Embryos, the Legislature and the Courts

March 6, 2018

In Vitro Fertilization – IVF – is a growing industry and many couples struggling with infertility are using it as a remedy.  Some couples, like Ruby Torres and her husband, for a variety of reasons, create embryos years before they are ready to bring them to birth.  In the Torres’ case, before they were ready to use them,  the couple divorced and they – and their embryos – ended up before the Courts in a dispute over who held their future.  Here’s their story and why SB 1393 was ‘born’.   [Read more]

Remove barriers to more & lower cost dental care

February 25, 2018

Dental Therapy may be a new term to many of us, but oral care professionals called Dental Therapists are nothing new to patients in 54 countries who have received their dental care from a licensed Dental Therapist – even as far back as the 1920’s!  DTs currently practice in several U.S. states as well.  It’s time Arizona allow Dental Therapists to work in Arizona, too.  Especially since they have proven to be as safe and effective as a licensed dentist for the services they provide – but for a lower cost.  [Read more]

“Doing Something” about school violence

February 19, 2018

Calls to “do something” after another horrific school shooting are intensifying – as they should.  But any plan of action should actually work – otherwise, what is the point?  Lawmakers in Arizona actually are “doing something” to stop violence committed by those with untreated mental illness – one of the main contributors to so many of these attacks. [Read more]

Civics Literacy 2.0

February 12, 2018

Americans are civically illiterate. Here is what studies* confirm:

  • only 36% could name all three branches of government
  • 85% did not know the meaning of the “the rule of law.”
  • 82% could not name “two rights stated in the Declaration of Independence.”
  • 75% were not able to correctly answer “What does the judiciary branch do?”
  • 71% were unable to identify the Constitution as the “supreme law of the land.”
  • 68% did not know how many justices are on the Supreme Court.
  • 57% could not define an “amendment”
  • 63% could not name one of their two US Senators.
  • 8 in 10 cannot name even one of the federal government’ powers
  • 6% couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar

[Read more]

Right to Shop – the Next Big Thing in Healthcare

February 11, 2018

Forbes’ article on Right to Shop – It’s the next big thing in Health Care –  is spot on!  And SB 1471 can make it happen in Arizona.  Check out how Jenny saves thousands every year  while managing her Crohn’s disease. But she doesn’t just save – under an insurance incentive program offered in New Hampshire and switching to a lower cost provider, she actually gets paid $500 per visit and pays no copay. Same drug, same delivery, same frequency, but higher quality one-on-one care at a fraction of the cost. See her story on NBC Nightly News. [Read more]

Familiar Phrases

November 14, 2017

“He was here four years ago and didn’t make much progress; so, I don’t see why he would do any better now.

He is not a good fit for our program.

If we allow him to stay and break our rules, others will break rules and hurt our program.

He should be elsewhere to overcome his drug problem and then return to work on his mental illness.
But, aren’t you a co-occurring facility?
Yes, but his drug problems are pretty severe and we focus more on mental illness. [Read more]

Community Steps Up on Adobe Mt.

July 15, 2017

A little over a year ago North Phoenix residents found out – after the fact – that the Adobe Mountain Juvenile Detention Center would serve other purposes, some presenting very real potential safety risks to surrounding neighborhoods and businesses.  Many thanks to Julie Reed and Ann O’Brien for sounding the alarm and working with Reps. John Allen, Heather Carter, myself and state officials to find solutions.  Mirror Legislation was introduced in the House and Senate and Gov. Ducey signed HB 2133 into law this Spring.

Statutes now ensure meaningful community notification BEFORE there is a change in Corrections facility use.   Ann & Julie did a great job involving the community and keeping everyone informed along the way – as well as providing serious testimony on the bills throughout the process.  Read more here.

Focus on Dept. of Child Safety

June 8, 2017

The Dept. of Child Safety announced it has nearly cleared the 16,000 backlogged cases – only about 300 to go – (read details here) and for the first time in seven years, more kids are leaving state care than are entering it. Progress?  Absolutely —  but 17,000 children in the system is still a troubling number.  Add to this stubbornly high caseloads and it’s easy to see why reducing the number of kids in foster care is paramount as is ensuring that children in care are safe.  At this point – that’s not a given – and why the Legislature took these actions this session: [Read more]

Empowering More Students!

June 7, 2017

ESAs have made a huge difference in students’ lives since 2011 when Empowerment Scholarship Accounts were first introduced in Arizona.  That doesn’t seem to matter to critics, though.  Since SB 1431 opened up the program to more students, claims that it will doom public education tried to drown out the facts.  In addition, they are even working to doom ESAs on the 2018 ballot, which would be a shame  – so please beware of any initiative petitions circulating right now.  Here’s why ESA critics are wrong: [Read more]

COS: Arizona’s on the map!

May 20, 2017

Check out this map!  After a number of prior attempts, Arizona’s finally gone green – joining other states calling for an Article V Convention of States (COS) to move forward.

Why? What is the problem?  Michael Farris says it best in this video.   Here are the four major problems only state-driven amendments to the Constitution can solve: [Read more]

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