuing those funds. I think right now, as people start looking at the surpluses and the amount of money we have in there. And if we just don't -- like Phil said, we don't pay $300 million for school construction and just stay to budget on those issues the way we're paying for them now, we'll have the money to do full-day kindergarten. I do know this, my constituency, and Arizona has spoken, they like this program and I think it would be fool hard if the Republicans were take it even one step backward. It's an investment in our future, in our children and I think Arizona constituencies out there want the program to go forward. I hear from people all the time, whether I'm at my hairdressers or I'm at the grocery store, I'm not kidding this, this is a hot button issue for Arizonans and they love education.

>> Michael Grant:
Are you taking your kids to the hairdresser?

>> Linda Aguirre:
No -- those people have children that are in kindergarten or going to be going into kindergarten next year. I just heard it this morning as a matter of fact.

>> Michael Grant:
I asked Speaker Weiers the all-day K question, I think it was yesterday. He was a little more tepid in his response. Do you see a strong movement in the house to try to turn that around or not?

>> Phil Lopes:
I think the opposition to all-day K is coming from two directions. One is those folks who feel we don't have enough money. And I think we have to make the argument that it's an investment and we'll find the money. However, there's another perspective on the objection to all-day K, and that's simply questioning the value of all-day K.

>> Michael Grant:
Efficacy.

>> Phil Lopes:
That's right. What good --

>> Michael Grant:
That is Huppenthal's --

>> Phil Lopes:
That's correct. The problem that those of us who support all day K have with that position is that the overwhelming, as lawyers say, the preponderance of the evidence, is in favor of preschool kinds of activities. They make a difference in children's ability to read and write. Those first 3 years to read and write, those are building blocks so you can go on to learn. So it's critical.

>> Michael Grant:
I would hope we would be tracking data in the phase-in period to see if you can put that debate to rest one way or the other. Listen, I've touched on several subjects, but from your standpoint, what do you consider to be a key issue that if not addressed successfully in this session you'll be disappointed?

>> Linda Aguirre:
Well, full-day kindergarten is the issue for me. I'm an educator and worked on it real hard and I think that's the driving force for me right now is to get that second phase and third phase taken care of. I would like to -- now that this new headline came out on 204, that's real troubling --

>> Michael Grant:
The AHCCCS, put that back on the ballot, the eligibility issue --

>> Linda Aguirre:
We would be sending Arizona again into the dark ages. You just can't do that to people.

>> Michael Grant:
Why not let the people vote on it again?

>> Linda Aguirre:
Well, what you do when you do that, Michael, is there are people in the system now, and do you stop everything in its tracks so no one can go forward? We have two-thirds matches from the federal government. What's the federal government going to say, we're not going to give you your money. You get $2.60 for every dollar we spend. Are they going to stop that? I think you jeopardize a lot when you put something like that on the ballot.

>> Michael Grant:
Any other issues that we have not touched on tonight or touched on in the governor's speech that you consider a priority?

>> Phil Lopes:
I agree with senator Aguirre regarding the AHCCCS program. The business about a mandate from Prop 200, I think we're certainly committed to trying hard to not let any of those things go forward. The governor's call for the federal government to do something on the border, we certainly would support that.

>> Michael Grant:
Oh, in other words, there's been some discussion on "Protect Arizona Now" perhaps legislatively expanding it to other public benefit programs.

>> Phil Lopes:
That's correct.

>> Michael Grant:
You would be opposed --

>> Phil Lopes:
We would be opposed to that. Because it's bordering on the xenophobic now. We can't go any further with that. It's just not in the interests of the State of Arizona in our judgment.

>> Michael Grant:
Representative Lopes, thank you very much for joining us. Certainly wish you the best of luck in the session. Need it out there in legislative land. Senator Aguirre, thanks to you for joining us.

>> Linda Aguirre:
You're welcome, Michael, and as the governor said, yes, we can.

>> Michael Grant:
Yes, we can, monitor water conditions, revitalize Arizona's Department of Water Resources, long term conservation --those were also subjects addressed by the governor. Afterwards the governor spoke about her emergency water management authority and DWR's role in that. In a moment we'll talk more but first Merry Lucero looks at the recommendations of the governor's drought task force.

>> Janet Napolitano:
I think what we've been wanting is the ability in DWR to on a science-based method give us the appropriate triggers for when that authority needs to be exercised but the governor always -- ultimately always has emergency authority. But it needs to be informed better than it is now, which is why you want the mandatory reporting and monitoring and so forth.

>> Merry Lucero:
The course of water conservation began in 2003 when Governor Napolitano launched her drought task force. The Arizona department of water resources provides leadership for the task force, stressing rural communities' potable water supply. The task force issued recommendations with water conservation being the key element. The recommendations are... create a straight-wide conservation office to implement new conservation programs. Secure a dedicated funding source for the conservation office and its programs. Expand the reduce your use conservation campaign. Adopt water conservation ABCs for residential and large water users. And encourage the use of the best available technologies. Create conservation incentives. Provide technical assistance with things like leak detection. Create a state-sponsored conservation website. Create voluntary benchmarks and goals at local levels. Continue and expand existing education programs by working with school districts, education centers and local communities. Develop partnerships to provide the funding and buy-in for establishing new conservation programs. Create a rural water conservation systems development fund. And create a water conservation advisory board appointed by the department of water resources director.

>> Michael Grant:
Joining me now is Herb Guenther. He is director of the state's department of water resources and hasn't been on the program for a while. Herb, good to see you.

>> Herb Guenther:
Likewise, Michael good to see you.

>> Michael Grant:
We heard the governor talk about revitalizing the department of water resources. How does DWR need to be revitalized?

>> Herb Guenther:
Through the tight budget times we have been slowly giving, giving, giving, so we have no more to give, and consequently, we've suffered. Of course, we continue to grow exponentially and we need to be able to compete with the other fish in the pond and that's our other basin' states both in the lower basin' and upper basin'.

>> Michael Grant:
Give me the key functions, Herb, that as a result of budget cuts or otherwise that the department should be performing but is not performing that impact us and our water needs, water planning, water detection -- I mean, what is it we're short on? Governor me a couple-three examples.

>> Herb Guenther:
Okay. First is, within the active management areas we're unable to process our forms and our permits in a timely manner, which is very important to cities and to prospective developers. That has become very labored. Secondly, we have -- we need -- a definite need for additional information in rural Arizona as to what kind of resources are available to them, not only to meet their current demands but to meet their ever-growing demand. That is something that has suffered because of budget cuts on a regular basis. Lastly, enforcement with what little enforcement authority we have. It goes for wanting because we don't have either the people or the money to do that enforcement.

>> Michael Grant:
And what does the DWR enforce? If someone sinks a well improperly, its the department of water resources that goes out to enforce that and say, shut that down --

>> Herb Guenther:
We don't have true police authority, but we do all the licensing. We do all the registration. We do all of the permitting. And all of that, if you don't enforce against those that lack the licenses, lack the permits, obviously the public is at risk and consequently you still have to make a showing out there to keep people within the parameters of the existing law.

>> Michael Grant:
Governor also talked about fighting for our fair share of the Colorado River allocation. That's a subject we've touched on a couple, three times previously. Is that fight going to intensify in 2005?

>> Herb Guenther:
Well, it's continued to intensify. The more that the drought is prolonged and the more severe our deficit becomes, everyone begins to get very nervous, and that's our neighbors, neighbors to the west, to the northwest and to the north. The other six basin states are extremely nervous, especially those in the upper basin, because the lower basin does have the opportunity through the Colorado River compact to make a compact call in the event there's water short out of Lake Powell. We can make a call on reservoirs further up in the basin that are used for direct supply to cities like Denver.

>> Michael Grant:
You know, I did not realize that, as many times as I've delved into this some. I've always considered it an Arizona-California fight. So there is a lower basin, upper basin fight as well?

>> Herb Guenther:
Yeah, I think it's more a scuffle right now. We hope to avoid the fight. But --

>> Michael Grant:
No gunboats?

>> Herb Guenther:
No, not at this time. But we try to avoid -- we would avoid it at just about every cost trying to make a call on those reservoirs which the upper basin states are directly dependent. And the hydrology shows us right now that's very unlikely we would have to do that anywhere in the near future.

>> Michael Grant:
How important in that overall mix was the deal with the water banking deal with Nevada a few weeks back, one of the elements of which was Nevada essentially promising its aid in SUCOR to Arizona in protecting the respective state's position vis-a-vis the Colorado?

>> Herb Guenther:
As you well know, it's always better to have friends than it is to have enemies. We've always considered Nevada a friend. What we're trying to do is help them through a very difficult time in their growth while we can afford to help them, and in return, we expect some assistance from them as well. What we did was amend an existing contract from 2001 to firm up that water banking agreement in exchange for that they reduced the amount that they could call on in any given year. And were willing to pay a sum that would ensure us against drought so much that we would never impact an Arizona water user by that banking agreement.

>> Michael Grant:
One last subject... water planning in rural communities, what's the problem and how do we fix it?

>> Herb Guenther:
Well, planning -- the first thing is, we'd like to get everybody working together since we all basically swim in the same pond. Live in the same desert. We'd like everybody to have a drought contingency plan. We would like to go out and help people put together a drought contingency plan, especially water providers. At the same time, we would like everybody to think about how they're using their water and can they put it -- be more efficient in that use, because all the water we save there will go not only to their future needs, but our future growth as well. So we're establishing a statewide conservation office to assist people in developing drought conservation plans to be able to give them assistance in developing water supplies in addition to the current water supplies that might mitigate the effects of drought and help them in long-term planning issues. To that end we need good data. We are very shallow in our data in the rural resource world and we hope to be able to step up to that plate as well.

>> Michael Grant:
Herb Guenther, thanks very much. For a link to the state department of water resources to see transcripts of "Horizon," find out about upcoming topics, visit our website. That address is www.azpbs.org. Click "Horizon." Follow the links.

>> Mike Sauceda:
It's been more than 40 years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his famous speech in Washington. We'll discuss whether his dream is still more of a dream or more of a reality in Arizona. One thing that's definitely a reality is that we are in a drought despite all the recent rains in our state. We'll tell you about a drought conference held recently Thursday on "Horizon."

>> Michael Grant:
And tomorrow following "Horizon," stay tuned for "Horizonte." Thanks very much for joining us this evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

Democratic Legislative Leaders


  • Democratic leaders from the state house and Senate talk about the governor's state of the state address as well as their agenda for the 2005 legislative session.
Guests:
  • Linda Aguirre - Senate minority leader
  • Phil Lopes - House minority leader


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon," democratic leaders from the state house and Senate talk about the governor's state of the state address as well as their agenda for the 2005 legislative session. Plus water conservation, Colorado River water revitalizing the Arizona department of water resources. Also were topics the governor spoke about. Those stories next on "Horizon."

>> Michael Grant:
Good evening. I'm Michael Grant. Those stories in just a moment, first, looking for places to cut spending, leaders of the house appropriations committees have their sights set on AHCCCS, Arizona's state Medicaid program. Republican representatives Russell Pearce of Mesa and Tom Boone of Glendale say they want Arizona voters to repeal their 2000 decision to expand AHCCCS coverage. That voter initiative allowed anyone earning below the federal poverty level to apply for AHCCCS. More than a million people are projected to be in the program this year and next year the cost to Arizona taxpayers is expected to exceed a billion dollars.

>> Michael Grant:
The vice Mayor of Phoenix Peggy Bilsten joined the relief effort to help victims of the tsunami in south Asia. Bilsten arrived at Sky Harbor before Dawn today on her first leg of a journey to Sumatra. She was joined at the airport by Mayor Phil Gordon, Bilsten will be travelling with a local partner of food for the hungry, a nonprofit Phoenix-based international relief group. Sheila lives on an island of Sumatra that the city has adopted, a place just 93 miles from the earthquake epicenter. The vice mayor says she wants to offer hope to the people and to find out how we can help. Local businesses are funding the relief trip.

>> Michael Grant:
Governor Janet Napolitano delivered an optimistic state of the state address on Monday and the 2005 legislative session kicked off to a busy start. Projected battles are brewing over spending on certain programs, among them might be funding full-day kindergarten and expansion of K-12 education. The governor also spoke about some other issues, typically credited to a Republican agenda such as the importance of attracting business to Arizona through tax relief. In a moment democratic leaders of the house and Senate join us to talk about some of those issues. First Merry Lucero gives us a look at some of the post speech spin.

>> Merry Lucero:
After her speech the governor briefly allowed herself to be surrounded by jostling reporters, some of the questions focussed on how she would get the conservative legislature to go along with some of her agenda.

>> Janet Napolitano:
By incredible powers of persuasion. No, you know, it's always a process, and it requires an appreciation of the different roles of the executive and legislative branch. It requires, I think, us to keep pushing, to keep saying we're not going to go back, we're going to keep moving Arizona forward, we're not going to retreat on all day kindergarten. We're going to move Arizona forward. We're not going to retreat on Arizona universities. We will not give up the issue of state trust land reform because it's comma indicated. We're going to keep moving Arizona forward. I'm here as long as they want to be here and I will meet with them any time they want to meet.

>> Merry Lucero:
House and Senate Republican leaders were positive but predictably critical.

>> 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 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 dollars.

>> Merry Lucero:
But much of the governor's proposed spending is for programs that both Republicans and Democrats support.

>> Pete Rios:
She addressed issues with business that's of interest to the business community having to do with doing away with the personal taxes on -- personal property taxes on businesses. That's something that they have want for quite some time and she's willing to come to the table and work with them on that issue. So I think she covered a lot of point that are near and dear to the hearts of Democrats and near and dear to the hearts of Republicans. And that's what the governor is, and that's what the governor is supposed to do, address all issues, regardless of the party affiliation.

>> Michael Grant:
joining me now to talk more about the speech and the 2005 legislative session from their perspective, Senate minority leader senator Linda Aguirre and house minority leader Phil Lopes. Nice to see both of you. We had a governor talking about balanced budget and tax cuts for businesses and those kind of things. Made the Republicans feel warm and fuzzy. Senator, how indict make you feel?

>> Linda Aguirre:
Actually, I was endorsed by the chamber of commerce so it made me feel real good. We had a pre-briefing with the governor and she went over some of the proposals she was going to be putting in her budget. One of the thing I think our constituents don't realize is Democrats to step up to the plate and support business. I always have and a lot of my colleagues always have. Somehow we've gotten labeled anti-business, you know, we don't care about small business in Arizona. I know many of my members do and now this governor, as a matter of fact in the past, president Clinton when he was president, did an initiative to make Democrats more pro active in business. I think she's following that course and I real excited that business drives this state. It is our meat and potatoes on our tables, and as Democrats, we're ready to help her do that.

>> Michael Grant:
Well, in fact, representative Lopes, the comment has been made somewhat analogous to president Clinton that the '94 Republican takeover of Congress forced him more to the center and some people are saying, yeah, it's done the same thing to Janet Napolitano. What do you think?

>> Phil Lopes:
Well, I think the difference with the governor is that when she talks about business tax cuts, for example, it's accompanied by a benefit to society, not simply cutting taxes for cutting taxes' purposes, for example. But she feels strongly that by adjusting taxes on business that's going to attract new business or keep businesses here, and I think that's the difference, the nuance, that it has a been fit to -- to Arizona.

>> Michael Grant:
We got the money, though? I mean the JLBC cut loose its numbers, says we're about $500 million in the hole. I understand that different people will debate those numbers differently, but a-- differently, but assuming numbers are tight and you want to do all day K, and assuming you want to do other things, do you have the bucks to, for example, repeal the business personal property tax?

>> Phil Lopes:
Well, I think we need to wait and see the governor's budget that comes out on Friday. She's required to have a balanced budget. We're required -- the constitution requires a balanced budget. And it will be balanced. So I think we're going to debate over what the revenues are and the Republicans will say that we need to pay cash for school construction. We disagree about that. Republicans will say that we need to put more and more money in a mattress instead of using it to invest in programs and the future of Arizona, and that's where the difference is going to be. But we've got -- we're required to have a balanced budget, we'll have one.

>> Michael Grant:
Senator, what's your position over there in the Senate? I mean, you're down to 12, yet -- you lost one of the caucus and you also lost a couple of Republican allies. In fact we've joked on this program that Republicans might have finally gained control of the state Senate, but is your position considerably weaker than it was the past couple of years?

>> Linda Aguirre:
Michael, I don't think so. We've established roles and we've established -- I have a wonderful working relationship with Ken Bennett. Many members of the Republican side of the aisle, a lot of my colleagues, we all have established those kind of relationships with members. So it depends on the issues. Now, are there going to be issues that are clearly Republican driven and we're not going to be able to vote on any of that? There may be. We have a little bit more of a partisan edge now to it in the Senate than ever before that I've been there. But I think overall we've always worked well together. The president is going to continue to meet with the Democrats on a weekly basis so we can discuss issues and bills. He hasn't changed his protocol whatsoever. So are we low on numbers, yes. I think eventually we'll be at the table discussing all the issues with them, with patients, and waiting until they decide what direction they want to go. Then we'll be there.

>> Michael Grant:
Over in the House of Representatives, you guys picked up a couple.

>> Phil Lopes:
We picked up two seats.

>> Michael Grant:
But it's still fairly lopsided. How are the communications between the caucuses, if any, over in the House of Representatives?

>> Phil Lopes:
Unlike the Senate, we have a whole new set of players in the house, and Speaker Weiers has assured us all that we will be at the table and we will be involved in everything, appeared I have no reason to disbelieve that. Quite to the contrary, his history is, from his previous term as speaker, he involved the Democrats. So we fully expect that to happen.

>> Michael Grant:
He has the reputation. That's true. Let me go to a few specific proposals here. We've talked a lot about the budget issues over the past couple you will of days. One of the things the governor talked about was state trust land reform. That one knocked on the door late in the session last year but didn't fly. How do you rank its -- number one, is it a good idea and number two, how do you rank its chances this time around?

>> Phil Lopes:
State land reform is necessary. There's no question about that. And what the governor is proposing is that we use the consensus that was reached last time among the stakeholders as a starting point. And look at the issue of, for example, of the -- of the adequacy of funding for the State Land Department to assure that it can, in fact, do its job. So that will be the starting point. But we anticipate that something will happen.

>> Michael Grant:
Actually, it was a fairly broad-based coalition that brought that to the table, the Arizona education association was actively in support of it, certainly some environmental groups, other development business interests. How duty prospects for that look in the Senate?

>> Linda Aguirre:
Again, I think they're pretty good. We've got members that have worked on it, Senator Connell, Senator Arzberger, and they've got all the knowledge and I think they're ready to start work on it again.

>> Michael Grant:
What about the proposal to continue the five-year phase-in of all-day K, the feel that I'm getting is that there might be tinkering with that but the legislature is not going to reverse course.

>> Linda Aguirre:
Michael, I would hope we wouldn't reverse course. I worked on that. That was the legislation I carried for the governor last year and we negotiated that as part of the budget, and what I had to give up was phase II and phase III. We had all three phases worked out, the money was set aside, and the money was in the budget. So now it's just going back and reissuing those funds. I think right now, as people start looking at the surpluses and the amount of money we have in there. And if we just don't -- like Phil said, we don't pay $300 million for school construction and just stay to budget on those issues the way we're paying for them now, we'll have the money to do full-day kindergarten. I do know this, my constituency, and Arizona has spoken, they like this program and I think it would be fool hard if the Republicans were take it even one step backward. It's an investment in our future, in our children and I think Arizona constituencies out there want the program to go forward. I hear from people all the time, whether I'm at my hairdressers or I'm at the grocery store, I'm not kidding this, this is a hot button issue for Arizonans and they love education.

>> Michael Grant:
Are you taking your kids to the hairdresser?

>> Linda Aguirre:
No -- those people have children that are in kindergarten or going to be going into kindergarten next year. I just heard it this morning as a matter of fact.

>> Michael Grant:
I asked Speaker Weiers the all-day K question, I think it was yesterday. He was a little more tepid in his response. Do you see a strong movement in the house to try to turn that around or not?

>> Phil Lopes:
I think the opposition to all-day K is coming from two directions. One is those folks who feel we don't have enough money. And I think we have to make the argument that it's an investment and we'll find the money. However, there's another perspective on the objection to all-day K, and that's simply questioning the value of all-day K.

>> Michael Grant:
Efficacy.

>> Phil Lopes:
That's right. What good --

>> Michael Grant:
That is Huppenthal's --

>> Phil Lopes:
That's correct. The problem that those of us who support all day K have with that position is that the overwhelming, as lawyers say, the preponderance of the evidence, is in favor of preschool kinds of activities. They make a difference in children's ability to read and write. Those first 3 years to read and write, those are building blocks so you can go on to learn. So it's critical.

>> Michael Grant:
I would hope we would be tracking data in the phase-in period to see if you can put that debate to rest one way or the other. Listen, I've touched on several subjects, but from your standpoint, what do you consider to be a key issue that if not addressed successfully in this session you'll be disappointed?

>> Linda Aguirre:
Well, full-day kindergarten is the issue for me. I'm an educator and worked on it real hard and I think that's the driving force for me right now is to get that second phase and third phase taken care of. I would like to -- now that this new headline came out on 204, that's real troubling --

>> Michael Grant:
The AHCCCS, put that back on the ballot, the eligibility issue --

>> Linda Aguirre:
We would be sending Arizona again into the dark ages. You just can't do that to people.

>> Michael Grant:
Why not let the people vote on it again?

>> Linda Aguirre:
Well, what you do when you do that, Michael, is there are people in the system now, and do you stop everything in its tracks so no one can go forward? We have two-thirds matches from the federal government. What's the federal government going to say, we're not going to give you your money. You get $2.60 for every dollar we spend. Are they going to stop that? I think you jeopardize a lot when you put something like that on the ballot.

>> Michael Grant:
Any other issues that we have not touched on tonight or touched on in the governor's speech that you consider a priority?

>> Phil Lopes:
I agree with senator Aguirre regarding the AHCCCS program. The business about a mandate from Prop 200, I think we're certainly committed to trying hard to not let any of those things go forward. The governor's call for the federal government to do something on the border, we certainly would support that.

>> Michael Grant:
Oh, in other words, there's been some discussion on "Protect Arizona Now" perhaps legislatively expanding it to other public benefit programs.

>> Phil Lopes:
That's correct.

>> Michael Grant:
You would be opposed --

>> Phil Lopes:
We would be opposed to that. Because it's bordering on the xenophobic now. We can't go any further with that. It's just not in the interests of the State of Arizona in our judgment.

>> Michael Grant:
Representative Lopes, thank you very much for joining us. Certainly wish you the best of luck in the session. Need it out there in legislative land. Senator Aguirre, thanks to you for joining us.

>> Linda Aguirre:
You're welcome, Michael, and as the governor said, yes, we can.

>> Michael Grant:
Yes, we can, monitor water conditions, revitalize Arizona's Department of Water Resources, long term conservation --those were also subjects addressed by the governor. Afterwards the governor spoke about her emergency water management authority and DWR's role in that. In a moment we'll talk more but first Merry Lucero looks at the recommendations of the governor's drought task force.

>> Janet Napolitano:
I think what we've been wanting is the ability in DWR to on a science-based method give us the appropriate triggers for when that authority needs to be exercised but the governor always -- ultimately always has emergency authority. But it needs to be informed better than it is now, which is why you want the mandatory reporting and monitoring and so forth.

>> Merry Lucero:
The course of water conservation began in 2003 when Governor Napolitano launched her drought task force. The Arizona department of water resources provides leadership for the task force, stressing rural communities' potable water supply. The task force issued recommendations with water conservation being the key element. The recommendations are... create a straight-wide conservation office to implement new conservation programs. Secure a dedicated funding source for the conservation office and its programs. Expand the reduce your use conservation campaign. Adopt water conservation ABCs for residential and large water users. And encourage the use of the best available technologies. Create conservation incentives. Provide technical assistance with things like leak detection. Create a state-sponsored conservation website. Create voluntary benchmarks and goals at local levels. Continue and expand existing education programs by working with school districts, education centers and local communities. Develop partnerships to provide the funding and buy-in for establishing new conservation programs. Create a rural water conservation systems development fund. And create a water conservation advisory board appointed by the department of water resources director.

>> Michael Grant:
Joining me now is Herb Guenther. He is director of the state's department of water resources and hasn't been on the program for a while. Herb, good to see you.

>> Herb Guenther:
Likewise, Michael good to see you.

>> Michael Grant:
We heard the governor talk about revitalizing the department of water resources. How does DWR need to be revitalized?

>> Herb Guenther:
Through the tight budget times we have been slowly giving, giving, giving, so we have no more to give, and consequently, we've suffered. Of course, we continue to grow exponentially and we need to be able to compete with the other fish in the pond and that's our other basin' states both in the lower basin' and upper basin'.

>> Michael Grant:
Give me the key functions, Herb, that as a result of budget cuts or otherwise that the department should be performing but is not performing that impact us and our water needs, water planning, water detection -- I mean, what is it we're short on? Governor me a couple-three examples.

>> Herb Guenther:
Okay. First is, within the active management areas we're unable to process our forms and our permits in a timely manner, which is very important to cities and to prospective developers. That has become very labored. Secondly, we have -- we need -- a definite need for additional information in rural Arizona as to what kind of resources are available to them, not only to meet their current demands but to meet their ever-growing demand. That is something that has suffered because of budget cuts on a regular basis. Lastly, enforcement with what little enforcement authority we have. It goes for wanting because we don't have either the people or the money to do that enforcement.

>> Michael Grant:
And what does the DWR enforce? If someone sinks a well improperly, its the department of water resources that goes out to enforce that and say, shut that down --

>> Herb Guenther:
We don't have true police authority, but we do all the licensing. We do all the registration. We do all of the permitting. And all of that, if you don't enforce against those that lack the licenses, lack the permits, obviously the public is at risk and consequently you still have to make a showing out there to keep people within the parameters of the existing law.

>> Michael Grant:
Governor also talked about fighting for our fair share of the Colorado River allocation. That's a subject we've touched on a couple, three times previously. Is that fight going to intensify in 2005?

>> Herb Guenther:
Well, it's continued to intensify. The more that the drought is prolonged and the more severe our deficit becomes, everyone begins to get very nervous, and that's our neighbors, neighbors to the west, to the northwest and to the north. The other six basin states are extremely nervous, especially those in the upper basin, because the lower basin does have the opportunity through the Colorado River compact to make a compact call in the event there's water short out of Lake Powell. We can make a call on reservoirs further up in the basin that are used for direct supply to cities like Denver.

>> Michael Grant:
You know, I did not realize that, as many times as I've delved into this some. I've always considered it an Arizona-California fight. So there is a lower basin, upper basin fight as well?

>> Herb Guenther:
Yeah, I think it's more a scuffle right now. We hope to avoid the fight. But --

>> Michael Grant:
No gunboats?

>> Herb Guenther:
No, not at this time. But we try to avoid -- we would avoid it at just about every cost trying to make a call on those reservoirs which the upper basin states are directly dependent. And the hydrology shows us right now that's very unlikely we would have to do that anywhere in the near future.

>> Michael Grant:
How important in that overall mix was the deal with the water banking deal with Nevada a few weeks back, one of the elements of which was Nevada essentially promising its aid in SUCOR to Arizona in protecting the respective state's position vis-a-vis the Colorado?

>> Herb Guenther:
As you well know, it's always better to have friends than it is to have enemies. We've always considered Nevada a friend. What we're trying to do is help them through a very difficult time in their growth while we can afford to help them, and in return, we expect some assistance from them as well. What we did was amend an existing contract from 2001 to firm up that water banking agreement in exchange for that they reduced the amount that they could call on in any given year. And were willing to pay a sum that would ensure us against drought so much that we would never impact an Arizona water user by that banking agreement.

>> Michael Grant:
One last subject... water planning in rural communities, what's the problem and how do we fix it?

>> Herb Guenther:
Well, planning -- the first thing is, we'd like to get everybody working together since we all basically swim in the same pond. Live in the same desert. We'd like everybody to have a drought contingency plan. We would like to go out and help people put together a drought contingency plan, especially water providers. At the same time, we would like everybody to think about how they're using their water and can they put it -- be more efficient in that use, because all the water we save there will go not only to their future needs, but our future growth as well. So we're establishing a statewide conservation office to assist people in developing drought conservation plans to be able to give them assistance in developing water supplies in addition to the current water supplies that might mitigate the effects of drought and help them in long-term planning issues. To that end we need good data. We are very shallow in our data in the rural resource world and we hope to be able to step up to that plate as well.

>> Michael Grant:
Herb Guenther, thanks very much. For a link to the state department of water resources to see transcripts of "Horizon," find out about upcoming topics, visit our website. That address is www.azpbs.org. Click "Horizon." Follow the links.

>> Mike Sauceda:
It's been more than 40 years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his famous speech in Washington. We'll discuss whether his dream is still more of a dream or more of a reality in Arizona. One thing that's definitely a reality is that we are in a drought despite all the recent rains in our state. We'll tell you about a drought conference held recently Thursday on "Horizon."

>> Michael Grant:
And tomorrow following "Horizon," stay tuned for "Horizonte." Thanks very much for joining us this evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

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