Arizona Horizon Banner

Capitol Update

Airdate: March 15, 2017
We’ll get an update on what’s happening at the state capitol from legislative leaders. This week it’s the Democrats turn.

Guests:
  • Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs House Minority Leader Rebecca Rios.
Category: Legislature

Keywords: legislature, state capitol, democrats,

View Transcript
TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," IT'S OUR WEEKLY UPDATE FROM THE STATE CAPITOL WITH LEGISLATIVE LEADERS. AND WE'LL HEAR ABOUT A NEW VISION FOR THE FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT FOUNDATION. THOSE STORIES NEXT, ON "ARIZONA HORIZON."

NARRATOR: "ARIZONA HORIZON" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS, MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU."

TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO "ARIZONA HORIZON." I'M TED SIMONS.

TED SIMONS: EACH WEEK DURING THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION WE SPEAK WITH LEADERS FROM BOTH PARTIES TO GET AN UPDATE OF ACTIVITY AT THE STATE CAPITOL. THIS WEEK WE HEAR FROM DEMOCRATS. JOINING US: SENATE MINORITY LEADER KATIE HOBBS AND HOUSE MINORITY LEADER REBECCA RIOS. GOOD TO SEE YOU BOTH AGAIN. THANKS FOR JOINING US. A LOT OF NOISE AT THE CAPITOL REGARDING ANOTHER ABORTION BILL THIS IS SB1367 COMING OUT OF THE SENATE HERE. INVOLVES A BABY BORN ALIVE DURING THE PROCEDURE? WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?

KATIE HOBBS: IT APPLIES TO AN ABORTION OVER 20 WEEKS, IF THERE IS ANY SIGN OF LIFE REQUIRING RESUSCITATION. THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WITH THIS BILL IS THAT THERE IS NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN AN ABORTION AND PRE-TERM DELIVERY. IN THOSE CASES YOU HAVE DOCTORS TRAINED IN THESE COMPLICATED DELIVERIES. IT'S PRETTY MUCH ACCEPTED THAT A FETUS AT 21 WEEKS HAS NO CHANE OF SURVIVAL. FOR THE DOCTORS PROVIDING CARE IN THESE SITUATIONS, THIS WILL NOT ALLOW THEM TO DELIVER THE CARE THEY NEED TO PROVIDE.

TED SIMONS: THIS IS IN THE SENATE, OBVIOUSLY, BUT IT COULD WIND UP IN THE HOUSE AS WILL, OR SOMETHING SIMILAR TO IT. YOUR THOUGHTS?

REBECCA RIOS: THERE ARE VERY FEW PROCEDURES DONE BEYOND 20 WEEKS. ONCE AGAIN, WE HAVE LEGISLATORS PLAYING DOCTOR. WE HAVE PHYSICIANS CLEARLY SAYING THAT IN MANY OF THE CASES, THE FETUSES ARE NOT VIABLE. YOU ARE TAKING THE LAST MOMENTS WHERE IT MAY HAVE BEEN A PRETERM LABOR AND DELIVERY, AND YOU ARE TAKING THE CHILD AWAY FROM THE MOTHER, TRYING TO RESUSCITATE THEM AND NOT ALLOWING THE MOTHER TO HAVE THE FINAL MOMENTS, A PEACEFUL TIME WITH THAT BABY. THAT’S REALLY UNFORTUNATE, BECAUSE THE ODDS OF RESUSCITATING THE FETUSES IS MINIMAL TO NONE.

TED SIMONS: THE BILL CALLS FOR DOCTORS TO DOCUMENT ALL ACTIONS TAKEN, DEFINES WHAT “DELIVERED ALIVE” MAY BE. ONE PERSON IN THE ROOM HAS TO BE EXPERIENCED IN NEONATAL RESUSCITATION. IS THAT UNREASONABLE AS FAR AS DEMOCRATS ARE CONCERNED?

KATIE HOBBS: IT'S NOT WHAT THE PERSON GOES TO THE ROOM FOR. IT WILL COST MORE IF THEY HAVE TO BE EQUIPPED WITH EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES.

TED SIMONS: THE PROMOTERS, CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY IS BEHIND THIS AS ARE MOST ABORTION BILLS, THAT DOCTORS ARE NOT ALWAYS ACCURATE WITH THEIR DIAGNOSIS. DO THEY HAVE A POINT?

REBECCA RIOS: I DON'T THINK IT'S THE JOB OF LEGISLATORS TO PLAY DOCTOR. WE HAVE MANY EXPERTS THAT GIVE US THEIR EXPERT OPINION IN TERMS OF STANDARD OF CARE AND GO INTO GREAT DETAIL ABOUT THIS. LEGISLATORS DON’T CARE ABOUT THE FACTS; THEY ARE TRYING TO MAKE A POINT ON THEIR OPINION OF ABORTION. AT THE END OF THE DAY THE VICTIMS ARE MOTHERS AND PRETERM BABIES THEY WANT TO SPEND THOSE FINAL MOMENTS WITH AND NOW THEY'LL BE CARTED OFF BY A DOCTOR FOR LIFE SEAYING PROCEDURES THAT WON'T WORK.

TED SIMONS: DOES IT TAKE OPTIONS AWAY FROM DOCTORS AS WELL? I’VE HEARD THAT ARGUMENT.

KATIE HOBBS: THERE IS LIABILITY ON DOCTORS. THAT'S A PROBLEM, BUT YEAH, IT DOESN'T ALLOW DOCTORS TO PRACTICE TO THEIR TRAINING.

TED SIMONS: IS THE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS UNITED ON THIS? HOW SURE ARE YOU THAT YOU HAVE ALL THE NO VOTES?

KATIE HOBBS: IT WAS VOTED OUT OF THE SENATE 18-12. ONE OF OUR MEMBERS VOTED FOR THE BILL.

TED SIMONS: AS FAR AS THE HOUSE IS CONCERNED? WHAT DO YOU THINK?

KATIE HOBBS: WE DON'T TAKE A CAUCUS POSITION ON THESE ISSUES, NECESSARILY. EVERY MEMBER VOTES THE WAY THEY SEE FIT. I COULDN'T GIVE YOU A READ ON THAT.

TED SIMONS: GIVE ME A READ ON THIS, THE GOVERNMENT PLANS TO PUMP A BILLION DOLLARS INTO STATE UNIVERSITIES BY ALLOWING A FORM OF KEEPING SALES TAXES IN HOUSE OPPOSED TO GOING TO CITIES AND TOWNS AS THE GENERAL FUND GENERALLY GOES. YOU WOULD THINK IT WOULD BE POPULAR WITH DEMOCRATS. DOESN'T SOUND LIKE IT IS. WHAT'S GOING ON?

REBECCA RIOS: DEMOCRATS ALL ABOUT GIVING UNIVERSITIES MORE MONEY. THIS IS A BUDGET GIMMICK THE GOVERNOR HAS COME UP WITH. IT PITS THE UNIVERSITIES AGAINST CITIES AND TOWNS AND PUTS MEMBERS IN THE MIDDLE OF TWO GROUPS WE SUPPORT VERY MUCH. AT THE END OF THE DAY, IF THE GOVERNOR WANTS TO GIVE $30 MILLION OF THE STATE SHARED REVENUE PORTION TO THE UNIVERSITIES, WE'LL SUPPORT THAT. I DON'T SUPPORT THE GOVERNOR SPENDING $6.5 MILLION THAT SHOULD GO TO ALL OF THE TOWNS THROUGHOUT ARIZONA, AGAIN, HE SHOULD NOT EXPEND STATE SHARED REVENUES GOING TO OTHER CITIES AND TOWNS. I THINK IN MANY RESPECTS, IT'S HIS WAY OF POKING HIS FINGER IN THE EYE OF CITIES AND TOWNS, WHICH WE HAVE SEEN SESSION AFTER SESSION A LOT OF BILLS THAT ARE PUNITIVE TO CITIES AND TOWNS. THIS IS NOT NECESSARY. I DON'T THINK HE HAS THE SUPPORT FROM THE MAJORITY OF DEMOCRATS. I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE A LOT OF REPUBLICANS THAT DON'T SUPPORT THE BUDGET SCHEME EITHER.

TED SIMONS: IN THE SENATE, THIS IS 38 SOME ODD MILLION DOLLARS. DOESN’T GO TO CITIES AND TOWNS, INSTEAD GOES BACK TO UNIVERSITIES. THERE ARE TAXES THAT HAPPEN REGARDING THEIR SALES ACTIVITY. THEY GET TO USE IT FOR BONDING. DOES IT HAVE TO BE DIRECT FUNDING OF UNIVERSITY? IT'S NOT DIRECT FUNDING. IT MIGHT WELL BE A GIMMICK, BUT IT'S A BILLION DOLLARS.

KATIE HOBBS: IT'S A PORTION OF $36 MILLION THAT IS NOT GOING TO GO TO CITIES AND TOWNS. THE PROBLEM IS, YOU HAVE A GROUP THAT'S BEEN CUT OVER AND OVER AGAIN BY THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY, CITIES AND COUNTIES. ANOTHER GROUP CUT BY THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY. NOW THE PROPOSAL THAT PITS THE TWO ENTITIES AGAINST EACH OTHER. THEY ARE TWO ENTITIES THAT THE DEMOCRATS HAVE STOOD UP FOR AND IT PUTS US IN A DIFFICULT POSITION.

TED SIMONS: IT'S NOT THE FULL $38 MILLION THEY WOULD LOSE. I THINK IT’S $7 MILLION, SOMEWHERE AROUND THOSE LINES. LESS OF A SALES TAX, IS THERE A WAY TO WORK AROUND THIS? AS LONG AS IT'S NOT DIRECT FUNDING TO UNIVERSITIES, YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED?

KATIE HOBBS: I THINK THE PROPOSAL IS A GOOD PROPOSAL. I WOULD LIKE TO FIND A WAY THAT IT CAN STAND WITHOUT THE HIT TO THE CITIES AND TOWNS. I THINK THERE MIGHT BE A WAY TO DO THAT. I HOPE THE GOVERNOR WILL ENTERTAIN THAT.

TED SIMONS: WHAT ABOUT LESS OF A HIT TO CITIES AND TOWNS? IS THAT AN OPTION?

REBECCA RIOS: WHAT I PROPOSED ON BEHALF OF MY CAUCUS, YOU EXEMPT OUT THE CITIES AND TOWNS PORTION. YOU GIVE THEM THE $30 MILLION, BUT WE SHOULDN’T BE EXPENDING CITY AND TOWN DOLLARS ON THEIR BEHALF.

TED SIMONS: AS FAR AS THE HOUSE IS CONCERNED, YOU SEE REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS SHOWING CONCERN OVER THIS?

REBECCA RIOS: ABSOLUTELY. THE REASONS MAY VARY. YOU HAVE CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS THAT WOULD JUST AS SOON NOT GIVE ANY MONEY TO UNIVERSITIES. THE GOVERNOR DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH SUPPORT AT THIS TIME.

TED SIMONS: LET'S GET REASONS WHY YOU ARE RUNNING FOR SECRETARY OF STATE?

KATIE HOBBS: I THINK WE HAVE SEEN A LOT OF MISSTEPS COMING OUT OF THE CURRENT OFFICE. I THINK ARIZONANS DESERVE BETTER. I'M FOCUSED ON MY JOB AS SENATE MINORITY LEADER. I'M HEARING FROM CONSTITUENTS THEY ARE DISAPPOINTED WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE OFFICE, FAILURE TO SEND OUT STATUTORY REQUIRED PAMPHLETS, MANY OTHER MISSTEPS, NOW THE DUST UP BETWEEN HER AND THE COUNTY RECORDER, WHICH SHE BRUSHED ASIDE AS NOT A BIG DEAL, WHEN IT IS A BIG DEAL.

TED SIMONS: DO YOU THINK IT'S A BIG DEAL TO VOTERS?

KATIE HOBBS: SOMEONE IN THE OFFICE THAT MADE A TOTAL REVERSAL AROUND CAMPAIGN PROMISES, AROUND DARK MONEY, AND SOMEONE'S JOB WHO SEEMS TO BE MISMANAGING THE JOB.

TED SIMONS: ONE LAST QUESTION. HAVE YOU TALKED TO GREG STANTON ABOUT THIS?

KATIE HOBBS: HE SAID HE'S NOT PLANNING TO RUN FOR OFFICE. I DON'T KNOW WHAT HIS PLANS ARE.

TED SIMONS: IT'S A CONCERN FOR DEMOCRATS, I WOULD THINK. IT'S NOT THAT DEEP OF A BENCH. CAN YOU AFFORD TO HAVE A PRIMARY FOR SECRETARY OF STATE?

REBECCA RIOS: THE BENCH WE HAVE IS QUALIFIED AND GIVES DEMOCRATS A FANTASTIC OPTION. IT MAY BE A DIFFICULT CHOICE FOR MANY DEMOCRATS. IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN. WE MAY NOT HAVE A PRIMARY AT ALL.

TED SIMONS: BEFORE WE GO, WE TALKED ABOUT STEVE SMITH WITH AN IMMIGRATION BILL. IT WAS INTERESTING WHAT HAPPENED IN THE SENATE REGARDING VICTIMS OF CRIMES AND TELLING LAWMAKERS, LOOK THESE PEOPLE IN THE EYE AND TELL THEM YOU ARE NOT VOTING THE WAY SENATOR SMITH THINKS THEY SHOULD VOTE. YOUR REACTION?

KATIE HOBBS: IT WAS A VERY DIFFICULT EXPERIENCE. I KNOW THAT SENATOR SMITH KNEW GOING INTO THE FLOOR VOTE THAT HE DID NOT HAVE THE VOTES TO PASS THE BILL. FOR HIM TO BRING THE VICTIM'S FAMILIES IN AND DO THAT, AND HE TALKED ABOUT THEM HAVING TO RELIVE THEIR TRAGEDIES, WHEN REALLY IT WAS HIM THAT PUT THEM INTO THAT POSITION. HE BROUGHT THEM THERE, PARADED THEM IN FRONT OF THE MEDIA, BROUGHT THEM TO THE FLOOR IN A WAY TO SHAME THE LEGISLATORS INTO VOTING FOR THAT BILL, WHICH WILL NOT BRING THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS BACK. THAT WAS SHAMEFUL THE WAY THAT HAPPENED.

TED SIMONS: DO YOU THINK A SENATE INVESTIGATION WOULD BE REQUIRED?

KATIE HOBBS: I HEARD THAT SENATOR MCGEE HAD LOOKED INTO THAT. I WOULD SUPPORT THAT. THERE IS DISAGREEMENT WHETHER HE IMPUGNED MEMBERS.

TED SIMONS: HE THINKS HE WAS QUESTIONING THEIR-- NOT THEIR MOTIVATES, BUT THE VOTE. WE DON'T SEE THIS OFTEN DOWN THERE, THIS KIND OF IN-YOUR-FACE ATTEMPT TO SHAME. IT'S USUALLY MORE SUBTLE, ISN'T IT?

REBECCA RIOS: STEVE SMITH WAS A ONE-TRICK-PONY WHEN HE RAN. HIS ISSUE WAS IMMIGRATION. HE IS QUITE HONESTLY, VICIOUS ON THIS ISSUE WHEN HIS MEMBERS DON'T FOLLOW WHAT HE WOULD LIKE. I THINK THAT'S WHAT WE SAW. THAT KIND OF BULLYING AND INTIMIDATION IS WRONG. DOES IT OCCUR AT THE LEGISLATURE? IT DOES. DEMOCRAT FEELING FROM REPUBLICANS AND VICE VERSA, THOUGH WE DON'T HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO THAT, THE INTRAPARTY BULLYING IS MORE VICIOUS. WHEN YOU HAVE MEMBERS OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY NOT FALLING IN LINE WITH LEADERSHIP, THEY TAKE THE WRATH. WE SAW THAT WITH KID'S CARE. I UNDERSTAND IT HAPPENED WITH MEDICAID EXPANSION. I EXPECT WE'LL SEE IT WITH ESA'S IF THOSE REPUBLICANS DON’T FALL IN LINE.

TED SIMONS: ARE YOU SUGGESTING WE DON'T SEE THAT WITH DEMOCRATS?

REBECCA RIOS: IF WE WERE IN THE MAJORITY, THEN YOU MIGHT SEE THAT, BUT RIGHT NOW, WE DON'T HAVE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO BE MEAN AND NASTY, SO WE ARE NOT.

TED SIMONS: ALL RIGHT. INTERESTING WAY TO LOOK AT IT. GOOD TO HAVE YOU BOTH HERE. THANKS FOR JOINING US. WE APPRECIATE IT. COMING UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," WE'LL HEAR ABOUT A NEW VISION FOR THE FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT FOUNDATION.