Journalists’ Roundtable: 1-14-22: Ducey Releases Budget, State of the State Address, Sinema Again Rejects Filibuster

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It’s time for another edition of the Journalists’ Roundtable. Joining us: Jim Small of the Arizona Mirror and Mary Jo Pitzl of the Arizona Republic.

This week’s Journalists’ Roundtable covered:

  • Ducey Releases Budget
  • State of the State Address
  • Sinema Again Rejects Filibuster

Give us an overview of the budget release:

Mary Jo Pitzl: “They are going to top off the rainy day fund… the governor is targeting investments in education, water, some for wildfire mitigation.”

Jim Small: “It’s a really large budget. The state has a very large surplus, somewhere in the neighborhood of about two billion dollars, and Governor Ducey’s budget is about fourteen and a quarter billion dollars. Which would be the largest certainly in state history. It includes more than a billion dollars in new funding. Some of the highlights that the governors office talked about today was money for widening the I-10, money for water programs … money for tax cuts, and a wide variety of things.”

Was the State of the State address a speech for national ears as much as Arizona ears?

Jim Small:”Yeah definitely, the way politics is today and the way the political climates been nationalized there was no doubt that there was shots and comments that were made that were aimed directly at the Biden administration. Which is unsurprising, I think Governor Ducey has been pretty vocal about criticizing the Biden administration on a whole host of things from COVID to border security. As far as reactions to it, I think Republicans were really pleased with it, I think they felt a lot of their needs and the things they wanted addressed were in it. Democrats of course looked at it and said ‘well the Governor didnt talk about the pandemic’…”

How often will the border be mentioned by Governor Ducey going forward?

Mary Jo Pitzl: “I think the border will be in many speeches and interwoven into many topics.”

What is Sinema up to with rejecting the filibuster?

Jim Small: “I think we have to remember she campaigned as an independent voice and even during the campaign was asked if she was proud to be a democrat and basically said ‘no’. She has really tried to separate herself from the democratic brand and the democratic party and show that she is a centrist.”

Jim Small, Arizona Mirror
Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona Republic

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