/ Modified dec 24, 2018 5:21 a.m.

Journalist Roundtable: Issues Awaiting Lawmakers in 2019

Initiatives likely include criminal justice reform and a drought contingency plan.

Arizona 360 closed out 2018 with a journalist roundtable that looked ahead at issues likely to shape events at the Arizona Legislature.

Our panel included Yellow Sheet Report editor Hank Stephenson, Tucson Weekly/Tucson Local Media executive editor Jim NIntzel and Green Valley News/Sahuarita Sun editor Dan Shearer.

Among the initiatives lawmakers are poised to consider: passing a drought contingency plan, criminal justice reform and what to do with an anticipated surplus. Republicans will hold 31 seats In the Arizona House of Representatives compared to Democrats' 29 seats, giving them a narrower margin to advance their party's legislation.

"You may really see a shift from away from passing policy that gets the entire Republican caucus on board, toward passing policy that gets the vast majority of the Republican caucus on board and maybe a couple of more moderate Democrats," Stephenson said.

Other topics included how having two freshman senators in Congress could affect Arizona, as well as how journalists can earn and maintain the trust of the communities they serve in what will likely be another volatile year for the news cycle.

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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