Arizona Democratic Leaders at the State Legislature have released the economic and social justice policy initiatives to combat the socioeconomic effects of the Coronavirus they would like to pursue when Governor Ducey decides to call a special session this summer.
Broken into the sections of a Stronger Arizona, Strong Schools, Healthy Communities, Indigenous Peoples, and a Thriving Economy, the Democratic proposals include measures to:
- Increase unemployment insurance.
- Provide funds for people to pay their rent and mortgages.
- Reduce the prison population during COVID 19 by approving the early release of nonviolent prisoners (If they can do it for Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, why not for the people in Arizona.)
- Increase access to mail-in balloting, in-person voting locations, and securing the August and November elections.
- Expand subsidies for child care.
- Provide more to feed people under TANF/Food Stamps and help restore food security.
- Fund schools based on last year’s students count.
- Expand broadband and telemedicine for rural and urban centers.
- Retain the services of additional academic and social-emotional support for students.
- Make up the loss of tuition revenue to state colleges and universities.
- Give Paid Family Leave to all state employees.
- Install safety safeguards for nursing home and other elderly care facilities including those for visitation.
- Supply essential workers proper PPE’s.
- Fund greater infrastructure and social justice investments in Native American programs and localities.
- Promote grants for small businesses to survive and move forward from the pandemic.
- Craft a worker’s bill of rights “that guarantees job site safety and whistleblower protections, workers compensation, and streamlined unemployment insurance benefits.”
These proposals, along with the earlier released ideas on law enforcement reforms (please see the detailed proposals for both programs below) demonstrate the State Democratic Party’s commitment to putting people and communities first in addressing the current public health, economic, and civil and social inequality crises facing Arizona.
Hopefully, Governor Ducey and the State Republicans will answer the call of the people asking for help and call the Special Session very soon.