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]

Adobe Mountain – Notification Bill Signed!

May 19, 2017

When the Dept. of Corrections began housing released homeless sexual offenders at the Adobe Mountain Juvenile Corrections facility in North Phoenix last summer, it didn’t take long for the  neighbors in the area to catch wind of them.  The problem was, with little or no warning before the facility had been repurposed (from a secured to an unsecured facility), there was nothing for the community to do but voice their safety concerns after the fact.  And they did!  Parents Julie Read and Ann O’Brien organized hundreds of parents and business owners in the area to stop the DOC’s actions and have them reversed.  After a time their coordinated efforts paid off.

But the community didn’t stop there.  [Read more]

Sen. Barto’s Top 2017 Bills

February 19, 2017

SB 1437 – Right to Earn a Living Act.  The right to earn an honest living is a fundamental right.  SB 1437 places the burden on the government rather than citizens to prove the necessity of certain rules & policies. Is this a problem? Check this out and how Governor Ducey intervened. Here’s more about the Act from the Goldwater Institute. [Read more]

17 Bills signed – but who’s counting?

July 8, 2016

Governor Ducey signed 17 Barto-sponsored bills into law this session –  second only to two Legislators sporting 22 each.  Frankly, I am proud of the accomplishment, but ultimate success is not the number of bills passed, but that they uphold the Constitution – empower citizens and hold government accountable.  [Read more]

Major 2016 Legislation – a short list

April 24, 2016

Here’s an updated short list on some of the session’s major issues:

  • Pension Reform – Passed! Prop. 124 – was approved overwhelmingly by voters May 17th, providing solvency & stability to our Public Safety Retirement System.
  • Funding K-12 Education Passed!  Prop. 123  was also narrowly approved by voters.  See Prop. 123 – Beyond the Talking Points .
  • Foster Care Signed! Jacob’s Law – children with urgent mental health needs can now get them from private providers.
  • Privatizing the Backlog – Signed!  Relieves DCS case managers with outrageous caseloads, increasing permanency for kids.
  • Pro-Life Bills Signed! Preserving the dignity of the preborn, trafficking their body parts is now prohibited in Arizona, and others.
  • Healthcare & Mental Health – Signed!  Barto bills aid patients & families navigating the mental health system – medical free speech – health board transparency.
  • Free Speech – Signed!  HB 2615 – the 1st amendment doesn’t take a break when students attend college.
  • Parents & Education Rights HB 2544 – Provides Districts a menu of testing options – not just Common Core Lite: AZMerit – Signed!  Consent for student surveys – HB 2088  – Signed!
  • Protect 2nd Amendment –  Signed!HB 2224– protects private transactions from fees.  See the important bills in the queue and gun control bills defeated this session.
  • Reining in Regulators – HB 2130 Signed!  Also HB 2613  (yes, we really do license yoga instructors!), SB 1524, SB 1388 – Signed!
  • Christian Genocide speaking out for persecuted minorities in the Middle East – SM 1001 Done! & SB 1367 & SB 2691 –  View IDC video

 For a good synopsis of more 2016 Session Highlights, click here.  Thank you for your interest!

2nd Amendment Action

April 22, 2016

Unsurprisingly, a slew of restrictive gun rights bills were sponsored this session…but these are not the only threats to the 2nd Amendment in Arizona.  The Feds and local governments are on the gun control march, too.  Thus, legislators are working to strengthen Arizona’s weapons laws against preemptive action from either direction – including these (courtesy of Arizona Citizens Defense League): [Read more]

Next Page »