Governor Doug Ducey will give his second State of the State address Monday. See the speech in its entirety and then hear analysis from political consultants Stan Barnes and John Loredo.
Ted Simons: Coming up next on this special hour-long edition of "Arizona Horizon," Governor Ducey delivers his state of the state address. We'll run the speech in its entirety and follow with expert analysis. That's next on "Arizona Horizon."
"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 this special hour-long edition of "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. Governor Doug Ducey today delivered his state of the state address in front of lawmakers at the capitol. We will now run the speech in its entirety and then get thoughts on what the governor had to say from two veteran political analysts. Here now is governor Doug Ducey's state of the state address.
[ Applause ] Speaker Gowan, president Biggs, house leaders, Senate leaders Yarborough and Hobbes, chief justice Bales, members of the legislature and judiciary, my fellow Arizonans, thank you and good afternoon. [ Applause ] I also want to give a special welcome to the newest member of the state's highest court, justice Clint Bolick. [ Applause ] Tomorrow marks one year since you first welcomed me into this chamber, seven days on the job. On that day, our state was broke. A billion dollars in the red. Old laws stood in the way of new jobs. And a lawsuit over school funding froze progress for our kids while threatening a constitutional crisis. What a difference a year makes! [ Applause ] Today, because of our decisions, there's money in the bank. We can pay our bills and our credit rating upgrades will save taxpayers millions. [ Applause ] We've added more than 56,000 new jobs and 100,000 new citizens and Forbes says we are the best state in the country for future job growth. [ Applause ] We've unleashed innovation, our free enterprise system is flowing and so is the beer at Four Peaks. [ Applause ] And we enter 2016 in an effort united to deliver our students and teachers billions in new dollars. [ Applause ] I'm proud to stand here today and say the state of our state isn't just strong; it is on the rise. [ Applause ] Opportunity for all. I'm convinced our accomplishments in this first year came from a commitment to that vision and the ability to work together to tackle problems long postponed. Lawmakers here stepped up and speaker Gowan and president Biggs delivered on the promise of legislative leadership. When it came to balancing our budget, we were told it just couldn't be done. Not without raising taxes. But we weren't going to make the people of Arizona pay for the failings of politicians. So we got the job done and instead of raising taxes, we lowered them. [ Applause ] A year later, the big spenders who told us we couldn't balance the budget are beating the drum, celebrating our hard work with plans to spend and party like it's 1999. Some people never learn, no matter how much their head hurts in the morning. Someone needs to be the voice of sobriety so when they bring out the punch bowl, I will be here to say once again, not on our watch. [ Applause ] On Friday, I will release my budget and the big spenders and special interests aren't going to like it. It prioritizes vital commitments, like education, child safety, and public safety. It eliminates waste, it's balanced, and most importantly, it does not raise taxes. [ Applause ] Now, I understand it's unusual for elected leaders to keep their promises but let me assure you: I intend to keep mine. Together, we will lower taxes this year, next year, and the year after. [ Applause ] And we will invest in education. This year, next year, and the year after. It doesn't have to be an either/or. We can be responsible with our budget, invest in the future, and allow the people to keep more of the dollars they earn. After all, it's the people's money, not the government's. [ Applause ] Those same taxpayers expect results from us at this capitol but all too often, success in this building is measured by how many bills we pass and new laws we add to the books. The result is more than 10,000 pages of statutes containing some 20,000 laws. We all have priorities this year. But as you debate new laws, I call on you to ask: Is this the proper role of government? Are we expanding freedom or limiting it? Last year, 1,163 bills were introduced. 344 crossed my desk and 324 became law. I enjoyed reviewing all of them. Yes, even the ones I didn't sign. But sometimes, as the saying goes, if you want to learn something new, you need to read something old. As Barry Goldwater wrote in "Conscience of a Conservative," my aim is not to pass laws; it's to repeal them! [ Applause ] So in that spirit, in the governor's office, we've identified hundreds of buried regulations that state agencies have imposed on Arizonans through the back door, hurting businesses large and small, stifling job creation and progress. Unfortunately, the process to get rid of these unnecessary regulations isn't nearly as easy as the process to create them. Send me legislation to allow agencies to wipe them out easier and faster and I'll sign it. [ Applause ] Don't stop there. Arizona requires far too many licenses for far too many jobs, resulting in a maze of bureaucracy for small businesspeople looking to earn an honest living. Believe it or not, the state of Arizona actually licenses talent agents. I say let's leave the job of finding new talent to Adam Lavine and Gwen Stefani, not state government. [ Applause ] The elites and special interests will tell you that these licenses are necessary but often they've been designed to kill competition or keep out the little guy. So let's eliminate them. [ Applause ] Where we must have government, let's make it work. We are transforming how we operate. In a pilot project, across 23 state agencies, Arizona was able to deliver services to our citizens 65% faster on average without sacrificing quality. Before we started, things were moving slowly. Government was sitting on applications. In the case of qualified bus drivers, four days of work was taking 46 days. So now, four days of work takes four days. [ Applause ] Expect more of these improvements as we create a results-driven government that works at the speed of business. [ Applause ] Last year, state government finally entered the 21st century, 15 years later, whether it was allowing vendors greater freedom to crowd fund or ending sting operations against ride sharing by overzealous state regulators, we've embraced innovation and we're not done yet. [ Applause ] More than 4 million passengers enter our state through sky harbor international airport every year but you can't order an Uber or Lyft because unelected bureaucrats at city hall are protecting special interests. Sky harbor may be a city airport but it's an Arizona vital resource used by citizens all over our state and our economy is dependent on its success. I call on Phoenix city government to lift these unnecessary regulations immediately! [ Applause ] I also encourage all our cities and towns to put the brakes on ill-advised plans to create a patchwork of different wage and employment laws. If these political subdivisions don't stop, they'll drive our economy off a cliff. 91 cities and towns with 91 different employment laws isn't local control; it's California-style chaos. [ Applause ] These efforts are based on the trendy feel-good policies that are stifling opportunity across the nation. Failing everywhere they've been tried. So why would we try them here? Let me be more specific. I will use every constitutional power of the executive branch and leverage every legislative relationship to protect small businesses and the working men and women they employ up to and including changing the distribution of state-shared revenue. [ Applause ] We will ensure that Arizona continues to grow jobs, not destroy them. As our economy advances, our government and our laws need to modernize, too. Arizona should be to the sharing economy what Texas is to oil, and what silicon valley used to be to the tech industry. Moments ago, I signed an executive order creating the governor's council on the sharing economy. Its mission, stop shackling innovation and instead, put the cuffs on out of touch regulators! I want startups in the sharing economy to know California may not want you but Arizona does. And I would be remiss if I didn't stop to thank my partner in growing Arizona's economy. California governor Jerry brown. [ Laughter ] [ Applause ] It's often misreported that there is a western water crisis, but the facts show we would be more accurate to call it a California water crisis. We've planned ahead. If there's one thing Arizona is best in the nation at, it's water. [ Applause ] We sit in the capital city in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation in the middle of a desert, thanks to the revolutionary planning efforts like our 1980 groundwater management act, and leaders from Carl Hayden to Moe Udall to Jon Kyl. Arizona has grown and thrived. We're building on that. And we have a plan in motion. Right now, a team of our top water experts, users and providers, are charting the path forward. I've directed hem to investigate new long-term sources for water in our state, explore additional conservation opportunities and identify future infrastructure needs so we don't end up like sorry California. [ Applause ] I've also given the green light to the Arizona department of water resources to use existing dollars to hire new staff that the water community has been requesting for years. Experts who can take these plans and make them work. When it comes to our economic future, we're planning for tomorrow and we're innovating, starting with the Arizona commerce authority. [ Applause ] We know what businesses look for when deciding where to locate: Quality of life, low taxes, light regulation, good financing and qualified workers. It's time for A.C.A., 2.0, with a renewed focus on marketing and promotion. We have a great state with amazing assets. We need life's better here. Now, let's do a better job at getting the word out. Governors compete, states compete, people and businesses decide. So the goal is simple, to grow our economy, to take full advantage of our geography to better address the needs of businesses fleeing California and other states on the decline. And to ensure job creators who are already here stay and thrive. [ Applause ] A great economy requires great public schools. It's important to note we are already doing a lot of things well. Three of the top 10 public high schools in the country, hard-working, dedicated and nationally renowned teachers and principals, and while scores on the nation's report card dropped across the country, Arizona's students continued to improve. [ Applause ] Together, we've made substantial progress towards giving our educators the resources they've been asking for. Last year, faced with one of the most contentious legal issues in Arizona history, leaders in education and this legislature stepped up. The result: A monumental, bipartisan $3.5 billion solution that will go to the voters in 127 days. [ Applause ] This is a once in a generation opportunity to change the trend line on education funding. The stakes are high. For the cynics out there, looking to stop this plan or rooting for its defeat, if you're hoping this lawsuit will be resolved any other way, it won't. And to my democratic friends, even if you voted against sending it to the ballot, now it's on the ballot. You can't sit on the sidelines. Please put politics and partisanship aside and put our kids and teachers first. [ Applause ] I've promised to put all my energy into ensuring its passage so let me just say: I'm voting yes on prop 123. If you're with me, raise your hand! [ Applause ] Thank you, thank you. [ Applause ] Thank you. [ Applause ] In the past year, I visited schools all over the state, meeting teachers, principals and parents. They looked me in the eye and I've listened. To those parents and educators, I want you to know I've heard you and this plan delivers. In the years ahead, Arizona will be among the states investing the most new dollars in public education, all without raising taxes. [ Applause ] This is a first step, a big first step, but not our only step to improve public education in Arizona. [ Applause ] We know spending is not the measure of success and it shouldn't just be about the billions of dollars we are putting into public education. It must be about what our kids are getting out of their education. Until the thousands of kids on public school wait lists have access to our finest teachers and principals, our job isn't done. [ Applause ] Here's the plan. We're going to make it easier and more affordable for our best public schools to expand. For months, my office has worked with the top credit rating agencies in the country to develop a structure that lets excellent public schools finance their expansion at lower cost. [ Applause ] This means they can spend more money in the classroom and less paying interest to a bank on Wall Street. By utilizing dollars you allocated last year for the creation of the Arizona public school achievement district combined with additional dollars that won't impact the general fund, we can and will make this happen. [ Applause ] We also need to provide resources for aging schools to repair and rebuild their facilities for future students. [ Applause ] Next, we need to reward schools that are helping kids reach their full potential. All of us should be alarmed to hear that more than half of our high school graduates can't even get into our own state universities. So under our plan, schools that produce students who successfully complete A.P. level college prep courses will be rewarded with more dollars. [ Applause ] Schools in low-income areas where educators and students face added challenges will receive an even greater boost for helping kids beat the odds. [ Applause ] And I know not every child plans to go to college. But their K-12 experience also needs to prepare them for life, which is why I'm targeting high-need employment sectors with a new focus on career and technical education. [ Applause ] I've got a feeling there's bipartisan support for this so let's get it done! [ Applause ] The state isn't the only player in public education. Every day, philanthropic foundations in Arizona are investing in our schools. They are developing new school leaders, expanding educational opportunities for low-income children and funding the arts and sciences. I intend to partner with the heads of these organizations to provide an even greater opportunity and impact in our schools. [ Applause ] And when we get our kids prepared, there are great universities right here in Arizona, ready to educate them at the highest level. [ Applause ] Wherever your loyalty may lie, you have to admit our universities are literally out of this world. [ Applause ] A U. of A. grad recently discovered water on Mars. Arizona State University was just named the most innovative university in the country. [ Applause ] And NAU, now a magnet for students ditching California in search of a high-quality, affordable higher education alternative. [ Applause ] Our universities and community colleges have been on the cutting edge when it comes to research, innovation, and problem solving. Just look a few miles down the road. The template for the new American university is in our own backyard. And because of Dr. Michael Crow's efforts, none other than the New York times has recognized the Barrett honors college at Arizona State University as the gold standard. The equivalent -- [ Applause ] The equivalent of an ivy league education, right here, accessible to all and the envy of every other state in the nation. [ Applause ] Thank you, Dr. Crow. I want all our university presidents to know we value your work and I intend to be a partner in strengthening Arizona higher education. [ Applause ] As a parent and as governor, there's one number that keeps me up at night. 18,927. That's how many Arizona children, through no fault of their own, have found themselves in the foster care system. We have to stand up for these kids. [ Applause ] And that means making sure that no matter the failings of their parents, they and their caregivers have the resources they need and grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles shouldn't face roadblocks to care for children in their own extended families. [ Applause ] And you're aware that under current policy, they do. In many cases, a grandmother actually receives fewer dollars to raise her own grandchild than a stranger would. That's wrong. [ Applause ] This session, let's end the grandmother penalty and keep more kids and families together! [ Applause ] As we continue to ease the burden, the fact remains: We ask a lot of foster parents and we know there are thousands of families currently trying to get into our best public schools, where the lines are long. I say if we want to see more foster and adoptive families, let's give them an incentive, a fast pass to the front of the line of our best public schools. [ Applause ] This will ensure vulnerable children an opportunity at a great education and bring more good people to take on the noble cause of fostering a child. [ Applause ] For fathers out there who aren't meeting their obligations, we also have a plan. I'm talking to deadbeat dads. For too long, you've been able to remain anonymous, able to skirt your financial and legal responsibilities with no shame. Not anymore. Some people have refer to me as the hash tag governor. Well, here's a new one for all the deadbeat dads out there. Effective immediately, the state is going to begin posting the photos, names, and money owed by these losers to social media. [ Applause ] With the hashtag #deadbeat. [ Applause ] It's simple. If you're old enough to father a child, then you're old enough to accept financial responsibility for that child. [ Applause ] If you don't want your embarrassing, unlawful and irresponsible behavior going viral, man up and pay up. [ Applause ] When it comes to the welfare of women and children in our state, there will be zero tolerance for men who victimize. [ Applause ] Yet right now, in just Maricopa county alone, there is a back log of 2,300 rape kits that sit in storage, uninvestigated. All across our state, women await justice and predators evade the law, looking for their next victim. Today, I signed an executive order establishing a special law enforcement team to solve this injustice. My budget will allocate dollars to start the process of clearing these back logs. I want a plan followed by legislature that requires every rape kit to be investigated. [ Applause ] On my watch, the state of Arizona will do whatever it takes to lock these criminals away. [ Applause ] Whether it's unemployment, homelessness, crime, child neglect, or the prison population, all these issues trace back to a common theme: Drug abuse and addiction. In September, we created the border strike force bureau, a partnership between local, state and federal law enforcement that's providing a force multiplier in the fight against drug cartels and border crime. Already with a minimal investment, the strike force has made over 300 arrests, taken down 14 cartel members and seized 4,400 pounds of marijuana, 194 pounds of meth and 21 pounds of heroin. [ Applause ] 21 pounds of heroin in four months, that's nearly 1 million individual hits and more than DPS seized in all of 2014. Think about this: That same year, 1,248 Arizona newborns came into this world already addicted to drugs. We cannot wait to act. Let's stand together this session and provide law enforcement, especially our border county sheriffs, the resources they need to ramp up the fight against the bad guys and end this scourge on our state. [ Applause ] But for those suffering from addiction, it's a different story and law enforcement can only go so far. 75% of heroin addicts started out using prescription drugs. We found in a single month through a voluntary online database that hundreds of Arizonans were doctor shopping and receiving highly addictive and dangerous drugs from multiple physicians at the same time. Imagine how many more people we can help with a requirement that those doctors use that database. It's time for us to make that happen. [ Applause ] Next, we must find help for those who want it. So I'm bringing together a team of leading substance abuse experts, recovering addicts and providers to find the best treatments and reduce barriers to care. [ Applause ] And if we're serious about reducing recidivism and reversing the growth of our prison population, let's begin by building on the model that's already working in Pima county: A community corrections center providing tough love and on-site drug treatment and counseling. It's time we bring this to the state's largest county, where the most people are transitioning back to life in our community. Let's give them a second chance so they stay clean and never end up back in prison. [ Applause ] Despite all these challenges, Arizona has a lot to be proud of. Tonight, one year after hosting the most watched and most successful Super Bowl in history, the college football playoff national championship kicks off right here in just a few hours! [ Applause ] From the looks of it, it will be another night for the record books. But after the last touchdown is scored and all the fans have gone back home, our greatest assets will remain, our people. [ Applause ] The 7,772 men and women serving in the Arizona national guard and all those here and abroad in our military. [ Applause ] Our cops, our firefighters and our first responders who keep us safe in these uncertain times. [ Applause ] The NAU community and especially president Rita Chang who brought a university together after a tragedy. [ Applause ] Gabby Giffords who completed the tour de Tucson and continues to inspire. [ Applause ] Jen Welter and the Arizona Cardinals who together shattered the glass ceiling in the NFL. [ Applause ] And the next generation of Arizonans like 10-year-old Nia Thomas of Tucson who made a winning dish, oodles of zoodles, that was served in the White House for the president of the United States. [ Applause ] Members of the legislature, our state is on the rise. And it's because of our people. [ Applause ] They're giving their all to make this state the best place in America and they expect us to do the same. I'm honored to continue working with you towards that goal. We've demonstrated government can work. Positive things can happen at this capitol. We can think big and aim high. So why stop now? Thank you, and god bless. [ Applause ]
Ted Simons: And after today's speech, we heard a democratic response from representative Eric Meyer, the house minority leader.
Eric Meyer: There weren't really any other specifics. There was nothing about universities other than we have great universities. On the economy there were no job creation proposals. So it was a lot of fluff and hopefully, we'll see in his budget on Friday what his priorities will be this session. We're looking for increased funding for education. We've detailed that in our budget plan. We're looking for funding for our universities and community colleges. And we're looking for some economic development plans, restoration of funds so our roads can get improved. Ted Simons: And we have two former lawmakers joining us now in studio to provide analysis of the governor's state of the state address. We welcome Stan barns of copper state consulting and also joining us is political consultant John Loredo. Thanks for joining us. Stan we'll start with you. Thoughts on the speech?
Stan Barnes: In case you didn't know, I think Doug Ducey is a conservative Republican governor. That's what I take away from it. The first year, you don't know what the governor is going to be like. It's a new administration, got new people, you've got a clean sheet of paper and the governor had a very good year and is launching into this year with the distinct self-labeling of I'm a conservative Republican. His first act is to remind everybody that Clint bolick is his Supreme Court justice appointee and that is a message all over the country because of his renown on conservative politics. And then to quote Barry Goldwater's famous book, conscience of a conservative and to go right through the middle with I'm not here to make laws, I'm here to repeal laws. That's the kind of thing conservatives run on and I think if you flew in from Mars and you said what is this governor all about, you would say he's a conservative Republican.
Ted Simons: John, what did you get from the speech?
John Loredo: Not much. I think it was very light on substance, and I think the really lackluster applause that he was getting in the room is kind of reflected in that. I think he was very generic and very pie in the sky stuff but I think people are really interested in what he's actually going to propose. And so whether you support him or whether you don't support him, I think he left everybody kind of shaking their heads wondering what exactly does that mean?
Ted Simons: But to Stan's point compared to governor Brewer, this seems like an even more conservative governor.
John Loredo: Well, the rhetoric is more conservative for sure. But there again you don't know what he's actually proposing. It was very light on details and the devil is always in the details and he's got to produce a budget. He's got to produce a detailed plan of what he's trying to do and that has to someway jive with what the house and the Senate's priorities are going to be, as well.
Ted Simons: Do these state of the state addresses, do they deal in detail all that much?
Stan Barnes: Well, not so much. It all depends on the governor but most governors, even governor Napolitano, was more sweeping and visionary and that's the whole point. And it leads you to have a lot of deal making room with those elected officials in the room that you have to make deals with in order for government to go. He focused on two other big subsets and that is he was really down on regulatory models we've been using and he wants to do away with a great deal of regulation. He also was a law and order governor. He talked about the deadbeat dads thing. He talked about investigating rape kits that haven't been investigated. He talked about the department of child safety, that falls into that law and order category so regulatory reform and law and order was really the two subsets of what I heard today.
Ted Simons: And we can start with one of the early lines was we will lower taxes this year, next year and the year after. But immediately followed with we will invest in education this year, next year and the year after.
John Loredo: He clearly is not a policy guy. You can't do both. Take the speech off the table, he's the guy who signed a budget that was the most devastating budget to public education ever. He owns that. He owns eliminating funding to community colleges, massive cuts to the universities, massive cuts to public education. He did that. I think he's trying to -- he's waving the flag that I was forced by the courts to cut this deal on public education, we're going to go to the ballot and that's going to bring all these billions of dollars. He fought that tooth and nail. He's doing it because he had to. The judge is making him but at the end of the day, you've got to be able to -- you're either going to put your money where your mouth is, reinvest everything that you cut or you're not and if you eliminate the pot of money that you have in the general fund to pay for those things, then you are by default refusing to pay for them.
Stan Barnes: John's stumbled onto the real theme of this legislative session and that is they have a dollar to spend and for the last seven years, there have been no dollars to spend. There's an extra dollar that wasn't bet on. And the governor did a victory lap of sorts when he said now we can pay our bills, now the budget ship is righted and he deserves that. He made some very tough decisions to John's point. Nobody wants to be anti-education. No one wants to cut education. It's why the Republicans sold the state capitol building so long ago. But now revenues are starting to stabilize. What we do next, that's where the big politics is.
Ted Simons: He says often that they had to make tough decisions, tough decisions were made, tough decisions, it would seem to me from a conservative governor's standpoint, one of those tough decisions would have been to do something about raising taxes. That would have been a tough decision.
Stan Barnes: It was tough for JAn Brewer when she opened that in 2009 when she took over. But that was then and this is now. I think Governor Ducey would say we don't need a tax increase. We have the money to do what we need to do.
Ted Simons: And does it feel as though at the legislature there is that feeling that, you know, last year was tough, this year's a lot better. There is a dollar to spend. We do have the money but you've got to be careful?
John Loredo: Well, look there's a couple hundred million dollars in revenue there but remember, I mean, we're talking over $1 billion in cuts to public education. Even if he used every dime of that to try to refill some of the cuts, it gets you a minuscule buyback of what you cut. So it's not a lot of money at all and if you're looking at that and you're saying look times are better, we've got money now, let's give it away in the form of tax cuts then you're back to square one.
Ted Simons: If he says we're going to invest in education this year, next year and the next, does that not mean that they're going to get back there and restore those cuts?
John Loredo: To restore that much money, it's going to take a very long time to do that or it's going to take a huge investment and you can't do that if you're also talking about tax cuts. They don't jive. You can't give your money away on the front end, and then say oh, look we don't have any money to pay schools back what we cut them in the first place.
Stan Barnes: I think the legislature and the governor consider the K-12 funding issue really off the table, this particular session, because the deal was made and it's before us in a vote of the people of May. I think they're going to budget as if that vote is affirmative and they get to move forward. Universities and others, that's a different issue.
Ted Simons: What about universities? Because he lauded the state universities, talked about the space program down in Tucson, ASU being the most innovative college and an ivy league education here in Arizona, mentioned nau, we'll get to this in a second, the best thing about that, it was a California kid that went there to escape California. All this and yet I think he said he will be a partner in furthering higher education. What does that mean?
Stan Barnes: I'm not sure what it means. I helped the university of Arizona with some of their politics at the state capitol and the governor said the right things about the university system, it deserves the lauding it's getting. I know that everybody's wondering about the budget. And we're going to learn that on Friday when it's released to the public.
John Loredo: I think what it means is look how spectacular our universities are doing in spite of the fact that I gave them a massive cut! And so they don't really need that money anyway, look how great they're doing.
Ted Simons: What about CTE, career and technical education? A lot of push to restore some of that funding. He mentioned it again, didn't say anything about --
John Loredo: I think there is and the political reality is that I don't think he has a choice. You've got a lot of pushback from constituents in every legislative district that have JTEDs. There are a whole lot of upset people out there and so politically heading into an election, you don't want to keep those parents upset. You want to do something for them and the issue will be how much are they going to get back compared to what they got cut?
Stan Barnes: I think it was interesting that the career and technical education issue got a big round of applause from the legislature. And I think it's on the point you're making. They took some serious cuts, have been and there's quite a wave to restore some of that. There's also a bit of a secondary wave to get it right, not just to put that number back in but to see how the funding flows, and I think you'll see that play out, as well.
Ted Simons: In general, a lot of references to California, none of which were very positive. Is that an obsession? What's going on here with California?
Stan Barnes: I laugh because I tell clients all the time look, we don't identify with California in Arizona. If you want to make a point, kick California in the shins, that's what he did four or five times tonight. I particularly enjoyed him paying back Jerry brown who earlier kind of blamed Arizona for the gun problem in the San Bernardino shooting and the governor gave it right back to him, I thought that was pretty interesting.
Ted Simons: From water to regulations to university education, it was one sorry California reference after another. He said sorry California.
John Loredo: During the summer I wonder if more Californians come here or more Arizonans go to California. I wonder what the ratio is.
Stan Barnes: But I think it's bipartisan wisdom that California's governance mess is our blessing. And our governor was riding right on that. Everybody in Arizona economic development circles wants to catch that fruit falling out of California. The governor referenced the geography and he meant we live next door to this behemoth California, we share the Colorado river with them and businesses want to come to a low tax, low regulatory environment. That's good for us.
John Loredo: Let's remember this goes back to Jerry brown taking a dig at Arizona about being so easy to buy guns here, that's what it goes back to.
Ted Simons: Sure, the bore strike force bureau, success story, mentioned how many cartel members arrested, mentioned that the heroin seized was more than DPS seized in the entire year prior. What's he getting at here? He's really behind this isn't he?
John Loredo: Apparently, he is. Every governor talks about getting tough on crime, it doesn't matter which governor it is. The issue is how much is that compared to you know, what they're not getting? And the reality is that what are the priorities going to be? Is it going to be drugs, it will be interesting to see what he does.
Stan Barnes: I think speaking of interesting, I think it's interesting that we didn't have a lot of illegal immigration talk in this particular talk. The closest we got was what you just referenced, the border strike force. And, you know, an Arizona governor almost can't ignore that particular issue and that's how Governor Ducey touch on it was by referencing some of the stepped up efforts there and, you know, other than that he didn't even miss the topic, which may be a good sign.
Ted Simons: One more law and order touch here, the deadbeat dad. Is he taking a shot at Arpaio, we've got to do something, a special law enforcement agency to take care of this situation? What's going on here?
Stan Barnes: I suppose it is a crowd pleaser. It's always important and it must be important to the governor. When I see a governor go through a list of topics in the state of the state, I translate that as this is personally important to the governor. Some level, somehow, there's a million issues they could talk about. Arpaio was in the room and it's one of those issues where about everybody is on the same side of the coin on that. And the governor wants to step up enforcement. Good for him.
Ted Simons: Were you surprised that there were no surprises in the speech?
John Loredo: I think one of the big things people were hoping for was more substance on the department of child safety. That is such a huge issue that seems to be kind of burning out of control right now with no real solution put on the table. I think everyone on both sides of the aisle was hoping there would be some more substance on that. He alluded to it, said it kept him up at night yet he really isn't doing a whole lot about it thus far. I think everyone is calling for a change in leadership there. Just about everyone, and he refuses to do that and that is an agency that is spinning really out of control. He needs to step up and do something about that because look when he took them out of the department of economic security, he eliminated the accountability there and openly said this person will report to me. Well, that means that he is directly responsible for what that agency is doing and what it's not. And it seems to have spent a whole lot of money, not reduced the back log and there are major problems.
Stan Barnes: You remember that it was governor Brewer that took the department out of the department of safety, economic security, and it's a stand alone agency and it was done with the stroke of a pen by governor Brewer. Governor Ducey inherited a mess there, it's still a mess. I believe him when he says it's important. I think his indication of importance was to name 18,927 children. I think that translates as I care enough to know that exact number and I'm going to do something about it. There's no doubt in my mind he knows that's the political thing which he must tackle.
Stan Barnes: Director McKay was his appointment and it has been an absolute disaster.
Ted Simons: We have to stop it right there. Friday we'll get a better indication of more details there. Gentlemen, good to see you. Thanks for joining us.
Ted Simons: And Tuesday on "Arizona Horizon," we will speak with newly appointed state Supreme Court justice Clint Bolick. And we'll hear from Andy Tobin who was appointed to replace Susan Bitter Smith on the Corporation Commission. That's at 5:30 and 10:00 on the next "Arizona Horizon." That is it for now, I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us on this special hour-long edition of "Arizona Horizon." You have a great evening.
Video: "Arizona Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of Arizona PBS, members of your PBS station. Thank you.
In this segment:
Stan Barnes:Political consultant, John Loredo:Political consultant
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