April 20, 2015
We’re Movin’ Up! The respected Rich States Poor States report recently ranked Arizona #5 for economic outlook. Here’s how the Legislature pushed regulations back this session:
SB 1241 Stopping excessive government regulation – it’s about more than plastic bags. Some localities are contemplating – and some have already implemented – ordinances that mandate energy usage reporting and dictate which containers and bags are acceptable. SB 1241 reins in intrusive jurisdictional mandates before they become major job-killers in Arizona. While responsible energy use is obviously a worthy goal, mandatory energy reporting in the name of energy consumption benchmarking is problematic on many levels and unnecessary as businesses are already highly incentivized to reduce their energy costs and do not need additional regulations. Piecemeal mandates are not only labor intensive, but difficult to comply with. Read the Arizona Chamber’s informative piece on SB 1241 – Overregulation: Local Edition.
HB 2603 Tort Reform – Ending Asbestos Litigation “Double Dipping”. This measure increases necessary transparency in Arizona’s legal system ensuring that, while victims are still entitled to compensation, the tort process is fair for all parties involved, and double dipping recovery is curtailed. Read more about the issue here.
HB 2645 Laboratory Testing Without Order – will bring competition & patient access to market. The lab industry will never be the same thanks to some serious free market interventions in Arizona: Less regulation a-la HB 2645, which was just signed into law by Governor Ducey, and an innovative company named Theranos which offers patients more value for less cost and less blood. If you haven’t heard of Theranos’ Founder & CEO Elizabeth Holmes, you soon will! Many Arizonans are already benefiting from the Theranos/Walgreens partnership at 40 locations across the state – the Grand Opening of which was at 64th St. and Greenway Rd. in 2013.
April 20, 2015
HB 2517 Rescuing children from internet sex crimes – There are 15,000 known active internet addresses identified in Arizona – but not nearly enough investigators to track down & save these child victims. There are only 4 fulltime investigators working these horrific torture, rape and molestation cases – the same number since the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force was formed in 2001! HB 2517 allocates $900,000 a year in lottery revenue to the Internet Crimes Against Children Enforcement Fund, and $100,000 to the Victims’ Rights Enforcement Fund. What is the scope of these crimes? Watch the compelling committee testimony. View Rep. Paul Boyer’s piece here.
HB 2519 Parent moves and the best interest of kids – After numerous attempts to pass legislation curbing devastating abuse of current (post divorce) relocation statutes, HB 2519 made significant headway protecting both parents and the child. Although in the end the 100 mile rule was restored, the most important part of the bill was left intact – that relocation issues are to be written into final orders rather than post decree orders. Also supervised parenting time can no longer be used against the non-moving party with no penalty.
HB 2024 Child Safety Oversight Committee – Some legislatively created committees may be of little use – especially over time, but the CSOC was instituted at a time when CPS (now the Dept. of Child Safety) was – and continues to be – desperately in need of accountability and oversight. HB 2024 continues the CSOC for another two years.
HB 2047 Supervisor review & approval a must before child removal – Considering the numbers of children in state care, frankly we’re wondering if children are removed from the home too often and without supporting legal cause. HB 2047 specifies that DCS may not remove a child from the custody of the child’s parent, guardian or custodian unless the child safety worker submits the reasons for removal and supporting documentation to their supervisor and supervisor approves the removal. [Read more]
April 17, 2015
One State Leads fight for Health Care Freedom – Arizona
- HB 2643 Stopping Obamacare in Arizona: States shouldn’t try to save the Obamacare subsidies and HB 2643 ensures Arizona doesn’t try. The new law prohibits the state and all of its political subdivisions from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer, or cooperate with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). See John Graham’s latest on Arizona (NCPA).
- HB 2417 (formerly SB 1284 ) Paying Directly for care just got better: Higher insurance premiums, deductibles & co-pays plus narrow provider networks are costing patients more. By paying directly.…market forces come into play and patients can pay much less. With HB 2417, paying directly will be even more cost effective as the law ensures insurance companies cooperate when patients go out of network for covered services by applying their payments to the in-network deductible.
- SB 1039 Expands Health Care Sharing Option: The cost of health insurance continues to skyrocket – and if Obamacare subsidies come to a halt if ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, even more people will be seeking affordable health care options. HCSMs are exempt from the Affordable Care Act and they’re actually affordable. SB 1039 aligns the state and federal definitions of HCSMs so that more people can take advantage of this option. Read more: Alliance for Health Care Sharing Ministries.
- HB 2645 Laboratory Testing Without Order – The lab industry will never be the same thanks to some serious free market interventions in Arizona: Less regulation a-la HB 2645, allowing patients to pursue lab tests without a doctor’s prescription – and an innovative company named Theranos which offers patients more value for less cost and less blood is a winning combination. If you haven’t heard of Theranos’ Founder & CEO Elizabeth Holmes, you soon will! Many Arizonans are already benefiting from the Theranos/Walgreens partnership at 40 locations across the state.
- SB 1320 Cosmetology Board can’t license makeup Artists - Should people who apply makeup & eyelashes have to have a license to do business? SB 1320 makes sure they don’t in Arizona. Chalk one up for keeping government from inhibiting entry into yet another business field. Read about another ‘Fishy Regulation’ this Board is being sued over.
Addressing the over-prescribing epidemic: More than 100 people die each day due to legal prescription opioid overdose in the U.S. SB 1032 requires Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) contractors to intervene if a member has 10 or more prescriptions for controlled substances within a three-month period. [Read more]
April 7, 2015
Paying Directly for care just got better: Higher insurance premiums, deductibles & co-pays plus narrow provider networks are costing patients more. By paying directly.…market forces come into play and patients can pay much less. With HB 2417 (Formerly SB 1284), paying directly will be even more cost effective as the law ensures insurance companies cooperate when patients go out of network for covered services by applying their payments to the in-network deductible. [Read more]
February 24, 2015
And there’s plenty of good news to report. Here are some highlights on Barto-sponsored & supported bills:
- Good News for Patients. SB 1284 - passed the Senate 23-6 last week, moving on to the House. Under the Obamacare mandates, patients are faced with a whole new set of challenges – including incredibly high deductibles and narrower physician networks. SB 1284 will help patients avoid having to pay twice to satisfy their insurance deductibles if they have to (or choose to) pay directly for covered health care outside their networks. The cash payments could apply under the same rules in current law, which passed in 2013.
- Student Civics Requirement. Shouldn’t every high school graduate know who is in charge of the Executive branch of the Government? Believe it or not, many don’t! The first bill signed into law this session will make passing the same Civics Test required for new U.S. citizens mandatory for Arizona students, too: SB 1029. Check out the test yourself at www.citizenshiptestus.com.
- Good News for LIFE and Taxpayers! 85% of Americans abhor their tax dollars paying for elective abortions, yet 41 out of the 199 Arizona health plans in the health care exchange include abortion coverage and taypayers ARE paying for them. SB 1318 stops subsidized elective abortions in the Obamacare federal exchange plans. The bill passed the Senate on 17-12 and awaits a hearing in the House. Learn the details: Fact Sheet.
- Good News for the Welfare State. How is it that between 1983 and 2012 population increased by 83 million and yet people accepting means-tested benefits increased by 67 million? In fact, the fastest growing source of personal income in America are welfare entitlements. SB 1092, which passed the Senate 17-12 today can potentially help reduce disincentives to work by adding work requirements to Arizona’s Medicaid program, as well as sensible cost-sharing and caps on the number of years one can receive these benefits. Federal regulators just approved cost-sharing elements in Indiana’s Medicaid waiver a few weeks ago. Arizona should be asking for the same and other common sense reforms so the program is sustainable for those who truly need it. Read Who’s on Welfare?
- Good News for Businesses! SB 1241 will ensure AHCCCS providers of in-home support services, which benefit seniors and save taxpayers millions of dollars, can choose how they conduct their businesses. A 2015 National Federation of Independent Business – (NFIB) priority bill, the legislation passed the Senate today 25-4 – and moves to the House.
- Good News/Bad News: SCM 1005 – the Regulation Freedom Amendment urges Congress to put the brakes on excessive Federal regulations. See Government isn’t supposed to work this way. The bill passed the Senate Committee, but has not been scheduled for floor votes yet by Sen. President Biggs, who has not committed to doing so (Bad news for moving our Republican form of government back to Constitutional sanity). Read more about the Liberty Amendments and what they entail. All states, especially Arizona, should get on board!
- Good News – CO 2 is good for the Environment! Last week Craig Idso from the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change presented the latest on global climate change before the Senate Federal Mandates & Fiscal Responsibility Committee. You can check out the facts, too, at CO 2 Science.org, which is regularly updated with new information.
Question or Comments? Let me know by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 22, 2015
Numbers don’t lie. The War on Poverty has cost us $22 Trillion so far, and rising.
- One third of Americans now take “need-based” payments (14% of GDP)
- Benefit transfers to individuals through social welfare programs have increased from less than one federal dollar in four (24%) in 1963 to almost 3 out of 5 (59%) in 2013
- In fact, Americans’ fastest growing source of personal income are welfare entitlements.
January 8, 2015
Ahhh…2015! The New year always comes with hopes and expectations. And after the November elections, our political hopes loom even larger. Here is what I’m hoping – and will be working for this session at the Capitol.
- Fiscal restraint. Arizona’s budget picture is bleak for sure, but Gov. Ducey’s commitment to grow the economy without dinging taxpayers is something I can get behind. He gets it! [Read more]
January 4, 2015
Gilbert’s governing board made a decision – not to decide.
Remember back in October when Gilbert’s Governing Board voted to take action ensuring their textbooks comply with state law? (see the background here) Well, now apparently it isn’t nearly so urgent to honor that vote and the law.
It is not only troubling that Gilbert parents can’t trust their school board to act upon a prior board action, but unconscionable their students will continue to learn – in Science class - that ending life through abortion-causing contraception is natural and preferable to childbirth and adoption, as the latter concepts are omitted – which is contrary to state law. [Read more]
January 3, 2015
The “business” of government regulation is booming – and it’s crushing real businesses.
Yes, we’re still the financial capital of the world with a GDP of $16.7 trillion last year, nearly a quarter of the global total, but we’re falling further behind every year and regulators have a lot to do with it.
According to Forbes.com, “The U.S. ranks 18th in Forbes’ ninth annual ranking of the Best Countries for Business, down four spots from last year. It marks the fifth straight year of declines since 2009, when the U.S. ranked second.”
Government isn’t supposed to work this way. Let’s change it!
Which is why I’m sponsoring the Regulation Freedom Amendment this session: [Read more]
November 8, 2014
One State Leads the Fight for Health Freedom – Arizona – yes, we can – beat Obamacare!
Obamacare’s $800 Billion Tax Hike Explained in One Chart – one reason costs continue to escalate.
Actually, Justice Kennedy, IRS did tell Congress Section 36B Contains Contradictory Language – June can’t come too soon!
White House is ecstatic by the latest CBO numbers, but take a deeper look.
Obamacare’s State of Crisis - Jonathan Gruber – the law’s chief architect, boasted publicly that the act was structured to let the administration “squeeze the States to do it”—to set up exchanges themselves. There’s no denying its intent.