Great, Good, and Bad

Like life, a week can be a mixed bag – with the good and disappointing happening side by side. As a believer, I take hope that in Christ, we have reason to rejoice even when things may look the darkest.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

This was one of those weeks.

I’ll start with the FANTASTIC – and this should make your day! Arizona taxpayers will no longer be sitting in limbo wondering if they will be subject to the largest tax hike in Arizona history. The court finally ruled Prop. 208 cannot go into effect. Incredibly, the ballot initiative would have doubled the income taxes imposed on small-business owners and individuals making over $250,000.

On the ‘more good news for families’ front – I’ve seen prayer have a powerful effect this week more than once as all of my medical freedom bills progress in the Senate. For instance…

SB1514 – bringing hospital visitation practices back to normal. SB 1514 allows at least 2 visitors at the patient’s request – not at the whim of the hospital. If all Senators are present – (one of the issues delaying floor action this session), the bill will move to the House on Monday.  In the meantime, families like these are waiting….and paying the price:

  • “We had a family friend separated from his family for 60 days before he died in May 2020. It was horrendous and what got me involved with medical freedom at all.” 
  • My 5-year-old daughter had to have emergency surgery on her 5th birthday from a traumatic injury. I had to ask my daughter which parent she wanted with her because she could only have one. My 5-year-old daughter had to choose between her parents. I needed my husband as much as she needed her daddy, but it wasn’t allowed. They claimed it was for safety but at the incredibly high price of our mental health.”
  • One wife of 37 years was told she could not visit her husband with COVID in the ICU. She pled for a week but was told “no.” After a week she was told he was going to die.  She asked to visit, but the hospital said, only if you agree to ‘pull the plug.’ She wouldn’t agree, and the visit was denied until moments just before death. 

And these denials are still occurring. This week I heard three more constituents’ recent horrific experiences. Loved ones are alone at their most vulnerable without support, without advocacy – without their families until patients are uncommunicative or in their final hours, only to say good-bye. Patients deserve better – and quick legal recourse if/when denied visitation.

SB1393 – Patients’ Right to Refuse Care – and SB1567 – Religious Exemptions, codifying the federal definition of religious exemption into Arizona law – are also progressing and have final votes in the Senate on Monday.

In the ‘we need a bigger majority to stop bad bills’ category, patients’ private health information is truly at risk.  SB1167 codifies provision #14 of the Governor’s February Enhanced Surveillance Advisory (Executive Order 2022-02) into law.  Health Information Exchange (HIE) Organizations make it easier for individuals to access their medical data, but there’s a cost to this convenience and in this case, SB 1167 removes patients’ control over their personal health information – even those who have opted out of having their information shared through Arizona’s HIE. Unfortunately, my proposed amendment to require patient ‘opt-in’ protection was rejected by the sponsor of the bill. So now, we need your help to stop the bill.

In the midst of concerns about expansion of big tech and big data during COVID – and the power it could wield against those who might disagree with the powers that be – we should be expanding patients’ privacy rights, not codifying an EO removing them.

SB 1211 – Curriculum Transparency overcame last minute opposition in the Senate this week, too! Great news for parents concerned about – and having prior notice of – politically charged learning materials and activities, even in subjects like math, presented in their child’s classrooms.

What a dichotomy here! While my bills to ensure fairness for girls playing sports (Save Womens Sports) and protect women and preborn babies after 15 weeks in utero, passed House Judiciary here in Arizona on Wednesday, Maryland Democrats proposed this horrific piece of legislation, allowing mothers to kill their newborn up to 28 days after birth!

Finally, in the ‘mistakes were made – and WE made them’ category – Last week, in an effort to address the SOS’s problematic online signature gathering debacle and reducing the number of signatures needed to qualify for the 2022 election, we inadvertently did away with Precinct Committeeman elections for 2022.  It was not intentional on my part and I and my colleagues are committed to ensuring PCs will be elected – not appointed – for THIS election. We received due criticism and take responsibility for the matter.

Quote Worth Re-Quoting

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

– Benjamin Franklin

For freedom,

Nancy Barto