The Arizona Legislative Session began yesterday with the Governor’s State of the State Address. We asked veteran political reporter Howie Fischer of Capitol Media Services for an update on the general mood at the capitol in these opening days of the session.
“We had the usual political posturing starting with the governor…Kerri Lake was down here being introduced by one of the freshman lawmakers as the ‘next governor of the state’ who’s got a smattering of applause from republicans,” Fischer said.
During the State of the State Address, several republicans were unmasked while mostly democrats were masked up, “I think there is a certain amount of ‘mask-fatigue’,” Fischer said.
In response to the State of the State Address, Fischer said that it’s the usual issue where republicans felt it was great where they were discussing ‘school of choice’ and not discussing COVID-19 and the democrats felt that the governor didn’t address certain key issues.
One of these key issues is the schools specifically and, “unless the legislature acts, and soon, schools in Arizona could be forced to cut $1.2 billion from money they’re already allocated because we’re hitting an aggregate expenditure limit,” Fischer said.
He added that the governor made no mention of it but his press aides said that they ‘may’ work with the legislature on it.
“This was mainly a political speech with unfortunately not a lot of really substantive things that are designed to move the state forward with the possible exception of finally dealing with water because we’ve been kicking the can down the road on that for years,” Fischer said.