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]
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]
October 3, 2015
Arizona’s laws are strangling our homegrown wineries. Here’s why I’m sponsoring legislation in 2016 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.
July 7, 2015
Obamacare & Marriage: What the Court got Wrong – Next question: Will those who disagree be free to openly say so? This debate is far from over… Next steps? Protect the rights of all citizens, churches, and faith-based and affiliated organizations to live and act according to their beliefs about marriage without government coercion, discrimination, or penalty.
A warning from Canada: same-sex marriage erodes fundamental rights – is this what America can expect?
Justice Scalia Warns that SCOTUS Majority Worse than the 1776 Brits – I say it’s time for Constitutional reform
One State Leads the Fight for Health Freedom – Arizona – yes, we can – beat Obamacare!
Seven Reasons why ‘Getting Government out of the Marriage Business’ won’t work – Sounds like a solution, but think again. [Read more]
June 16, 2015
As the eyes of the nation await the Supreme Court’s imminent ruling, 36 members of the Arizona Legislature, including myself, took time to sign the following letter, encouraging Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell not to bail out the flawed and harmful law that is Obamacare, but to enact health care policies that benefit all Americans.
April 17, 2015
Dear Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell:
The state of Arizona, and the entire nation, is awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on the King v. Burwell case challenging the legality of taxpayer-funded subsidies for enrollees in federally-run health insurance exchanges established through the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare.
Arizona declined to establish and fund a state-run exchange. We were unwilling to subject Arizonans to the high operating costs, expanded bureaucracy, additional employer mandates, narrower provider networks, and greater Internal Revenue Service intrusion that would result from creating such an exchange.
Our position has not changed, and it will not change. [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.
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]
October 1, 2014
Proposition 480: Blank check or a shot in the arm for Arizona?
Have you noticed the new hospitals being built in the valley over the past 10 years? Why are we doubling down on a taxpayer – funded hospital that competes with them? It makes no sense to increase taxes on small businesses that have seen their taxes rise 30% between 2009 and 2013 and are barely recovering from the recession. Read this piece from the experts at the Arizona Tax Research Association – Arizona’s taxpayer watchdogs. Further reading: Vote No on Prop. 480; it’s expensive and unwise and Vote No on 480
Proposition 487: Pension Reform or shenanigans? [Read more]
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]