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]

“When psych beds go down, incarceration goes up”

January 4, 2016

Chief Biasotti of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) got it right. Since the 1950’s the number of psychiatric beds in the U.S. have been reduced by 95% (replaced by “community treatment”).   Now at least 14-16% of Arizona’s incarcerated prisoners suffer with mental illness.

Families are at their wit’s end as they try to secure proper treatment and placement for loved ones suffering with serious mental illness who, instead, cycle in and out of ERs, end up homeless, in our prisons or are outsourced to the police – and the morgue.  Also see DJ Jaffe’s It’s not about money – it’s about misplaced priorities.’

This is just one of the many gaps in Arizona’s mental health system! Here are some of the solutions bridging them: [Read more]

Victory for Free the Grapes

October 3, 2015

Arizona’s laws are strangling our homegrown wineries, but that is soon to change as SB 1381 was signed into law – Read Victory for Arizona’s Wineries  – And why I sponsored the legislation this year to set the grapes free:

Currently, a “small” winery located in-state or out-of-state that produces
less than 8,412 cases (20,000 gallons) of wine per year may ship an
unlimited amount of wine directly to Arizona consumers.

But…there are at least 1,000 wineries in the U.S. that have successfully
grown their business beyond 20,000 gallons, including some in Arizona.

However, the only way a wine connoisseur in Arizona can purchase wines from these medium-to-large
wineries is to actually visit the winery first!  And then he or she is limited to
receive only 2 cases of wine from that winery each year.  These 1,000
wineries produce more than 90% of the wine in the U.S.

These are unconstitutional restrictions according to the Arizona Free Enterprise Club.  See “Uncorking Consumer Choice: A case for direct wine sales”.

For nearly 10 years, wine shipments have been made directly to Arizona
consumers from hundreds of out-of-state small wineries.  But it’s time to give real
choice to Arizona consumers. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia
(soon to be 43 states) allow some winery-direct shipments; only Arkansas,
Rhode Island and Arizona require the consumer to visit the winery first,
and only four states have a “production cap,” including Arizona.

The time for replacing Arizona’s outdated and limited wine
shipping law is now.   
Read the recent AZ Republic article: Do you get wine shipped from out-of-state? That may be about to end. Here’s why.

Women should not be lied to

June 24, 2015

Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood is suing to be able to continue to do just that.

You see, SB 1318 was signed into law this session.  The bill’s purpose is to ensure women seeking abortion are informed that it may be possible to reverse a medication abortion (aka Abortion Pill or RU-486), but that time is of the essence.  Planned Parenthood advocates opposed the bill, and now are suing.

This is just the latest in a series of lawsuits pro-abortion advocates have initiated when the expectation is for them to fully inform women.  Fortunately, of 34 measures designed to fully inform and protect women and their unborn children, 31 have been upheld by the courts and are in force today.  Only 3 are not.

So where does Planned Parenthood lying come in?  Here’s what happened…  [Read more]

Pushing back regulations – intentionally

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. [Read more]

Next Page »