Free the Grapes

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 wine lovers in Arizona can purchase wines from these medium-to-large
wineries is to actually visit the winery first!  And then they are 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The time for replacing Arizona’s outdated and limited wine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.

On Obamacare and Marriage

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]

Dear Speaker Boehner

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]

2015 Measures Benefit Patients & Economy

April 17, 2015

One State Leads fight for Health Care Freedom – Arizona

  • HB 2643  Stopping Obamacare in ArizonaStates 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 betterHigher 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.

[Read more]

Government isn’t supposed to work this way

January 3, 2015

The “business” of government regulation is booming – and it’s crushing real businesses.

In the last two weeks of 2014 the Obama administration enacted over 1,200 new regulations  – and the President is poised to unleash another 2,375 in 2015.

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, “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]

November Ballot Propositions

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]

2014 Session Synopsis

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   SIGNED by the Governor. [Read more]

Barto tops ranking in bills signed into law in 2014

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]

What if you were diagnosed ‘terminal’?

May 30, 2014

Wouldn’t you want the option to try an experimental drug that might save or extend your life?

That option may be up to YOU, the Arizona voter.   This session, after learning what terminal patients go through to even be considered for a clinical trial to test  drugs in the FDA pipeline, the Arizona Legislature passed HCR 2005 , also known as the Terminal Patients Right-to-Try Act.  The measure allows patients diagnosed as terminal greater access to potentially life-saving drugs that have not completed final FDA approval.  The approval we’re talking about are drugs or therapies that have passed Stage 1, which means the drug won’t cause further harm to the patient, but the efficacy and side effects haven’t been fully vetted.  [Read more]

Common Core – Should we be concerned?

April 13, 2014

Common Core standards are being implemented in Arizona.  In Arizona, they are called Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards.  And yes, Parents, educators and Legislators ARE concerned and for good reason.  And what about Arizona’s sudden withdrawal from PARCC?  Check out this article and these links to a Common Core Q and A.

Are the CC standards internationally benchmarked?  Who is behind the CC?  Why did the only educators on the 30 member Validation Committee refuse to sign off on the CC standards?  Get up to speed – Watch the recently released documentary, “Building the Machine”[Read more]

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