Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tuition ruling will be devastating for Arizona's Dreamers

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today, Arizona State Senator Catherine Miranda expressed her deep concern regarding the recent ruling by the Arizona Court of Appeals that DACA recipients are not in this country legally and are, therefore, not eligible for in-state college tuition.

Sen. Miranda
Judge Kenton Jones argued that despite the fact that in 2006 Arizona voters approved Prop 300, which establishes that in-state tuition is reserved for those with "lawful immigration status", DACA is not a law and the legal status of those in the program has never been approved by Congress. Thus, since the Court does not consider "Dreamers" to be state residents for purposes of Prop 300, more than 28,000 current DACA beneficiaries in Arizona may be required to pay burdensome out-of-state tuition.

Arizona attorney Danny Ortega, who represents DACA recipient students said he was, “very disappointed in the decision because it will triple the students’ tuition costs and likely force many of them to not pursue their education. At this point, we urge the Maricopa Community College District to appeal the Court’s decision and we stand ready to continue the fight for justice in education.” 

Senator Miranda stated:

"I stand with DACA recipients and will continue to fight for justice for them,” said Senator Miranda. “For Arizona's Dreamers, our state is their home. They are decent, hard-working students who every day contribute to our society in positive ways. They love this country and have worked hard all their lives to one day have an economic impact in their community,” she continued.

“This ruling will not only impact the more than 2,200 DACA students currently attending our universities and community colleges. It will also impact those who are studying hard and saving up to enter college in the near future, but who may now be forced to put those plans aside. Our nation is strengthened by its diversity. Let us all work together and continue to reinforce our democracy by supporting those who seek a brighter tomorrow and are motivated by the dream of greater opportunity."

Friday, June 2, 2017

ADEQ school lead screening program deserves praise

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Catherine Miranda released the following statement as the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) wraps up its Public School Drinking Water Lead Screening Program, which is testing schools statewide:

  "I have been following ADEQ's Public School Drinking Water Lead Screening Program ever since I was first
Sen. Miranda
notified in March that a schools in my district was found to have excessive levels of lead in its drinking water," said Senator Miranda.
"Since then, ADEQ has kept me and the school superintendents in my district updated on test results and have provided prompt and clear instructions on how to remediate sources of lead. So far 12 schools in my district have been found to have high lead levels in sources of drinking water.
"Our Superintendent in the Roosevelt School District, Jeanne Koba, has been following ADEQ's directions explicitly regarding precautions to take where they have found lead. ADEQ has assured Superintendent Koba that they will be working with her on permanent fixes to remove sources of lead and that in the meantime shutting down the tainted fixtures and flushing water lines will keep everyone safe.
"Exposure to lead is a serious threat to developing children and ADEQ deserves praise for initiating this ambitious program to test every school in the state within just six months. I have been informed that they expect to receive the last test results by mid-July to ensure Arizona children will learn in lead-free schools by the beginning of next school year."

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Climate agreement departure threatens AZ economy, future

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX Leaders of the Senate Democratic Caucus released the following statement on President Trump removing the United States from the Paris Agreement:

"President Trump's decision to back out of the Paris Agreement is an act of ideological folly that will cause long-term damage to Arizona's environment and our economy.

The first decade of this millennium was warmer than any of the 20th century and temperatures are rising still. Multiple climate models show the Southwest will experience some of the worst climate change in the U.S. over the next 40 to 80 years. Those higher temperatures will amplify drought conditions, making water more scarce, and require more energy to cool buildings.

Of the historic "Five C's" of Arizona's economy, the one whose value has never fluctuated is climate. Arizona's weather and natural beauty still draw millions of visitors from around the world each year. In 2015 alone, those visitors put $21 billion into our economy and supported almost 180,000 jobs.

And Arizona's climate provides the nation and the world with fresh fruits, vegetables and grains from our $17 billion-per-year agriculture industry. A lack of water and shifting growing seasons would be devastating to Arizona's farms and the 77,000 jobs they create.

With our abundance of sunshine and our renowned entrepreneurial spirit, Arizona can benefit immensely by welcoming innovative clean power companies that will help us transition from fossil fuel dependency, safeguarding the health of our environment, our economy and our people while creating new, high-skilled jobs.

By pulling out of the Paris Agreement, President Trump is abandoning the majority of Arizonans, and Americans, who support the Agreement and acting counter to the advice of U.S. Senator John McCain and Mitt Romney.

Sticking your head in the sand is not leadership, it's cowardice. Climate change is an issue where the U.S. should be a world leader. Leading in this area can grow our economy at the same time as we protect our world for our children and grandchildren."