Play the video above to see these stories on AZ Illustrated Politics for Friday, April 25:
Host Jim Nintzel interviewed U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., and substitute host Michael Chihak led the week's discussion of politics with journalists Andrea Kelly of Arizona Public Media, Mark B. Evans of Inside Tucson Business and Dylan Smith of TucsonSentinel.com.
KIRKPATRICK: The congresswoman told Nintzel she stands by her support of the Affordable Care Act and that residents of Congressional District 1 favor it. At the same time, she said changes are needed in the law to help small businesses. Kirkpatrick said she is disappointed the U.S. House has not acted on immigration reform and she thought there aren't enough trained officers to support the border security needs called for in the bill passed by the U.S. Senate last year.
Kelly said she thinks the Affordable Care Act will be a big part of Kirkpatrick's campaign for reelection, because all three Republicans seeking the party nomination to oppose her want it repealed.
CITY OF TUCSON BUDGET: The panelists agreed that the city must make bigger budgetary decisions than it has to bring about fiscal balance, and that the tweaking around the edges won't be enough. They also said the subsidies for transportation – especially SunTran buses and the coming modern streetcar, will continue to be burdens on the city budget.
BREWER'S LEGACY: The panelists said Gov. Jan Brewer can't be categorized as a traditional conservative politician, although she is conservative. Her veto of 19 bills this legislative session, including four that would have made state gun rights even more upfront, was a sign of pragmatism.
EARTH DAY: The annual celebration of environmental protection and activism isn't what it used to be, the panelists said, reflecting on the last Earth Day, which was Tuesday. They said many basic environmental issues from the origins of the day a generation ago have been dealt with, and climate change is the fight now.
AZ Illustrated Politics is produced by Jim Nintzel. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.