Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sen. Jorge Luis Garcia Statement regarding Sen. Edward Kennedy

Arizona State Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Jorge Luis Garcia today reflected on the passing of Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts.

"We are immensely saddened at the passing of nuestro amigo Senator Edward Kennedy. He was a pilar of strength and a tireless fighter for the American people until his final breath. His work is ingrained in the fabric of our nation and we are eternally indebted to him for his contributions. Our thoughts and prayers to his family during this time. The nation mourns with them. Que Dios lo bendiga."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Senate Update

Republicans sent the budget up to the Governor today. No word on what she will do with it. Senate is adjourned until Tuesday at 1 p.m, which will be the 51st day in special session.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

District 16 Legislators to Hold Tuesday Talks Series

STATE CAPITOL, Phoenix – Senator Leah Landrum Taylor and Representative Cloves Campbell, Jr. will hold a series of town hall events entitled the “Tuesday Talks Series” in order to update constituents regarding the budget and legislative issues.

The first Tuesday Talk will be on Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. at the Town Hall, 9241 S. Avenida del Yaqui, Guadalupe, Ariz.

The second Tuesday Talk will be on Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. at the South Mountain Community College Student Union, 7050 S. 24th St., Phoenix, Ariz. A campus map is linked here.

Information on subsequent Tuesday Talks will be announced as it is confirmed.


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Additional Media Contacts:
Jeanette Tejeda de Gomez, Senate Democratic Caucus
602-926-4477 jtejeda@azleg.gov
http://www.azsenatedemocrats.com/

Sarah Muench, House Democratic Caucus
602-926-5848 smuench@azleg.gov
http://www.strongerarizona.com/

Senator Paula Aboud to Receive Education Award

Senator Paula Aboud will be awarded by the Arizona Association of County School Superintendents with a “Circle of Influence” award on Monday, August 24, 2009 as part of the AACSS Annual Conference at Camp Tatiyee in Pinetop-Lakeside.

This is the first year that the association has given this award, which is in honor of those who show a “sincere commitment” to public education in Arizona.

“Despite the immensely difficult economic situation our state is in, we have to continue to support our public education system. Our state’s economic viability depends greatly on the education and innovation of future generations and it is our duty to make certain they have the resources necessary for success,” said Sen. Paula Aboud.

Monday, August 17, 2009

In Case You Missed It: It's past time to ask Democrats for Help

Sen. Garcia's Op-Ed regarding the budget and session was printed it today's Arizona Daily Star. Here it is again in case you missed it.

It's past time to ask Democrats for help
By Sen. Jorge Luis Garcia
Special to the Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 08.17.2009


Senate President Bob Burns and Gov. Jan Brewer need to remind themselves how to ask for help, because in order to keep Arizona out of even more extreme financial distress, that's exactly what they need to do.

President Burns' comments in Daniel Scarpinato's article in Thursday's Star are not a good start. In the article, Burns, R-Peoria, asserts that "bringing Democrats into the process would drag the process out even longer."

Apparently, eight months and two weeks is exactly the amount of time required to come up with a state budget. Any more than that and it's just too long. Just another example of the Swiss-watch precision by which the Republican-led Legislature under Burns has been run.
Brewer is no better. By her standards, "continue to work with legislators from both sides of the aisle" means continually asking Democrats to support a flawed Republican budget and a sales-tax increase. The answer to that question has always been and will continue to be "no."

Both Burns and Brewer fail to grasp the fact that Democrats are not here to be disregarded for eight months while Republicans labor under the self-imposed restriction of creating a "majority budget" with only Republican votes, only to come to Democrats at the 11th hour to vote for a budget that we don't agree with and didn't have any input on, because including us would take too long.

Last week Burns announced his continued refusal to negotiate with Democratic leaders, preferring to try to buy individual Democratic votes with pet projects or other political trinkets. He already tried it once, and failed.

It was Republicans' choice to effectively reduce the size of the Legislature to 18 senators and 35 representatives by only including Republicans. When you do that, you make your job more difficult.

Democrats did not choose that path, and we will not encourage it by simply handing over votes for a budget that was formulated without bipartisan input.

Now there is precious little time to negotiate the best budget possible before Arizona really begins to fall apart. We should never have arrived at this place, but unless Brewer is prepared to abandon the prospects of raising additional revenue for Arizona, she will have to veto this budget, and Democrats will have to be asked for our input and ultimately, our support.
We are prepared to do our part to preserve Arizona, but we will not be bullied into supporting something that we don't believe in just because Republicans failed to get the job done on their own.

Their failings are not our responsibility, and we will not apologize for standing up on behalf of Arizona's children, teachers, working poor and vulnerable adults.

We understand that these are tough times, but we can develop a true bipartisan plan that has something for everyone. It just won't have everything for some.

President Burns, Gov. Brewer: Democrats are willing to help. But you have to be willing to put partisanship aside and negotiate in good faith.

Write to Sen. Jorge Luis Garcia at jgarcia@azleg.gov

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Yuma County Healthcare Reform Forum

Senator Amanda Aguirre is hosting the Yuma County Healthcare Reform Forum on Saturday, August 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Yuma/Pivot Point Conference Center, 310 N. Madison Ave., Yuma, Ariz.

The Forum is by invitation only and is in collaboration with State Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, member of President Barack Obama’s Healthcare Reform Task Force.

Sen. Aguirre is the ranking Democratic member on the Senate Health Committee.

Space is limited. If members of the public are interested in participating, please contact Sen. Aguirre's office at 602-926-4139.

Media is welcome.