A Rocket Docket – for DCS

March 11, 2018

Arizona, like much of the nation, is in the midst of an opioid crisis.  Important legislation is being directed towards this crisis, such as the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, and the patient-brokering bill that I am personally sponsoring, which aims to put an end to the practice of unscrupulous rehabs luring those in recovery away from one situation into another solely for profit. It’s called ‘body brokering’.

Arizona is making a serious, bipartisan effort to curb this epidemic. But as I reviewed the proposals and legislation that will help adults in our state who are battling opioid addiction, I couldn’t help but continue to go back to one question: What about drug-exposed children? What are we doing about the increasing number of infants born exposed to opiates and other dangerous drugs who are in our state’s foster system?

The answer came in the form of Legislation we’re calling a Rocket Docket, which I am proud to sponsor.  Here is how it works: [Read more]

Brokering the Broken

March 4, 2018

Opioid addiction, over-prescribing, drug treatment, diversion, doctor shopping, substance-addicted newborns, disruptive sober living homes.  These are all part of the discussion around addiction and recovery.  What’s finally also getting attention is the unthinkable harm “body brokers” pose to those in recovery.  SB 1451 is aimed at stopping them by imposing stiff criminal penalties and fines.

What is a “body”or a “client broker”?   [Read more]

Remove barriers to more & lower cost dental care

February 25, 2018

Dental Therapy may be a new term to many of us, but oral care professionals called Dental Therapists are nothing new to patients in 54 countries who have received their dental care from a licensed Dental Therapist – even as far back as the 1920’s!  DTs currently practice in several U.S. states as well.  It’s time Arizona allow Dental Therapists to work in Arizona, too.  Especially since they have proven to be as safe and effective as a licensed dentist for the services they provide – but for a lower cost.  [Read more]

Civics Literacy 2.0

February 12, 2018

Americans are civically illiterate. Here is what studies* confirm:

  • only 36% could name all three branches of government
  • 85% did not know the meaning of the “the rule of law.”
  • 82% could not name “two rights stated in the Declaration of Independence.”
  • 75% were not able to correctly answer “What does the judiciary branch do?”
  • 71% were unable to identify the Constitution as the “supreme law of the land.”
  • 68% did not know how many justices are on the Supreme Court.
  • 57% could not define an “amendment”
  • 63% could not name one of their two US Senators.
  • 8 in 10 cannot name even one of the federal government’ powers
  • 6% couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar

[Read more]

Thank you, Veterans!

November 10, 2017

One of my priorities next session is passing a bill (because it takes legislation to do so) to install a new monument at Wesley Bolin Plaza commemorating the 22 Veterans who suicide every day in America. The plans include an incredible bronze silhouette of Adam Hill Gibson, the son of a dear friend, Annette Hill – whose son lost his battle with PTSD in 2009 after serving in Iraq.

Monuments are not enough, though.  [Read more]

Plastic Bags?

October 28, 2017

What’s up with the Plastic Bags?  Are Legislators ‘out of touch extremists’, working for ‘shadow special interests’ and ‘engaged in a ‘reckless assault’ on local governments? Are we violating the Constitution?  So say 4 city councilpersons this week in the AZ Republic.  [Read more]

Physicians for Freedom

October 20, 2017

Once you’ve tasted freedom and lost it – your perspective changes.  Physicians (not to mention millions of patients) have tasted the effects of overbearing Obamacare mandates: lost practice autonomy, forced into narrow networks, forced into electronic health records systems and all its “box-checking”, practice consolidations – oh – and the low reimbursement rates under the Medicare and Medicaid programs. But many are not taking the losses lying down.  [Read more]

Legislature Announces Ad Hoc Committee on Juvenile Justice

September 11, 2017

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Speaker of the House J.D. Mesnard (R-17) and Senate President Steve Yarbrough (R-17) today announced the creation of an Ad Hoc Study Committee on juvenile justice policies.

Speaker Mesnard has appointed House Majority Leader John Allen (R-15) and Representatives Heather Carter (R-15) and Tony Navarrete (D-30) to the committee, and President Yarbrough has appointed Senators Karen Fann (R-1), Nancy Barto (R-15), and Lupe Contreras (D-19). [Read more]

Scalia and Article V

September 11, 2017

Arizona’s State Capitol in Phoenix is the place and September 12th is the time.  Officially Commissioned delegates from around the country will gather to formalize the rules by which future amendments convention(s) dealing with Congressional Term Limits or a Balanced Budget Amendment will abide (BTW, we add $1 Billion to our national debt EVERY DAY).   The convention is open to the public.

Fears of a ‘runaway’ convention and half-truths persist, however, and a particularly egregious one is the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion on states proposing amendments.  This piece from the Article V Caucus Newsletter  is worth a read.  Here’s an excerpt: [Read more]

Business at the Capitol & Beyond

September 11, 2017

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