Journalists’ Roundtable: DOJ report, Hobbs investigation, state budget

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It’s the Journalists’ Roundtable where we discuss the top stories shaping Arizona politics. To discuss this week’s top stories, we were joined by Jeremy Duda of Axios Phoenix, Mark Brodie of KJZZ and Bob Christie of Capitol Media Services.

Top stories this week include:

  • DOJ report on Phoenix Police Department
  • Governor Katie Hobbs faces criminal investigation
  • Auditor General and MCAO also investigating Hobbs
  • State budget
  • Lake loses another appeal

The report shows there are many problems with how the Phoenix Police Department deals with discrimination across the community. 

“The Phoenix Police Department violates the civil rights of homeless people, African Americans, Latinos, minorities, excessive force, improper arrests, the list goes on and on,” said Christie. 

An attorney general opened up a criminal investigation against current Arizona Governor, Katie Hobbs. 

“This is about a huge story that was in ‘The Arizona Republic’ a week and a half ago,” said Duda. “The Department of Child Safety and one of the companies that contracts with these congregate group homes places where facilities place children that have been removed from their homes and have no other family to stay with, one company got a very large rating. Turns out not only does this company have some very close ties to Governor Hobbs, they gave $100,000 to her inaugural committee that they didn’t want to release the donors to,” said Duda. 

A budget at the Capitol is currently being restructured. This is a four year draft plan, and it is still in process. 

One part that they haven’t discussed in the budget is ESA’s. 

“Governor Hobbs, I mean, has made this a big issue,” said Brodie. “She really wants some changes to the universal ESA Program. She kinda teased earlier this week that there would be some guardrails coming, and there are some minor changes. I think you know one of the most notable ones is this issue of what some are calling double dipping where a student will be in public school, do some kind of summer school program, get ESA for that, and go back to public school. So essentially the state is paying for them to be in public school and for the ESA,” said Brodie. 

Jeremy Duda, Axios Phoenix
Mark Brodie, KJZZ
Bob Christie, Capitol Media Services

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