There were a lot of conversations going on in advance of the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act.
January 25, 2018 was one of the most dramatic days at the Arizona Legislature, since I was elected.
Not only did we have ~75 Luchadores visiting their Legislators and five extremely aggressive anti-immigrant, pro-Trump protesters heckling them, we also had the big vote on the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act (SB1001).
We have been working on SB1001/HB2001 for weeks. Unlike much of what we do in the Arizona Legislature, the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act was a truly bipartisan effort. The governor even gave the Democrats the bill language in advance and asked for our input. The Republicans included us in the bill development process because they needed our votes and because didn’t want us to blow it up on the floor with our speechifying, as we did with the stingy TANF and teacher raises in 2017.
As someone who worked in public health and nicotine addiction treatment for years, I was proud to serve on the Democratic Caucus team that reviewed the bill and offered suggestions for revision. It was very heartening that they included several Democratic ideas in this bill. Four of my suggestions were included: offering treatment instead of jail during an overdose situation, AKA the 911 Good Samaritan bill (HB2101), which has been proposed by Democrats for four years in a row; providing funds to counties for life-saving NARCAN kits (HB2201); providing a non-commercial treatment referral service; and offering treatment in a brief intervention after an overdose scare (when your doctor says, “You didn’t die this time. Maybe you should quit!”). The Democrats also suggested including the Angel Initiative (where addicts can drop off their drugs and ask for treatment, without fear of arrest) and $10 million for drug addiction treatment services for people not on AHCCCS (Medicaid) or private insurance.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, Courts, Crime, Drug Policy, Ethics, GOP War On..., Healthcare, IOKIYAR, Justice, Legislation, Pamela Powers Hannley
Tagged Arizona Legislature, democrats, opioid epidemic, opioids, pamela powers hannley, public health
Five Arizona Legislators have proposed 15 different bills to regulate … or deregulate… the use of cannabis in Arizona, and there could be more.
Senator David Farnsworth and Rep. Vince Leach want more regulation of small businesses in the cannabis industry and increased law enforcement against citizens who use a plant that never killed anyone. (The specter of the Nanny State rises again in the text of these regulation bills.)
Reps. Mark Cadenas and Pamela Powers Hannley (me) want decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana and want to make medical marijuana cards more affordable.
Senator Sonny Borrelli is bringing back industrial hemp bill, which passed with flying colors in 2017, only to be vetoed by Governor Ducey.
Two of Leach’s bills will be heard in committee this week– HB2064 in Commerce and HB2067 in Health. Details on all 15 below.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, Courts, Drug Policy, Ethics, GOP War On..., Labor, Law Enforcement, Pamela Powers Hannley, Poverty, Tucson
Tagged david farnsworth, mark cardenas, pamela powers hannley, Sonny Borrelli, Vince Leach
Arizona House representatives dropped the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) into the hopper on January 11, 2018.
In 2017, the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in eight states, debated in three, and ratified in one– Nevada. The Arizona Legislature was one of the bodies that debated the ERA. (Watch the video.) I have vowed to introduce the ERA every year until it is ratified by the states. Only two more states are needed. This could be the year the ERA is finally sent back to Congress to become an amendment to the US Constitution.
On Thursday, January 11, 2018, I dropped the ERA– with the help of some of my Democratic sisters. All of the House Democrats signed the bill. I stopped asking Republicans to sign the ERA, when I confirmed that Republican Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita also has introduced the ERA this year. Ugenti-Rita and Rep. Heather Carter were the only two Republicans who voted to hear the ERA in 2017 (rather than shutting down debate, as the Republican leadership wanted to do.)
You’ll remember that in 2017 the Democrats forced the ERA debate by using parliamentary procedures. We did this because Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, chair of the Judiciary Committee, refused to hear it in committee. (Committee chairs often kill bills with this parliamentary procedure.)
In 2018, the ERA is coming in the front door of the Arizona Legislature.
Posted in Arizona Congressional Races, Arizona State Legislature, Civil Rights, Economics, Elections, Ethics, Gender Equality, GOP War On..., Justice, Labor, Legislation, Pamela Powers Hannley
Tagged Arizona Legislature, equal pay, Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, pamela powers hannley, Victoria Steele
Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley
Economist Dean Baker, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, recently gave a talk which focused on solving economic inequality. He pointed to five key areas of the economy that keep the rich rich and keep the rest of us in our places:
- Intellectual property rights;
- Practice protection by highly paid professionals;
- Financial regulation; and
- Cooperate governance.
Given this list, can a state legislator like me make a dent in economic inequality? I think so.
I ran on a platform that focused on economic reform and public banking; equality and paycheck fairness; and attacking the opioid crisis.
How does my platform dovetail with Dean Baker’s list? There is quite a bit of overlap—particularly in macroeconomics, intellectual property rights, and practice protection.
Here I am– ironically talking about the ERA– while Reps. Don Shooter and Eddie Farnsworth stand in from of me. These micro-aggressions happened all the time.
I have given a number of speeches since the #MeToo stories started popping up on social media and since the powerful men started falling down. People regularly ask me about the Arizona efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Now, they also are asking me about sexual harassment in government.
My younger naive self experienced workplace sexual harassment perpetrated by much older men. Like Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, I made my own #MeToo post on Facebook, but mine focused on men from my past– not on men in the Arizona Legislature.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, Civil Rights, Constitution, Debates, Economics, Gender Equality, GOP War On..., Justice, Labor, Pamela Powers Hannley
Tagged #MeToo, equal pay, Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, pamela powers hannley
State Representative Pamela Powers Hannley outlined three ways the legislature can lessen economic inequality and create new jobs.
She called for ending corporate tax loopholes, giving seed grants to local scientists and allowing dental therapists to do dental screening and simple procedures.
Each point is a hot topic in the legislature.
“When the legislature cut funding for education, roads, safety, justice, healthcare and social safety net programs, they cut jobs and potentially threw people into poverty,” she said. “We need to push back. If we invested in the people’s to-do list, we would grow our economy and diversify our workplace.”
She spoke at the Democrats of Greater Tucson meeting. Based on a recent lecture by economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, she pointed to three key areas of the economy “that keep the rich rich and keep the rest of us in our places”:
- Trickle-down economics and corporate tax loopholes in the state budget, which benefit special interests at the expense of the public.
- Intellectual property rights, like patent protection for prescription drugs, designed to privatize scientific research.
- Protecting highly-paid professions like dentists, making healthcare unaffordable and inaccessible.
1. Ending corporate tax loopholes