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

Arizona ‘Steps Up’ on Mental Health

August 21, 2017

You’re invited!  Join me at this week’s David’s Hope Mental Health Criminal Justice Summit.  Friday morning I will provide an update on the Legislature’s response to the needs of the mentally ill involved in the criminal justice system – and the wider community.  Be better informed – The entire conference will be great!

If you must miss the Summit, don’t miss this article: When the Mental Health System Refuses to Listen.

Make Insurance Affordable Again

July 17, 2017

Arizona is Ready for Repeal and Replace – my recent editorial piece.

Would the Senate bill have threatened the ‘Safety Net’? – au contraire says conservative Grace-Marie Turner!

Morning Scoop panel spars over Medicaid – nearly 1 out of 4 Arizonans is on AHCCCS… & growing!

Obamacare mandated better Mental Health care coverage – it hasn’t happened.

The Republicaid Party? – Will GOP Governors make ACA Medicaid expansion untouchable? [Read more]

Community Steps Up on Adobe Mt.

July 15, 2017

A little over a year ago North Phoenix residents found out – after the fact – that the Adobe Mountain Juvenile Detention Center would serve other purposes, some presenting very real potential safety risks to surrounding neighborhoods and businesses.  Many thanks to Julie Reed and Ann O’Brien for sounding the alarm and working with Reps. John Allen, Heather Carter, myself and state officials to find solutions.  Mirror Legislation was introduced in the House and Senate and Gov. Ducey signed HB 2133 into law this Spring.

Statutes now ensure meaningful community notification BEFORE there is a change in Corrections facility use.   Ann & Julie did a great job involving the community and keeping everyone informed along the way – as well as providing serious testimony on the bills throughout the process.  Read more here.

Morning Scoop features Sen. Barto

July 15, 2017

Obamacare Repeal: What do Arizona health care leaders think? Join me July 25th for a panel discussion at Alexi’s on Central for The Morning Scoop.  Check out event details and RSVP today here. [Read more]

Independence Day-How do you Celebrate?

July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day!!

Everyone looks forward to getting away – (from the heat!) – or spending time with family & friends on the Fourth of July.  And fireworks.  But the Fourth means so much more when its historical context and meaning comes to life.  For me, tuning into radio programs like Dennis Prager & Michael Medved on this holiday helps me better appreciate our country and how blessed I am to be an American.  Check these out, too: [Read more]

Focus on Dept. of Child Safety

June 8, 2017

The Dept. of Child Safety announced it has nearly cleared the 16,000 backlogged cases – only about 300 to go – (read details here) and for the first time in seven years, more kids are leaving state care than are entering it. Progress?  Absolutely —  but 17,000 children in the system is still a troubling number.  Add to this stubbornly high caseloads and it’s easy to see why reducing the number of kids in foster care is paramount as is ensuring that children in care are safe.  At this point – that’s not a given – and why the Legislature took these actions this session: [Read more]

Empowering More Students!

June 7, 2017

ESAs have made a huge difference in students’ lives since 2011 when Empowerment Scholarship Accounts were first introduced in Arizona.  That doesn’t seem to matter to critics, though.  Since SB 1431 opened up the program to more students, claims that it will doom public education tried to drown out the facts.  In addition, they are even working to doom ESAs on the 2018 ballot, which would be a shame  – so please beware of any initiative petitions circulating right now.  Here’s why ESA critics are wrong: [Read more]

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