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.
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]
September 29, 2014
It is common knowledge that Arizona’s complicated K-12 funding system is in need of reforms that would serve students better. Three bills last session were proposed to move us forward.
First the good news – the one that was signed into law: SB 1182 (school district overrides; bonds; information) addresses the problem of school districts inserting advocacy within the purpose statement in an election pamphlet. The bill requires the purpose statement to present factual information in a neutral manner. Advocacy for expenditures would be limited to where they belong–in the arguments section of the pamphlet and must include an estimated amount of property tax increase for specified properties in addition to other important info.
Unfortunately – for both taxpayers and schools, two other important bills didn’t pass in the 2014 session – [Read more]
August 25, 2014
A STRONG ECONOMY and more…
Government doesn’t create wealth, but it can impede it. Low tax and regulatory environments attract business investment and allow existing businesses to thrive, creating the jobs that provide stable state revenues for education, public safety and infrastructure. Check out my record of promoting policies supporting a prosperous economic future for Arizona. [Read more]
July 30, 2014
Laws mean what they say – even Obamacare: Last week’s D.C. Circuit Court ruled the administration cannot change the law to fit the circumstances, meaning the insurance subsidies folks are getting in 36 states, including Arizona, are illegal. From here the question is almost certain to go to the Supreme Court.
- Sen. Barto featured in Sunday Republic’s “What if” question of the week. Check out What if: The Supreme Court rules subsides can’t be used and other Obamacare news and what it means to the future of the law.
- Was it or wasn’t it a tax hike? Robert Robb says it is fair to call the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion a tax increase, which is one of the main reasons Legislators who voted against it hope to prevail in court. The tax passed with only a majority of legislators voting aye, rather than the required 2/3 required by voters in order to increase taxes. Arizona should expand the Medicaid program on our own terms and within Arizona’s budget constraints – not the Federal Government’s.
- Is reporting rape worth the “hassle”? Legislators joined the Arizona Life Coalition Thursday outside a Tempe Planned Parenthood to demand an investigation of a mandatory reporter that didn’t think so – and a rapist went on to commit other crimes. See clips of the rally and other photos and Channel 3 coverage.
June 3, 2014
SB 1379 – Removing health care red tape: In addition to their jobs, many physicians & other health care professionals regularly treat those in need of care for free but are unable to access or pay for it – but state licensing restrictions make it more difficult for them to do so within our own country than across the oceans. SB 1379 streamlines the process for voluntary health professionals wishing to serve in Arizona. SIGNED by the Governor.
SB 1308 – Obamacare Navigator Oversight: Navigators and (CACs) Certified Application Counselors – those assisting with health insurance sign-ups through the Obamacare Exchanges – have access to a plethora of sensitive financial information. SB 1308 & HB 2508 – a House version proposed by Rep. Lovas, help hold them accountable and will reduce the likelihood of ID theft and fraud by requiring background checks and licensure. Read more on this issue here. SIGNED by the Governor.
SB 1225 – Women deserve more than the “happy-gram” – more important, lives will be saved as a result of SB 1225. Here’s the story: According to the American College of Radiology, about 50% of women have dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue makes it harder for doctors to see cancer on mammograms because both dense breast tissue and tumors look white. Consequently, normal dense breast tissue can hide masses or tumors. Thanks to SB 1225, women with dense breast tissue will be told this information and be better informed about whether to seek additional diagnostics. Read Barto press release here. Learn more at AreYouDense.org. SIGNED by the Governor. [Read more]
June 2, 2014
Of my 23 Prime Sponsored bills, 15 were signed into law this session. All passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support, if not unanimously.
At 65%, that is the highest % of bills passed by a lawmaker this session. Here’s the Arizona Capitol Times piece: Barto, Lovas lead in percentage of bills signed into law.
I am proud of these successes because each of them address concerns that are important to our state – and don’t increase the scope of government. In fact, in many cases, they reduced regulation, solved a critical issue, expanded consumer information or choice or kept an “out-of-control” board government agency in check. Here are some examples: [Read more]
May 30, 2014
The Department of Child Safety is officially separate from the huge DES bureaucracy it had been part of. That is progress.
The bill is a product of months of work among a diverse group, of which I am honored to have had a part, to create what we all hope will be a new and positive beginning for helping safeguard abused children in the state.
Here are the bill’s main provisions: [Read more]
February 2, 2014
The first week of the 2014 session was action-packed, but before we get there – today we commemorate the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. How much do you know about his “I have a dream” speech? Check out other important African-Americans in our nation’s history: Neglected Voices. Now for the highlights of Opening Day and the week’s issues:
- Starting the session right – with prayer. The Center for Arizona Policy again organized their (early morning) annual prayer event at the Capitol. I am grateful to everyone of you and the many pastors, including mine, who attended and who regularly pray for me and all elected officials in Arizona.
- Special Guests. Along with my husband, Joe, Troop 616 scout, Alex Murr, and his mom, Heather, were my special guests for Opening Day ceremonies. It was an honor to host this bright aspiring space explorer.
- Inspiring Keynote. Cardinals kicker Jay Feely “kicked off” the 2014 Senate session with an inspiring message on staying focused amidst failure. Here’s a shot of my husband, Joe, with Feely and Cards owner Michael Bidwell. [Read more]
July 26, 2013
Every session has its disappointments – but Arizonans should be more than disappointed that these major boo-boos were imposed upon them this session. They deserve an apology – and to have these top 5 mistakes rectified. [Read more]