Friday, May 20, 2016

Sen. Pancrazi law allows adoptive families avoid legal limbo

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX - Senator Lynne Pancrazi (D-Yuma) released the following statement on the signing of her bill SB1330, which allows counties to finalize adoptions by ending the custodial rights of biological parents who cannot be located.

The Yuma County Attorney's office was forced to stop providing this service to family members and foster families who were in the process of adopting when a judge ruled the office lacked the authority to do so.
Sen. Pancrazi

"This one-sentence change to statute allows families in Yuma, and across the state, to finally escape their legal limbo when a child's biological parent cannot be found or refuses to be found. I thank my legislative colleagues for passing this legislation and Governor Ducey for signing it," said Senator Pancrazi.

"I am thrilled and relieved that these children will finally become members of loving, stable families and they can all move on with their lives, permanently together."

Thursday, May 19, 2016

We can honor Officer Glasser’s sacrifice by helping his family

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Catherine Miranda released the following statement on the death of Phoenix Police Officer David Glasser:
Sen. Miranda

“It is with sincerest condolences that our hearts are grieving for the recent death of Officer David Glasser who was fatally wounded in the line of duty yesterday afternoon. May his wife and beautiful children find solace during this trying time,” said Senator Miranda.

“I encourage all to donate to The 100 Club, which is an amazing organization that focuses on helping the families of first responders who have been injured or fatally wounded in the line of duty, online at or by calling 602-485-0100. All funds donated in honor of Officer Glasser go directly to The 100 Club’s “Survivor’s Fund” and are made available to first responders’ surviving families - no administrative costs are taken from the Survivor’s Fund. Organizations such as ABC 15 are holding phone banks benefiting The 100 Club in memory of Officer Glasser. I urge you to find the specific information for these efforts on their website or social media accounts.”

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Defendants now must take next step in funding K-12

KSTATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX Senate Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs released the following statement on the passage of Prop 123:

"The passage of Prop 123 resolved the inflation funding lawsuit, but that only happened after
Sen. Hobbs
legislative Democrats, educators and parents insisted on holding the defendants accountable. It does not make our schools whole, does not restore other devastating cuts the Legislature has made, and it keeps Arizona at the bottom of the barrel in terms of per-pupil spending.

“Governor Ducey has stated that passage of Prop 123 is just a start toward adequately funding our schools and we will hold him to that. The conversation about next steps must start right now.

“As a show of good faith, the governor should begin efforts to restore the additional cuts made to schools and work with the education community and legislative Democrats to find a sustainable and responsible plan to fund our schools moving forward.

“Next year's budget must provide our students and teachers the resources they need to succeed, like updated textbooks and technology, and it must sustain a workforce of quality teachers.

“As always, we stand ready to work across the aisle for a sustainable way to fund our schools. For too long we have starved our schools. Now is the time to honestly and earnestly take steps to make them whole again.”

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Budget is a shameful failure of leadership

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senate Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs released the following statement on this year’s budget:

"One word sums up this year's budget: Shameful.
Sen. Hobbs

“It's shameful that the Republican majority refused to restore KidsCare and provide health coverage to 30,000 Arizona children. It's shameful that the Republican legislators who supported it caved to pressure and either voted against it or went into hiding. And it's shameful that Republican leaders at the Capitol are so devoted to ideology that they are willing to deny Arizona children their health just to prove a point.

“This budget does some good in areas for which legislative Democrats have long advocated. But even then, we could do so much better for the people of Arizona.

“HURF funds that for years have been swept by Republicans will finally be given to our counties where they are desperately needed to repair and maintain neglected roads. Accelerating the State Route 189 expansion will end the economic bottleneck that has seen us lose vital trade to Texas and its efficient ports. And for the first time in many years our public schools will not see a cut in their funding, though even that did not happen without a fight and does not restore the $116 million that was cut last year.

“This budget also adds $32 million in funding to our universities, after having slashed them by $99 million last year, but earmarks $5 million of that specifically for Koch brothers-backed "freedom schools" that actively advocate for the complete elimination of public education.

“What this budget leaves on the cutting room floor is hundreds of millions in surplus revenue - a fraction of which could be used for a down payment on a true ‘next step’ toward adequately funding our K-12 schools, restoring the spiteful 12 month reduction of temporary assistance for needy families made in last year's budget back to 24 months, and prison reforms that prevent recidivism.

“But what we wouldn't even need one dime for, and what is most shameful of all, are the 30,000 Arizona children of families who earn too much to qualify for AHCCCS but not enough for private insurance. It was literally the least we could do in this budget, but the Republican ideologues who control this state chose to leave those children and their families to suffer.

“It's a shameful failure of leadership.”