The Arizona Legislative Session kicked off Monday with the Governor’s State of the State Address and lawmakers set to take on issues ranging from education funding to election reform to water concerns. We spoke to democratic legislative leaders to hear about their priorities for the session. Our guests: Senate Minority Leader Rebecca Rios and House Minority Leader, Reginald Bolding.
What are you looking for in this legislative session as the minority party?
“I think the reality is we are walking into a session that ran over last year and was very heated at the end of that session. The fact of the matter is, republicans are still controlling both chambers as well as the governor’s office,” Rios said.
Rios continued that, “I think as democrats we are hoping that we can be successful in fighting against additional attempts to suppress the vote, make voting harder for folks. I think we are looking at having to fight against republicans that want to enact anti-choice legislations.”
“The first couple of days I think that everyone is still coming off the high of the last legislative cycle. There’s been so much partisanship we’re seeing in the media, social media that’s happening, I think that we really have to get things done and I know in the governor’s state of the state he was probably more partisan than I have ever seen him before,” Bolding said.
Bolding continued, “some of the priorities that we’ll have is we will fight to make sure that public education has the resources that they need. We’re facing something called the ‘aggregate expenditure limit’ which in just a few weeks if we can’t raise this limit, school districts will be facing a 15% cut of resources we have already allocated to them.”