Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

May 17, 2007


Host:

Immigration Bill


  • A group of senators has reached agreement with the Bush Administration on an immigration bill that would give legal status to those already here after toughening enforcement on the border. Arizona Republic Columnist Bob Robb will give us an update.
Guests:
  • Bob Robb - Columnist, Arizona Republic
  • Tim Bee - President, Arizona State Senate
  • Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez - Vice-president, Emerging Businesses and Community Outreach, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee
Category: Immigration

View Transcript

Matthew Whitaker:
Tonight on Horizon; The White House and the Senate have reached agreement on an immigration bill. We'll fill you in.
The State Senate passes its version of the budget. An update from the Senate president. And we'll tell about you seminars being held to help minority and women-owned businesses get a piece of the super bowl pie.
All that's coming up next on "Horizon."

Matthew Whitaker:
Good evening, and welcome to Horizon. I'm Matthew Whitaker.

Matthew Whitaker:
A bipartisan group of senators and bush administration today reached an agreement on a new immigration proposal. The bill offers a way to deal with the illegal immigrants already here, but not until certain triggers are reached in tougher border enforcement. Governor Janet Napolitano offered this comment on the agreement. Quote - The proposed senate compromise is a start, but as with all things related to immigration, the devil is in the details. Clearly there's much to be fixed as the debate moves forward. For example, one trigger in this proposal involves waiting for enforcement. Enforcement measures to be in place which could take 18 months or more before activating a temporary worker program. As governor of a border state who deals with this on a daily basis, I can assure you that we cannot and should not wait that long. End quote. Here now to talk more about this bill is Bob Robb, a columnist for "the Arizona republic." tell us, is this a monumental event, getting these extremes together to pass this bipartisan, prepare this bipartisan proposal?

Bob Robb:
It's certainly a monumental opportunity. Both immigration expansionists in the senate and immigration restrictionists gave a great deal to forge this particular compromise. Whether it actually is ultimately monumental depends frankly on how others accept it. In significant part republicans in the house who have been opposed to anything, provided any opportunity for those currently here illegally to stay. That is an element of this particular compromise. On the other hand, there's sharp limitations on the amount of future low-skilled immigration that could be brought forward in the country, and a shift in emphasis with respect to permanent residency from family consolidations, to workplace skills. So that's -- so if -- if the house republicans look at the past, those who are currently here illegally, rather than the future, then they're likely to reject it.

Matthew Whitaker:
Ok. In my intro, I read a statement from the government -- from the governor about the devils being in the detail.

Bob Robb:
The initial 375 pages and hasn't been written, so there's ample opportunity top find devils in the detail. On the other hand, the basic elements of the compromise are relatively well known, and I think can be fairly judged.

Matthew Whitaker:
Ok. Now, why is this agreement listing more towards the right when the democrats aren't in control of congress?

Bob Robb:
The perception is that for political cover and as -- in terms of political reality, you simply have to have a larger buy-in from republicans than McCain Kennedy, the previous immigration reform head. Speaker of the house Nancy Lows I has said she's not going to bring anything that doesn't have at least 70 republican votes. I think that's in part for political cover. And are in order to avoid a filibuster in the senate you need a great deal of bipartisan buy-in. Immigration expansionist give a great deal in this compromise. Not a pathway to citizenship for future workers, a change in the emphasis in terms of permanent residency. In order to try to achieve that republican buy-in. It appears they got it in the Senate, I think it's still very iffy whether they will get that buy-in on the house.

Matthew Whitaker:
So this path, this question of the path, the legal status, is that already being attacked as an amnesty, essentially?

Bob Robb:
Yes. The focus of the immigration restrictionists on the other side of the political spectrum, has always been on what do you do with those who are currently here. And anything short of deportation has been denounce the by them as amnesty. This has much tougher provisions in terms of allowing those who are currently here legally to stay, than -- but it still ultimately gives temporary status with the opportunity to obtain permanent status and ultimately citizenship, and those provisions are being heavily criticized by immigration restrictionists.

Matthew Whitaker:
How would those already living here gain citizenship?

Bob Robb:
They initially would be eligible if they can show that they're employed, or have a head of household who is employed. A temporary immigration status. After a backlog of people who are waiting in line to receive permanent residency visas were cleared, then they would be eligible for permanent residency status if they continue to show employment, if they could show good English skills, if they took some civic courses. And paid a fairly hefty fines, about $5,000. And once they get permanent residency, they're then eligible for citizenship. In reality, the soonest that anyone who is currently here illegally would be eligible for citizenship would be in about 13 years. So it's a fairly long, fairly arduous process. But in the meantime, they do get to stay here rather than go home to their country.

Matthew Whitaker:
So they don't have to go home?

Bob Robb:
In order to apply for the permanent residency status, they would have to apply for that from their actual previous home.

Matthew Whitaker:
Ok.

Bob Robb:
But it's frankly a bit of an eye wash provision, it's nothing that's substantive. They don't have to spend a period of time not in the United States, not working in the United States.

Matthew Whitaker:
I see. Can you tell us a little bit about the guest worker program?

Bob Robb:
The guest worker program would be generous in terms of the numbers, about 400,000 a year to begin with. However, it would only be temporary. It would be good for two years and then the person who had it would have to sit out for a year and then would be eligible for two new renewals on the same basis. But would not be eligible for permanent residency or citizenship. Instead of having sort of guest workers transferring into permanent residency, then citizenship, and with all the rights of bringing family members in, it would be more of a circulating body of temporary workers. Ultimately you would become ineligible and others would take your place.

Matthew Whitaker:
I'd like to ask you, the bill calls for tougher border enforcement. How are we going to accomplish that?

Bob Robb:
Lots more border agents, fencing, technology, and most importantly I think workplace verification. Requiring employers to electronically verify the eligibility of workers in the future.

Matthew Whitaker: Great.
Thank you very much, Bob, for joining us again.

Bob Robb:
My pleasure.

Matthew Whitaker:
The state Senate yesterday passed its version of the budget. The $10.6 billion spending plan was a true bipartisan effort, with the main spending bill passing two-6. Tax cuts bills were passed unanimously. Also, the governor has indicated she will sign it. The ball is now in the house's court. I'll talk to the senate president Tim Bee, but first, here are some basics of the budget.

Mike Sauceda:
The Senate budget totals $10.6 billion, a 2\% increase over last year. It has a $7 million tax cut for new business property, it would create $500 million in new freeway funding immediately by increasing the issuance of highway bonds from 20 to 30 years. Indy 500 has $62 million for accelerated highway projects, the budget includes a 2\% inflation adjustment for education, it also provides another $80 million in new kindergarten funding. There is $46 million in the Senate budget to get starting teacher pay up to $33,000 a year. In the health and welfare arena, the spending plan has $9 million extra money for child care subsidies, the senate plan would also allow kids care, a health care plan for the poor to be promoted in different ways through schools. In the area of public safety, ment senate budget has $3.3 million for inmate population growth, and $9.4 million for 1,000 previously authorized private prison beds. The senate budget also has a 3\% pay raise for state workers.

Matthew Whitaker:
Here now to discuss the state senate's budget is senate president Tim Bee. Thank you very much for joining us.

Tim Bee:
Pleasure to be here.

Matthew Whitaker:
Pretty smooth sailing for this effort. Can you tell us how this happened?

Tim Bee:
It's actually been a long effort this session. We dug into it, it's taken us about 12 weeks, but early on we decided to take an approach of having both parties, leaders sit down and negotiate a budget proposal. We spent a lot of time digging into the details of this budget and really trying to produce the most efficient product that we could. It's a low gross budget; our revenues have slowed over last year while we're still growing. We're not growing as fast. And we felt that we did not want to use gimmicks or borrowing to balance this budget. So we dug into it, we produced an efficient lean budget, but we also tried to address the needs of the state.

Matthew Whitaker:
How did you come to negotiate with the governor more actively this time, rather than what we've seen in the past? Can you comment on that?

Time Bee:
The process has been the process of putting out a budget that favored one caucus. We've seen vetoed budgets year after year, and ultimately I believe that led to budgets that cost us more in the ultimate outcome. So I chose to try and put together a team and get the budget done in one pass. I got strong direction from the republican caucus when we had an organizational meeting that they did not want to do multiple budgets.

Matthew Whitaker:
The day before the senate passed its budget, the house failed. What happened there?

Time Bee:
Can't get inside the other chamber and figure out exactly what went on, but certainly each chamber is very different. And I have great respect for the speaker, and I know that he probably believed very firmly that he had the support for that budget. And I know he will work to try and find the concerns of his caucus members and put a budget back together that he can get out.

Matthew Whitaker:
Ok. Can you comment on the differences between the budgets at all?

Time Bee:
We've communicated with the House leadership throughout our process, and there are a lot of similarities. Some of the differences at this point as they were wrapping things up, for example, they had a larger tax cut proposal than what the senate ultimately had. Although in the base budget this year there's about $600 million of tax cuts, and a continuation of property tax relief. But there are differences there as far as the tax cut proposals they were pursuing. And there are all sorts of differences in some parts of the spending plans. We do more in the area of taking care of the elderly, and the children than what they had in their proposal, but ultimately we'll be able to reconcile those differences.

Matthew Whitaker:
Now, there were four in the senate who voted against the main spending bill. Can you tell us what they were against, what the opposition was about?

Tim Bee:
Primarily they're there are members from both caucuses that voted no. From the Republican perspective, those would have liked to have seen more in the area of larger tax cuts and perhaps a little more in the school choice area. I think on the democrat side, they would have liked to have seen more spending in some of the health and welfare programs. So I think that demonstrates when you have -- we have broad support. I think that just demonstrated when you have people unhappy on both sides, you probably have a good product.

Matthew Whitaker:
Can you tell us why tax cuts were limited, new tax cuts were limited to $7 million in biscuits, specifically?

Tim Bee:
I think we tried to focus on the business area because in the base proposal tax cuts for individuals in a large way. Over $200 million of the income tax, over $200 million in property tax relief, and we chose to focus on a key specific area that we believe will help make Arizona more attractive to business and help bring us some more -- high-paying jobs, but also to provide relief for our small businesses as well.

Matthew Whitaker:
There's a one-time boost in highway funding, much more is needed obviously so what's being worked on for highway funding?

Tim Bee:
Obviously transportation was the number one issue going in, and I think everyone -- 95 one who drives on the freeways knows we have a problem. Last year we invested a lot of money in our highway account. We did not have the resources this year to do that. But we chose to increase capacity in our bonding so we could have another $500 million available for acceleration. And I think that will go a long way. But still it's only just the beginning. I believe you're going to see a real effort in the interim between this section and next year's to put together a blue ribbon task force to come up with recommendations for us.

Matthew Whitaker:
And there was $80 million set aside for kindergarten. Is that all-day kindergarten?

Tim Bee:
Yes. In fact, that was also passed as part of last year's budget proposal. Part of the whole agreement on the tax cut package. We did a lot last year that overlap in addition this year.

Matthew Whitaker:
Now, question about starting teacher pay. My wife is a teacher; she'll be interested in this. Starting pay would go up to $33,000 a year. Is that correct?

Tim Bee:
That's our intent. We put up $46 million of new money available for teacher salary increases. If we were to bring all teachers in the state up to a minimum of $33,000, about $6 million of that $46 million would be needed do that. The other $40 million would be available for teacher salary increases to prevent compression.

Matthew Whitaker:
Why include in the senate budget a prohibition on requiring young girls to receive the H.P.V. vaccine? And of course this is the vaccine that prevents cervical cancer.

Tim Bee:
There's a little misunderstanding about that proposal. The senate proposal funds money for D.H.S. to provide that vaccine. The restriction is that the state could not mandate that vaccine for school attendance. In other states I understand they have mandated that student -- the children must have this vaccine in order to attend school. We did not want to place that mandate. We wanted families to be able to make that choice, whether or not they want their children to have that vaccine. If they want it, they can get it, if they don't want to, they don't have to.

Matthew Whitaker:
What's being done to set budget to the house?

Time Bee:
Well, we've been working with the house throughout. The speaker and I will be visiting in the upcoming week and we'll be making decisions about how to proceed. Certainly the ball's in their court, and the speaker will have a huge opportunity to influence how this process moves forward.

Matthew Whitaker:
And what is your overall impression of how this is transpiring? In terms of what was going on in the Senate, is this something that you've been encouraged by?

Tim Bee:
I've been involved in budget negotiations for the last five years as the majority leader and now as the president, and this was one of the finest negotiations that I've been involved with. Very cordial, respectful of each others' opinions, certainly made tremendous stride. I would hope that the body can continue. I think the public is tired of partisan bickering, and while we're not sacrificing our principles, it's who we are as republicans or democrats, we came together to work on issues that affect the state. And I'm proud of that.

Matthew Whitaker:
Thank you very much for joining us.

Tim Bee:
Thank you.

Matthew Whitaker:
In recent years the NFL has reached out to minority and women-owned businesses in cities hosting the super bowl to make sure those companies participate in the economic wind fall. I'll talk to a super bowl host committee official about that, but first, Mike Sauceda tells us about the most recent seminar for emerging businesses.

Mike Sauceda:
Women and minority-owned business owners registered for the host committee emerging business seminar.

Seminar speaker:
We're very committed to this process. We're very competitive about Arizona. Miami did an excellent job of reaching out to the women and minority-owned business community and engage them and in essence lack of a better term, we're in a golf community, teed them up. We want to do better.

Mike Sauceda:
The seminars help women and minority-owned business owners hook up to potential opportunities.

Linda Tihkan:
Today is the second in a number of workshops that we're presenting to the business community. And it's a more general format, where the suppliers can come in and they can learn about the opportunities that are available, so in other words, the NFL has business partners in place and one of them, party planners west, is here to speak about specific events that she's overseen and the types of needs that show -- she'll be looking to fill, and what types of suppliers she'll be utility leasing and filling those needs. Those -- there's also another speaker speaking about strategic alliances and how businesses can go about looking at developing a strategic alliance with another business, maybe to be able to fulfill a need. So those are the types of 14 topics, maybe a little bit broader at this point, maybe less specific, but something that brings value back to them in order to effectively plan their participation in the super bowl.

Mike Sauceda:
Tihkan says the NFL has no quota, and is voluntarily seeking to help emerging businesses.

Linda Tihkan:
They decided to do this. When they look at impacting the community and knowing they're coming in here, they don't want it to be just a one-day event. Sure, they want the businesses to have a chance to maybe get some business on their own, but not just for that one day. How can they improve their business relationships? Some of the workshops may also have topics that are of interest not only for doing business with the super bowl, but doing business with a larger community as well.

Mike Sauceda:
Salt river project is a sole sponsor of the seminars.

Linda Tihkan:
From a standpoint of what we get from that sponsorship, again, being able to partner with the super bowl, a huge events that coming in to your community, an impact, and getting the opportunity to our local business owners to be participating in that, and perhaps get a slice of that super bowl pie, then we want to be able to provide that opportunity to let them know what they need to do.

Mike Sauceda:
Business owners must go through a certification process. April own as mesa marketing distributorship.

April Stremming:
I am certified, I'm a minority, I'm Mexican, and I'm a woman in case you didn't notice.

Mike Matthew:
She's grateful for the chance to participate in the seminar.

April Stremming:
I'm just grateful that we have corporations like an S.R.P. who are giving us opportunities to come out here and give us these opportunities. Open these doors for us to be able to walk through. Giving us windows so we cannot walk through, but see what other opportunities there are for us. Create opportunities for us, which is really important and we're just really grateful for that.

Matthew Whitaker:
Here now to tell us more about the emerging business seminars is Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez. Vice-president for Emerging Businesses and Community Outreach for the Arizona Super Bowl host committee. Nadine is also a former "Horizon" producer. Thank you for joining us.

Nadine Rodriguez:
My pleasure.

Matthew Whitaker:
For those who may be wondering, can you tell us why the super bowl is reaching out to women and minority-owned businesses?

Nadine Rodriguez:
The program started in 1994. And 1996 when it came to Arizona, it became a program that was already in function. Now, 13 years later, it's become an integral part of the NFL. It's giving an opportunity a. True opportunity for these businesses to have an even playing field to participate in such an event that cannot be done just by submitting bids to any company anywhere, it has to be centralized and it has to be offered at an even level. And that's how the process really is focused.

Matthew Whitaker:
Now, has the outreach been successful, like in the case of last year in Miami?

Nadine Rodriguez:
Yeah. It's been a very successful program. It brings out a great number of minority and women-owned businesses. Certainly the program is geared to recruit to bring in all these minority-women-owned businesses that can service these areas that the NFL has identified that they need those services, particularly to put all the events around the super bowl together. And by doing this, you are identifying small businesses, medium-sized businesses, and large business necessary that local area. What makes those unique personally is that we are a state super bowl, unlike any other location. Everybody else is a local, San Diego, a Houston, Miami, Fort Lauderdale. Excuse me, Tampa. So those locations are a little more smaller scaled. We are an entire state. And we truly have an opportunity to just bring out all those firms all over the state of Arizona and really identifying them, so not only are we in the super bowl acknowledging them and bringing them in as potential vendors for the events, but for other vendors. Other contractors. in the state and outside the state to notice that Arizona has a great number of potential vendors that can do phenomenal work at all levels.

Matthew Whitaker:
Can you tell us, what are these business owners learning at the seminars?

Nadine Rodriguez:
That's one of the biggest parts of the program, the workshops. The workshops are geared towards helping them understand, giving them an insight, a peak, if you may, of the opportunities that realize when putting the event together. But also it allows them to be recognized and to be viewed as a more inclusive and more integral part of Arizona. One of the things that we like to do in these workshops is to teach them about what's going on for that event, but also try to provide them tools to empower them, as we like to say, empower them so they can take something from these workshops beyond us. That's why the second workshop was called effective planning for super bowl and beyond. Because what we want them to gain from this is long-term success.

Matthew Whitaker:
Ok. And we have about a minute left. What do they have to do to become eligible?

Nadine Rodriguez:
One of the most important things they must do is be certified. A certified minority women-owned firm. Five of the agencies we've partnered up with. They're list order our website, azsuper bowl.com. Once you're certified, you're there. Send it to us, we verify your certification and you're on our resource guide.

Matthew Whitaker:
Great. Wonderful. When can we look forward to more seminars?

Nadine Rodriguez:
We have one planned in June for Tucson, because we certainly, again, this is a statewide event, so we're going to Tucson in June. We're going to host a workshop there. And then we're going to have more in the fall. So log on our website and find those dates.

Matthew Whitaker:
Thank you very much for joining us on "Horizon."

Nadine Rodriguez:
Thank you.

Larry Lemmons:
The state legislature works to make our roads safer, interlock ignition systems will be mandatory for drunk drivers if the governor approves. And it may soon be harder to get a payday loan in the valley. Those stories and more on the Journalists Round Table, Friday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Matthew Whitaker:
Thank you for joining on us this Thursday evening on "Horizon." I'm Matthew Whitaker. Good night.

senate Budget


  • The Senate has passed a bi-partisan $10.6 Billion state budget. Senate President Tim Bee will tell us about the spending plan.
Guests:
  • Bob Robb - Columnist, Arizona Republic
  • Tim Bee - President, Arizona State Senate
  • Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez - Vice-president, Emerging Businesses and Community Outreach, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee
Category: Legislature

View Transcript

Matthew Whitaker:
Tonight on Horizon; The White House and the Senate have reached agreement on an immigration bill. We'll fill you in.
The State Senate passes its version of the budget. An update from the Senate president. And we'll tell about you seminars being held to help minority and women-owned businesses get a piece of the super bowl pie.
All that's coming up next on "Horizon."

Matthew Whitaker:
Good evening, and welcome to Horizon. I'm Matthew Whitaker.

Matthew Whitaker:
A bipartisan group of senators and bush administration today reached an agreement on a new immigration proposal. The bill offers a way to deal with the illegal immigrants already here, but not until certain triggers are reached in tougher border enforcement. Governor Janet Napolitano offered this comment on the agreement. Quote - The proposed senate compromise is a start, but as with all things related to immigration, the devil is in the details. Clearly there's much to be fixed as the debate moves forward. For example, one trigger in this proposal involves waiting for enforcement. Enforcement measures to be in place which could take 18 months or more before activating a temporary worker program. As governor of a border state who deals with this on a daily basis, I can assure you that we cannot and should not wait that long. End quote. Here now to talk more about this bill is Bob Robb, a columnist for "the Arizona republic." tell us, is this a monumental event, getting these extremes together to pass this bipartisan, prepare this bipartisan proposal?

Bob Robb:
It's certainly a monumental opportunity. Both immigration expansionists in the senate and immigration restrictionists gave a great deal to forge this particular compromise. Whether it actually is ultimately monumental depends frankly on how others accept it. In significant part republicans in the house who have been opposed to anything, provided any opportunity for those currently here illegally to stay. That is an element of this particular compromise. On the other hand, there's sharp limitations on the amount of future low-skilled immigration that could be brought forward in the country, and a shift in emphasis with respect to permanent residency from family consolidations, to workplace skills. So that's -- so if -- if the house republicans look at the past, those who are currently here illegally, rather than the future, then they're likely to reject it.

Matthew Whitaker:
Ok. In my intro, I read a statement from the government -- from the governor about the devils being in the detail.

Bob Robb:
The initial 375 pages and hasn't been written, so there's ample opportunity top find devils in the detail. On the other hand, the basic elements of the compromise are relatively well known, and I think can be fairly judged.

Matthew Whitaker:
Ok. Now, why is this agreement listing more towards the right when the democrats aren't in control of congress?

Bob Robb:
The perception is that for political cover and as -- in terms of political reality, you simply have to have a larger buy-in from republicans than McCain Kennedy, the previous immigration reform head. Speaker of the house Nancy Lows I has said she's not going to bring anything that doesn't have at least 70 republican votes. I think that's in part for political cover. And are in order to avoid a filibuster in the senate you need a great deal of bipartisan buy-in. Immigration expansionist give a great deal in this compromise. Not a pathway to citizenship for future workers, a change in the emphasis in terms of permanent residency. In order to try to achieve that republican buy-in. It appears they got it in the Senate, I think it's still very iffy whether they will get that buy-in on the house.

Matthew Whitaker:
So this path, this question of the path, the legal status, is that already being attacked as an amnesty, essentially?

Bob Robb:
Yes. The focus of the immigration restrictionists on the other side of the political spectrum, has always been on what do you do with those who are currently here. And anything short of deportation has been denounce the by them as amnesty. This has much tougher provisions in terms of allowing those who are currently here legally to stay, than -- but it still ultimately gives temporary status with the opportunity to obtain permanent status and ultimately citizenship, and those provisions are being heavily criticized by immigration restrictionists.

Matthew Whitaker:
How would those already living here gain citizenship?

Bob Robb:
They initially would be eligible if they can show that they're employed, or have a head of household who is employed. A temporary immigration status. After a backlog of people who are waiting in line to receive permanent residency visas were cleared, then they would be eligible for permanent residency status if they continue to show employment, if they could show good English skills, if they took some civic courses. And paid a fairly hefty fines, about $5,000. And once they get permanent residency, they're then eligible for citizenship. In reality, the soonest that anyone who is currently here illegally would be eligible for citizenship would be in about 13 years. So it's a fairly long, fairly arduous process. But in the meantime, they do get to stay here rather than go home to their country.

Matthew Whitaker:
So they don't have to go home?

Bob Robb:
In order to apply for the permanent residency status, they would have to apply for that from their actual previous home.

Matthew Whitaker:
Ok.

Bob Robb:
But it's frankly a bit of an eye wash provision, it's nothing that's substantive. They don't have to spend a period of time not in the United States, not working in the United States.

Matthew Whitaker:
I see. Can you tell us a little bit about the guest worker program?

Bob Robb:
The guest worker program would be generous in terms of the numbers, about 400,000 a year to begin with. However, it would only be temporary. It would be good for two years and then the person who had it would have to sit out for a year and then would be eligible for two new renewals on the same basis. But would not be eligible for permanent residency or citizenship. Instead of having sort of guest workers transferring into permanent residency, then citizenship, and with all the rights of bringing family members in, it would be more of a circulating body of temporary workers. Ultimately you would become ineligible and others would take your place.

Matthew Whitaker:
I'd like to ask you, the bill calls for tougher border enforcement. How are we going to accomplish that?

Bob Robb:
Lots more border agents, fencing, technology, and most importantly I think workplace verification. Requiring employers to electronically verify the eligibility of workers in the future.

Matthew Whitaker: Great.
Thank you very much, Bob, for joining us again.

Bob Robb:
My pleasure.

Matthew Whitaker:
The state Senate yesterday passed its version of the budget. The $10.6 billion spending plan was a true bipartisan effort, with the main spending bill passing two-6. Tax cuts bills were passed unanimously. Also, the governor has indicated she will sign it. The ball is now in the house's court. I'll talk to the senate president Tim Bee, but first, here are some basics of the budget.

Mike Sauceda:
The Senate budget totals $10.6 billion, a 2\% increase over last year. It has a $7 million tax cut for new business property, it would create $500 million in new freeway funding immediately by increasing the issuance of highway bonds from 20 to 30 years. Indy 500 has $62 million for accelerated highway projects, the budget includes a 2\% inflation adjustment for education, it also provides another $80 million in new kindergarten funding. There is $46 million in the Senate budget to get starting teacher pay up to $33,000 a year. In the health and welfare arena, the spending plan has $9 million extra money for child care subsidies, the senate plan would also allow kids care, a health care plan for the poor to be promoted in different ways through schools. In the area of public safety, ment senate budget has $3.3 million for inmate population growth, and $9.4 million for 1,000 previously authorized private prison beds. The senate budget also has a 3\% pay raise for state workers.

Matthew Whitaker:
Here now to discuss the state senate's budget is senate president Tim Bee. Thank you very much for joining us.

Tim Bee:
Pleasure to be here.

Matthew Whitaker:
Pretty smooth sailing for this effort. Can you tell us how this happened?

Tim Bee:
It's actually been a long effort this session. We dug into it, it's taken us about 12 weeks, but early on we decided to take an approach of having both parties, leaders sit down and negotiate a budget proposal. We spent a lot of time digging into the details of this budget and really trying to produce the most efficient product that we could. It's a low gross budget; our revenues have slowed over last year while we're still growing. We're not growing as fast. And we felt that we did not want to use gimmicks or borrowing to balance this budget. So we dug into it, we produced an efficient lean budget, but we also tried to address the needs of the state.

Matthew Whitaker:
How did you come to negotiate with the governor more actively this time, rather than what we've seen in the past? Can you comment on that?

Time Bee:
The process has been the process of putting out a budget that favored one caucus. We've seen vetoed budgets year after year, and ultimately I believe that led to budgets that cost us more in the ultimate outcome. So I chose to try and put together a team and get the budget done in one pass. I got strong direction from the republican caucus when we had an organizational meeting that they did not want to do multiple budgets.

Matthew Whitaker:
The day before the senate passed its budget, the house failed. What happened there?

Time Bee:
Can't get inside the other chamber and figure out exactly what went on, but certainly each chamber is very different. And I have great respect for the speaker, and I know that he probably believed very firmly that he had the support for that budget. And I know he will work to try and find the concerns of his caucus members and put a budget back together that he can get out.

Matthew Whitaker:
Ok. Can you comment on the differences between the budgets at all?

Time Bee:
We've communicated with the House leadership throughout our process, and there are a lot of similarities. Some of the differences at this point as they were wrapping things up, for example, they had a larger tax cut proposal than what the senate ultimately had. Although in the base budget this year there's about $600 million of tax cuts, and a continuation of property tax relief. But there are differences there as far as the tax cut proposals they were pursuing. And there are all sorts of differences in some parts of the spending plans. We do more in the area of taking care of the elderly, and the children than what they had in their proposal, but ultimately we'll be able to reconcile those differences.

Matthew Whitaker:
Now, there were four in the senate who voted against the main spending bill. Can you tell us what they were against, what the opposition was about?

Tim Bee:
Primarily they're there are members from both caucuses that voted no. From the Republican perspective, those would have liked to have seen more in the area of larger tax cuts and perhaps a little more in the school choice area. I think on the democrat side, they would have liked to have seen more spending in some of the health and welfare programs. So I think that demonstrates when you have -- we have broad support. I think that just demonstrated when you have people unhappy on both sides, you probably have a good product.

Matthew Whitaker:
Can you tell us why tax cuts were limited, new tax cuts were limited to $7 million in biscuits, specifically?

Tim Bee:
I think we tried to focus on the business area because in the base proposal tax cuts for individuals in a large way. Over $200 million of the income tax, over $200 million in property tax relief, and we chose to focus on a key specific area that we believe will help make Arizona more attractive to business and help bring us some more -- high-paying jobs, but also to provide relief for our small businesses as well.

Matthew Whitaker:
There's a one-time boost in highway funding, much more is needed obviously so what's being worked on for highway funding?

Tim Bee:
Obviously transportation was the number one issue going in, and I think everyone -- 95 one who drives on the freeways knows we have a problem. Last year we invested a lot of money in our highway account. We did not have the resources this year to do that. But we chose to increase capacity in our bonding so we could have another $500 million available for acceleration. And I think that will go a long way. But still it's only just the beginning. I believe you're going to see a real effort in the interim between this section and next year's to put together a blue ribbon task force to come up with recommendations for us.

Matthew Whitaker:
And there was $80 million set aside for kindergarten. Is that all-day kindergarten?

Tim Bee:
Yes. In fact, that was also passed as part of last year's budget proposal. Part of the whole agreement on the tax cut package. We did a lot last year that overlap in addition this year.

Matthew Whitaker:
Now, question about starting teacher pay. My wife is a teacher; she'll be interested in this. Starting pay would go up to $33,000 a year. Is that correct?

Tim Bee:
That's our intent. We put up $46 million of new money available for teacher salary increases. If we were to bring all teachers in the state up to a minimum of $33,000, about $6 million of that $46 million would be needed do that. The other $40 million would be available for teacher salary increases to prevent compression.

Matthew Whitaker:
Why include in the senate budget a prohibition on requiring young girls to receive the H.P.V. vaccine? And of course this is the vaccine that prevents cervical cancer.

Tim Bee:
There's a little misunderstanding about that proposal. The senate proposal funds money for D.H.S. to provide that vaccine. The restriction is that the state could not mandate that vaccine for school attendance. In other states I understand they have mandated that student -- the children must have this vaccine in order to attend school. We did not want to place that mandate. We wanted families to be able to make that choice, whether or not they want their children to have that vaccine. If they want it, they can get it, if they don't want to, they don't have to.

Matthew Whitaker:
What's being done to set budget to the house?

Time Bee:
Well, we've been working with the house throughout. The speaker and I will be visiting in the upcoming week and we'll be making decisions about how to proceed. Certainly the ball's in their court, and the speaker will have a huge opportunity to influence how this process moves forward.

Matthew Whitaker:
And what is your overall impression of how this is transpiring? In terms of what was going on in the Senate, is this something that you've been encouraged by?

Tim Bee:
I've been involved in budget negotiations for the last five years as the majority leader and now as the president, and this was one of the finest negotiations that I've been involved with. Very cordial, respectful of each others' opinions, certainly made tremendous stride. I would hope that the body can continue. I think the public is tired of partisan bickering, and while we're not sacrificing our principles, it's who we are as republicans or democrats, we came together to work on issues that affect the state. And I'm proud of that.

Matthew Whitaker:
Thank you very much for joining us.

Tim Bee:
Thank you.

Matthew Whitaker:
In recent years the NFL has reached out to minority and women-owned businesses in cities hosting the super bowl to make sure those companies participate in the economic wind fall. I'll talk to a super bowl host committee official about that, but first, Mike Sauceda tells us about the most recent seminar for emerging businesses.

Mike Sauceda:
Women and minority-owned business owners registered for the host committee emerging business seminar.

Seminar speaker:
We're very committed to this process. We're very competitive about Arizona. Miami did an excellent job of reaching out to the women and minority-owned business community and engage them and in essence lack of a better term, we're in a golf community, teed them up. We want to do better.

Mike Sauceda:
The seminars help women and minority-owned business owners hook up to potential opportunities.

Linda Tihkan:
Today is the second in a number of workshops that we're presenting to the business community. And it's a more general format, where the suppliers can come in and they can learn about the opportunities that are available, so in other words, the NFL has business partners in place and one of them, party planners west, is here to speak about specific events that she's overseen and the types of needs that show -- she'll be looking to fill, and what types of suppliers she'll be utility leasing and filling those needs. Those -- there's also another speaker speaking about strategic alliances and how businesses can go about looking at developing a strategic alliance with another business, maybe to be able to fulfill a need. So those are the types of 14 topics, maybe a little bit broader at this point, maybe less specific, but something that brings value back to them in order to effectively plan their participation in the super bowl.

Mike Sauceda:
Tihkan says the NFL has no quota, and is voluntarily seeking to help emerging businesses.

Linda Tihkan:
They decided to do this. When they look at impacting the community and knowing they're coming in here, they don't want it to be just a one-day event. Sure, they want the businesses to have a chance to maybe get some business on their own, but not just for that one day. How can they improve their business relationships? Some of the workshops may also have topics that are of interest not only for doing business with the super bowl, but doing business with a larger community as well.

Mike Sauceda:
Salt river project is a sole sponsor of the seminars.

Linda Tihkan:
From a standpoint of what we get from that sponsorship, again, being able to partner with the super bowl, a huge events that coming in to your community, an impact, and getting the opportunity to our local business owners to be participating in that, and perhaps get a slice of that super bowl pie, then we want to be able to provide that opportunity to let them know what they need to do.

Mike Sauceda:
Business owners must go through a certification process. April own as mesa marketing distributorship.

April Stremming:
I am certified, I'm a minority, I'm Mexican, and I'm a woman in case you didn't notice.

Mike Matthew:
She's grateful for the chance to participate in the seminar.

April Stremming:
I'm just grateful that we have corporations like an S.R.P. who are giving us opportunities to come out here and give us these opportunities. Open these doors for us to be able to walk through. Giving us windows so we cannot walk through, but see what other opportunities there are for us. Create opportunities for us, which is really important and we're just really grateful for that.

Matthew Whitaker:
Here now to tell us more about the emerging business seminars is Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez. Vice-president for Emerging Businesses and Community Outreach for the Arizona Super Bowl host committee. Nadine is also a former "Horizon" producer. Thank you for joining us.

Nadine Rodriguez:
My pleasure.

Matthew Whitaker:
For those who may be wondering, can you tell us why the super bowl is reaching out to women and minority-owned businesses?

Nadine Rodriguez:
The program started in 1994. And 1996 when it came to Arizona, it became a program that was already in function. Now, 13 years later, it's become an integral part of the NFL. It's giving an opportunity a. True opportunity for these businesses to have an even playing field to participate in such an event that cannot be done just by submitting bids to any company anywhere, it has to be centralized and it has to be offered at an even level. And that's how the process really is focused.

Matthew Whitaker:
Now, has the outreach been successful, like in the case of last year in Miami?

Nadine Rodriguez:
Yeah. It's been a very successful program. It brings out a great number of minority and women-owned businesses. Certainly the program is geared to recruit to bring in all these minority-women-owned businesses that can service these areas that the NFL has identified that they need those services, particularly to put all the events around the super bowl together. And by doing this, you are identifying small businesses, medium-sized businesses, and large business necessary that local area. What makes those unique personally is that we are a state super bowl, unlike any other location. Everybody else is a local, San Diego, a Houston, Miami, Fort Lauderdale. Excuse me, Tampa. So those locations are a little more smaller scaled. We are an entire state. And we truly have an opportunity to just bring out all those firms all over the state of Arizona and really identifying them, so not only are we in the super bowl acknowledging them and bringing them in as potential vendors for the events, but for other vendors. Other contractors. in the state and outside the state to notice that Arizona has a great number of potential vendors that can do phenomenal work at all levels.

Matthew Whitaker:
Can you tell us, what are these business owners learning at the seminars?

Nadine Rodriguez:
That's one of the biggest parts of the program, the workshops. The workshops are geared towards helping them understand, giving them an insight, a peak, if you may, of the opportunities that realize when putting the event together. But also it allows them to be recognized and to be viewed as a more inclusive and more integral part of Arizona. One of the things that we like to do in these workshops is to teach them about what's going on for that event, but also try to provide them tools to empower them, as we like to say, empower them so they can take something from these workshops beyond us. That's why the second workshop was called effective planning for super bowl and beyond. Because what we want them to gain from this is long-term success.

Matthew Whitaker:
Ok. And we have about a minute left. What do they have to do to become eligible?

Nadine Rodriguez:
One of the most important things they must do is be certified. A certified minority women-owned firm. Five of the agencies we've partnered up with. They're list order our website, azsuper bowl.com. Once you're certified, you're there. Send it to us, we verify your certification and you're on our resource guide.

Matthew Whitaker:
Great. Wonderful. When can we look forward to more seminars?

Nadine Rodriguez:
We have one planned in June for Tucson, because we certainly, again, this is a statewide event, so we're going to Tucson in June. We're going to host a workshop there. And then we're going to have more in the fall. So log on our website and find those dates.

Matthew Whitaker:
Thank you very much for joining us on "Horizon."

Nadine Rodriguez:
Thank you.

Larry Lemmons:
The state legislature works to make our roads safer, interlock ignition systems will be mandatory for drunk drivers if the governor approves. And it may soon be harder to get a payday loan in the valley. Those stories and more on the Journalists Round Table, Friday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Matthew Whitaker:
Thank you for joining on us this Thursday evening on "Horizon." I'm Matthew Whitaker. Good night.

super Bowl Emerging Businesses


  • The Super Bowl Committee is holding a series of workshops for women and minority- owned businesses to help those businesses get contracts for the Super Bowl and related events. Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee will tell us more.
Guests:
  • Bob Robb - Columnist, Arizona Republic
  • Tim Bee - President, Arizona State Senate
  • Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez - Vice-president, Emerging Businesses and Community Outreach, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee
Category: Business/Economy

View Transcript

Matthew Whitaker:
Tonight on Horizon; The White House and the Senate have reached agreement on an immigration bill. We'll fill you in.
The State Senate passes its version of the budget. An update from the Senate president. And we'll tell about you seminars being held to help minority and women-owned businesses get a piece of the super bowl pie.
All that's coming up next on "Horizon."

Matthew Whitaker:
Good evening, and welcome to Horizon. I'm Matthew Whitaker.

Matthew Whitaker:
A bipartisan group of senators and bush administration today reached an agreement on a new immigration proposal. The bill offers a way to deal with the illegal immigrants already here, but not until certain triggers are reached in tougher border enforcement. Governor Janet Napolitano offered this comment on the agreement. Quote - The proposed senate compromise is a start, but as with all things related to immigration, the devil is in the details. Clearly there's much to be fixed as the debate moves forward. For example, one trigger in this proposal involves waiting for enforcement. Enforcement measures to be in place which could take 18 months or more before activating a temporary worker program. As governor of a border state who deals with this on a daily basis, I can assure you that we cannot and should not wait that long. End quote. Here now to talk more about this bill is Bob Robb, a columnist for "the Arizona republic." tell us, is this a monumental event, getting these extremes together to pass this bipartisan, prepare this bipartisan proposal?

Bob Robb:
It's certainly a monumental opportunity. Both immigration expansionists in the senate and immigration restrictionists gave a great deal to forge this particular compromise. Whether it actually is ultimately monumental depends frankly on how others accept it. In significant part republicans in the house who have been opposed to anything, provided any opportunity for those currently here illegally to stay. That is an element of this particular compromise. On the other hand, there's sharp limitations on the amount of future low-skilled immigration that could be brought forward in the country, and a shift in emphasis with respect to permanent residency from family consolidations, to workplace skills. So that's -- so if -- if the house republicans look at the past, those who are currently here illegally, rather than the future, then they're likely to reject it.

Matthew Whitaker:
Ok. In my intro, I read a statement from the government -- from the governor about the devils being in the detail.

Bob Robb:
The initial 375 pages and hasn't been written, so there's ample opportunity top find devils in the detail. On the other hand, the basic elements of the compromise are relatively well known, and I think can be fairly judged.

Matthew Whitaker:
Ok. Now, why is this agreement listing more towards the right when the democrats aren't in control of congress?

Bob Robb:
The perception is that for political cover and as -- in terms of political reality, you simply have to have a larger buy-in from republicans than McCain Kennedy, the previous immigration reform head. Speaker of the house Nancy Lows I has said she's not going to bring anything that doesn't have at least 70 republican votes. I think that's in part for political cover. And are in order to avoid a filibuster in the senate you need a great deal of bipartisan buy-in. Immigration expansionist give a great deal in this compromise. Not a pathway to citizenship for future workers, a change in the emphasis in terms of permanent residency. In order to try to achieve that republican buy-in. It appears they got it in the Senate, I think it's still very iffy whether they will get that buy-in on the house.

Matthew Whitaker:
So this path, this question of the path, the legal status, is that already being attacked as an amnesty, essentially?

Bob Robb:
Yes. The focus of the immigration restrictionists on the other side of the political spectrum, has always been on what do you do with those who are currently here. And anything short of deportation has been denounce the by them as amnesty. This has much tougher provisions in terms of allowing those who are currently here legally to stay, than -- but it still ultimately gives temporary status with the opportunity to obtain permanent status and ultimately citizenship, and those provisions are being heavily criticized by immigration restrictionists.

Matthew Whitaker:
How would those already living here gain citizenship?

Bob Robb:
They initially would be eligible if they can show that they're employed, or have a head of household who is employed. A temporary immigration status. After a backlog of people who are waiting in line to receive permanent residency visas were cleared, then they would be eligible for permanent residency status if they continue to show employment, if they could show good English skills, if they took some civic courses. And paid a fairly hefty fines, about $5,000. And once they get permanent residency, they're then eligible for citizenship. In reality, the soonest that anyone who is currently here illegally would be eligible for citizenship would be in about 13 years. So it's a fairly long, fairly arduous process. But in the meantime, they do get to stay here rather than go home to their country.

Matthew Whitaker:
So they don't have to go home?

Bob Robb:
In order to apply for the permanent residency status, they would have to apply for that from their actual previous home.

Matthew Whitaker:
Ok.

Bob Robb:
But it's frankly a bit of an eye wash provision, it's nothing that's substantive. They don't have to spend a period of time not in the United States, not working in the United States.

Matthew Whitaker:
I see. Can you tell us a little bit about the guest worker program?

Bob Robb:
The guest worker program would be generous in terms of the numbers, about 400,000 a year to begin with. However, it would only be temporary. It would be good for two years and then the person who had it would have to sit out for a year and then would be eligible for two new renewals on the same basis. But would not be eligible for permanent residency or citizenship. Instead of having sort of guest workers transferring into permanent residency, then citizenship, and with all the rights of bringing family members in, it would be more of a circulating body of temporary workers. Ultimately you would become ineligible and others would take your place.

Matthew Whitaker:
I'd like to ask you, the bill calls for tougher border enforcement. How are we going to accomplish that?

Bob Robb:
Lots more border agents, fencing, technology, and most importantly I think workplace verification. Requiring employers to electronically verify the eligibility of workers in the future.

Matthew Whitaker: Great.
Thank you very much, Bob, for joining us again.

Bob Robb:
My pleasure.

Matthew Whitaker:
The state Senate yesterday passed its version of the budget. The $10.6 billion spending plan was a true bipartisan effort, with the main spending bill passing two-6. Tax cuts bills were passed unanimously. Also, the governor has indicated she will sign it. The ball is now in the house's court. I'll talk to the senate president Tim Bee, but first, here are some basics of the budget.

Mike Sauceda:
The Senate budget totals $10.6 billion, a 2\% increase over last year. It has a $7 million tax cut for new business property, it would create $500 million in new freeway funding immediately by increasing the issuance of highway bonds from 20 to 30 years. Indy 500 has $62 million for accelerated highway projects, the budget includes a 2\% inflation adjustment for education, it also provides another $80 million in new kindergarten funding. There is $46 million in the Senate budget to get starting teacher pay up to $33,000 a year. In the health and welfare arena, the spending plan has $9 million extra money for child care subsidies, the senate plan would also allow kids care, a health care plan for the poor to be promoted in different ways through schools. In the area of public safety, ment senate budget has $3.3 million for inmate population growth, and $9.4 million for 1,000 previously authorized private prison beds. The senate budget also has a 3\% pay raise for state workers.

Matthew Whitaker:
Here now to discuss the state senate's budget is senate president Tim Bee. Thank you very much for joining us.

Tim Bee:
Pleasure to be here.

Matthew Whitaker:
Pretty smooth sailing for this effort. Can you tell us how this happened?

Tim Bee:
It's actually been a long effort this session. We dug into it, it's taken us about 12 weeks, but early on we decided to take an approach of having both parties, leaders sit down and negotiate a budget proposal. We spent a lot of time digging into the details of this budget and really trying to produce the most efficient product that we could. It's a low gross budget; our revenues have slowed over last year while we're still growing. We're not growing as fast. And we felt that we did not want to use gimmicks or borrowing to balance this budget. So we dug into it, we produced an efficient lean budget, but we also tried to address the needs of the state.

Matthew Whitaker:
How did you come to negotiate with the governor more actively this time, rather than what we've seen in the past? Can you comment on that?

Time Bee:
The process has been the process of putting out a budget that favored one caucus. We've seen vetoed budgets year after year, and ultimately I believe that led to budgets that cost us more in the ultimate outcome. So I chose to try and put together a team and get the budget done in one pass. I got strong direction from the republican caucus when we had an organizational meeting that they did not want to do multiple budgets.

Matthew Whitaker:
The day before the senate passed its budget, the house failed. What happened there?

Time Bee:
Can't get inside the other chamber and figure out exactly what went on, but certainly each chamber is very different. And I have great respect for the speaker, and I know that he probably believed very firmly that he had the support for that budget. And I know he will work to try and find the concerns of his caucus members and put a budget back together that he can get out.

Matthew Whitaker:
Ok. Can you comment on the differences between the budgets at all?

Time Bee:
We've communicated with the House leadership throughout our process, and there are a lot of similarities. Some of the differences at this point as they were wrapping things up, for example, they had a larger tax cut proposal than what the senate ultimately had. Although in the base budget this year there's about $600 million of tax cuts, and a continuation of property tax relief. But there are differences there as far as the tax cut proposals they were pursuing. And there are all sorts of differences in some parts of the spending plans. We do more in the area of taking care of the elderly, and the children than what they had in their proposal, but ultimately we'll be able to reconcile those differences.

Matthew Whitaker:
Now, there were four in the senate who voted against the main spending bill. Can you tell us what they were against, what the opposition was about?

Tim Bee:
Primarily they're there are members from both caucuses that voted no. From the Republican perspective, those would have liked to have seen more in the area of larger tax cuts and perhaps a little more in the school choice area. I think on the democrat side, they would have liked to have seen more spending in some of the health and welfare programs. So I think that demonstrates when you have -- we have broad support. I think that just demonstrated when you have people unhappy on both sides, you probably have a good product.

Matthew Whitaker:
Can you tell us why tax cuts were limited, new tax cuts were limited to $7 million in biscuits, specifically?

Tim Bee:
I think we tried to focus on the business area because in the base proposal tax cuts for individuals in a large way. Over $200 million of the income tax, over $200 million in property tax relief, and we chose to focus on a key specific area that we believe will help make Arizona more attractive to business and help bring us some more -- high-paying jobs, but also to provide relief for our small businesses as well.

Matthew Whitaker:
There's a one-time boost in highway funding, much more is needed obviously so what's being worked on for highway funding?

Tim Bee:
Obviously transportation was the number one issue going in, and I think everyone -- 95 one who drives on the freeways knows we have a problem. Last year we invested a lot of money in our highway account. We did not have the resources this year to do that. But we chose to increase capacity in our bonding so we could have another $500 million available for acceleration. And I think that will go a long way. But still it's only just the beginning. I believe you're going to see a real effort in the interim between this section and next year's to put together a blue ribbon task force to come up with recommendations for us.

Matthew Whitaker:
And there was $80 million set aside for kindergarten. Is that all-day kindergarten?

Tim Bee:
Yes. In fact, that was also passed as part of last year's budget proposal. Part of the whole agreement on the tax cut package. We did a lot last year that overlap in addition this year.

Matthew Whitaker:
Now, question about starting teacher pay. My wife is a teacher; she'll be interested in this. Starting pay would go up to $33,000 a year. Is that correct?

Tim Bee:
That's our intent. We put up $46 million of new money available for teacher salary increases. If we were to bring all teachers in the state up to a minimum of $33,000, about $6 million of that $46 million would be needed do that. The other $40 million would be available for teacher salary increases to prevent compression.

Matthew Whitaker:
Why include in the senate budget a prohibition on requiring young girls to receive the H.P.V. vaccine? And of course this is the vaccine that prevents cervical cancer.

Tim Bee:
There's a little misunderstanding about that proposal. The senate proposal funds money for D.H.S. to provide that vaccine. The restriction is that the state could not mandate that vaccine for school attendance. In other states I understand they have mandated that student -- the children must have this vaccine in order to attend school. We did not want to place that mandate. We wanted families to be able to make that choice, whether or not they want their children to have that vaccine. If they want it, they can get it, if they don't want to, they don't have to.

Matthew Whitaker:
What's being done to set budget to the house?

Time Bee:
Well, we've been working with the house throughout. The speaker and I will be visiting in the upcoming week and we'll be making decisions about how to proceed. Certainly the ball's in their court, and the speaker will have a huge opportunity to influence how this process moves forward.

Matthew Whitaker:
And what is your overall impression of how this is transpiring? In terms of what was going on in the Senate, is this something that you've been encouraged by?

Tim Bee:
I've been involved in budget negotiations for the last five years as the majority leader and now as the president, and this was one of the finest negotiations that I've been involved with. Very cordial, respectful of each others' opinions, certainly made tremendous stride. I would hope that the body can continue. I think the public is tired of partisan bickering, and while we're not sacrificing our principles, it's who we are as republicans or democrats, we came together to work on issues that affect the state. And I'm proud of that.

Matthew Whitaker:
Thank you very much for joining us.

Tim Bee:
Thank you.

Matthew Whitaker:
In recent years the NFL has reached out to minority and women-owned businesses in cities hosting the super bowl to make sure those companies participate in the economic wind fall. I'll talk to a super bowl host committee official about that, but first, Mike Sauceda tells us about the most recent seminar for emerging businesses.

Mike Sauceda:
Women and minority-owned business owners registered for the host committee emerging business seminar.

Seminar speaker:
We're very committed to this process. We're very competitive about Arizona. Miami did an excellent job of reaching out to the women and minority-owned business community and engage them and in essence lack of a better term, we're in a golf community, teed them up. We want to do better.

Mike Sauceda:
The seminars help women and minority-owned business owners hook up to potential opportunities.

Linda Tihkan:
Today is the second in a number of workshops that we're presenting to the business community. And it's a more general format, where the suppliers can come in and they can learn about the opportunities that are available, so in other words, the NFL has business partners in place and one of them, party planners west, is here to speak about specific events that she's overseen and the types of needs that show -- she'll be looking to fill, and what types of suppliers she'll be utility leasing and filling those needs. Those -- there's also another speaker speaking about strategic alliances and how businesses can go about looking at developing a strategic alliance with another business, maybe to be able to fulfill a need. So those are the types of 14 topics, maybe a little bit broader at this point, maybe less specific, but something that brings value back to them in order to effectively plan their participation in the super bowl.

Mike Sauceda:
Tihkan says the NFL has no quota, and is voluntarily seeking to help emerging businesses.

Linda Tihkan:
They decided to do this. When they look at impacting the community and knowing they're coming in here, they don't want it to be just a one-day event. Sure, they want the businesses to have a chance to maybe get some business on their own, but not just for that one day. How can they improve their business relationships? Some of the workshops may also have topics that are of interest not only for doing business with the super bowl, but doing business with a larger community as well.

Mike Sauceda:
Salt river project is a sole sponsor of the seminars.

Linda Tihkan:
From a standpoint of what we get from that sponsorship, again, being able to partner with the super bowl, a huge events that coming in to your community, an impact, and getting the opportunity to our local business owners to be participating in that, and perhaps get a slice of that super bowl pie, then we want to be able to provide that opportunity to let them know what they need to do.

Mike Sauceda:
Business owners must go through a certification process. April own as mesa marketing distributorship.

April Stremming:
I am certified, I'm a minority, I'm Mexican, and I'm a woman in case you didn't notice.

Mike Matthew:
She's grateful for the chance to participate in the seminar.

April Stremming:
I'm just grateful that we have corporations like an S.R.P. who are giving us opportunities to come out here and give us these opportunities. Open these doors for us to be able to walk through. Giving us windows so we cannot walk through, but see what other opportunities there are for us. Create opportunities for us, which is really important and we're just really grateful for that.

Matthew Whitaker:
Here now to tell us more about the emerging business seminars is Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez. Vice-president for Emerging Businesses and Community Outreach for the Arizona Super Bowl host committee. Nadine is also a former "Horizon" producer. Thank you for joining us.

Nadine Rodriguez:
My pleasure.

Matthew Whitaker:
For those who may be wondering, can you tell us why the super bowl is reaching out to women and minority-owned businesses?

Nadine Rodriguez:
The program started in 1994. And 1996 when it came to Arizona, it became a program that was already in function. Now, 13 years later, it's become an integral part of the NFL. It's giving an opportunity a. True opportunity for these businesses to have an even playing field to participate in such an event that cannot be done just by submitting bids to any company anywhere, it has to be centralized and it has to be offered at an even level. And that's how the process really is focused.

Matthew Whitaker:
Now, has the outreach been successful, like in the case of last year in Miami?

Nadine Rodriguez:
Yeah. It's been a very successful program. It brings out a great number of minority and women-owned businesses. Certainly the program is geared to recruit to bring in all these minority-women-owned businesses that can service these areas that the NFL has identified that they need those services, particularly to put all the events around the super bowl together. And by doing this, you are identifying small businesses, medium-sized businesses, and large business necessary that local area. What makes those unique personally is that we are a state super bowl, unlike any other location. Everybody else is a local, San Diego, a Houston, Miami, Fort Lauderdale. Excuse me, Tampa. So those locations are a little more smaller scaled. We are an entire state. And we truly have an opportunity to just bring out all those firms all over the state of Arizona and really identifying them, so not only are we in the super bowl acknowledging them and bringing them in as potential vendors for the events, but for other vendors. Other contractors. in the state and outside the state to notice that Arizona has a great number of potential vendors that can do phenomenal work at all levels.

Matthew Whitaker:
Can you tell us, what are these business owners learning at the seminars?

Nadine Rodriguez:
That's one of the biggest parts of the program, the workshops. The workshops are geared towards helping them understand, giving them an insight, a peak, if you may, of the opportunities that realize when putting the event together. But also it allows them to be recognized and to be viewed as a more inclusive and more integral part of Arizona. One of the things that we like to do in these workshops is to teach them about what's going on for that event, but also try to provide them tools to empower them, as we like to say, empower them so they can take something from these workshops beyond us. That's why the second workshop was called effective planning for super bowl and beyond. Because what we want them to gain from this is long-term success.

Matthew Whitaker:
Ok. And we have about a minute left. What do they have to do to become eligible?

Nadine Rodriguez:
One of the most important things they must do is be certified. A certified minority women-owned firm. Five of the agencies we've partnered up with. They're list order our website, azsuper bowl.com. Once you're certified, you're there. Send it to us, we verify your certification and you're on our resource guide.

Matthew Whitaker:
Great. Wonderful. When can we look forward to more seminars?

Nadine Rodriguez:
We have one planned in June for Tucson, because we certainly, again, this is a statewide event, so we're going to Tucson in June. We're going to host a workshop there. And then we're going to have more in the fall. So log on our website and find those dates.

Matthew Whitaker:
Thank you very much for joining us on "Horizon."

Nadine Rodriguez:
Thank you.

Larry Lemmons:
The state legislature works to make our roads safer, interlock ignition systems will be mandatory for drunk drivers if the governor approves. And it may soon be harder to get a payday loan in the valley. Those stories and more on the Journalists Round Table, Friday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Matthew Whitaker:
Thank you for joining on us this Thursday evening on "Horizon." I'm Matthew Whitaker. Good night.

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