/ Modified jan 18, 2019 4:37 p.m.

Gov Ducey's Agenda; Bipartisan Lawmakers; New TUSD Board Member

Plus, the Tucson Metro Chamber on economic growth in Pima County.

Gov. Doug Ducey called on Democrats and Republicans to work together on a number of initiatives in his State of the State address this week. He would first like lawmakers to approve a drought contingency plan ahead of a Jan. 31 deadline imposed by the federal government.

After delivering his speech in Tucson, Ducey sat down with Lorraine Rivera to discuss other proposals he raised, including more funding for school resource officers on campuses across the state. In his speech, Ducey said proactive measures were needed to prevent a school shooting like last year's attack at a high school in Parkland, Florida. His budget released Friday includes $9.3 million to fund school resource officers that schools can receive by applying for a grant.

The governor's budget also provides Pima Community College with $20 million to expand its Aviation Technology Program. The last time the college received funding from the state was in 2015 when the Legislature provided $6.7 million. Ducey highlighted Pima Community College's efforts to bolster its technical training programs this week.

"What [Chancellor] Lee Lambert is doing at Pima Community College with aviation has really opened our eyes at the state Capitol," Ducey said. The Arizona governor also addressed the influx of asylum seekers at Arizona's ports of entry and border wall, as well as the partial government shutdown.

The importance of bipartisanship at the Arizona's Capitol is underscored by the gains made by Democrats this past election. They are now within two seats of the majority in the Arizona House of Representatives. For insight into how it could affect this legislative session, Christopher Conover spoke to former state lawmakers Republican Chris Ackerley and Democrat Steve Farley.

"Is 'bipartisan' going to mean that the Republican majority and the governor's office works with a few Democrats to get some agenda items through, or will they be negotiating with the Democratic leadership and the entire caucus?" Ackerley said.

"It's going to work very well for everyday Arizonans and especially the people of Tucson. Because you're not going to see these harsh ideological bills go through," Farley said. "In the House only one flipped Republican will kill a bill."

While leaders at the state Capitol are focused on growing Arizona's economy, it's a shared goal of the Tucson Metro Chamber in Southern Arizona. It follows a number of issues affecting businesses in the region. Chamber President Amber Smith discussed factors impacting growth in Pima County. Her wide-ranging interview with Lorraine Rivera covered minimum wage increases, crumbling roads in the region and upcoming elections in the city of Tucson.

The Tucson Unified School District's newest member took her seat on the board this month. Leila Counts is an educator and TUSD parent. She received the most votes for one of two open seats last November. Counts shared how she plans to help the district overcome some of its biggest challenges and promote unity amongst her fellow board members.

"I would hope that moving forward we fix a lot of this dysfunction, work collaboratively for our students and that there really isn't a perception of an allegiance or board majority," Counts said.

Arizona 360
Arizona 360 airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on PBS 6 PLUS. See more from Arizona 360.
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