(upbeat music) – [Host] Unpacking
the latest headlines from legislative priorities
to politics and impeachment. – What sort of steps
are we going to take for the future for our
education system in the state? – [] What closing a
State prison would mean for the community
that surrounds it. – We’d anticipate about a one
point $3 million direct hit to the budget. – [ Host] Plus as part of
our Arizona Addicted series, emerging ways to
treat chronic pain that don’t involve opioids. – I didn’t really know
how I could continue on (upbeat music) – Hello and welcome to
Arizona360, I’m Lorraine Rivera. Thank you for joining us. In the world of politics,
as many predicted, 2020 is off to a busy start. While Arizona’s
Capitol is a buzz with a new legislative
session on Capitol Hill, all eyes are on the
president’s impeachment trial. Plus congressional leaders, Martha McSally and
Ann Kirkpatrick, also found themselves
in a national spotlight. We explored these issues and
more with local journalists, Tucson Sentinel
publisher, Dillon Smith and Arizona Daily Star
opinion writer, Eddie Celaya. – First impressions as we head into a new
legislative session, what’s going to be the headline? – For me, I think the
headline is going to be that obviously with the
prisons taking up about 10% of the state’s budget, there is a whole suite of democratic proposed
bills out there to kind of address that. But kind of like we
were saying beforehand, those bills are going
to have to go before even if they do pass
through to Governor Doocy. And they might not
be going anywhere. So what’s going to
happen with this 10% that keeps being eaten
out of the budget, that’s kind of the
big story for me. Is there going to be
any movement on that? Anything to fix it. So, – The other big
unanswered question is as far as the budget goes, which is the most
important thing that the legislature
tackles every year, is what sort of steps
are we going to take, if for the future for our education system
in the State (mumbles)? We’ve had a couple
of years of some, not insignificant
raises for teachers, but our school districts are still really very pressured
across all over Arizona. Especially in places that can’t afford
significant budget overrides. So what are we gonna
do to give more support to education systems that are really
pressured right now? – That famous 20 by 2020,
this is the last year. So what’s going to come
in the years to follow? – Exactly
– Is the question. – Alright, let’s move on to, we’re going to have
an election this year. It’s going to be
a memorable one. Let’s focus for a moment though
on Senator Martha McSally who took some heat for comments
that she made last week and also representative
Ann Kirkpatrick who disclosed to the public that she’s managing a very
personal crisis right now. What do we make of Senator
McSally in the comments that she made about a
certain CNN reporter? – I know that some
people have been saying that it might’ve
been coordinated or that she was kind
of waiting in the wings for something like this. I’m not sure if her, at
her initial response was, but I think everything
that came after that, it really has been the
putting their shots up there with liberal hack, I think
there’s mugs now on everything. I think that it serves
a twofold purpose. Number one to raise
some much needed cash. The fourth quarter just came out and she raised $2 million
less than Mr. Mark Kelly. And then another thing is to kind of show up her
support from the right. I know that she’ll be facing
a primary challenge now. How serious that
challenge will be, is really to be questioned. But this for me, really looks like
it was a way for her to tie (mumbles)
to the president. And she thinks that,
I believe that, that will help her in
this upcoming election. – She was always there for us and she’s tough and she’s
smart and she’s brave. And she can fly an airplane
better than anybody. (crowd cheer) – It seemed pretty
preplanned to me. McSally repeated to
her a key line twice, she had somebody there
filming it herself, they had a website
up within an hour. That’s pretty quick. Even if it wasn’t
staged doubling down on that kind of stand,
doesn’t help her with folks in the middle
that she needs to attract to actually win a Senate
election this time. – Representative Kirkpatrick, very public now with
a personal crisis that she’s having
with an addiction, what do we make
of any candidates who will come forward and try to challenge
her in the primary? How serious might they be? – I think if we’re
talking from her left, I really don’t know if
there’s much of a soft spot to attack here. However from her rights,
although I don’t see anybody with maybe the name recognition, or the sort of (mumbles)
of as a Martha McSally, I think what this does is
makes her a little bit softer and kind of easier to attack. Now maybe not for the issue of what she’s going to have
some help for her alcoholism, but I think overall, this goes towards speaking
towards her character. And that’s something that now, well it might not have been
brought up before this incident, now it’s something that
she’s opened herself up to. – As far as the primary
goal against a potential primarily from a challenger
who might have a chance at, we’re looking at a
pretty narrow window here and it’d be hard to justify
right at this moment, making a serious democratic
primary challenge to Kirkpatrick just because she hasn’t been,
not at work for that long. But what we don’t know, is how long she won’t
be participating
actively in the house. Either not being able to show up and vote because
getting treatment. And if that goes on that, some momentum might be built towards somebody else
jumping into that. But the window to
actually do that and build a credible,
effective campaign, is pretty short. You have to declare
and find supporters and find some money and get that going in
pretty short order. And if you don’t do that by
the middle of the spring, it’s not going to happen. – Under this very large
political umbrella, we also have an impeachment, we have an Arizona or a
representative Debbie Lesko who was named to president
Trump’s impeachment team. What sort of energy
and attention does that bring to Arizona given that many people have dubbed
this a battleground State? – I’m not so sure how
much energy it brings to the actual State. I think that for those that are already supporters
of Congresswoman Lesko, this is just another kind
of feather in her cap, something that she’ll be
able to point back to. I think she’s in a
fairly safe district, so this isn’t something
that I think that will hurt her in the long run. That would be the energy. I would be concerned
about if I were her. But ultimately I think
it was kind of a reward from the Trump administration
to a person in Congress. They felt was doing a good job kind of carrying the water
for the administration. – All right, before we go, I want to talk about something that is always a hot topic here. Is how the press is
sorta revered right now given the political climate, anything that the Arizona
Daily Star is doing, the Tucson Sentinel that you’re having conversations
behind closed doors and we want to be
sure that people don’t question our motives or
accuse us of not being fair. – Basically, not just during the 10 years
at Tucson’s Sentinel.com, but in my journalism
before that, every news organization
I’ve ever worked with, has been accused by
somebody of not being fair. That just comes
with the territory. And some people are a little
bit louder about it now, but, pretty much every day
we have people on the left, saying we’re not fair,
and on the right, saying we’re not fair. And you know, sometimes the facts just don’t
support a particular opinion. And it’s our job to provide
people with the truth to bring them facts
that are demonstrable that you can show them
how you know them, rather than just
present an argument to back up specific case. We’re not out there to support
a leftist point of view or right wing point of view. We’re just there
to inform people. – A lot of the letters
to the editor, you know, question the Star
and its motives. And as you mentioned,
some people will say, “Will they publish my letter? “Maybe I don’t
sound as educated.” But then, there’s also a fair
amount of people who say that you won’t publish because you may not agree
with their political ideology. Can you clarify right
now what the goal is of the opinion section? – Our goal is to facilitate
a community conversation. Now, obviously Tucson is
a pretty liberal town. So we receive mostly
liberal letters to the editor and op-eds. However, there are
plenty of conservatives that we also hear from. And recently we’ve made
the change to where, if folks write in once a month, we would only publish
their letters. Now we’ve tried to make it so
that it’s a little bit more, politically kind of, there’s a
little bit more parody there. And by doing so, we think we’re doing a better
job of letting folks know that the different kind
of opinions out there in the community and
exposing them to things that, perhaps they wouldn’t
be exposed to if they were just speaking
in their own social circles. I think one other thing that may be kind of gets
lost too at the Daily Star is a lot of people see
what’s published in print. We publish just about
every letter online that we receive as well. Liberal, conservative,
libertarian, pink, blue, red, whatever it is. We try to publish everything
that we receive online. – Okay. And to be clear, we
all three of us agree it’s going to be one
heck of a year ahead. Right, thanks to both of you. – Thank you. (upbeat music) – As we’ve discussed,
governor Doug Doocy’s plan to close the Florence
State prison marks a major shift for Arizona’s
department of corrections. One that requires relocating
thousands of inmates and shutting down a facility that has come to shape the
town, sharing its name. – [Woman] Now over
a century old, the governor says
shuttering the prison would save $274 million
over three years that would otherwise
go toward maintenance. – What we’re going
to do in the future, we’ll continue to
(mumbles) our whole State. – [Woman] His proposed
budget includes $33 million to cover the
cost of moving forward. That involves
transferring employees to the nearby Iman Prison and sending inmates
to other State and County facilities as
well as private prisons. A statement from the
governor’s office says in part that the process will take time and over the next
several months, the department of
corrections (mumbles), ensure the transition
prioritizes the
safety of inmates, correctional officers
and prison staff. The initial announcement
came as a surprise to officials in the
town of Florence, who say, closing the prison
will have consequences. We learn more from Public
Information Officer, Ben Bitter, who spoke
to us via Skype. – Pretty significant impacts
for the town of Florence, largely because of
how we fund operations in the state of Arizona. And that’s by population. And so, prisoners and members
of university students that live in dorms
are all considered (mumbles) group
quarters residents, group quarters residents are
included within the populations of the towns where they reside. And so, for us in Florence,
we have about 17,000 inmates. Those inmates are part
of our population. – Ben, let’s say the town of Florence
loses some 4,000 inmates, what are the implications? – We’ve received
about $400 per person for State shared revenue. So that’s money that comes from
the state back to the town, through the income taxes
that we pay to the state, they distribute a portion of
that back to the communities. And so as a portion of
that, we pay for streets, we play for police
officers and firefighters and a variety of our parks and recreation and
aquatic center. Those types of services are all funded through
our general fund, which would take
the largest hit, directly from the loss
of of 4,000 people. So with about a
$14 million budget, we’d anticipate
about $1.3 million directed to the budget,
which is about 10%. And so we certainly would
have to tighten the belts and figure out the best way to maximize the efficiencies
within our operations and do all that we can to ensure that our public is not harmed. – I spoke with the governor
and the way he described it is that these inmates would
likely go to Counties or other facilities within
the State prison system. Some people seem to think a
lot of them would stay there in Pinnell County, does any
of that make this right? – We’re still discovering kind
of what the full impacts are. We haven’t had a chance to meet with the director of the
department of corrections and other department of
corrections, rehabilitation and re-entry and had to have
some brief conversations with him about what
he anticipates, this process looking like, or
how this transition occurs. In talking with our colleagues
over the Pinnell County jail, we know that they have
about 800 vacant spots at their facility,
that’s really a fraction of the amount of inmates that could be lost to
the town of Florence in the grand scheme of things. And so we certainly
want to partner with the State on figuring
out if new facilities need to be constructed. We have land
available to do that and it’s already zoned and proper for correctional
industry growth. And so we want to explore that possibility as
well as any others that the state may be
willing to look up. – I know Florence
and the State prison are somewhat synonymous
with each other as you noted on your website, the tower is part of your
town logo it’s “mumbles). How does the landscape change should this come to fruition and this community loses as
you noted, 4,000 residents? – Yeah, it’s a big impact and that’s why I think we
want to be at the table with the governor, his staff,
the department of corrections and the legislators as
we’re all kind of making, marching this path forward. Now this is hundreds
of acres of land within the town of Florence and it’s not just
within the town. This is on the State highway. And so it’s very visible and it is within the very
fabric of our community. We are a historic
town, founded in 1866 and the State Prison
Complex was built and started construction of that before the State
was even a State. And so lots of history
within our town and we want to do
the best we can to preserve that history and celebrate it
(mumbles) wherever we can. – The governor told me that
he doesn’t want to build another prison in the State
of Arizona under his watch. This facility a hundred
years old, if not more, what do you hope happens next? I know you’re talking
with the State, you sound hopeful about the
communication moving forward, but what’s the
next phase for you? – I think for us, we need to
look at all of the impacts. I mentioned some of the
direct impacts earlier, such as the loss of
State shared revenue to our general fund, but there
are secondary impacts as well that could be very massive
to our local economy and to our residents. We, for example,
treat the sewage that comes out of the
State Prison Complex and that goes into
our wastewater fund. Removing the Florence
State Prison Complex, removes about $750,000 per year
out of our wastewater fund. And because those funds are
built to sustain themselves and run like a business,
that could mean that the rates for sewage, for the rest of our citizens
have to increase enough to offset that amount. And so, we’re certainly
concerned about how that type of
thing moves forward and would love to really just
continue these discussions with the department and
with the governor’s office and the legislators as
the session continues, and as the budget
is further developed to ensure that we are
doing whatever we can to really minimize those impacts and figure out ways that are
going to be positive solutions for our community
and for the region. – Alright, Ben Bitter
from the town of Florence. Thank you for your time. – Thank you, I appreciate it. – The governor’s budget
proposal calls for $9 million to help expand rehabilitative
programs for inmates. The issue is personal
for Maggie Maloney. After serving eight years
in Arizona’s prison system, she now advocates for inmates as they try to rebuild their
lives once they’re free. She shared more about
the challenges waiting
on the outside. Tell me, you were released from Arizona department
of corrections in April. Tell me a bit about
what led to that. – So, I grew up
in North Phoenix. I was a straight A student. I had a lot of dreams
and aspirations. I ended up also
having drug addiction. And so as a result, I made
some poor choices in my life and I got involved with
(sighs) people and situations that eventually led me
to being incarcerated. And so I’ve actually
been incarcerated twice and the first time
I didn’t get it. Like I didn’t utilize the
programs that were available. Programs are limited and when
you’re on a much bigger yard, sometimes it’s hard to
get involved with them. I did start school
that first time around, but when I got out, things
really hadn’t changed. – You acknowledged that during
those two terms you serve, there’re supports
and systems in place, but it’s up to you
as the individual to take advantage of them. – Yeah, it’s absolutely
up to us as individuals to take advantage of them
and they are limited. And you know, do enough people
get themselves involved? We do have that
individual responsibility and there are those two options. The second time around, I definitely got involved
with a lot of different things surrounding substance abuse, surrounding work
training programs, surrounding different
types of advocacy groups that were coming in. And definitely, you know, having been there for
two different sentences, things have progressed. Is there still room for
improvement absolutely? – You have experiences from
being inside the facility, and now outside and
doing advocacy work, what’s one or two things that
you think the State could do to really change things? – Transitioning is
a difficult process. You don’t always know
who you can depend on or who you can rely on to sort of walk you through just the day to day
life experiences. Like having, more options
in terms of employment, you know, what does it
look like to get insurance, what does it look
like, to file taxes, find a place to live. Like those are my
current struggles. I can still say today like, “I’m not 100% sure
how I file my taxes or back taxes for when
I was incarcerated or how do I go about
finding a home for me and my daughter that is in
a respectable neighborhood where I feel
comfortable raising her? Things like that. I think that, you know, as felons we throw a
lot of limitations. We as a community, especially those of us who
have been in those shoes and are now out here
and being successful need to take the time to
give back to the women, the men that are coming
out of those facilities, to whatever capacity
to help guide them. – There are people
will undoubtedly ask, what’s, the state
can do its part, the community will
try to come together but where is your
role in being sure that it’s not a
repeat situation? – Today and being
incarcerated the second time, like I really took a
look at my belief system. I strongly believe even in
doing interviews like this and participating in some of the different advocacy
things that I do, it is my responsibility
as a returning citizen to be a role model for people who are
coming out of the system. I just don’t have a
responsibility to myself, I have a responsibility
to the sort of demographic that I am part of,
of being a felon and to say like, we can do this. It makes me sad when
people give up too early, but I can have
compassion because I’ve
done that before too. It’s possible. It’s not easy and
really you just have to keep putting one foot
in front of the other and have some faith that
eventually things will work out. You have to humble
yourself in this situation. I’m not going to get
the best paying job, what I think my skill set is
worth, right out the gate. I have to work any job I
have to take what I can get and then I have to keep moving
forward and never give up. And so my advice to
anyone who’s coming out is there are groups out here, there are agencies that are
available and willing to help. We definitely need more. We definitely need to bring
awareness to what is available ’cause it’s not always there. Like you don’t know
always where you can go and who will help. But don’t give up. – Alright Maggie, thank you. – (Mumbles) (upbeat music) – When Arizona declared
an opioid emergency, it rolled out new
prescribing guidelines to counter the increasing
number of deaths from prescription opioids. As awareness rises about the
risk these medications pose, so has interest in alternatives
for treating chronic pain. This week in our special
reporting series, Arizona Addicted
reporter Judy Alley looks into some
emerging options. – It was devastating. I could not function, all I wanted to do,
was chew on a shotgun. – [Judy] It was a narcotic
nightmare Joseph Ketterer says he could not wake up from. – Because of my chronic pain, from my exposure to
my military service and also my commercial
diving time, it had caused me to need a
very high dose of Tramadol, Flexeril, and a
few other medicines that had caused me
to go into a state that was spiraling
downward very quickly. – [Judy] Ketterer says
the opioids caused him to gain about 70 pounds and his behavior started
to change for the worse. He says his extreme
highs and lows, caused his marriage to collapse. That’s when he decided
to kick the opioids and try something new. – When I first started
applying CBD topically, I was on seven different
pharmaceutical medications. I don’t take any pharmaceutical
medications today, and that was six years ago. That’s how long it’s taken for
my system to repair itself. – [Judy] Keterrer credits
CBD or cannabidiol, for his miraculous recovery. CBD is the second most
prevalent active ingredient in cannabis or marijuana and
is said to inhibit inflammatory and neuropathic pain
without the high and other side
effects of opioids. – There are a lot
of data that says that CBD has great(mumbles)
relieving qualities. I’m a big fan of the
topical CBD creams. – [Judy] Dr Eric Cornidez of the pain Institute
of Southern Arizona, has met with many
patients looking for alternatives to opioids. – Some patients are not so much physically
depending on these medications, but they’re psychologically
dependent, right? It’s more like a crutch. It’s more like, “This is what I need in
order for me to survive.” – [Judy] Dr Cornidez
says in addition to CBD, he sees some exciting
new developments over the last five years,
including a new medication called ATA 121, which is about to
hit the market. He says it decreases
pain by stimulating and blocking pain receptors without the high
associated with opioids. – This is the one that we use. Same thing, you know– – [Judy] But he believes, the most promising
treatment for pain is neuromodulation therapy. It involves implantable
and non implantable devices that deliver electrical
or chemical agents to modify brain and
nerve cell activity. It’s been around for
decades, he says. But recent
technological advances, have made it a game changer. – We’re no longer manipulating
just to signal pain, but we’re manipulating
the impact that signal has on our
bodies and on our minds too. And that’s amazing. To be able to pinpoint
nerve structures to manipulate that signal here and with minimal side effects. – The nerve stimulator has
completely changed my life. – [Judy] For years, Monica Ibarra suffered from
debilitating chronic back pain. – I was at the point where, (mumbles) get emotional. I didn’t really know
how I could continue on. I was in so much pain,
just I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t even
rest on the couch. – [Judy] She tried opioids,
which made her sick. She tried steroids
and cortisone shots, which had some limited results. Running out of hope,
she finally decided to try neuromodulation
therapy and it was successful. – I really like to work out. I was a big aerobics
person, 1980s style, you know, the leg
warmers and all but never thought I
could do that again. And so now I’m back
on the treadmill and I’m actually running and I never thought
I could run again. – [Judy] She also says, (mumbles) rich plasma therapy has helped with
her muscular pain. And while many of
these new methods are providing
encouraging results and are helping people like
Joseph Ketterer wake up from the debilitating days
brought on by opioids, – I’m ready for active
duty service again, if it’s so needed. – [Judy] Dr Cornidez says it’s
important to be realistic, open-minded and impatient. Because although there’s
a pain relief method for pretty much everyone,
sometimes it takes a while to find the one
that’s right for you. – As we’ve mentioned, our reporting for
Arizona Addicted spans all of Arizona
Public Media’s Platforms. Recently, our colleagues
with the buzz, looked into a Tucson
police program that puts people
with drug offenses into treatment instead of jail. You can listen now on
acpm.org/arizonaaddicted. And that’s all for now. Thanks for joining us. To get in touch, visit
us on social media, or send an email to
[email protected] and let us know what you think. We’ll see you next week. (upbeat music)

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