Monday, November 23, 2015

Begay announcement is no surprise

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX Senate Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs released the following statement on Senator Begay’s belated announcement that he is a Republican:

“Senator Begay’s decision to change his party affiliation comes as no surprise. We knew from the time of his appointment to fill former Senator Jackson’s seat in 2013 that he was hand-picked by Republicans who have no problem disenfranchising an entire legislative district to serve their own agenda,” said Senator Hobbs.

“Next year the voters of Legislative District 7 will have a chance to choose a Senator who will truly represent their values.”

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Executive orders on immigration are necessary, not ‘lawlessness’

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Catherine Miranda, chair of the Arizona Legislative Latino Caucus, released the following statement on Friday’s ruling by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that blocked a series of President Obama’s executive orders on immigration.

Sen. Miranda
“I am deeply saddened after hearing the news regarding the negative 2-1 decision made by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding President Obama’s DAPA plan, which protected roughly one third of all undocumented immigrants in the United States by giving them lawful presence and authorization to work in the country,” said Senator Miranda.

“To state that this Republican-led 26 state charge against puts a halt to DAPA based on the ‘President’s lawlessness’ like the Texas Attorney General did is ludicrous. When the partisan nature of the U.S. political system leads to attrition, a leader must make a timely decision for the sake of four million human beings living in the United States. It is not lawlessness, it is simply needed action for the prosperity of many whose lives still remain in an unfortunate limbo.

“A blow to like this one is surely disheartening but not lethal, especially to myself and many other state and federal legislators who have worked tirelessly to support our immigrant constituents. I will continue with reinvigorated passion to fight for the cause.

“The untimely decision of the court may lead to the case being settled after President Obama’s term expires. This means that now more than ever, the Hispanic and Latino vote will be paramount in deciding the future of these four million immigrants. I urge you to get out and vote; vote for a president that will support and aid in our fight for immigrant’s rights!”

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Rep. Sherwood appointed to LD26 seat

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX Senate Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs released the following statement on the appointment of Representative Andrew Sherwood to the open LD26 seat left vacant after the resignation of former Senator Ed Ableser:

Sen. Hobbs
“Representative Sherwood is a dedicated legislator who represents his community with passion and energy,” said Senator Hobbs. “We look forward to having Mr. Sherwood join our team and working with him to fight for his district’s priorities and moving all of Arizona forward.”

Friday, October 30, 2015

Plan was a needed compromise

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Catherine Miranda (LD27), chair of the Arizona Legislative Latino Caucus, released the following statement on the education lawsuit settlement plan passed today:

Sen. Miranda
“There’s still much work to be done with regards to K-12 education funding, but let’s keep in mind what the task and the goal at hand was today - settling a lawsuit,” said Senator Miranda.

“As a Democrat, voting in favor of the three bills today was by no means easy for me, but I had to keep in mind that this was an all or nothing package - I saw no point in casting a symbolic vote. Prolonging the settlement of the lawsuit by only partially supporting the plan would only hurt the children and teachers that so desperately need the funding. The Democrats had a good plan that was dismissed and it saddens me to see members of the senate express themselves in a derogatory matter that frankly greatly diminished the arduous work that the democratic legislators put into devising that plan. As legislators, we must not let our vision be clouded by anything that will take the focus off what we were elected to office to fight for - the people of Arizona and their best interest. Perhaps it wasn’t the ideal compromise, however I saw it as the course of action that I needed to take in order to support Arizona’s education.”

“Still, I look forward to continuing the forward trajectory in the next session,” Senator Miranda concluded.

Lawsuit settlement is, sadly, the best Legislature is willing to do

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senate Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs released the following statement on the education lawsuit settlement approved today:

Sen. Hobbs
“The education funding lawsuit settlement approved today, with bipartisan support, is imperfect but will ultimately provide some desperately needed support to our struggling schools,” said Senator Hobbs.

“Legislative leaders are parading the settlement as a great thing for Arizona. Yet these are the exact same people who willingly cut school funding by billions of dollars over the last eight years, the same people who illegally ignored the will of Arizona voters by refusing to fund inflationary increases and the same people who are only here today because a lawsuit from our schools forced them.

“Democratic legislators have always been the champions for education at the Capitol, which is why we proposed a responsible plan that would have fully settled this lawsuit with money already in state coffers, immediately and without the need for voter approval.

“Our children deserve better than shell games, but they also deserve to learn in schools that aren't suffering from neglect. While we would have preferred our schools be made whole, as the court ordered, we recognize the fact that this settlement was sadly the best this Legislature is willing to do right now. But right now, something is better than nothing for our children.

“For years, Democrats have fought consistently and vigorously to defend our schools from a majority dead-set on seeing them wither. Our constant drum beat raised awareness of the state of our schools and built the public pressure that forced these parties to the negotiating table. We will return next session undaunted and steadfast in our fight for the full funding our schools need to achieve.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Statement on the passing of former legislator Jack Brown

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX - Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Steve Farley released the following statement on the passing tonight of former legislator Jack Brown:

"I am so sad to share that legendary former legislator Jack Brown, my friend and mentor whom I first met when he was Assistant Minority Leader my first year in the House, passed away this evening at the age of 86," said Senator Farley.

"He was a true gentleman who was first sworn in to the Legislature representing St Johns when I was three weeks old. During our time serving together, he told me wonderful stories of legislators working together to support investments and policies that benefited everyone. I miss his calming drawl, his cowboy good sense and his heart of gold."

"We mourn for his wife Beverly and their family. The people of Arizona share in your loss."

Legislature must collaborate on bipartisan schools settlement

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX - Senator Barbara McGuire released the following statement on a possible special session to settle the long-term school funding lawsuit:

Sen. McGuire
"For years our schools have suffered from devastating cuts made by the majority-controlled Legislature that have forced our children to learn in large class sizes, from outdated textbooks and in buildings that are in dire need of repair," said Sen. McGuire.

"It's long past time for our state to make our kids' education a priority, which is why I'm hopeful that when we finally see language on the school funding lawsuit settlement it will be a strong first step toward doing what's right for Arizona's schools. The Legislature must come together with a bipartisan solution to invest in education, without catches or gimmicks, and ensure a strong and vibrant future for our children and for our state."