Friday, August 29, 2014

MEDIA ADVISORY: Rep. Alston Attending Phoenix Children's Hospital's Kickoff to Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month

MEDIA ADVISORY: Rep. Alston Attending Phoenix Children's Hospital's Kickoff to Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month
Rep. Lela Alston, D-Phoenix (District 24), will be attending the following event: 




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Statement from Wheeler on AZ Supreme Court decision to review Medicaid lawsuit

Statement from Wheeler on AZ Supreme Court decision to review Medicaid lawsuit

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Assistant House Minority Leader Bruce Wheeler, D-Tucson (District 10), released this statement after the Arizona Supreme Court announced today it will review the Court of Appeals’ decision to allow the Medicaid expansion lawsuit to go forward.

“The Arizona Supreme Court's decision today was the right one. Protecting the legislation that provided for the expansion of the Medicaid program is of the utmost importance. The majority of the Legislature supported Medicaid expansion because it is good for Arizona's economy, hospitals and residents.  It is already helping people across our state get quality, affordable care. I am confident that the court will ultimately affirm the Superior Court ruling and put this issue to rest.”



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Thursday, August 21, 2014

House Democrats receive accolades from League of Arizona Cities and Towns

House Democrats receive accolades from League of Arizona Cities and Towns

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – For their support of and commitment to cities and towns during the 2014 legislative session, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns recognized 12 Arizona House Democrats.

“These awards are a reminder that we work for the people of Arizona in partnership with cities and towns. We know that municipalities are economic drivers in our state, which means it is vital that all levels of government work together to ensure our communities stay safe and strong,” House Minority Whip Eric Meyer, D-Paradise Valley (District 28), said. “My colleagues and I always appreciate the support we receive from the league and we look forward to continuing our collaboration.”

Two House Democrats were recognized as Champions of Cities and Towns:
  • Rep. Juan Carlos Escamilla, D-San Luis (District 4)
  • House Minority Whip Eric Meyer, D-Paradise Valley (District 28)

Additionally, the following legislators received the Friends of Cities and Towns Award:
  • Rep. Lela Alston, D-Phoenix (District 24)
  • House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24)
  • Rep. Mark Cardenas, D-Phoenix (District 19)
  • Rep. Rosanna Gabaldón, D-Sahuarita (District 2)
  • Rep. Sally Ann Gonzales, D-Tucson (District 3)
  • Rep. Debbie McCune Davis, D-Phoenix (District 30)
  • Rep. Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix (District 29)
  • Rep. Macario Saldate, D-Tucson (District 3)
  • Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson (District 9)
  • Assistant House Minority Leader Bruce Wheeler, D-Tucson (District 10)

“City and town officials appreciate the support from these outstanding legislators and their recognition that local decisions should be made at the local level,” League of Arizona Cities and Towns Executive Director Ken Strobeck said. “We are successful when we are all working together for the benefit of our citizens and Arizona.”

The league honored the awardees on Aug. 21 during the 2014 Annual Conference. The conference, held at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel in Phoenix from Aug. 19 - 22, is a four-day meeting with more than 900 mayors, council members and officials from across the state. For more information about the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, visit www.azleague.org.

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ICYMI: NHCSL president appoints Catherine Miranda to lead humanitarian efforts for unaccompanied minors



Miranda chides Huppenthal, will lead NHCSL study on humanitarian efforts for unaccompanied minors

Miranda chides Huppenthal, will lead NHCSL study on humanitarian efforts for unaccompanied minors

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Catherine Miranda, D-Phoenix (District 27), today criticized Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal for using the crisis involving unaccompanied migrant children for political gain.
                                                           
Huppenthal recently called a press conference to announce that he asked for the federal government to pay for the education of unaccompanied migrant children.

“Superintendent Huppenthal made a disappointing choice to target vulnerable children,” Miranda said. “Schools are expected to educate all children, and they should not be forced to determine the immigration status of any student. Teachers and administrators already have a big job. They are there to help our children succeed. Superintendent Huppenthal should know that, so I believe he called this press conference for the sole purpose of promoting himself during an election year.”

Miranda, who on Wednesday was appointed to lead the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators’ investigation into the child migrant situation, said that the unaccompanied migrant children who Huppenthal referenced in his announcement are involved in a humanitarian crisis.

“It is imperative that we recognize that many of these children are suffering and they deserve security and fair treatment,” Miranda said.

She is also the NHCSL’s vice president for public policy and will accompany the NHCSL’s Executive Committee on a tour of a Customs and Border Protection facility in Arizona next month.

“Resolving this situation will take collaboration between our border states and the federal government,” Miranda said. “It’s my intent to ensure that the conversations about solutions are constructive and substantive. There is no room for political theater.”

The NHCSL is the premier national association of Hispanic state legislators working to design and implement policies and procedures that will improve the quality of life for Hispanics throughout the country.  NHCSL was founded in 1989 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to be the most effective voice for the more than 350 Hispanic legislators.  For more information, visit www.nhcsl.org.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Quezada to Huppenthal: ‘Stop bullying school kids’


Quezada to Huppenthal: ‘Stop bullying school kids’

 
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix (District 29), today criticized Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal for using his position to promote an extremist agenda. Quezada, who is also the president of the Pendergast Elementary School District Governing Board, called on the superintendent to stop grandstanding.

“Superintendent Huppenthal announced today that he is asking the federal government to pay for the education of unaccompanied children who cross the border. The timing of his announcement is suspect in light of his political campaign. In reality, he is using these children as an opportunity to grandstand, and he should stop pandering to extremists at the expense of students.
 
Minority students are the majority in Arizona schools and Latinos are the largest student minority group. Unfortunately, Superintendent Huppenthal shows distain for this growing student population and their families.

“In 2012 Superintendent Huppenthal ended the Tucson Unified School District ethnic studies program, which fostered cultural awareness and promoted understanding, respect and success among Latino students. The program led to higher test results and to increased graduation rates among Latino students. In June, he was criticized for writing anonymous blog posts attacking families that utilize public assistance and calling for the elimination of Spanish-language media. His announcement today has no real impact because schools are not allowed to monitor the immigration status of students. All of this demonstrates that he is prioritizing an extremist agenda over the needs of our students.

“Our constitution clearly states that we have a responsibility to educate all kids. Arizona schools and teachers must be empowered to fulfill that responsibility, regardless of the immigration status of students and their family members. Our teachers, parents and communities want all our students to have the same opportunities to succeed. It is time for Superintendent Huppenthal to recognize that it is vital for the future of our state that all students are prepared for the increasingly global economy. The bottom line is he has to stop bullying these school kids in an attempt to score political points.”
 

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Steele to serve on the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators Executive Committee

Steele to serve on the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators Executive Committee


STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – At the annual meeting of the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators this week, members elected Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson (District 9), to serve on the organization’s executive committee as secretary.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to be on the executive committee of this organization,” Steele said. “As a professional counselor, I have spent much of my career building a bridge of respect and understanding between cultures.”

With more than 70 members from 17 states, the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators is a discussion forum for Native American legislators working to increase awareness of the diverse Native American cultures. It also serves as an advisory committee for the National Caucus of State Legislators on issues affecting Native Americans.

Steele, whose ancestors are Seneca, Mingo and German, added that she is particularly interested in the organization’s focus on the development of inclusive policies. She has experience in this arena. Steele created the Native Ways program at a residential treatment center in Tucson.

“The program became a model of culturally appropriate mental health and substance abuse treatment,” Steele said. “That experience showed me that it is possible to create culturally competent public policy. I am looking forward to being more involved with the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators and continuing to develop meaningful policy. Ultimately, it will allow me to better serve my wonderfully diverse community.”

For more information on the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators, go to www.ncsl.org/research/state-tribal-institute/national-caucus-native-american-state-legislators.aspx.




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