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AZ Week Notebook – April 2012

LEGISLATURE LINGERS; BUDGET IN ABEYANCE

The Legislature is past its targeted 100-day goal for adjourning the 2012 regular session, and there's no end in sight.

Or so it seems.

The way budget negotiations have gone in past years, the process -- and the session -- could linger until July, as one legislative leader said he feared, or it could be over in an instant.

More like two or three instances. Once an agreement between Gov. Jan Brewer and Republican legislative leaders is struck, expect everyone to move quickly for passage and the governor to sign.

On Friday's Arizona Week, we will get an update on the budget process -- and other work in which the Legislature is engaged -- from veteran legislative reporters Mary Jo Pitzl of the Arizona Republic and Luige del Puerto of the Arizona Capitol Times.

The governor's office and legislators are at odds over projects for how much state revenues will be in the next two years, with the governor saying more, so spend more, and legislators saying less, so save more.


EVALUATING SB 1070'S ARGUMENTS

Approximately two years after Gov. Brewer signed SB 1070 into law, the controversial immigration bill is finally headed to a place many people, since its inception, said it would; in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

On April 25th, Arizona and the federal government will battle it out in the nation’s most powerful courtroom, each explaining why the U.S. Constitution is on their side.

If they pass, the four contested sections of SB 1070 would require Arizona law enforcement to verify the citizenship of every person they detain if they suspect the detainee is in the country illegally, while strengthening an officer's power to arrest someone without a warrant. Also, being in the United States without permission or seeking work without authorization would become state crimes.

The federal government says all the sections are preempted, meaning they infringe on the federal government’s supremacy over states when both of them legislate on the same issue.

In 2010, most Arizonans favored SB 1070’s provisions, according a Morrison Institute-Knowledge Networks Poll. And from June 2010 to February 2011, the majority of Americans supported Arizona’s immigration laws, the Pew Research Center found.

The likelihood that the Supreme Court's decision will match public opinion remains unclear. But whatever the outcome, the precedent this case sets will be felt in courtrooms across the country for many years to come.

Arizona immigration laws SB 1070 illegal immigration Gov Brewer US Supreme Court,

SB 1070 AND THE SUPREME COURT

SB 1070 author Russell Pearce will appear on Friday's Arizona Week to discuss the origins of and political fighting over SB 1070, Arizona's controversial immigration legislation.

Pearce, who was a member of the Arizona Senate when he wrote the legislation and pushed it through in 2010, has agreed to an interview as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on SB 1070's constitutionality.

Much of the legislation was put on hold in U.S. District Court, and that was upheld in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, leading to the state of Arizona's appeal to the Supreme Court. The court hearing will be April 25.

Also scheduled to appear on the program will be two law professors, the University of Arizona's Toni Massaro and Arizona State University's Carissa Byrne Hessick, who along with other colleagues wrote a lengthy discussion paper on SB 1070.

The paper, "A Legal Labyrinth: Issues Raised by Arizona Senate Bill 1070," dips deeply into the legal and constitutional roots of the arguments for and against the legislation. It includes analysis of the law under federal and state legislation and federal and state case law.

We also are seeking an interview with U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, a Tucson Democrat who serves as protagonist in opposition to the legislation.

Raul Grijalva Russell Pearce SB 1070 US Supreme Court,

NOTHING LIKE A LITTLE RETAIL THERAPY

Consumers are now in charge.

Retailers who don't recognize that -- and step up to meet it with quality, speed and versatility -- will be left behind.

That was clearly a key message at the 16th annual Global Retailing Conference in Tucson this week.

At the same time, there was a clear message of optimism and hope that hard work, attention to consumer demands and details and the use of new technologies will push brave retailers to and through the next frontier.

Arizona Week explores the issues on Friday's program, including these interviews:

-- Martha Van Gelder, director of the University of Arizona's Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing, host of the conference.

-- Terry J. Lundgren, a UA alumnus and president, chairman and CEO of Macy's Inc.

-- Poppy King, self-proclaimed "Lipstick Queen" whose company by the same name has grown rapidly over 20 years in the specialty market of cosmetics, with lipsticks and lip glosses.

-- Kerstin Block, founder and president of Buffalo Exchange, a Tucson-based retailer specializing in vintage and second-hand apparel. She has grown the business from one location in the Old Pueblo to 44 across the West since its founding in the 1970s.

Watch their interviews on Arizona Week Friday evening at 8:30 MST on PBS-HD6, or on our website, www.azweek.com.


SHOP TILL WE DROP?

On Friday's program, focusing on retail consumerism as a spinoff of the Global Retailing Conferece under way in Tucson this week:

-- Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren, discussing how his company has grown its business, including double-digit percentage growth in online revenues, through and after the recession.

-- Cosmetics entrepreneur Poppy King, known as the "lipstick queen" on how she founded new product lines and made her way into business.

-- Buffalo Exchange founder and President Kerstin Block, on how she took a second-hand idea in Tucson and made it into a thriving chain of 44 stores flung across the country.

-- Martha Van Gelder, director of the University of Arizona's Lundgren Retailing Center, on what innovative ideas are coming from the retailing conference.

Watch online Friday at azweek.com or at 8:30 p.m. MST on PBS-HD6.


ARE U.S. CONSUMERS COMING BACK?

Terry Lundgren graduated from the University of Arizona in 1974 and now heads one of the country's biggest retail operations, Macy's Inc.

Lundgren and fellow retailing executives will be in Tucson this week for the University of Arizona's Global Retailing Conference, looking at innovation in retailing.

We will speak with Lundgren and others for Friday's Arizona Week to get updates on the status of retailing in the United States. Among our questions:

  • What's the balance between brick-and-mortar stores and online shopping?

  • What are the traditional department stores such as Macy's doing to compete in the cyber shopping world?

  • How big a part of the business is it expected to become?

  • What are the innovations coming that will make the shopper's experience -- whether in the store or online -- more satisfying, both for the shopper and the retailer?

  • Will the American consumer return with the same force she had before the Great Recession?

  • What are the permanent changes in retailing as a result of the recession?

  • Are global markets more important than ever, with emerging middle classes now in many countries?

About AZ Week Notebook

News and commentary from Arizona Week producer/host Michael Chihak and interns Melanie Huonker and Lucy Valencia.