Arizona 360: Previewing the 2020 legislative session, overcoming addiction stigmas

(intense theme music) – [Lorraine Rivera]
The Governor lays out his agenda for 2020. – We wanna see mental
health taken care of just like physical care. – [Lorraine] And legislative
leaders discussed the pitfalls of
partisan politics. – We’re trying to avoid those. Get it worked out ahead of time. – There was a time
that we worked closely with the other side. – [Lorraine] Plus
overcoming the stigmas of opioid addiction. – What we say and what
we do and how we posture. That all matters. (intense theme music) – Hello and welcome
to Arizona 360. I’m Lorraine Rivera. Thank you for joining us. State lawmakers return
to the Capitol this week for the start of their
legislative session. We heard from leadership
on all sides about their priorities for Arizona. – It’s great to be back. – [Lorraine] In his Sixth
State of the State Address Governor Doug Ducey praised
Arizona’s growing population. – And the newcomers keep coming. – [Lorraine] And vowed
no new taxes would come out of this session. – Not on my watch! (cheering and applause) – [Lorraine] Speaking
for more than an hour he touched on nearly
two dozen issues that included Mental
Health Reform, water conservation, closing
the state’s prison in Florence, and more funding for
K through 12 schools. – And it’s just great
to be back in Tucson. – [Lorraine] We followed
up on these topics when the Governor
delivered his speech to a Southern Arizona
audience in Tucson and met with us after. – To date we’ve put 4.5
billion in new investments into K12 education
with the budget that we’ll present
later this week. That number will
rise to 6.6 billion. – Per pupil funding
is still not where you’d probably like it to be. The critics are still not happy. What do you say to people
who look at those numbers and take it seriously? – Well I would say
remember what happened before I came here. There were some real spending
years in the state of Arizona. It was almost like binge eating or a smorgasbord
of all you can eat. And then the downturn
came and Arizona had to go on a starvation diet. Today I feel like we’re on
a healthy, sustainable diet and we’re adding additional
dollars each year. And it’s not just dollars. It’s about the
outcomes and results we’re getting inside
the classrooms. Arizona’s one of only
five states in the nation that have seen academic
improvements over
the past decade. So I applaud our hardworking
teachers, superintendents and principals, and now we’re
adding additional dollars so they can do an even better
job with more resources. And those dollars are coming. – You also mentioned
mental health with respect to education. It’s expensive, it’s sensitive. You want insurance
companies to do more. How do you get insurance
companies to step up and support what you would
like to see in Arizona schools? – We rewrite the rules, okay? This is important. Our kids in the Iphone
era are growing up in a world completely different
from the one we grew up in. And we’re seeing some of
it through suicide rates, loneliness, depression, social
and emotional disconnection. So we wanna see mental
health taken care of just like physical care. Mental healthcare that’s the
same by the insurance companies is how they pay for
an annual physical. It’s important, it’s
needed for our kids. For our families and not just
for young people, for adults. Veterans have a great
need for this as well. This is healthcare. It’s mental healthcare
and, insurance companies that cover healthcare
are gonna cover this. – Let’s talk about ground water. The Drought Contingency Plan
of course doesn’t necessarily talk specifically about ground
water in some communities. Places like Pinal
county, Benson, Willcox. You want growth. We want some
Californians to come here and explore our
industry, agriculture. But in some places if you
can afford to dig very deep you can take water
and that challenge is a finite resource in some
of these communities. – One thing I wanna do
around water, it’s something that Arizona has excelled at. It’s lead on water
in broad principles. But I don’t think
it’s responsible that we only deal with this
issue one generation at a time. I’d like to see Arizona
lead on water innovation. Part of that’s conservation
and augmentation. And that’s something we’re gonna
put forward in this budget. Not only to protect
ground water. We wanna protect
the Colorado River. We wanna protect Lake Mead. We wanna protect egg jobs. So I wanna make sure these
terms go very quickly. They’re four years
and you have to plan for water decades ahead. That’s what we’ve done with
the Drought Contingency Plan and that’s what we will
be doing with ground water with this new innovation
water leadership that we’re gonna put forward. – One of the topics you
raised this week is closing the Florence State Prison. Paint a picture for me. How do you see this working? – Well, I first wanna say
we’ve had a real focus on reducing recidivism
inside our state. Once somebody’s paid their debt and served their time
inside a state prison we wanna make sure that
when they walk out the door they have some skills. They have a resume. And we’ve been able
to do it where I think over 2900 inmates have left
with a job waiting for them. And to help these people. And boy, does it save
costs by just shuttering one state prison will save
Arizona State taxpayers 274 million dollars over
the next three years and have a safer state. – Is the move to privatize
the system somehow? – No, the move’s
for public safety. The move’s for efficiency
to save taxpayer dollars. But I also wanna say
on my watch as governor you’re not gonna see me
building another state prison. – [Lorraine] During his
address he criticized the so called Sanctuary
City Initiative that failed to pass
in Tucson last year. And applauded an upcoming effort by Representative T.J.
Shope to introduce a statewide ballot referral
that would band future attempts to establish a sanctuary
city in Arizona. – We saw what
happened in Tucson. Democrats and Republicans
overwhelmingly beat this irresponsible idea. But the concerning thing is
in 560 American cities outside of Arizona, this idea
has come to life. So we think it’s
important that Arizona’s have the opportunity to
say yes to the rule of law and no to sanctuary cities. – All right, let’s
put the rumors to rest because last week at the Chamber you were asked
about your legacy. You knew the number of
days left in office. Your house is for sale. People are wondering, is
Governor Ducey sticking around? – Well I’m sticking
around in Arizona. We’ve had our boys grow
up and go to college and it’s gotten awful quiet. So we’re not going anywhere. We’re staying right
here in Arizona. I have 1084 days remaining
in office right now. I intend to serve every
single one of ’em. I love the state of
Arizona and I’m honored to have this job for
the next three years. – All right, Governor. This was one of the
longest dates of the state. We didn’t talk about everything but we will throughout
the 2020 session. – I’ll be back. – All right Governor
Ducey, thank you. – Thank you. – [Lorraine] Earlier this
month Governor Ducey previewed some of his priorities
at a luncheon hosted by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. At the same event I
moderated a panel discussion with legislative leaders
of the House and Senate whom I sat down with
separately after the event to ask how they planned
to approach this session starting with majority leader’s
House Speaker Rusty Bowers and Senate President Karen Fann. We begin with what
issues top their agendas. – If there was a priority
it be more a concept. You know, focus. Think. And produce. Rather than to get into
the peripheral, challenges. Focus on the principles. Stay on policy and
produce good work. – Pretty much in along
that line obviously our priorities is still
at the top of our agenda is education, particularly
the K through 12 and dealing with the
Higher Ed Infrastructure. But Speaker Bowers is correct. Our goal is we have one,
one, one constitutional thing that we are supposed to
accomplish, required to do and that is the budget. So that is the number one thing
that we will concentrate on and hopefully get
out in a decent time. – Anything that could
stall budget negotiations? – Well, there’s 90
reasons to do it. I mean we have any one member
can get a burr in the saddle and try to do that, but
I thought the President and I’m grateful
to Mike Hawkus that we kept a good reign
in on last year and there was a couple
of exceptions at the end but we’re trying to avoid those. Get it worked out ahead of time. – You just never know. You know, we try so
hard to try and keep the politics out of
it, which is one of the things we try and
do is make some sort of a bipartisan effort here. That’s why we were
elected to come down here. We were elected to come
down to do this business, not to play politics. So we’re gonna try real
hard to keep that tamp down. – Sometimes the perception
is that partisan politics gets in the way of
actually producing action. Is that true? – If you’re asking
me, of course it does. It is a partisan effort. It’s partisan for a reason. We don’t all walk in
lock step in our state. Everybody has different
nuances of belief and they want those represented. – And we have different
constituents in
our districts too. We represent different people. – And it’s meant to be there. It’s a citizen legislature. It’s not a bunch of
paid professionals in the sense of I’m getting
six figures to be a legislator. And maybe that’d be a good idea. – No. (chuckling) – Are you scared of
that legislation? You writing the
Bill as we speak? What do you suppose is the
headline out of this session? – Momentum. Keeping the momentum going. The State has an
incredible momentum. We’re blessed to have a good
governor that focuses on that. He’s no pushover,
that’s for sure. (chuckling) When it came to building
up the Rainy Day Fund he was very insistent
that he wanted a robust Rainy Day Fund. And so we had to tailor
and work with him. But it’s a hard process. But momentum, keeping that
going forward for our families. And especially our families
in the state, that’d be great. – Arizona moving forward. But it is going to be difficult. We know that 2020 is gonna be a very difficult political
year because of what’s going on in
the federal level. And then we have a Senate race. U.S. Senate race that is
going to be determined. So all of that is going
to play into Arizona. Arizona is one of
the swing states that there will be a
lot of outside money that’s going to be
pumped into Arizona to try and either hold onto
seats or take away seats. – [Lorraine] President
Fann says she hopes the vitriol likely looming with
this year’s campaign season won’t distract legislators
from doing their jobs. But as State Democrats plan
their pathway to victory the possibility of
becoming the minority party is hard for
Republicans to ignore. – The progress that we’ve made. Especially for
children, for families. For financial capability. This is a great thing
for our families and I hope that we
don’t get swept away in a political spin
factory that takes us away from those priorities. I don’t want my family to
have to live in a California. Like they have. No offense. But I don’t want that to happen. – Okay. Speaker Bowers, President
Fann, thank you. – Thank you. – Thank you. – [Lorraine] In the
same room I pose the same questions to
Democratic leaders, House Minority Leader
Charlene Fernandez and Senate Minority
Leader David Bradley beginning with their
biggest focus this session. – For us a big issue
is no more tax cuts. As I said, you can’t be digging. Be it you’re in a
hole, stop digging. As an ad adminimum. If tax cuts are
brought forward as a big proposal in
this budget, we’re not gonna be on the budget. We are not. ‘Cause it’s that important. The infrastructure of the
state in many aspects, whether we’re talking
about corrections or health services or
the department of water. Or, any one of them
that you can pick, it’s been hollowed out. And there’s tremendous
need in the state. It’s an illusion that
everything’s hunky dory. And if we’re gonna
keep cutting then it’s gonna be hard to
discuss other things. – I tell people
this all the time. The mantra is please
fund public education and this comes from people
that have kids in school. Grandmas that no longer
have a commitment to put anyone through school. They care about
public education. Our future depends on how
well our kids are doing today. – How much do partisan politics
get in the way of action? – You know, I’ve been
around such a long time. I was just talking to
someone the other day. I came up the ranks. You know, being a
precinct committeeman. Organizing my
neighborhood all the way to Vice Chair of the
Arizona Democratic Party. And also I worked
for a congressman. There was a time that we worked
closely with the other side because it was to the
benefit of every Arizonan. And unfortunately we
don’t see that today. So I have to say. And it makes me sad to
say that partisan politics is alive here in Arizona. – Would you agree, David? – Yeah, unfortunately when I
first got to the legislature the majority leaders were
Republican of the House when I was in House, said
that no Democratic Bill would be heard period, in
any committee for any reason. So, it’s been a little bit
better over the years at times As a function of that. I think the pressure
in the House 3129 some of their folks have
got their attention. I think they are concerned
about this next election. And a lot of resources are
gonna come in on both sides. But unfortunately
we don’t step back. That’s why I was only
being moderately facetious when I said go read
Fred Rogers book. Listen to each other,
be kind as a base. And unfortunately,
especially towards the end of session last year,
that did not happen. – What could stall budget
negotiations this session? – Well I think Mr.
Bradley said it. With 31 in the House, he
can tell you what’s going on in the Senate, but
31 in the House and I’ll be a little snarky here but the funny part is, is
if someone has to go home and walk their dog
or let their dog out we shut down business. That’s all there is to it. If their 31 members
are not in their seats we close out for the day. Case in point, we were
there for 135 days. One of the longest in the
history of this state. And that’s on the back
of our taxpayers because they have to pay us
while we’re there. – What do you think is the
headline out of this session? – I think the goal is to try
to get out of here quickly cause that’s a big
concern of theirs for the reasons that
we just brought up of. That this coming
election may be in a transformative for the state. I hope that at ad adminium
as I started at the beginning that we get out of this
session with no tax cuts. That would be a win as
far as I am concerned. (chuckles) – Absolutely I would
like to see that. Definitely. – Okay Ms. Fernandez,
Mr. Bradley, thank you. – Thank you so much. – Thanks. – For allowing us this time. – Yeah, thank you. – As this legislative
session gains steam so will races for the
White House and Congress. Arizona’s once again poised
to gain national attention as pundits speculate if a
blue wave could definitively turn this historically
red state purple. We got insight into those odds
from political strategists Mario Diaz and Jaime Molera. – What is Arizona’s political
posture headed in to 2020? – I think there is a
undercurrent of bipartisanship. I do believe that
elected officials are really thinking about
the electorate this time. And the electorate
is frustrated. They’re just frustrated
with the gridlock nationally and they just don’t
wanna see it locally. And so I believe that
there is gonna be some good bipartisanship
at the State and the House and the
Senate in a few weeks to get some good work
done for the people. – These state lawmakers
are going to try and hustle through
this session because they need to get
out and fundraise. There will likely be some
campaigning for candidates. How much pull, how much
clout do state lawmakers have when it comes to pushing
for a federal candidate? – Very little. In my opinion. I mean Doug Ducey will have
of course an opportunity. Right now his poll numbers
show he’s pretty popular. I think he’s well regarded. I don’t think at a
State Legislative level it really would have
that kind of influence. – We have two remarkable
candidates for the Senate. Is Martha McSally vulnerable? – Yes, I think she is. I think she’s vulnerable
for a couple of reasons. One is that you have a strong
candidate in Mark Kelly. There’s no doubt about that. The issue of whether or
not she’s perceived as too close to President
Trump, which polling data has shown that tends
to turn off a lot of women Republicans
and Independents. The other thing that hurts
Senator McSally is that the State Party structure. The State Republican
Party structure right now is not seen as a
very strong, viable. And they’re not raising money. And that tends to
be a big factor. A lot of the money that she’s
getting is what she’s raising. But also you’re gonna see
a lot of outside money being poured into Arizona
to the tune of, aggregately? About 100 million dollars. So you can see
Arizona become a very major battleground state. – And this is the definition
of why McSally is vulnerable is that there’s chaos
with a small C over on the Republican side right now. And I think Mark Kelly
is just hunkering down. Raising money. Coming to Maricopa County
so he can be better known and really doing what
he has to do which is a grasp for his campaign
and solidifying that base and taking it to the next
level which is interacting with those Independents
in Maricopa County. – You’ve both said
that Arizona’s going to be considered a
battleground state. So what is the headline
out of Arizona for 2020? – Arizona Turns Blue. – Jaime, those are
fighting words for you. – I know. There’s a chance. But I still think
Arizona stays red. A lot of it, there’s
a lot of ifs right? And we’re just in the first
ending of a long, long game. But it’s gonna start
from the top down. If the Democrats choose
a very progressive presidential candidate, I think
that’ll have ramifications all the way down the ticket. And there’s still a
lot of questions of
what’s gonna happen. Martha McSally has an
opportunity because
of her experience and now she’s been a
full time campaigner now for almost, it’ll be
going on four years. So she’s learned a lot. And if she can take the
lessons that she learned in the last race, that could
be very helpful in Arizona. – Four years of
being a candidate and still being tied with
a relatively unknown? That’s dangerous territory
for an incumbent. And so opportunity, Mark Kelly. – Who did the Democrats
in Arizona want as the presidential candidate? – You know Democrats are
with a varied minds right now and it’s still early
even though Iowa is just a few weeks away. But you know, the
Democrats are coalescing. They’re taking their time. I think we’re being a
little bit more intellectual and not as emotional
as last time with Bernie Sanders perhaps? There was a lot
of emotions there. I think we’re being a little
bit more calculative because what’s at risk and
what’s at stake here. – I’ll answer that question. They want Joe Biden. (laughing) The Arizonans. Because if you
look at everything Joe would be a very formidable
candidate across the board. Especially in Arizona. He’s seen as not as
hardcore Left as some of the other Democratic candidates. But he’s made a lot of missteps and you’ve seen Elizabeth
Warren’s poll numbers go up pretty significantly. You see Buttigieg’s. You see Sanders. As a Republican, it’s those
candidates that would be more attractive in order
to retain the White House. – Anecdotal information
here about Republicans have said they are
having an identity issue. Democrats have as well. Is that playing out here
in the state of Arizona? – I’m not so sure
if that is or not. The other factor
that’s important in all of this is the economy. If the economy were to
continue to be robust and we don’t have any
kind of a downturn that helps at all levels,
from the President on down. The Governor at this event
today with the Arizona Chamber. That’s all he talked about was
how robust our economy was. – How’s the economy? – It’s pretty good. It’s booming. – If Arizonans feel
that, that’s something that’s going to be
continually a benefit to them then that tends to
be a huge factor. And I’m not sure the identity
issue gets in the way. It’s really how the
economy is working and the people perceive
that that’s the best for them and their families. – I agree with my friend
but there’s one issue that trumps good feelings,
good times, good economy. And that’s seeing our
women and men coming in caskets with the U.S.
flag covering the casket. If we go into war with Iran. If there’s continuing
wrecklessness with
foreign policy then perhaps Mr. Biden will
have a better opportunity here in Arizona. – Jaime, is Arizona? It’s a military state
so is this going to play into the election? – Well, there’s two sides to it. If the public perceives
that the United States is being strong. And we’re not getting
a lot of casualties. And it doesn’t turn
into a full blown war. However, we’re
defending our interests. And when terrorists, really bad
people are getting taken out I think the public
would say you know what? We’re strong and
we’re great again. I mean, those are
the kinds of things that could also be a benefit
to an administration. But it also does depend if
it gets to that next level and you start to see
troops on the ground then it could flip. – New issues will make
people pay attention. Okay, Mario Diaz
and Jaime Molero. My thanks to both of you. – Thank you. (reflective piano music) – We now return to
Arizona Public Media’s special series, Arizona
Addicted where we take a closer look at
the opioid epidemic, an issue with widespread
challenges and
difficult solutions. But one simple step
in the right direction comes down to how we
talk about addiction. Mark Person with a Pima County
Health Department explain the power our words
can have in the fight to overcome stigma. What are some stigmatizing
words, some of the language that we may
use that are problematic? – Yeah, there’s no
shortage of ’em. And a lot of things that
you and I have heard out there are pretty common
in society or in families. The things like
drug addict, junkie. Or criminalizing it in
some form or another. The disease that the person
is struggling with becomes the identity of the person. So I’m no longer Mark
the person that struggles with substance use. I’m Mark, the heroin addict. Or Mark the druggie. Or Mark the criminal. And so those type of words that
we really hear pretty common are the things that
wind up kind of creating more harm than good. – What are the better
terms to be utilizing? – So again, in our
field we talk about it as person first language. So you put the person first and the things that
they need help for are not that person’s identity. So if I’m a person that
struggles with heroin addiction. This is Mark is here. He’s struggling with heroin use. Or he struggles with
an addiction to heroin but you don’t wanna call
him Mark the heroin addict. We’re gonna use the wrong
language from time to time and that’s not the
heart of the issue. The heart of the issue
is the perception that we have about the person. So viewing them as
immoral, or criminal or a risk, or dangerous or evil. You know, that’s the
part that’s harmful. – This is a tough subject. How do you convince
the skeptics? But also the families? I mean I’ve spoken
with families who say they’ve been lied
to, stolen from. Physically, verbally abused. And the last thing
they wanna think about is how to use the
right language when there’s a tough love
component happening here. – Sure. And in those settings the
most important thing first is that the person gets
help and then we support ’em but we’re not asking
a family member to again, just sort of
dismiss having been wronged. Anybody that is
in recovery or has gone through substance
use treatment has a story to tell like that. And they’ll themselves
tell you that I’ve burned a lot of
bridges along the way. I’ve done a lot of harm and
I’ve got a lot of work to do to make those
wrongs right again. But they have to have
that chance to do it. And if they’re not
given the opportunity it makes recovery even harder. – What’s at stake
if we don’t change the way we think about and
talk about these issues? – I mean for both substance
use and mental health I think if we continue down
the same path that we have and with the kind of
assumption that people are dangerous or
a risk to society we’re gonna perpetuate
that same problem. And what happens
is people don’t get the care that they need. They don’t get the treatment
that they need because out of fear basically. Rather than seeking help,
we’re in the hospital or the ED or there’s self
harming behaviors where they’ve
developed substance use or a form of addiction to
kinda self treat those things. And so that impacts everyone. People with a mental
illness are incarcerated at a much higher rate than
the average population. They’re homeless. Rates are much higher. Unemployment rates. All those things and a lot
of that is tied to stigma. – It sounds like the
consequences are real and for those people who
don’t think they are affected somehow, some way
they’ll feel it at some point in the future. – Absolutely. And especially with
the widespread messages
through politics and media and radio and
movies and how these things are portrayed and illustrated. It’s everywhere. – Okay. Mark, thank you. – Absolutely. – A reminder that the
discussion was part of Arizona Addicted,
a special endeavor from Arizona Public
Media that explores the solution, stories,
and science behind the state’s opioid crisis. Over the next 11 weeks you’ll
find this coverage here on Arizona 360 and
across all of AZPM. That also includes a
live event happening next Thursday, January
23rd at the U of A Stevie Eller Dance Theater,
Community Interactive. Arizona Addicted
brings together experts from law enforcement and
those personally touched by the epidemic to discuss the
current fight to save lives. The event is free. You can find a link to register
at And share your suggestions
or feedback with us on social media or email
us at [email protected] Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next week. (reflective theme music)

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