Capitol Update

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We’ll get an update on what’s happening at the state capitol from legislative leaders. Republican Senate majority leader Kimberly Yee and House majority leader John Allen will discuss the latest bills making their way through the legislative process.

TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON." LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP RESPONDS TO THE NEW REPUBLICAN HEALTH-CARE PLAN. AND WE'LL LOOK AT A NEW REPORT THAT FOCUSES ON WORKPLACE HARASSMENT. THOSE STORIES NEXT, ON "ARIZONA HORIZON." "ARIZONA HORIZON" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS, MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU.

TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO "ARIZONA HORIZON." I'M TED SIMONS. DEMOCRATIC STATE SENATOR KATIE HOBBS ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT SHE'S RUNNING FOR SECRETARY OF STATE NEXT YEAR, CITING, QUOTE, "PERSISTENT DEBACLES PLAGUING THE OFFICE" UNDER REPUBLICAN MICHELLE REAGAN. HOBBS IS CURRENTLY THE SENATE MINORITY LEADER. SHE'S THE 1ST MAJOR DEMOCRAT TO ANNOUNCE A CHALLENGE TO REAGAN, THOUGH PHOENIX MAYOR GREG STANTON HAS ALSO EXPRESSED INTEREST IN OFFICE. "REAGAN" IS EXPECTED TO LAUNCH "HER" RE-ELECTION BID NEXT MONTH.

TED SIMONS: EACH WEEK WE SPEAK WITH LEGISLATIVE LEADERS AND DISCUSS A VARIETY OF ISSUES MAKING NEWS AT THE CAPITOL. WE ROTATE BETWEEN THE TWO PARTIES, AND THIS WEEK WE HEAR FROM REPUBLICANS. JOINING ME IS SENATE MAJORITY LEADER KIMBERLY YEE AND HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER JOHN ALLEN. GOOD TO HAVE YOU BOTH HERE. THANKS FOR JOINING US. LET'S START WITH THE REPUBLICAN PLAN TO APPEAL AND REPLACE THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. MANY ASSESTS INVOLVED HERE, BUT AS FAR AS ARIZONA IS CONCERNED, THE ISSUE OF MEDICAID IS HUGE. TALK TO US ABOUT WHAT THE PLAN IS AND HOW IT AFFECTS ARIZONA.

KIMBERLY YEE: THIS MONDAY, HOUSE SPEAKER PAUL RYAN RELEASED HIS PLAN FOR REPUBLICANS REGARDING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. IT HAS AN INTERESTING RESPONSE FROM REPUBLICANS EVEN AMONG THE BASE REPUBLICANS AND THOSE DESCRIBED AS THE ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS. EVEN THE WHITE HOUSE HAVE INDICATED THEY WOULD LIKE TO SEE AMENDMENTS. IT'S AN INTERESTING PROPOSITION. WE HAVE TO WATCH CAREFULLY WHERE IT GOES.

TED SIMONS: THE PROPOSITION AS IT STANDS SUGGESTS A BIT OF A FREEZE COME 2021. IN ARIZONA, WE DEPEND QUITE A BIT ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AS FAR AS MEDICAID IS CONCERNED. HOW DOES THIS AFFECT US?

JOHN ALLEN: AS KIMBERLY WAS SAYING, THERE WILL BE CHANGES COME ALONG. OUR CAUCUS WOULD LOVE TO SEE THIS COME BACK TO THE STATES AS A BLOCK GRANT. IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT WE'VE DONE WITH ACCESS, NOT JUST ACCESS OF WHAT THE EXPANSION HAS DONE, WE ARE A GOOD STATE TO SAY, WAIT A MINUTE. IF WE INVEST IN THE STATES AND LET THEM MANAGE IT, THEY KNOW THEY'RE CONSTITUENTS BETTER THAN WE DO. I THINK WE CAN COME UP WITH A BETTER SYSTEM THAN THE FEDS HAVE STARTED.

TED SIMONS: ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT BLOCK GRANTS WITH CAPS TO THEM?

JOHN ALLEN: IF THAT'S WHAT WE NEED TO BE SURE WE DON'T HAVE SPIRALING COSTS. THIS SYSTEM ALREADY TOOK A TRILLION DOLLARS OUT OF THE ECONOMY. I'M SURE WE CAN FIND SOME COST SAVINGS BY ELIMINATING THE FEDERAL BUREAUCRACY WHICH WE CREATED.

TED SIMONS: THE PLAN WOULD BE BASED ON ENROLLEES, ELDERLY, ADULTS, KIDS. MORE PER CAPITA THAN BLOCK GRANT. IS THAT ACCURATE?

KIMBERLY YEE: I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO ENSURE THAT WHATEVER MOVES FORWARD CONTINUES TO MAINTAIN THE PATIENT FIRST. WHAT WILL BE CRITICAL IS TO ESTABLISH RELATIONSHIPS WITH EVERY STATE TO BE ABLE TO CUSTOMIZE WHATEVER THE PLAN IS ACCORDING TO OUR INDEPENDENT NEEDS. IN ARIZONA, WE ARE UNIQUE FROM OTHER STATES. WE HAVE A HIGH RURAL AREA AND THAT IS SOMETHING WE HAVE TO WRAP OUR ARMS AROUND WHICH IS UNIQUE FROM OTHER STATES. AT THE SAME TIME, ARIZONA HAS A HIGHLY URBAN AREA WHERE THE NEEDS ARE DIFFERENT. THE FEDS SHOULD DETERMINE HOW THEY ARE GOING TO ESTABLISH THE CONVERSATION WITH THE STATES.

TED SIMONS: DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT?

JOHN ALLEN: VERY MUCH SO.

TED SIMONS: AS IT STANDS, WOULD MORE ARIZONANS LOSE COVERAGE WITH THIS THAN THEY HAVE WITH THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT.

JOHN ALLEN: THAT'S THE THING. WE ARE SO EARLY IN THE PROCESS IF WE DICE THIS TOO QUICKLY, WE'LL BE GIVING ANSWERS THAT ARE IRRELEVANT NEXT WEEK. THIS IS THE FIRST STEP OUT BY THE SPEAKER SAYING THIS IS WHERE I THINK WE SHOULD GO. THE WHITE HOUSE HASN'T FULLY WEIGHED IN ON THE PROCESS YET. THERE ARE SO MANY PARTS OF IT. THAT'S THE PROBLEM WITH OBAMA CARE TO START WITH. IT WAS SO COMPICATED. UNRAVELING IT WILL BE A COMPLICATED PROCESS

TED SIMONS: CRITICISMS OF OBAMA CARE ARE THAT IT WAS RUSHED. THEY ARE STARTING HEARINGS HERE. SEEMS LIKE A RUSH JOB GOING ON NOW.

KIMBERLY YEE: IT'S IMPORTANT TO RESPOND TO THE CONSTITUENTS. ALL OF THE STATES CAME TOGETHER SAYING THE PLAN ISN'T WORKING. WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THIS QUICKLY AND CAREFULLY OF COURSE. TO DRAG THEIR FEET WOULDN'T BE A GOOD THING. THEY ARE PUTTING FORWARD A PROPOSAL THAT WILL BE CHANGED IN THE COURSE OF THE NEXT SEVERAL WEEKS. I THINK WHAT THEY NEED TO DO IS ENSURE A STAKEHOLDER PROCESS TO INVOLVE EVERYONE SO THEY HAVE THEIR VOICE IN THE PLAN THAT MOVES FORWARD.

TED SIMONS: HOW IS THIS PAID FOR WITH NO MANDATORY INSURANCE?

KIMBERLY YEE: IT'S IMPORTANT TO SEE HOW THE STATES CAN PUT MONEY INTO IT AS WELL AS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. IT'S A PARTNERSHIP, OBVIOUSLY. BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO REMEMBER THQAT THERE IS A PRIVATE SECTOR WITH RESPONSIBILITY.

TED SIMONS: WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR THIS? GOVERNMENT, STATE, PRIVATE SECTOR, IF EVERYONE PONIES UP X AMOUNT OF DOLLARS, HOW IS THIS BETTER THAN WHAT WE HAVE NOW?

JOHN ALLEN: THAT REMAINS TO BE SEEN. THIS IS NOT WHAT I CONSIDER THE PERFECT PROPOSAL. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS, CATASTROPHIC CARE, SORT OF GET THE REST OF THE MARKET MUCH MORE DRIVEN BY COSTS. YOU CAN'T GO TO THE HOSPITAL TO FIND OUT WHAT THINGS COST SO HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO SHOP WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO GET. THERE IS A LOT TO BE DONE. IT'S TOO EARLY IN THE GAME TO SAY THIS IS GOING TO BE THE FINAL PRODUCT.

TED SIMONS: PHOENIX COYOTES, THE LOCAL HOCKEY TEAM SENT A LETTER TO LEADERSHIP AND SAID GIVE US A NEW ARENA OR WE ARE ADIOS. YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT?

KIMBERLY YEE: THIS IS AN ISSUE NEAR AND DEAR TO ME. I REPRESENT PHOENIX AND GLENDALE. THERE ARE CONSTITUENTS THAT HAVE PAID FOR THIS IN THE CITY OF GLENDALE. WE HAVE HAD THAT PROPOSAL ON THE BOOKS OVER A DECADE. ALL OF A SUDDEN TODAY OR YESTERDAY, THE NHL COMMISSIONER SAID, IF YOU DON'T PASS THIS SENATE PROPOSAL THAT PROVIDES PUBLIC FINANCING FOR A NEW ARENA IN AN AREA WE CHOOSE, WE'LL MOVE THE TEAM OUT OF THE STATE. MY RESPONSE IS THAT, THAT LETTER MAY NOT HAVE RECEIVED THE RESPONSE THEY WERE LOOKING FOR. IN FACT, IT MAY BE THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THEY CHOOSE. THE VEILED THREAT HAS NOT BEEN RECEIVED WELL AT THE CAPITAL TODAY.

TED SIMONS: DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT?

JOHN ALLEN: YEAH, AND THOUGH IT WAS MORE FRIENDLY, WHEN THEY MOVED IN TO THE STADIUM THEY MADE MANY OF THE SAME ECONOMIC ARGUMENTS TO GET OUT OF IT SAYING THEY NEED TO GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. IF WE BUILD MORE TO THEIR LIKING NOW, IN FIVE OR SIX YEARS WILL WE GET ANOTHER LETTER SAYING, WELL, PRESCOTT'S THE PLACE? THEY ARE GOING TO LEAVE A BIG COMMITMENT LEFT OVER IN GLENDALE ON WHAT THEY OWE FOR THE FACILITY. IF THE LEAGUE WANTS TO PAY THAT OFF FIRST, AND WHICH I ALSO REPRESENT SOME OF THAT CITY, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THAT FIRST. LET'S HAVE A GOOD FAITH SQUARING OF THE BOOKS AND THEN WE'LL TALK ABOUT THE NEXT FACILITY. IN THE WORLD OF CHOICES IN WHICH WE MAKE AT THE LEGISLATURE, WITH KIDS IN FOSTER CARE, GROUP HOMES, EDUCATION ISSUES AND STUFF LIKE THAT, IT'S HARD TO GIVE TOO MUCH CREDENCE TO A THREAT LIKE THAT.

TED SIMONS: SENATOR WORDSLY HAS THIS IDEA REGARDING THESE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT DISTRICTS, THE MONEY IS PAID OFF, THEY GET SALES TAX REVENUE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION. THE COST OF THE STATE'S 225 SOME ODD MILLION, THE HOST CITY THROWS IN 50 OR SOME ODD MILLION. IS THERE AN APPETITE FOR THE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT DISTRICTS IN GENERAL?

KIMBERLY YEE: FIRST, I WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT SENATOR WORDSLY FOR HIS EFFORT. HE'S BEEN WORKING HARD ON THE ISSUE. HE PRESENTED THE PROPOSAL TO THE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS AND THE DEMOCRAT CAUCUS. IT WAS INTERESTING TO SEE THE QUESTIONS RAISED. WHAT WE LEARNED FROM BOTH CAUCUSES AND OUR DISCUSSION, IS THAT WE CAN'T COUNT MORE THAN TWO VOTES ON THE BILL IF PUT UP FOR A REVOTE. I SPOKE WITH KATY HOBBES THIS AFTERNOON AND ASKED HER, WHAT'S THE TEMPERATURE ON THIS WITH THE NEW LETTER? SHE SAID SHE CAN COUNT A MAYBE ONE FROM HER CAUCUS. I'M SURE SENATOR WORDSLY'S GOING TO VOTE FOR HIS OWN BILL.

TED SIMONS: THAT'S INTERSTING. OKAY, LET'S TAKE THEM ON THEIR WORD. THE IMPACT ON THE LOCAL ECONOMY, THE IMPACT ON THE LOCAL IMAGE.

JOHN ALLEN: THAT MIGHT BE TRUE. THEY THINK THEY'LL HAVE A $600 MILLION IMPACT, THEN THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO WHAT THEY ARE DOING WITHOUT THE PUBLIC MONEY. IF THEY BELIEVE THERE'S THAT MUCH ECONOMIC GAIN TO BE HAD AND PROVE THE NUMBERS, OR AT LEAST GET SOME BUY IN, THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO IT WITHOUT US. THE FACT THAT THEY TURNED TO THE PUBLIC WITH STAGGERING ECONOMIC NUMBERS DOESN'T RING TRUE, PLUS THEY COULD MOVE BACK TO TALKING STICK. THAT'S WHERE THEY CAME OUT OF WHEN IT WAS AMERICA WEST ARENA, AND THAT IS MUCH CLOSER TO WHAT THEY THINK IS A VIABLE AREA FOR THEM TO THRIVE IN. WHY NOT RETREAT BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM INSTEAD OF BUILDING ANOTHER FACILITY SOMEWHERE ELSE.

TED SIMONS: I THINK THE PHOENIX SUNS HAVE A LITTLE SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT THAT. DON'T SOUND ALL THAT EXCITED ABOUT SHARING ANY ARENA.

KIMBERLY YEE: ONE THING LOST IN THE CONVERSATION IS THAT THE CITY OF GLENDALE IS EMBRACING THE STAY IN THEIR STADIUM. THE ARENA IS IMPORTANT. I HOSTED A MEETING OF THE TWO PARTIES LAST THURSDAY. I SAW THEY WERE MEETING INDEPENDENTLY WITH INDIVIDUAL LEGISLATORS. I SAID TO BOTH PARTIES YOU CAN'T NEGOTIATE WITH LEGISLATORS WHEN YOU HAVE A CONTRACT BEFORE YOU AND YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT YOUR ISSUES FACE TO FACE. THE PRESS CALLED AND THEY SAID WE ARE READY TO MEET. IT WAS AN INTERESTING MEETING. WHAT THE COYOTES WANT TO BE OUT OF THE AREA BECAUSE OF DEMOGRAPHICS AND THINGS THAT THEY FEEL AREN'T GOOD IN THE WEST VALLEY. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, GLENDALE HAD SOME NEW THINGS TO OFFER THE TEAM, THINGS THAT WERE NOT IN PLAY THIRTEEN YEARS AGO WITH THE FIRST CONTRACT. I COMMITTED THAT TOURISM DOLLARS SHOULD BE PROMOTED TO ENHANCE THE SPORTS AREAS. THAT'S SOMETHING THAT'S TOURISM RELATED.

TED SIMONS: THEY SAY WE GET SOMEPLACE ELSE OR WE ARE GONE. COULD THERE BE A COMPROMISE -- COULD THEY STAY IN GLENDALE?

JOHN ALLEN: I HAVE HEARD THE LANGUAGE SINCE THE LETTER HAS COME MORE TO REASON AT THE LEAGUE. THIS HIT LIKE A THUMP AND THE GOVERNOR DIDN'T LIKE IT. NEITHER BODY LIKED IT MUCH. IT'S NOT SUCH A HOT COMMODITY THAT THREATENED TOO MUCH. IF THEY WANT ASSISTANCE IN FIXING THEIR PROBLEM, FINE. IF THEY DON'T WANT ASSISTANCE, WHAT CAN WE DO? WE HAVE PLENTY OF PLACES WE CAN SPEND $200 MILLION.

TED SIMONS: SCALE OF 0, THEY ARE OUT OF HERE. 10 THEY'LL STAY.

JOHN ALLEN: I THINK THEY'LL STAY. I THINK THEY'RE A 10 THEY'LL STAY.

TED SIMONS: YOU THINK THEY'LL STAY? EVEN IN GLENDALE?

JOHN ALLEN: I DO.

TED SIMONS: 0 TO 10?

KIMBERLY YEE: I THINK THE MESSAGE SHOULD BE THAT WE WANT THEM TO STAY. THEY ARE PART OF OUR ECONOY AND WE HAVE A FAN BASE THAT WANTS THEM TO STAY, SO LET'S WORK OUT A DEAL. WE HAVE ALREADY INVESTED SET TAX PAYER DOLLARS IN GLENDALE. LET'S WORK OUT A DEAL.
TED SIMONS: 0 TO 10? ZERO THEY'RE GONE, TEN THEY'LL STAY.

KIMBERLY YEE: I HOPE THEY ARE ABLE TO STAY.

TED SIMONS: 8?

JOHN ALLEN: THAT'S AN AVERAGE OF 5.

TED SIMONS: ALRIGHT THEN, WE'LL GIVE YOU A FIVE. GOOD TO HAVE YOU BOTH HERE.

JOHN ALLEN: THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

TED SIMONS: UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," WE'LL HEAR ABOUT A NEW REPORT ON WORKPLACE HARASSMENT.

Kimberly Yee: Republican Senate majority leader
John Allen: House majority leader

Workplace Harassment

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