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Capitol Update

Airdate: April 19, 2017
We hear from legislative leaders about the latest bills and issues from the state capitol.

Guests:
  • Debbie Lesko - Senate president pro tem T.J. Shope - House speaker pro tem
Category: Legislature

Keywords: Capitol Update, legislature,

View Transcript
TED: EACH WEEK WE GET AN UPDATE ON BILLS AND ISSUES MAKING THE ROUNDS AT THE STATE CAPITOL. LAST WEEK WE HEARD FROM DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP. TONIGHT, IT'S THE REPUBLICAN'S TURN. JOINING US NOW IS SENATE PRESIDENT PRO-TEM DEBBIE LESKO AND HOUSE SPEAKER PRO-TEM T.J. SHOPE. GOOD TO HAVE YOU BOTH HERE. GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN. THANKS FOR JOINING US. A LOT OF WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HAS GROUNDING IN THE HOUSE. I WANT TO GET YOUR TAKE AS WELL. THERE WAS A COMPROMISE REGARDING HOW LONG A BUSINESS HAS TO MAKE AN ADJUSTMENT BEFORE BEING HIT WITH A LAWSUIT. THE COMPROMISE WAS 30 DAYS. IT SEEMED TO DISAPPEAR. NOW IT'S 90 DAYS AND EVERYONE VOTED FOR IT AND THE COMMUNITY IS SAYING, WHAT HAPPENED?

DEBBIE LESKO: WE WERE TOLD THERE WAS STAKEHOLDER PROCESS AND THIS WAS A NEGOTIATED DEAL. THE BILL WAS IN RESPONSE TO WHAT WE ALL SAW ON THE T.V. ABOUT SOME ATTORNEY FIRMS GOING AFTER BUSINESSES THAT WERE NOT ADA COMPLIANT, AND TO ME, IT WAS OVER BURDENSOME. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE HAS LOOKED INTO THAT. BASICALLY, IT'S COMMON SENSE LEGISLATION. IT GIVES BUSINESSES 30 DAYS TO CURE OR ADDRESS THE PROBLEM THAT'S IDENTIFIED ON MINOR ISSUES. 60 DAYS FOR NON-MINOR ISSUES. IF A PERMIT IS INVOLVED AND THE GOVERNMENT DELAYS THE TIME, YOU GET MORE THAN 60 DAYS.

TED: I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE HEAR THAT AND SAY WHY DO THEY GET ANY DAYS?

T.J. SHOPE: A LOT OF TIMES WHEN YOU HAVE SOMETHING BROUGHT TO YOUR ATTENTION. IN MY LIFE OUTSIDE OF THE LEGISLATIONTURE, I'M IN BUSINESS. MY FAMILY HAS BEEN IN BUSINESS 65 YEARS. YOU HAVE THINGS BROUGHT TO YOUR ATTENTION. MANY TIMES IT'S THROUGH NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN. SOMEONE HAS BLOCKED A PARKING SPOT OR WHATEVER THE CASE MAY BE. DOES THAT BUSINESS DESERVE A SHOT TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM, ESPECIALLY IF IT'S A MINOR PROBLEM? THAT'S WHAT THIS BILL ATTEMPTS TO SOLVE.

TED: 30 DAYS, BOTH SIDES HAMMER IT OUT. WHY DOES IT BECOME 90 DAYS AND WITHOUT INPUT FROM THE DISABILITY COMMUNITY?

T.J. SHOPE: WE ARE REFERRING TO SOMETHING SENATOR LESKO AND BROUGHT UP. I WOULD DESCRIBE IT AS A TIERED SYSTEM. A MID ISSUE CAN BE ARGUED UP TO THE 90 DAY PERIOD. AFTER WHICH I WOULD SAY, IF THE PROBLEM IS NOT CORRECTED OR NOT CORRECTED TO THE POINT IT NEEDS TO BE, A LAWSUIT MAY IN FACT BE FILED. THAT PERSON WOULD BE WELL WITHIN THEIR RIGHT TO DO SO AND THE COURT WOULD HAVE TO DECIDE AT THAT POINT.

TED: CAN YOU GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE OF AN ISSUE OKAY 30 DAYS BUT NOT 90 DAYS?

DEBBIE LESKO: I WAS TOLD IN THE CAUCUS COMMITTEE, A TOILET ROLL HOLDER, TWO INCHES TOO HIGH, THAT WOULD BE A MINOR ISSUES AND MOST LIKELY COULD BE CORRECTED BY THE OWNER OF THE BUSINESS WITHIN 30 DAYS. SOMETHING THAT'S A RAMP OR NEEDS A BUILDING PERMIT, YOU NEED A LONGER TIME FOR THAT. YOU CAN'T GET A CONTRACTOR OUT THERE WITHIN 30 DAYS, AND YOU CAN'T GET A PERMIT TURNED AROUND WITHIN 30 DAYS, SO IT SEEMS REASONABLE TO ME, THAT WE GIVE BUSINESSES IF THEY ARE IN VIOLATION OF ADA COMPLIANCE, THAT THEY BE GIVEN A CHANCE TO CORRECT THAT. THEN IF THEY DON'T CORRECT THAT, SUE THEM.

TED: DOES IT MAKE SENSE NOT TO INCLUDE THE DISABILITY COMMUNITY TRYING HARD TO GET 30 DAY AND GOT THE DEAL. IT JUST VAPORIZED.

DEBBIE LESKO: THIS WASN'T MY BILL, BUT I WAS TOLD THE ADA COMMUNITY WAS INVOLVED.

TED: THE ARIZONA FOR DISABILITY LAW SAID THEY HAD NO INPUT IN THIS.

T.J. SHOPE: MY UNDERSTANDING, SPEAKING TO THE SPEAKER TODAY, SPEAKING TO THE SENATOR WHO LED DISCUSSION ON THE HOUSE SIDE, THERE WERE MEETINGS. THE SPEAKER HAD TAKEN PART IN THESE MEETINGS. THERE WAS INPUT. MOST OF EVERYTHING THAT HAD BEEN AGREED TO WAS IN THE BILL. ULTIMATELY, WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A SITUATION WHERE THERE IS DISAGREEMENT ON THE DAYS. I WOULD SAY TO SENATOR LESKO'S POINT, ESPECIALLY IN RURAL ARIZONA, WE HAVE CITY COUNCIL MEETING ONCE A MONTH. IT COULD BE LONGER THAN 30 DAYS BEFORE A BUILDING PERMIT COULD BE DRAWN.

TED: THERE WAS AGREEMENT ON OTHER ISSUES THAT EVAPORATED AS WELL. FOLKS DIDN'T FEEL THEY HAD A FAIR SHOT AT THAT. WE TALKED ABOUT THE NEED TO HAVE A WARRANT TO TAKE A CHILD OUT OF THE HOME. I KEPT WAITING FOR THAT ONE. I DON'T SEE THAT ONE. WHAT HAPPENED?

DEBBIE LESKO: I THINK IT'S AN IMPORTANT ISSUE AND IT'S VERY COMPLICATED. YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH COURTS, MAKE SURE THEY ARE OPEN 24/7, THAT TYPE OF THING, BUT THE IDEA IS, AND DCS SAID THEY WANT TO LOOK INTO THIS AND PURSUE IT, THEY NEED TO GO TO THE COURT IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS AND NEED A COURT TO APPROVE THAT THEY CAN TAKE THE CHILDREN FROM THEIR HOME. IF I WAS DCS, I WOULD WANT TO DO THIS. IT GIVES THEM COVER. THEY ARE IN A BAD SITUATION, DCS IS. IF THEY DON'T TAKE THE KID AWAY AND SOMETHING HAPPENS, THEY GET BLAMED. IF THEY TAKE THE KID AWAY, THE PARENTS SAY IT'S UNJUST. TO GET A COURT INVOLVED SEEMS LIKE A GOOD IDEA. I HAVE BEEN TOLD MORE TIME NEEDS TO BE GIVEN TO THIS. IT'S VERY COMPLICATED. YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE THE COURTS ARE INVOLVED. RUSHING SOMETHING THROUGH MAY NOT BE A GOOD IDEA.

TED: SO THIS IS POTENTIALLY STILL ALIVE THOUGH MOST FOLKS THOUGHT WE WOULD SEE SOMETHING BY NOW.

T.J. SHOPE: WE'LL SEE AN OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE COME TO THE COURTS TO DEVELOP THE IDEA FOR THIS. IN ARIZONA TODAY, IF YOU LOOK AT THE JUSTICE COURT MODEL, WITHIN A FEW MINUTES, WE ARE ABLE TO ISSUE A WARRANT ON A DUI ISSUE. THE PROBLEM WITH THE DCS ISSUE, IT'S A SPECIFIC LAW. TO THINK WE CAN HAVE EVERY FAMILY GO TO THE 24 HOUR SEVEN DAY A WEEK, THAT'S ASKING A LOT ESPECIALLY IN RURAL ARIZONA. PHOENIX OR TUCSON, WE COULD FIGURE THIS OUT WITH MANPOWER. THAT'S DIFFICULT TO IMPLEMENT.

TED: THERE WERE AMENDMENTS OVER NO USE OF VOICE STRESS TESTS QUARTERLY REPORTS FROM DCS. DCS CAN'T LIE OR WITHHOLD INFORMATION. NOT SURE WHY THAT'S IN THERE. THE AMENDMENTS, DID THAT STOP THE PROCESS OR SLOW THE PROCESS? WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THESE THINGS?

DEBBIE LESKO: THAT WENT ON IN THE HOUSE. IT'S A NANCY BARTO BILL. SENATOR BARTO HOPES THAT PORTION OF THE BILL GETS THROUGH. FROM MY UNDERSTANDING, IN THE HOUSE, THEY WERE HOSTILE AMENDMENTS ADDED ON WITHOUT SENATOR BARTO’S APPROVAL. THIS IS COMPLICATED. WE NEED TIME TO WORK THIS OUT. WE DON'T WANT TO RUSH SOMETHING THROUGH THAT MAYBE HAS BAD CONSEQUENCES.

T.J. SHOPE: MAYBE IN THE HOUSE THE PROCESS WAS TOO QUICKLY BY A HANDFUL OF LAWMAKERS. NOW THAT WE HAVE HAD A CHANCE TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, WE MAY COME BACK AND ADDRESS A HANDFUL OF THE ITEMS. MY HOPE IS TO GET THIS IN THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE. WE NEED TO FIGURE THIS OUT AND FROM THERE, HOPEFULLY, IF WE ARE ABLE TO COME THROUGH SOMETHING THAT THE COURT SAYS IS WORKABLE, WE'LL COME TO THAT.

TED: BILL BANNING, TEENAGE TEXTING. I THOUGHT THIS WENT AWAY. NOW IT'S BACK.

T.J. SHOPE: DRACULA LIVES ON.

TED: WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?

T.J. SHOPE: WE WERE TALKING ABOUT PRESIDENT TRUMP EARLIER. WE HAVE PRESIDENT TRUMP TO THANK FOR THE BILL COMING FORWARD IN THE RULES COMMITTEE. REPRESENTATIVE IS AWAY FROM THE LEGISLATURE AND WISH HIM WELL. THE RULES COMMITTEE HAS DECIDED TO BRING THE BILL FORWARD. IT DOES BAN TEXTING, CURRENTLY IN ARIZONA, WE HAVE A GRADUATED LICENSE SYSTEM SO THERE ARE RESTRICTIONS ON THESE YOUNG DRIVERS ALREADY SUCH AS THEY CAN'T BE OUT DRIVING ALONE PAST A CERTAIN TIME, THINGS LIKE THAT. THIS WOULD ADD TEXTING TO IT.

TED: WE HAVE LAWS AGAINST DISTRACTED DRIVING. THOSE FOLKS THAT FIND THIS -- I'M SURE THE REPRESENTATIVE WAS AMONG THEM THINK WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS? IF YOU ARE DISTRACTED, YOU ARE DISTRACTED.

DEBBIE LESKO: THIS IS MY NINTH YEAR IN THE LEGISLATURE. EVERY YEAR WE HAVE THIS BILL BEFORE US. DO WE NEED THE BILL BANNING TEXTING OR NOT? IN THE PAST I HAVE BEEN A NO VOTE SAYING WE ALREADY HAVE THE DISTRACTED DRIVING LAW. LAWYERS COME IN AND SAY THAT DOESN'T COVER IT. WE NEED THIS. THIS YEAR I VOTED YES. I VOTED YES. IT WAS NINE YEARS OF BEING TALKED INTO THIS. I FINALLY VOTED YES. IT'S A GRADUATED THING, BEGINNING DRIVERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TEXT. IT'S COMMON SENSE. THEY ARE JUST STARTING TO DRIVE. DO WE WANT THEM DRIVING AROUND WHILE TEXTING?

TED: THE OTHER ARGUMENT, ONCE YOU START A LITTLE HERE, IT'S THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF YOUR LICENSE YOU CAN'T DO THIS NO MATTER YOUR AGE. A LOT OF FOLKS DON'T WANT TO SEE TEXTING AT ANY POINT OF A DRIVER'S CAREER. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT?

DEBBIE LESKO: IF I'M IN THE LEGISLATURE LONGER, I'M SURE WE'LL HEAR THE DEBATE EVERY YEAR.

TED: WE HAVE TO GET THIS ONE PASSED BEFORE THE NEXT ONE.

T.J. SHOPE: I'M SURE YOU WILL HAVE US ON NEXT YEAR AND THE YEAR AFTER TO TALK ABOUT THAT. I'M NOT SURE THIS HAS THE VOTES TO PASS OR NOT. I THINK THERE IS A GOOD SHOT OF IT. I THINK IT WILL BE A CROSS SECTION OF DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS. THERE ARE HOLDOUTS ON EITHER SIDE NOT IN FAVOR. I THINK IT WILL PASS.

TED: SAME IN THE SENATE?

DEBBIE LESKO: IT ALREADY PASSED ONCE.

TED: IT WAS THE HOUSE WHERE CERTAIN LAWMAKER NOT THERE ANYMORE WAS HOLDING THINGS UP. GOOD TO SEE YOU BOTH.