Legislative Update

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Join a reporter from the Arizona Capitol Times for a weekly update on the legislature.

Ted Simons: Good evening, and welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. State lawmakers react to the death of legendary businessman and education advocate Eddie basha. That begins our weekly legislative update with Luige Del Puerto, of "The Arizona Capitol Times." Good to see you. What are you hearing down there? Eddie basha is a legendary name.

Luige del Puerto: That's true. And it is one guy who has made a lot of money and shared much of that back to the state. And so you saw the kind of admiration, outpouring right away when news about him passing away hit the news yesterday. And even today we would see, we're still seeing those tributes to him. And today lawmakers also paid their tribute to Eddie Basha, and it's one of those rare occasions when you have lawmakers from both sides of the aisle united on something and reflecting on what's important, which is the fact that we do have to face death and this is a guy who's earned a lot and given a lot.

Ted Simons: And indeed a champion of education, and did work with Republicans and democrats, which is refreshing to think about it back in the day.

Luige del Puerto: Right. I was just looking at some of his contributions in the last couple election cycles. I wanted to see where he was contributing. He did contribute both to Republicans and to democrats. And this is a guy, you off yep hear about liberally call references in the bible, how to live your life. This is a guy who -- I'm not sure about his religious background, but it appeared like he truly lived by the biblical code, much of given, of is also required.

Ted Simons: So many of the charities he gave to, individuals, no one ever knew about it, no one probably will know the extent of how much that went on. Yet that sense of compassion does seem to be his legacy.

Luige del Puerto: We heard some of that even today. T.J -- Someone recounted a story about how there's a consortium of small groceries, and one point their supplier went out of business. I think of them didn't have a supplier and Eddie Basha rescued them, opened his warehouse and said, here's my warehouse, whatever you guys need. And that helped them out.

Ted Simons: Indeed. Champion of education, lost the 94' governor's race, served on the board of regents and was involved in a lot of things. Thanks for that. Before we let you go, we want to get to some legislative issues. Medicaid talks, what's going on with that? Especially, I'm curious, the governor had that pro-life, that's why I'm for Medicaid -- How is that playing down there?

Luige del Puerto: When the governor unveiled her -- The details of her expansion plan, the one thing that stood out was when she said this is a pro-life position. I'm for saving the unborn, but also saving those who are already born. And she made that pitch I think to many people's minds to try and attract and persuade lawmakers who are candidly pro-life. But it seems like she's not really getting a lot of traction using this argument. In fact, the center for Arizona policy, the biggest lobby group of the Evangelical Christian community in the state has taken a neutral position and has sent a letter to the governor, Mr. Biggs and Mr. Tobin, this week saying that while we're neutral on this Medicaid expansion plan we're concerned that expanding Medicaid may provide more funds to groups that do provide for an abortion. Sort of an indirect way of subsidizing their abortion services. So that's an interesting argument. It's not new, we've heard that from the floor this week as well, but I'm curious to know like you, how that's going to play out with a Republican base.

Ted Simons: I was going to say, when CAP says they're neutral, that's a very different than we're lining up and we're going to amass forces against this.

Luige del Puerto: Yes, that's true. And in fact if you recall during the debate on prop , this is a debate last year whether to extend the sales tax. They came out sort of from the left field out of the blue and basically said, yes concerned about some of this money going to provide -- To be used in -- To subsidize abortion or directly for abortion procedures. And we know what happened to that proposition.

Ted Simons: Otherwise everything kind of budget talks, everything slow right now?

Luige del Puerto: Everything is kind of slow. They're passing bills in a trickle, we asked our reporter asked the governor today whether she has taken out her veto hammer out of the box and the governor said no, we're not doing that yet.

Ted Simons: Not yet. Good to have you here.

Luige del Puerto: Thank you.

Luige del Puerto of the Arizona Capitol Times

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