Wednesday, May 20, 2015

In opposing DAPA, Arizona opposes economic development and public opinion

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Catherine Miranda, chair of the Arizona Legislative Latino Caucus, released the following statement urging Attorney General Mark Brnovich to drop Arizona’s lawsuit to block implementation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA.

Sen. Miranda
“Every politician in this state agrees that economic development is important for our state’s future, but not every politician makes that their priority. Attorney General Brnovich’s refusal to drop Arizona’s lawsuit against DAPA demonstrates the misplaced priority that is placed on playing politics with the lives of hard working members of our communities rather than focusing on helping them and our economy,” said Senator Miranda.

“Despite many bills in Congress addressing the demand for skilled workers and allowing immigrant entrepreneurs to thrive in America, Congressional leadership allowed none to advance. Despite a recent report from the Center for American Progress showing the massive economic benefits of DAPA’s implementation, Arizona and other states celebrate the actions of an ideologically motivated judge’s decision to block DAPA. This is not what the people of Arizona want and it is not what the people of America want.

“On Saturday we all sat in the old Arizona Capitol celebrating the legacy of Governor Raul H. Castro. At that ceremony, attended by leaders from both parties, great praise was lauded on the man many call our first “dreamer,” who crossed the border without documentation, earned his education and utilized his talents to become one of our state’s great leaders.

“Attorney General Brnovich should honor Governor Castro’s legacy by removing Arizona from the lawsuit to stop DAPA and Arizona’s leaders should embrace those who are already contributing members of our communities because they promised to put economic growth first and because it is what the people of Arizona want.”

Thursday, May 7, 2015

In-state tuition is a victory for dreamers and Arizona

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Catherine Miranda, chair of the Arizona Legislative Latino Caucus, released the following statement on the Arizona Board of Regents’ decision to grant in-state tuition to Arizona dreamers.
Sen. Miranda

“Today is the day for which Arizona's young dreamers and our Latino communities have long hoped. Finally our dreamers will be able to seek higher education at an affordable cost, fulfill their dreams as college graduates and soon join our economic workforce to help build a stronger Arizona,” said Senator Miranda. “I know that by allowing dreamers access to our state universities we will see an increase in these students applying, attending and graduating. These are students that have been oppressed for far too long and they are ready to bring innovation to our economy.”

“Thank you, Regents, for your courageous decision and for putting the best interests of Arizona first. I am delighted in the outcome of this decision and optimistic for the bright future in store for Arizona.”

Affordable college for dreamers will benefit all of Arizona

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIXSenator Martin Quezada released the following statement on the Arizona Board of Regents’ decision to grant in-state tuition to Arizona dreamers.

Sen. Quezada
“This week's ruling and today's decision by the Board of Regents to grant in-state tuition to Arizona dreamers is excellent news for our state as it will make it easier for us to have an educated and competitive workforce,” said Senator Quezada. “I am hopeful our Republican leaders finally recognize that their opposition to providing access to a higher education to these students places them on the wrong side of history and ultimately only harms us all as Arizonans.”

“I am thankful that more students can now afford to pursue a higher education and be contributing, positive and influential members of our society for whom we can all be proud.”

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

After time, money and a court ruling, Arizona finally must do what’s right

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Catherine Miranda, chair of the Arizona Legislative Latino Caucus, released the following statement after a Maricopa Superior Court judge ruled that immigrants granted deferred deportation status by the Obama administration are eligible for in-state tuition.

Sen. Miranda
"This victory for Arizona dreamers is long overdue and will open the opportunity for them to improve their career prospects and contribute even more to their communities," said Sen. Miranda. "There is still work to be done, however, toward granting in-state tuition at our state universities. I met with regents this week to discuss that effort and am encouraged to see progress in the right direction on their part."

"While this ruling is cause for celebration, it's a shame it has taken time, money and a court ruling to get here. Our state's leaders should have made the right decision on in-state tuition for dreamers the first time."

Monday, May 4, 2015

Cuts to higher education taxes students, families and our future

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX Senate Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs released the following statement on today’s approval of tuition increases by the Arizona Board of Regents.

Sen. Hobbs
“Once again Arizona students will pay more to study at our state universities, with tuition at UofA topping $11,000. The U.S. Census says that's more than a fifth of the median household income,” said Senator Hobbs.

“Republicans blame the universities and our regents for these increases, yet they are the ones who put our higher learning institutions in the impossible position of balancing their books while seeing their state funding cut in half since 2008 - more than any other state..

“Those Republicans also proudly proclaim they didn't raise taxes. The truth behind this charade is that cutting almost $100 million from our universities in this year's budget is a burden put squarely on the backs of Arizona students and families, taxing their ability to avoid graduating with crippling student loans.

“The Arizona Constitution clearly states that university tuition ‘shall be as nearly free as possible.’ It's time to respect that tenet and ensure our state has an educated and innovative workforce that isn't just paying off debt, but able to invest in homes, their families and our state's future.”

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

McGuire on the 2016 Arizona Budget

Note: This editorial appeared in the March 12th edition of the Casa Grande Dispatch

This year's budget, which was rammed through the legislative process in just over 48 hours, trades
Sen. McGuire
short-sighted cuts for long-term damage to our state. The harm done to rural Arizona will be especially acute.

My LD 8 seatmates in the House initially sided with me to oppose the budget, but traded their votes for protecting Pinal Community College's budget from elimination. While I am grateful that funding to our community college was restored, the overall net result of the budget is hardly a good deal for the people of Pinal County.

Left on the cutting board was vital funding for public education. Our state universities will see a $99 million cut (fully 14% of their classroom funding), and our public schools will get a new $113.5 million reduction to their fund for classroom materials and supplies and capital dollars. This new cut is on top of reductions already in place to district additional assistance and will leave our schools financially struggling to retain quality teachers. In addition, the education funding lawsuit remains unresolved despite the fact that Arizona’s Legislature has been ordered to increase funding to our K-12 schools. This budget also phases out funding to the Casa Verde High School STEM Academy and eliminates all the additional aid they receive for this program by fiscal year 2017.

The Department of Child Safety will see a $10 million reduction despite 16,900 kids currently in state care, and the backlog of cases is rising, not falling.

Even more damaging to Arizona's rural communities is the 5% provider rate reduction for Medicaid. Coupled with the loss of federal matching dollars, that cut adds up to more than half a billion dollars that will disappear from our state's economy. This will put the many rural clinics and hospitals at risk of closing, in areas where there are often no alternatives.

In their blind quest for "fiscal responsibility," the crafters of this budget decided to shirk as much burden on to counties and towns as possible. Counties must now house all juvenile inmates in their own facilities and we also have to pay the state more than $10 million for collecting our own taxes. Does that sound fiscally responsible to you?

A common thread throughout all of their budget cuts was targeting programs that help Arizona's young, our rural areas and our needy. With cuts to counties, schools, health care and programs like the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, we can see who our state's leaders do not consider to be a priority.

Many legislators sold their votes for small things here and there. In doing so, they endorsed a short-sighted budget that will detrimentally affect Arizona for years to come.

I stood with the families of my district and refused to sell out their future in exchange for a few silver coins in the budget. I've got your back, and no one can convince me to back down.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Statements on the passing of Governor Raul H. Castro

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX Senate Democratic leaders released the following statements on the passing of former Arizona Governor Raul H. Castro.

Senate Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs:
“From the humble Sonoran mining town of Cananea to our state's highest office and representing our nation abroad as ambassador, Governor Castro was a true Renaissance man. A public servant with compassion for every member of his community, he understood the power of education for those who dream big,” said Senator Hobbs.

“He was a leader who demonstrated the dignity of selfless service in pursuit of equal opportunity for all, a quality to which all of Arizona’s leaders should aspire.”

Senate Democratic Whip Martin Quezada:
“Governor Castro was a man who embodied many things to many people. For young Latinos like myself, who grew up in this state and wanted to be leaders, who wanted to create opportunities for our people and to have a voice in determining the future of our state, Gov. Castro served as a beacon - a living example of what our potential could actually be,” said Sen. Quezada.

“As we mourn the loss of a great man like Raul Castro, we also see these young leaders and know that through it all, Raul Castro broke down a barrier and opened a door that can never be closed. Descanse en paz SeƱor Castro.”

Senator Catherine Miranda, chair of the Arizona Legislative Latino Caucus:
“Governor Raul Hector Castro, Arizona's first and only Hispanic governor, was an influential leader whose career spanned international borders, ethnic barriers and generations. With tenacity and dignity he worked his way through college, earned a law degree and used his professional career to serve his state and nation,” said Sen. Miranda.

“Next session I will introduce a proclamation to honor Governor Castro’s memory and recognize his legacy as a pioneer in Latino leadership – a legacy that continues with every young Latino who chooses to serve their community and make it a better place for future generations. Governor Castro will be dearly missed but his contributions to Arizona and the world, and his groundbreaking legacy for Hispanics everywhere, will last far beyond his rich lifetime.”