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Final Word: The State of the State is about the future of many, not one

It's part of the job, you know, the State of the State address.

Governors do it once a year. They can talk as long as they want and they could sing a song if they preferred to, but most of them stick to business and their agenda for the year.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer delivered hers Monday and made news by announcing her executive order taking Child Protective Services out from under the Department of Econonic Security's organizational umbrella, as a way to kick start the "reinvention" of the agency.

It's probably a wise first step.

With 6,000 or so files alleging instances of possible abuse of a child going uninvestigated at CPS last year, it's clear something had to be done. Does it make sense to have the same agency that doles out food stamps also looking into child abuse inside the home? Probably not.

In many cases, those are homes getting the DES benefits. And the child-abuse investigations are often more of a law enforcement function than a child-welfare function.

Just how the new agency will be structured and get back to the business of handling the welfare of children and families in Arizona remains to be seen, but I think this is a harmless first step.

Brewer chose to outline this and other priorities for the coming year in her speech, and chose NOT to address an issue of slight controversy: the question of whether or not she thinks she has the legal right to run for governor AGAIN.

Even though it's the question a lot of people want answered, the State of the State is neither the time nor the place.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie delivered his State of the State on Tuesday. Reportedly he will focus on an effort to keep New Jersey school kids in the classroom longer.

Critics said he should answer questions about recent scandals affecting his office, including Bridgegate and the spending of Hurricane Sandy relief dollars.

Those answers will come. There are multiple investigations ongoing into those issues, which Christie's political rivals are hoping will upend his aspirations for higher office.

Again, the State of the State is neither the time or the place.

Despite the fact that this speech is often used to promote a political idea, it's still the statutory obligation of the office.

It SHOULD be used to lay out a plan for the future, not to answer questions about the past.

Christie has a state to govern. Let him do it. Brewer said child welfare in Arizona is a priority. Let her try to improve it.

It's what we elect them to do.

About the Author

Karie Dozer is host of Arizona's Noon News.

She has been an on-air personality nearly continually since her college days. She loves radio because it is intelligent, immediate and almost always available.

She is the youngest of nine children from a Midwestern Catholic family where she learned to be heard, fight for a place at the table and find humor in almost everything. She was hired as a news intern while a senior at ASU's Cronkite School, and found that covering human stories like the OJ Simpson white Bronco chase and the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns was too much fun to pass up.

She loved life in the newsroom with all the action and crazy personalities to go with it. She anchored and covered some sports too, until politics dragged her away. She served as press secretary for Arizona's Attorney General Grant Woods for a five-year stint before jumping back to radio on a part-time basis. Three years ago she got back in the biz on a more regular basis as a midday host on what is now KTAR News. She has a passion for the breaking news of the moment, education, local politics, great food, sports and fitness. She has trouble turning down a good argument, a good book or a good glass of wine.

In her spare time she takes care of her boys, (husband Rich, son Jack, and yellow lab Buddy,) and bakes awesome chocolate chip cookies. She enjoys the quality of life the Valley offers her family and the natural beauty of Arizona. Her favorite places are golf courses, her own kitchen, the city of Flagstaff, and wherever her family is.

She considers herself lucky to work with the amazingly talented people of KTAR radio.


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