Governor Napolitano

More from this show

José Cárdenas talks to Governor Napolitano about issues including illegal immigration, education, the state budget and more in her first appearance on HORIZONTE.

>>José Cárdenass:
Good evening, I'm José Cárdenas, welcome to "Horizonte". From the state budget to illegal immigration concerns. Tonight, Governor Janet Napolitano is here to talk about these issues and more. Also, the late Cesar Chavez will be honored next week across the country. We'll hear how his legacy lives on through his foundation today. That's next on "Horizonte".

>>José Cárdenas:
This week the governor vetoed an $8.2 billion budget passed by state lawmakers. Some key differences between the governor and legislators include expanding all day kindergarten, funding for Child Protective Services, and money to start a medical school. Here with us tonight is Governor Janet Napolitano to talk about the state budget and more. Governor, it's good to have you back on the show. You were on our inaugural show, good to have you back.

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
Thank you. Jose.

>>José Cárdenas:
On the budget, was it 15 minutes, 20 minutes as to how long it took to veto it?

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
It didn't take very long. We had had the bill since Thursday and had been going through it line by line over the weekend with budget staff. When it was finally transmitted to me on Monday evening, we were ready to go and talk with the legislative leadership about a process for resolving our differences so that we could get a budget that moves Arizona forward.

>>José Cárdenas:
They complained you couldn't have possibly read all of the different provisions and vetoed it that quickly.

>> Governor: Janet Napolitano:
I doubt whether they read all the provisions and certainly the members didn't because they forced the thing through about 4:00 in the morning on Thursday. But again, we had the bills. I had said from the beginning in the state of the state what we needed to see in the budget and some of the priorities have to be, and they didn't put any of the priorities in the budget. They knew what they were asking for and they got it.

>>José Cárdenas:
One of your often-stated priorities was funding for all-day K. What's going on with that?

>> Governor: Janet Napolitano:
I think we need to continue to expand all-day kindergarten so it ultimately becomes universally available in Arizona. They chose not to expand it, to hold it at its first year level, which was for children and schools, 90% or more of the students that qualify for the school lunch program. Full day kindergarten is really moving first grade up a half a year. It's not kindergarten times two, it's really a different academic experience all together. With our population of very young children, so many of them from families that are underprivileged or families that don't speak English in the home, they really need that extra head start, and we ought to give it to them.

>>José Cárdenas:
One of the points that the Senate and the House of Representatives had made was they spend $135 million more on education than your budget does.

>> Governor: Janet Napolitano:
That's smoke and mirrors. They pay cash for buildings rather than bonding which is what prudent fiscal policy would be. It makes it look like their education budget is inflated. When you look at what would actually go on in the classroom and the programs are actually funded, they are $50 million under where I am.

>>José Cárdenas:
There's been some suggestion in the press that on all-day K there would be some kind of deal making involving vouchers that the majority favors in exchange for you getting funding for all-day K.

>> Governor: Janet Napolitano:
All-day K needs to be considered as part of the funding for elementary school. We really are adding another grade to elementary school. Many states already have done this, and clearly in the education and economic environment that our young children will face, they need that early head start. All the game playing and whatever needs to be taken out of the equation. We need to sit at the table and say look, this is something that Arizonans want, Arizona parents have said repeatedly poll after poll this is what they want for their children. The business community as spoken out uniformly for it. We can afford it in Arizona. My budget fully funded the expansion of all-day kindergarten without raising taxes or cutting vital services. We can fully afford this and we need to do it.

>>José Cárdenas:
They also didn't give you the $30 million you wanted for Child Protective Services. What's going on there?

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
Well, it's typical, you hear it year after year, it's a tired refrain, CPS is not well managed, blah-blah blah. Well they are well managed, they have an excellent director. Some of the problems CPS has has been developing over years and it takes more than a year to fix all of them. Some are dictated by some of the cases, most of which are not pretty and end up in the media in a very unfavorable light. I believe in the director and I believe in the agency and the work we're trying to do there. We need to give the professionals the tools to carry out the professional responsibility.

>>José Cárdenas:
Another point of departure is the funding the school construction, we touched on it a little before. Their point is we have the money and let's use it and pay it in cash. It makes sense to a lot of people.

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
Well, it does except did you pay cash for your house?

>>José Cárdenas:
No, Governor, I did not.

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
Why? Well because in part it would take away all of the income you would need for other essential things, like Child Protective Services, and you're going to live in your house for a long time, so you spread the payments out in a mortgage. That's really what bonds are for. In this interest rate market to pay cash for every single brick and mortar piece of construction doesn't make fiscal sense.

>>José Cárdenas:
Their response to that is that your approach is like using a credit card for your house.

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
No, it's a bond, and it's like having a mortgage but on assets that are going to be used by more than one generation of children, more than one generation of Arizonans. We can spread those payments out. Our debt equity ratio in Arizona is extraordinarily low. We have lots of capacity here, and the bond rating houses have given us a good bill of health and said you ought to be bonding more.

>>José Cárdenas:
Another issue between you and the legislature has to do with the funding for the Indian Affairs Commission and also the tribal community college.

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
Yeah. I don't know what gave rise to that, but I think for the Native American community in particular these are kind of make or break issues. It's a really small amount of money in comparison to the totality of the budget. We need to get those funds restored.

>>José Cárdenas:
Was there any explanation given to cut funding for the social service program, the homeless, mentally disabled?

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
Just the same old well, we're supporting drug abusers. Well, in fact what general assistance is for people who are disabled and they are in that window time that's usually six to nine months where federal money, waiting for eligibility to be determined, but they're disabled, they qualify for something called general assistance, particularly to help them with housing during that time. Substance abuse is specifically disallowed for general assistance. We're really talking about folks who become disabled and need our help. Again, a very small amount of money in the context of the entire budget, but for the people who need it absolutely -

>>José Cárdenas:
They didn't give you money for the medical school in Phoenix. Their explanation is you didn't give them enough information about how the money would be spent.

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
Last year we gave them all the information about the transportation plan and they didn't like that because they didn't get to write the plan. This year we came to them, we want to start a medical, we have a liaison with the legislature. You don't have the plan completely finished. They can always think of an argument why not to do something. The plain fact of the matter is that the Phoenix area is the largest area in the country without a medical school. The plain fact of the matter is that we need more doctors in Arizona and the plain fact of the matter is that this is something that would benefit us from a health care standpoint, economic development standpoint and science and research standpoint. A good investment for Arizona.

>>José Cárdenas:
Do you think we'll see that money come forward in a medical school next year?

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
I hope so. I certainly hope to sit down with the leadership and talk about that with them.

>>José Cárdenas:
There's also some difference of opinion with respect to childcare subsidies.

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
Well, I've asked for funding there so we don't have to put working families on a waiting list for a childcare subsidy. If you're on a waiting list for a childcare subsidy and you're a single mom that means you can't work if you can't get childcare for your child. They would prefer a system where that waiting list would go up to 10,000 children or more, which is the situation I inherited when I became governor. We whittled that down to no waiting list. But we have more kids, more families working in Arizona. We need the additional funds. That again will be a point of discussion between me and the legislative leadership.

>>José Cárdenas:
I assume one positive point that you and the leadership agree on is the process at least is being advanced much earlier than has been historically the case.

>> Governor Janet Napolitano: As long as they were going to send me a budget they didn't want to consult me on, I prefer they send it to me early so we have time to have the actual battles between us and the negotiation and the discussion. We're taping this show a day earlier than it's airing, but today we sat down this morning and arrived at a process by which we'll be able to agree I think very quickly on a large number of areas in the budget where we are in substantial agreement, set those aside and let us focus over the next few weeks on the areas where we are in substantial disagreement.

>>José Cárdenas:
The suggestion has been made it's been your position, you don't have as many moderate Republicans you could turn to for support, you're almost forced to use your veto as your weapon. What's your take on that?

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
Well, whatever I have to use, I'll use. In the end I want a budget that's fiscally responsible and invests in Arizona's future. I think the budget they sent me doesn't meet the criteria. We need to sit at the table and work it out.

>>José Cárdenas:
When do you think we'll have a budget?
>> Governor Janet Napolitano: Impossible to predict, I can't say.

>>José Cárdenas:
Let's move on to some other issues, immigration generally. There was a delegation of Mexican senators who came here within the last week or two, they met with the attorney general, with the U.S. attorney. There were a number of government officials yourself included who did not meet with them. What can you tell us about that?

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
I've been talking regularly with the undersecretary and secretary of state of Mexico, executive branch to executive branch. I was told these senators were coming and I said I prefer they don't come during a legislative session because we're busy. They wanted to come any way, and I said, that's fine, they can meet with legislators, but I will not able to meet with them.

>>José Cárdenas:
Do you have any concerns at all about Arizona's image in Mexico? There seems to be great concern about proposition 200, how Mexican nationals are being treated here in Arizona. Are you doing anything to counteract --

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
Well, like I said, I've been speaking directly and personally with the consuls here, with my counterpart in Sonora, Governor --- the Arizona Mexico community is very vital right now. We're doing a lot of initiatives to foster trade and commerce between Arizona and Mexico, very very active. I have spoken personally with Undersecretary Gutierrez and the secretary. I think they understand the situation here. They understand Prop 200, what it does and doesn't do. There is no doubt that the public perception in Mexico of Arizona is not the friendliest right now. I think the same could be said of Arizona to Mexico. The issue of illegal immigration is becoming a dominant one, which is why we need immigration reform.

>>José Cárdenas:
You've got a couple of other, what some perceive as anti-immigrant pieces of legislation that are percolating around, Representative Boone and Representative Pearce both have some bills out there. Boone's as I understand it would deny benefits for adult literacy programs. And these are for people that don't have the proper documentation. College education and so forth. What's your position?

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
I don't comment on legislation's unless it gets to my desk. Prop 200 was approved by the voters, it's being enforced, it ought to be given time to work. I also believe that we shouldn't let these things, detract us from what we need. We need more federal resources at the border, manpower, technology, we need a commitment by the federal government to enforce the law that exists
already and we need to have immigration reform. I hope President Bush and President Fox take that up specifically and directly in their meetings this week.

>>José Cárdenas:
Speaking of more federal resources you have been pushing the federal government to pay for the cost of imprisoning Mexican nationals who have committed crimes in Arizona across. How's that coming?

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
I haven't gotten a very good response. I sent the government a bill for $118 million. They sent me a response saying we will give you a share of whatever is appropriated. Not mentioning that they requested exactly zero in appropriations. I wrote back and said a portion of zero is zero and we didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday. I requested a meeting with the attorney general of the United States. I'm supporting the efforts of Senator Kyl, Senator Feinstein to get the state reimbursed for the costs we're incurring for incarcerating those who cross illegally but are in our prison system because they committed a separate crime while in Arizona.

>>José Cárdenas:
Now the legislature is proposing to establish private prisons in Mexico. What do you think about that?

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
I think superficially, it sounds attractive, but when you get down to it, it won't save money, it's unlikely to happen, and it detracts from what we really need. We need the country of Mexico, the federal government to pay us the cost of incarceration of these individuals. We need to get operational control of the Arizona-Mexico border.

>>José Cárdenas:
Now one bill you signed that deals with immigration, the human trafficking bill. What will that accomplish that existing criminal statutes don't?

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
Arizona did not have a state human trafficking law. Whenever there's a human trafficking case it had to be prosecuted federally. That limited the prosecutor's resources to be devoted to this. Human trafficking has become a big problem because we have created this huge new organized crime industry, so what the law basically does is gives us one more state prosecutorial tool to compliment what federal law already has.

>>José Cárdenas:
Next week there will be a number of celebrations honoring the legacy of Cesar Chavez. Tell us about that.

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
The biggest one will be the luncheon next week. It is one of the largest luncheons in Arizona in which we commemorate Cesar Chavez and also learn about the good work of the Cesar Chavez foundation, which is in Arizona, and what they're doing to bring along young people, give education
opportunities.

>>José Cárdenas:
There is some concern what we may be doing is making this mythical figure like George Washington. How do we insure that people really know what he stood for?

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
In the last couple years what's impressed me surrounding the events and activities of the week are when the people who actually knew him and worked with him talk. A lot of them are in Arizona, they were with him during the strikes, they were with him during his fasts. His family members are here. And they can give a personal reflection that is very immediate and very real.

>>José Cárdenas:
Another big news item this past week was as the dedication of the teaching building in Phoenix. Why is that significant?

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
I think it marks the next big step in Arizona's development to be a science and research center, not just on basic gnomic but on applied genomics research which translates into better medicine, both cures and treatments be it for different kinds of cancers, diabetes, autism, for Alzheimer's, for all the projects underway now. They brought in 200 scientists, most a lot younger than you or I, doing the most exciting work in downtown Phoenix. We want to support that, add a medical school, link in the college of pharmacy, a lot of their research is going to be derived from genomics. As I said, a the dedication the other day, 100 years ago Arizona pioneers dedicated Roosevelt dam, realizing we needed to harness the power of water if Arizona was to grown. This week we dedicated our version of the Roosevelt dam, we need to harness the power of science.

>>José Cárdenas:
Governor, we're just about out of time. Any final thoughts?

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
I look forward to working with the legislature, I hope we can resolve our differences and move Arizona forward.

>>José Cárdenas:
Thank you for joining us on "Horizonte".

>> Governor Janet Napolitano:
Thank you.

>>José Cárdenas:
Next week people across the country will celebrate Cesar Chavez's birthday by honoring his life and values. The Cesar E. Chavez foundation was created to educate people about the civil rights leader. Here is more on the background of the Cesar Chavez and the foundation.

>> Announcer:
He was my friend and my hero. Known as the labor leader for us Latinos he was much more. He was our Gandhi, our Martin Luther King. Cesar's legacy transcends. He was an American hero who stood for fundamental American values. Equality, justice, and civil rights for all.
Although he passed away 10 years ago, the values he carried in life remain compelling and relevant to today's social issues. His family established the Chavez Foundation. Now more than ever we have a unique opportunity.

>>José Cárdenas:
With us tonight is Francisca Montoya, Arizona regional director for the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation. Welcome to the show.

>> Francisca Montoya:
Thank you.

>>José Cárdenas:
A little bit about the history of the foundation.

>> Francisca Montoya:
It was founded in 1993 shortly after the passing of our great civil rights leader, Cesar Chavez. It was founded by the family for the purpose of preserving and promoting the life, work and legacy of Cesar Chavez.

>>José Cárdenas:
Tell us a little bit about the center.

>> Francisca Montoya:
The National Chavez Center is the center that is located in la Paz, which is about 25 miles north of Bakersfield, California. It is the headquarters of the Chavez movement. The various organizations within the Chavez movement. The Chavez center received a $2.5 million grant to refurbish a very large facility within the grounds of la Paz, and this building is going to be refurbished so that the foundation and the other Chavez organizations can do work. One of the big projects is a new community organizing institute and it will be housed at the Chavez center.

>>José Cárdenas:
The connections between Cesar Chavez and Arizona are many, he was born in Yuma. The foundation is only coming to Phoenix in January of this year.

>> Francisca Montoya:
Correct.

>>José Cárdenas:
Why is that?

>> Francisca Montoya:
The Chavez foundation has been working in California for a number of years. There have been a group of community leaders here in the State of Arizona that have been looking to seek support from the foundation to expand into Arizona and it's only been in the last year that the Cesar Chavez foundation collaborated with the city of Phoenix in the annual luncheon. Last year the luncheon was very successful and they were able to raise funds to expand Arizona by opening an office and hire staff.

>>José Cárdenas:
It was a question of funding.

>> Francisca Montoya:
It was a question of funding.

>>José Cárdenas:
Among the other things as I understand those funds are going to be used for include some learning programs in Arizona. What can you tell us about that?

>> Francisca Montoya:
The Cesar Chavez foundation launched the national youth leadership initiative. The goal is to combat academic and civic disengagement of our youth. We combat that by exposing them to the life, the work and the legacy of Cesar Chavez and engaging them in service learning. We do that through the Chavez service learning program.

>>José Cárdenas:
We had the governor on earlier. I asked her how do we insure that Cesar Chavez doesn't become another mythic figure like George Washington. Is this the answer?

>> Francisca Montoya:
Yes, we are working with the public school systems. There are many teachers who don't know who Cesar Chavez, is, just like students who don't know. We are training them who Cesar Chavez is, the civil rights movement, Cesar Chavez as a national hero and what he left behind and the importance of his core values to society. We are going into the school systems and training teachers so they can have curriculum guides and resources and materials that they need to teach students in their classroom about Cesar Chavez and the concept of service learning. One of the great things about this program is that we incorporate community service projects that students develop, teachers help guide them, but they themselves implement those community service projects and these are projects that can happen in the classroom, they can happen at their school, or in the community so there are partnerships that are being formed and developed and students are learning about who Cesar Chavez was and the fact he is part of our history, especially in the State of Arizona, as you said he was born in Arizona, he passed away in Arizona and more
importantly, the chant was coined here in Arizona.

>>José Cárdenas:
Now, how do you do this? You work with the teachers, right? And what do you do, you go through curriculum materials that you provide?

>> Francisca Montoya:
Yes. We train teachers, we go over all curriculum guides and classroom.

>>José Cárdenas:
How many guides are there?

>> Francisca Montoya:
We have 7.

>>José Cárdenas:
Is it concentrated in one part of the year.?

>> Francisca Montoya:
The curriculum guide can be taught any time during the school year. Generally a teacher will teach one curriculum guide. It takes about two to three weeks classroom time an hour a day.

>>José Cárdenas:
And this is for kindergarten through high school?

>> Francisca Montoya:
K-12.

>>José Cárdenas:
It is tailored for each grade level?

>> Francisca Montoya:
Yes.

>>José Cárdenas:
The teachers turn around and walk the students through the curriculum?

>> Francisca Montoya:
That's right, they teach in the classroom.

>>José Cárdenas:
How many schools so far are participating?

>> Francisca Montoya:
We have 30 schools that have been represented with approximately 75 teachers that have gone through our training since January.

>>José Cárdenas:
Any kickback, resistance from the teachers or anybody else in terms of implementing the curriculum?

>> Francisca Montoya:
No, we haven't. In fact it's been very positive. Obviously the teachers that come are the ones that want to learn. Some of the comments are, my students are primarily Latinos and I want to be able to teach them about who their heroes are and I want to hear about that too.

>>José Cárdenas:
We're out of time, thank you for joining us on "Horizonte".

>> Francisca Montoya:
Thank you.

>>José Cárdenas:
We have a website link for the foundation on our website www.az.pbs.org. Just click on "Horizonte" and then go on "links" on the left-hand side.

>>José Cárdenas:
That's all for us tonight. Thank you for watching "Horizonte". I'm José Cárdenas. Have a good evening.

Janet Napolitano: Arizona Governor;

Illustration of columns of a capitol building with text reading: Arizona PBS AZ Votes 2024

Arizona PBS presents candidate debates

An armed forces bugler playing the trumpet in front of the United States Capitol building.
aired May 26

National Memorial Day Concert 2024

Graphic for the AZPBS kids LEARN! Writing Contest with a child sitting in a chair writing on a table and text reading: The Ultimate Field Trip
May 26

Submit your entry for the 2024 Writing Contest

Rachel Khong
May 29

Join us for PBS Books Readers Club!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters

STAY in touch
with azpbs.org!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: