Legislative Update

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A reporter from the Arizona Capitol Times will give us a mid-week update on the state legislature.

Ted Simons: Coming up next on "Arizona Horizon" -- physicist Lawrence Krauss joins us to talk about what could be the biggest scientific discovery of the century. And our weekly update from the Arizona Capitol Times. That's next on "Arizona Horizon."

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Ted Simons: Welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. A state investigation shows Department of Child Safety workers may have violated state law by interviewing children in neglect cases without first obtaining their parents' permission. The Arizona Ombudsman's office found state law allows them to interview children without their parents' permission only in cases of abuse or abandonment, not neglect. DCS rejects the findings and has asked the state Attorney General to look into the matter. Restoring career in education funding and who gets credit for it continues to be a major issue at the State Capitol. Here with more in our weekly legislative update is Luige Del Puerto of the Arizona Capitol Times. Good to see you again. I couldn't help -- try not to smile about this.

Luige Del Puerto: You can't help it.

Ted Simons: These joint technical education districts, career and technical education, they just lopped this by $30 million last go round. Now they are fighting to make sure who gets credit for restoring the funds.

Luige Del Puerto: Today the Senate finally approved the bill -- how did they put it, a sparring contest. Now it's on its way to the governor's desk and the governor has said before he would sign it. The districts that manage our career and technical education programs will get their money back, every penny.

Ted Simons: It was like $30 million cut. Again, legislature and governor both, this is back before they realized or we realized there was a surplus and extra money to go around, this was supposed to take effect --

Luige Del Puerto: July of this year. That's not going to happen anymore. As you mentioned they are trying to get credit for restoring this money.

Ted Simons: So Senator Shooter seemed like he led the charge on this.

Luige Del Puerto: He had been leading the charge for months, working to get the cuts reversed and what happened was house decided, well, we want to get in on this one too, so they even suspended their own house rules so as many members as possible could sign in as primary sponsor. That's never happened. I have been watching the capital for ten years. I have never seen that happen. Here's our own version and Don Shooter said, okay, we'll let your version go to the governor's desk. Then that didn't quite happen. The Senate decided to push through Don Shooter's bill. It went to the house. There was a bit of delay there. We didn't know what was going to happen. It's the one bill that everyone is in support of, that the governor said he would sign that got delayed because of this sparring contest over getting credit.

Ted Simons: House okays, Senate pushes, House okays. They realize couple thousand students might be left in the lurch in the wording weren't corrected. They correct it; send it back to the House and the House is all upset because they aren't going to get credit for it?

Luige Del Puerto: The House amended the Senate bill said we'll do our own fix of this technical fix. We're going to do it but at the same time we're going to put language in that basically says it should have been the House version of this bill that gets to the governor.

Ted Simons: You're not speaking euphemistically. They actually have something in the bill that says we are the ones that did it.

Luige Del Puerto: What the amendment says that the House has been working on this legislation, they got the Senate to cooperate on the bill, then the Senate -- decided to do their own version. So that's why it should have been a House version that essentially goes back to the governor. The senators had so much fun about this today when they approved this bill, I mean, Senator Lesko quoted a couple of famous people saying imagine what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets credit. Patron Saint of most of those guys down there, Ronald Reagan famously quoted for that. Senate President Biggs called it bizarro.

Luige Del Puerto: He even quoted the Bible yesterday. He said in the Bible it says nothing is new under the sun. Something is always new under the sun.

Ted Simons: He calls it extremely out of the ordinary. Who cares? Will anyone really care? It says in the bill the House did this and the Senate, who cares?

Luige Del Puerto: It's an election year, Ted. The answer is both sides, both Senate and House, are saying nobody cares who get the credit but these are politicians. They want to bring something to their district. It's something everyone wants. In the end it's Don Shooter's bill that is on its way to the governor's office.

Ted Simons: If I'm in the House and I was one of the four dozen who signed on I can go to the Rotary Club and say that's my baby?

Luige Del Puerto: Oh, yes, and you can also say even in that Senate Bill that went to the governor, there's language, intent clause that said it should have been us. You can still point to that.

Ted Simons: All right, we'll let you get back to the Bizarro World at the State Capitol. Thanks for joining us.

Luige Del Puerto: Thank you.

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