Category Archives: Pamela Powers Hannley

#AZGOP Forgoes $55 Mil in Childcare Subsidies on Budget Night (video)

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley introduced a budget amendment to use $55 million in federal funds for childcare subsidies. This would have cost the state $0.

What was the most disgusting part of budget night? When 100% of the Republicans voted down my amendment to use $55 million in federal block grant money earmarked for child care assistance.

This would have cost the state nothing, and it would have dove-tailed perfectly with the tiered reimbursement for childcare payments, which would give low-income parents extra funds for high-quality childcare. But, no.

The Republicans have taken $80 million out of childcare assistance since the Tea Party Revolution started giving money away. This $55 million would have helped restore some of those cuts.

If you think you are represented by a moderate Republican, think again. The “moderates” vote with the hardliners 95% of the time. Watch the video below the fold.

Continue reading

#AZGOP Takes Another Stab at #CleanElections (video)

Clean ElectionsThe very last bill of the 53rd Session was a blatant attack on the Citizens Clean Elections Commission by the Republican majority.

The bill attacking a system that was created by the voters was rammed through after midnight. They want to protect big-money-based elections. Speaker Mesnard said this bill was necessary because Clean Elections needs “more oversight”, so what better place to put CLEAN Elections than under the control of Gov. Ditry-Money Ducey.

Clean Elections are governed by the Clean Elections Commission (as outlined in the law passed by the voters). What the Republicans aren’t telling you is that they really don’t like Clean Elections’ watchdog function over everybody’s campaign finance reporting, including the Republicans who run on dirty money.

Arizona needs a stronger campaign finance watchdog function not a weaker one. The GOP also is specifically targeting Progressive Clean Elections candidates with this bill because it says Clean candidates can’t make any payments to political parties— even to buy services like the VAN database.

Luckily, since Clean Elections was created through Citizens Initiative, any change that is not in the spirit of the original bill as passed by the voters must go back to the voters for approval. As the 2018 election approaches, expect heavy spin from the Republicans regarding Clean Elections because they have a vested interested in keeping the dirty money status quo.

Continue reading

Passage of Dental Therapy Expands Access to Affordable Care (video)

Joint Health Committee Meeting

Joint House and Senate Health Committee Hearing on Novermber 28, 2017

For several weeks during the 53rd Legislative Session, I posted (almost) daily one-minute video updates from my office at the Capitol and posted them on Facebook and YouTube.

I never imagined how wildly popular these videos would be. At the Capitol, #RedForEd advocates would randomly come up to me and say, “I love your videos!” Now that I am back in Tucson, people come up to me at events, at church and in stores, and say, “I love your videos!”

So… I will be keeping them up during the interim.

My first interim video is on the passage of dental therapy. To catch up, I am doing a few videos on some of the bills we passed in a flurry at the end of the 53rd Session last week.

On the very last day, we passed dental therapy as a striker on another bill. I played an integral role in getting dental therapy out of the sunrise committee hearing last fall. Going into the November hearing (pictured above), only Republican Senator Nancy Barto and I were supportive of dental therapy. After five hours of testimony, it passed out of the sunrise committee but had a rocky road in the Legislature. I’m glad it finally passed.

I believe dental therapy is good public health policy because it will offer affordable dental care in rural and urban areas. This will expand access to care, prevent tooth loss, and offer a new career to residents of Arizona.

To Learn more about why dental therapy is important, you can read:

Economic Inequality, Access to Care & Workforce Development: A Progressive Roadmap.

Here is some of the media coverage on the passage of dental therapy:

Arizona law creates dental therapists to handle fillings, extractions and crowns 

Arizona is about to get a new type of dental professional

Chester Antone: Dental therapists good for tribes, good for Arizona

Watch the video below the fold. (Cross-posted from PowersForThePeople.net.)

Continue reading

Rio Nuevo Extension to 2035 Moves through #AZLeg

AC Marriott in Tucson

The new AC Marriott in downtown Tucson was built with a Rio Nuevo sales tax deal.

Backers of the Rio Nuevo Tax Increment Financing District have been intensely lobbying the Arizona Legislature for months in hopes of extending the life of Rio Nuevo beyond its current end date of 2025.

Reps. Mark Finchem and Todd Clodfelter have proposed HB2456 which would extend Rio Nuevo to 2035. In its current form, Rio Nuevo and development in the downtown district are controlled by the Arizona Legislature. The Rio Nuevo Board is appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate, and all Rio Nuevo deals are approved by those three.

What’s wrong with this picture? The people of Tucson created Rio Nuevo with our vote back in 1999, but under the control of the Legislature, the people have no voice in Rio Nuevo and no say in what is built in our city’s core. That’s a problem. Our town does not belong to the Arizona Legislature. Where is our local control?

Last week the Arizona Daily Star published my guest commentary on Rio Nuevo: Is It Time for the Sun to Set on Rio Nuevo? The article gives some historical background on Rio Nuevo and raises questions about the financing behind the deals. At the end are some suggestions.

Continue reading

Ducey & #AZLeg Debate Gun Violence Prevention Ideas

Arizona House Democrats

Arizona House Democrats call the Governor’s gun safety plan a “missed opportunity” at meaningful reform to curb gun violence and the loss of innocent lives.

Since the Parkland High School massacre a few weeks ago, students across the country have been demanding that elected officials do their jobs and protect them against gun violence in schools and other public places.

Last week, 75 students visited the Arizona Legislature and the Governor’s Tower to ask for legislation on universal background checks, banning bump stocks, and more counselors (not more guns) in schools.

Yesterday, Governor Doug Ducey revealed his plan to tackle gun violence in Arizona. It nips around the edges of what students and others have been demanding on social media, in our Legislative email inboxes, and in the streets, but it falls short of meaningful reform. For example, Ducey’s plan does include a small amount of money for more school counselors. Currently, Arizona has a ratio of approximately 1:920 counselors to students. The national recommendation is 1:250. Ducey’s bill would add ~120 new counselors– far less than needed. As with the opioid bill, Ducey met with a small group of Republican and Democratic Legislators to compile this plan, but this time, Ducey didn’t include any of the Democrats’ ideas.  (Read the mainstream media’s take on  Ducey’s plan here or read the Blue Meanie’s take here.)

What else could be done in Arizona? Below the fold, you’ll find a list of Democratic bills that never got a hearing.

Continue reading

Republicans Recess as Students & #AZHouse Dems Stand in Silence for Gun Violence Victims

Rep. Isela Blanc welcomes the March for Our Lives students to the Arizona House.

More than 75 students took a day out of their spring vacation to visit the Arizona Legislature today, March 14, 2018, to advocate for safe schools and safe public places.

The students met with lawmakers in the morning and attended the Arizona House Floor Session in the afternoon. During the always-entertaining points of personal privilege, 24 Democrats stood up, introduced three or four of the students, read a short message to lawmakers from one of the students, and repeated their three demands: universal background checks on all gun sales, banning bump stocks, and more counselors not guns in schools.

After 24 introductions, 24 personal student messages to lawmakers and 24 re-statements of their three common and popular demands, Rep. Kirsten Engel (Dem #25) stood up and read a statement about today being the one-month anniversary of the Stoneman-Douglas High School Shooting and slowly read the name and age of each victim. At the end, she asked for 17 minutes of silence, one for each victim.

Speaker Mesnard said that there had been other tragedies, and every tragedy gets only one moment of silence. After a longish moment, Mesnard started the floor session, but the Democrats were still standing. When he realized that we weren’t going to sit, he recessed to allow the gallery to clear. The students all stood up and shouted “Never again!” several times. At the end, one young man shouted that lawmakers should do their jobs and protect them (paraphrasing). Why do Republicans shy away from common sense gun safety laws when they profess to be “pro-life”?

Continue reading