Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Huppenthal’s pathetic ‘Hail Mary’

Demonizes immigrant children in attempt to save his political career

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIXSenator Steve Gallardo released the following statement in response to
Sen. Gallardo
today’s press conference by Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal’s regarding unaccompanied children in Arizona public schools:

"The lesson Arizona's Superintendent of Public Instruction gave today is that when you've lost all dignity, attack undocumented children. John Huppenthal's press conference today was a "Hail Mary" by a man desperate to save his political career by pandering to Republican extremists,” said Sen. Gallardo.

“This was nothing more than a pathetic attempt to score political points less than a week before his primary election. It was also shamelessly irresponsible fear mongering by the elected official entrusted with educating Arizona's children.”

Monday, August 4, 2014

Statement on the passing of Senator Chester Crandell

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX - Senate Democratic Leader Anna Tovar released the following statement on the passing of Senator Chester Crandell:

"The news of Senator Chester Crandell's passing comes as a profound shock to myself and my colleagues at the Legislature. He was a leader in the tradition of Arizona's pioneer spirit, serving with integrity, respect and a wry sense of humor. I fondly recall sharing stories of community and family with Chester and I know that he deeply loved both.

"He cherished and spoke often and proudly of his wife Alice, his 9 children and 36 grandchildren. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time. 

"Senator Crandell leaves a legacy at the Legislature as a statesman of genuine character and conviction. He will be greatly missed. "

Monday, April 28, 2014

Senator Barbara McGuire wraps up a busy week and successful session

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Barbara McGuire wrapped up this legislative session with an
Sen. McGuire
award from members of her community, a signature from Governor Brewer on one of her bills and money for tourism and conservation districts in the budget.

 
Last week Governor Brewer signed into law Sen. McGuire’s SB 1164, which increases the maximum maturity period for certain sanitary district bonds.
 
“My bill will help our communities, including in rural areas, afford to construct, operate and upgrade their waste disposal facilities,” said Sen. McGuire. “These facilities play a crucial role in making our cities and towns livable and ready for growth.”
 
Also last week, Sen. McGuire was honored by the Queen Creek Unified School District for her support of their adult education program, which helps adults obtain GEDs and transition to better paying jobs or higher education.
 
“I am deeply touched by this honor from the Queen Creek Unified School District,” said Sen. McGuire. “Education should be a vehicle to success, not a barrier. This adult education program provides that vehicle and produces graduates who are ready and eager to improve their lives and contribute to our community. I’m so proud of these students and excited for their futures.”
 
Thanks in part to efforts by Sen. McGuire, this year’s budget includes $2 million to promote Arizona tourism and increased funding for our state’s natural resource conservation districts.
 
“Tourism plays a vital role in the economic success of rural Arizona and funding our state’s efforts to promote tourism is an investment on which we are guaranteed to see returns,” said Sen. McGuire. “Also important to our rural communities is responsible management of our natural resources. This increased support to our natural resource conservation districts will ensure Arizona agriculture remains viable and encourage economic development around our state’s natural beauty.”

Monday, April 7, 2014

After three tries, Republican budget still fails Arizona


STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – The Senate Democratic Caucus released the following statements on the Republican budget passed today by the Legislature. Senator Olivia Cajero Bedford sat on the conference committee that, despite her arguments against, approved the final budget.
 
 
Senate Democratic Leader Anna Tovar (District 19):
 
"The third time is certainly not the charm for this year's Republican budget that once again fails to make investments that we can and should be making to move Arizona forward," said Sen. Tovar.
 
"Ever since the opening day of this session we have fought for the right priorities: improving our struggling schools that rank toward the bottom nationally in funding and performance; reforming a CPS that is in absolute turmoil and places our most vulnerable children at risk; funding preventative services that keep families together and children out of harm's way; and investing in our economic future by funding innovative research at our universities.
 
"For the last few weeks, however, we've watched as Senate and House Republicans have haggled behind closed doors, attempted to give away tax dollars to private prison corporations, ignored input from the people of Arizona and failed to make many of the investments that our state needs to succeed. The ramifications of this short-sighted budget will affect every Arizona family.
 
"Arizona can no longer afford to settle for this Legislature's status-quo of neglecting our schools, our families and our future. We must make these investments to move Arizona forward."
 
 
Sen. Olivia Cajero Bedford (District 3):
 
"This budget fails to adequately fund our universities, including important research initiatives at University of Arizona," said Sen. Cajero Bedford.
 
"Higher education is an investment that brings breakthrough innovation, high-tech manufacturing, well-paying jobs and attracts more business to our state. That is how we can make Arizona competitive in the global economy."

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Republican budget fails to move Arizona forward

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senate Democratic Caucus leadership released the following statement on the Republican budget passed out of the Senate today.
 
Senate Democratic Leader Anna Tovar (District 19):
Sen. Tovar
 
“The Senate budget passed today, April Fool's Day, is sadly not a joke and does not move Arizona forward. It fails to address the needs of Arizona families, our kids' schools, our state's crumbling roads and it leaves our most vulnerable children with nothing but an empty promise,” said Sen. Tovar.
 
“We began this session knowing that child welfare was the top priority, but the best this Republican budget can do is state an intent to revisit the issue later. That won't help the children currently living in unsafe environments.
 
“This budget also ignores funding for the preventative services that keep families together and children out of harm's way. This penny-wise and pound-foolish philosophy sets us up to spend far more when these kids end up in the CPS system.
 
“A critical part of moving Arizona forward is ensuring our children are prepared to succeed in the 21st century economy. With cuts to district charter schools and lack of investment in higher education priorities, however, our public schools and universities are once again being left behind by this Legislature.
 
“Democrats presented common sense amendments to address the needs of Arizonans but Republicans lacked the political will to stand with us and pass a moral budget that truly moves Arizona forward.”

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Republican budget is not an investment in Arizona’s success

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senate Democratic Caucus leadership released the following statements on the Republican budget passed out of the Senate today.

Senate Democratic Leader Anna Tovar (District 19):
"Today Senate Republicans passed a partisan budget that fails to make critical investments in education, families and our economic future. These are investments that must be made and that can be made to move Arizona forward," said Sen. Tovar.

"Arizonans can no longer and should no longer settle for struggling schools that rank at the bottom nationally in funding and performance, or for a CPS that is in absolute turmoil and places our most vulnerable children at risk. We need a different path that leaves ideology behind and puts hard-working Arizonans first."

Senate Democratic Assistant Leader Lynne Pancrazi (District 4):
"There is no more important investment we can make for the future success of our state than education, but the partisan budget passed today does not adequately make that investment," said Sen. Pancrazi.

“We must ensure we can fully implement our new educational standards so that our children meet the challenges of the future and our teachers are prepared to help them succeed. And we must invest in higher education, including our innovative research universities that help bring top-flight industries to Arizona and make our state competitive in the global economy.”

Senate Democratic Whip Steve Gallardo (District 29):
"We knew from the first day of session that CPS was in trouble and the root causes of that department's exploding caseload needed to be addressed. The budget passed by Senate Republicans today does not accomplish that," said Sen. Gallardo.

"It falls short on adding needed caseworkers, on adoption services and on support services that help prevent abuse and neglect in the first place. And it is totally missing in action when it comes to daycare subsidies that allow parents to work and keep kids safe and healthy with their families. We can and must do more."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

SB 1062 conflates discrimination with religious freedom

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX The Senate Democratic Caucus released the following statements on today’s passage of SB 1062 by the Senate:
 
“SB 1062 permits discrimination under the guise of religious freedom. With the express consent of Republicans in this Legislature, many Arizonans will find themselves members of a separate and unequal class under this law because of their sexual orientation,” said Senate Democratic Leader Anna Tovar. “This bill may also open the door to discriminate based on race, familial status, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability.”
 
“Legislation of this kind has been attempted this year in Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee and Idaho. Each of those attempts failed after prominent members of the business community spoke against the measures. While our state continues to recover from the public relations nightmare of SB 1070, the Republican supporters of this bill are willing to elicit the inevitable backlash and boycotts that will result from its passage.
 
“Arizona does not need this bill, Arizonans do not want this bill and there is no place for this bill in our modern society. We have come too far to turn back the clock with such a disgraceful assault on members of our community based on their sexual orientation.”
 
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