Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cajero Bedford to be recognized as Advocate for Education

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Olivia Cajero Bedford, D-Tucson (District 27) will be honored at the Victoria Foundation’s second annual Advocates for Education luncheon.

The foundation selected Cajero Bedford as a 2010 honoree for her commitment to education and her legislative work.

“It is incredibly humbling to receive this award,” Cajero Bedford said. “It is my hope that my work will inspire future generations to continue to excel in school.”

Cajero Bedford works with high schools in her district to expand students’ knowledge about government. She hopes this will inspire students to think about careers in politics.

As a state representative, Cajero Bedford currently sits on the House Appropriations Committee and the House Commerce Committee.

The Victoria Foundation is a Latino community organization that strives to increase the success of students throughout Arizona.

When: June 4, 11:30 a.m.
Where: Arizona Biltmore, Gold Room


Rep. Cloves Campbell selected for prestigious leadership program

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Cloves Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 16) has been selected to the Emerging Political Leaders Program at the University of Virginia.

Campbell was selected by his legislative colleagues as one of the “best and brightest” in the state legislature. Campbell was nominated as a lawmaker who displays integrity, intelligence, common sense, dedication to the institution he serves and the willingness to work across party lines for the benefit of the people.

“It is a real honor to be selected for this prestigious program,” Campbell said. “I hope to gain knowledge and practice in continuing to be a leader and bring new concepts back with me to aid me and my constituents in the next two years.”

The program is designed to enhance the leadership potential and vision of policymakers who are likely to be at the helm of tomorrow’s legislatures. A variety of presentations from leading political leaders will be combined with cutting-edge leadership concepts from world renowned faculty.

Campbell will attend the program July 12-15.

For more information about the program, click here.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

District 29 Democratic lawmakers to hold town hall in Tucson

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Daniel Patterson D-Tucson, Rep. Matt Heinz, D-Tucson and Senate Democratic Whip Linda Lopez, D-Tucson, invite the public to a town hall next week.

When: Saturday, June 5, 2 to 4 p.m.
Where: Eckstrom-Columbus Branch Library, 4350 E. 22nd St., Tucson

The town hall will be a wrap up of the 2010 legislative session. It is the seventh town hall Lopez, Patterson and Heinz and have hosted since 2009.

"This is a critical time for Arizona and it’s time we sit down for a talk, now more than ever," Patterson said. "Arizona is on the wrong track — Gov. Brewer and Republicans at the legislature cut $1 billion from education and thousands of jobs, including taking police officers off the streets."

"More than 400,000 kids, adults and seniors will lose their health care thanks to Gov. Jan Brewer and Republicans," Heinz said. "This is one of the many issues Arizonans face and I’d like to discuss our state’s future."


Monday, May 24, 2010

Reps. Sinema, Cloves Campbell to host discussion on health reform law in Phoenix

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema, a member of the White House Health Reform Task Force, and Rep. Cloves Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 16) will host a discussion about the new health reform law next week in Phoenix.

When: June 3, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: South Mountain Community College, Student Union building, 7050 S. 24th St., Phoenix

President Obama signed health reform into law this year. Sinema and Campbell will discuss health reform with easy-to-understand details, answer questions and explain what the new law means for Arizona.

“Health reform makes health care affordable for all families, provides greater accountability, ends discrimination against Americans with pre-existing conditions and gets our economy back on track,” Sinema said. “As a member of the White House Health Reform Task Force, I’m happy to answer any questions about the new health reform law.”

Sinema was one of 32 legislators nationwide selected to President Obama’s White House Health Reform Task Force. Working in the task force, Sinema shared best practices and lessons learned from Arizona, which helped shape national health reform. She has worked tirelessly on the state and federal level to create dialogue among legislators and leaders.

“I’m happy to discuss the aspects of the new health reform law with the people of District 16,” Campbell said. “At a time when the state is kicking thousands of kids and seniors off of health care, it’s important to know how Arizona’s families can have access to quality and affordable care.”


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

House Democrats expose Brewer’s ‘two faces’

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Gov. Jan Brewer has exhibited two faces when it comes to critical Arizona issues in the last two years, and Proposition 100 is no different, House Democrats said Wednesday.

“I think what we see every day are the two faces of Jan Brewer,” said House Democratic Leader David Lujan. “She can’t seem to keep her promises, and in this type of economic climate, Arizonans need real leadership.”

Brewer has a history of mixed messages and broken promises:

  • Brewer promised not to “decimate” education. She then cut more than $1 billion from education — the largest cut to education in Arizona history.
  • In January, Brewer raved about job creation in a speech to business leaders. She then cut thousands of jobs during an economic crisis, including taking police officers off the streets. (See speech)
  • Brewer said she would “hold harmless” the most vulnerable Arizonans. She then eliminated federally mandated and funded health care for nearly 40,000 kids, making Arizona the only state in the nation to do so. (Democrats then restored health care for kids.)
  • Brewer said she would protect seniors. She then kicked nearly 400,000 seniors and adults off of health care.

“Clearly Gov. Brewer has failed to be a leader with her wrong priorities,” said Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema. “It makes it hard for Arizonans to trust such a loose cannon on issues like the economy, education and health care.”

And while Brewer pushed for an increase in the state sales tax, she continues to send mixed signals on using it to fund tax breaks for big corporations and the rich:

  • Just eight days ago, Brewer followed Attorney General Terry Goddard’s call for no corporate bailout package as she originally promised, saying in The Arizona Republic that there was “no way” she would “do the business tax cuts.” (See story) On Monday, Brewer’s chief of staff, Eileen Klein, told The Arizona Guardian that another shot at the corporate bailout package is still possible before the Aug. 24 primary: 'We're working on it, but there's nothing definite yet,' Klein said. (The Arizona Guardian, May 17, 2010)

“Gov. Brewer continues to push Arizona down the wrong track as she continues to break the trust of all Arizonans,” House Democratic Whip Chad Campbell said. “Prop. 100 is not a solution to the state’s economic woes and it certainly fails to serve any purpose if she gives it away to big corporations and the rich. It’s time for a change.”


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Heinz bill to encourage student voting now law

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – A bill that encourages students to vote has been signed into law.

House Bill 2668, sponsored by Rep. Matt Heinz, D-Tucson (District 29), requires the Arizona Board of Regents and community college district boards with student governments to adopt a plan to increase student voter registration and voting in elections.

“One of the core objectives of higher education in Arizona is assisting students to become informed and effective citizens,” Heinz said. “Facilitating the ability of students to vote on their campuses achieves the objectives of both effective citizenship and exercising a fundamental right.”

According to HB 2668, examples of boards’ plans would include:
Information about on-campus voter registration during new student orientation procedures.
Information at central campus locations and via links on administrative websites.
Accommodating for on-campus polling locations.
Allowing students excused absences from classes that are consistent with absence from employment for the purpose of voting.

Heinz worked with the Arizona Student Association on the bill.

“The ASA was tremendous in drafting the original bill and I was happy to work with engaged students who want to encourage their fellow students to vote,” Heinz said.


McGuire mining bill signed into law

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – A bill that removes an unnecessary roadblock for operating mines was signed into law last week.

House Bill 2133, sponsored by Rep. Barbara McGuire, D-Kearny (District 23), ensures that mines throughout the state are not penalized by the Environmental Protection Agency for weather abnormalities that lead to inaccurate readings of air pollution by the mine.

“This bill is incredibly important to Arizona’s mining communities because it bulldozes an unnecessary hurdle for mines that produce jobs for rural Arizona families,” McGuire said. “It’s a simple fix and I was proud to work with mines in eastern Arizona to get the job done.”


Deschene law brings more expertise to Arizona voting machines

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – A bill that brings more protection to voters’ ballots at the polls has been signed into law.

House Bill 2729, sponsored by Rep. Chris Deschene, D-St. Michaels (District 2) requires at least one member of the committee that reviews recording or tabulating machines for election purposes to have more expertise.

“This bill improves laws that protect our fundamental right to vote,” Deschene said. “This most basic American value is a right afforded to every citizen and we need to make sure his or her vote is counted without error.”

HB 2729 states that at least one member of the three-member committee established to test and investigate various types of vote recording or tabulating machines or devices must have at least five years of experience. They must be able to render an opinion based on knowledge, training or education in electronic voting systems, procedures and security.

The new requirements will go into effect in 2011.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

McGuire foreclosure rescue bill signed into law

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – A bill in House Democrats’ Foreclosure Rescue for Arizona has been signed into law.

House Bill 2766, sponsored by Rep. Barbara McGuire, D-Kearny (District 23), requires a landlord to allow a tenant at least 30 days to vacate a foreclosed property.

“This new law will help Arizona get back on the right track when our state ranked second in the nation for foreclosures,” McGuire said. “It gives families and renters enough time to find a new home at a time of foreclosure through no fault of their own.”

McGuire’s law also requires a landlord to provide tenants with a written notice at least 90 days before the sale date and if the landlord fails to comply, the tenant may recover damages or one month’s rent plus the amount of the security deposit and attorney fees, whichever is greater.

“All of us have a financial interest in restoring property values, repairing neighborhoods and putting Arizona back on the right track,” McGuire said. “We can all benefit from these bills and working together, and that’s a winning combination for Arizona’s economy and quality of life.”


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Brewer vetoes bill that cracks down on predatory tow trucking

Chooses to continue to allow rogue companies to prey on Arizonans

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed on Tuesday a bill that would have prevented tow truck companies from predatory practices, including holding one’s vehicle for excessive payments and price gouging.

House Bill 2462, sponsored by Rep. Ed Ableser, D-Tempe (District 17), and supported by tow truck businesses that play by the rules, would have offered accountability and oversight for predatory tow truck practices, but Brewer chose to veto it.

“Gov. Brewer caved for the rogue tow truck industry that will now continue their predatory practices of gouging consumers, stealing vehicles, and holding vehicles captive until excessive payment,” Ableser said. “When reputable tow truck companies called for more enforcement and reform, Gov. Brewer stayed in the back pocket of the predatory companies that have been preying on Arizonans for decades.”

HB 2462 would have made it illegal for tow truck companies to remove a vehicle on private property without permission from the property owner or authorization from law enforcement.

The bill passed with bipartisan support.

“This bill would have held tow truck companies that are not playing by the rules accountable for their actions,” Ableser said. “It is wrong for tow truck businesses to prey on Arizonans by essentially stealing their cars, and Gov. Brewer is letting them get away with it.”


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Brewer vetoes bill that would have increased roadway safety in Arizona

Made deep cuts to public safety just months before

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed on Monday a bipartisan public safety bill that would have kept large trucks out of the left-hand lane of a three-lane highway, a measure proven to make Arizona’s roads safer.

House Bill 2300, sponsored by House Democratic Policy Leader Steve Farley, established a two-year pilot program that required large trucks or vehicles pulling trailers to drive in the two right-hand lanes of non-urbanized highways with three or more lanes in each direction.

“It just makes no sense why Gov. Brewer vetoed such an important public safety bill,” Farley said. “But then again, Arizonans are all too familiar with Gov. Brewer’s record on public safety — she chose to make massive cuts to public safety this year, which just took more police officers off our streets.”

Farley worked with the Arizona Department of Transportation to craft the bill and across the aisle with Republican colleagues. The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and the Senate before it was sent to Brewer. Brewer did not contact Farley to discuss the bill before vetoing it.

The lane regulations of this bill would have created safety benefits such as:
Positioning largest vehicles out of the highest speed lanes
Reducing the frequency of passenger vehicles being boxed in by large trucks
Reducing evasive truck maneuvers to the trucker's blind side
Providing additional spacing from life-saving median barriers
Providing additional truck clearance from opposing direction traffic
Improving visibility and clearance for disabled vehicles in or along median shoulders

Other states like North Carolina and Texas observed high reductions in truck-related crashes after a similar law was put into effect.
(See study:

“Arizonans are all too familiar with the tragedies of heavy truck-related crashes on our highways, particularly on I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix,” Farley said. “This bill provided a common-sense way to make our roads safer and to save lives, but Gov. Brewer made yet another bad choice and vetoed it.”

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Sinema responds to Sen. Sylvia Allen's SB 1070 e-mail

1700 W. Washington St.

Phoenix, AZ 85007

May 6, 2010

SB 1070: The Real Facts

To whom it may concern:

Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake (District 5), sent an e-mail with the subject line “I want to explain SB 1070,” but unfortunately, she failed to explain any real facts about the new law.

Instead, she sent an e-mail littered with statistics without citations that unfortunately led readers to more fear and desperation. Spreading unchecked facts is not the job of a state lawmaker who was elected to lead. It’s unfortunate that Sen. Allen chose to do so, but Arizonans aren’t new to her behavior — she said last year in a committee hearing that the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

Sen. Allen failed to explain anything about SB 1070 because it doesn’t solve any of the problems she listed in her e-mail, namely crime and violence along the border. I’m happy to quickly discuss the facts about the new law.

SB 1070 fails to solve Arizona’s real immigration problems — crime and violence along the border and in our neighborhoods. Republicans’ patchwork policies consistently have failed to crack down on the violence and criminal acts that can accompany illegal immigration.

And for multiple reasons, the new law is unconstitutional:

It attempts to make a state crime out of being in the country unlawfully, a theory already struck down in court.
It encourages racial profiling.
It clashes with the constitutional authority of the federal government over immigration.

The new law is an unfunded mandate and gives police no resources or funding to implement the new law. Gov. Jan Brewer and Republicans took police officers off the streets when they massively cut public safety funding in their budget this year. Next year, their budget will eliminate the state Department of Juvenile Corrections, leaving thousands of juvenile offenders in the hands of city budgets that have no resources to allocate to the problem.

On top of no funding for police, law enforcement can be sued if they don’t enforce the law and no doubt will be sued if they do. The law actually ties the hands of police officers instead of enabling them to protect our communities.

The law was changed to reflect that police, when deciding who to question about their immigration status, may not use race, ethnicity or national origin as a factor, and that’s good. But that change, created by House Bill 2162, only removed race from the law and did not replace it with what police can use in deciding who to question about their immigration status. It gives police no guidance and leaves a question for officers in how to determine who to question about their immigration status.

Sen. Allen was right about one thing in her e-mail — the federal government has failed to act to stop Arizona’s immigration problems. We need tough immigration reform that cracks down on human smugglers, the illegal sale of weapons to drug cartels and other violent criminals, and we need to give law enforcement the tools they need to secure our borders. Phoenix is the kidnapping capital of the nation and we should do everything we can to make sure law enforcement can do their job and protect our kids and neighborhoods. I support making sure law enforcement has the tools they need to go after violent criminals. I support making sure those who are here legally are treated fairly and respectfully.

Our immigration system is broken and Washington has been unable or unwilling to solve it. This is an issue that also requires leadership and action at the federal level or it will simply get worse. Border security and immigration need to be acted on by Congress, so that states and cities are not forced to act and bear the entire expense of enforcing our immigration laws.

Arizona’s economy cannot handle the expense of a law that does not provide a real solution to the problem. We need to focus on laws that actually do something to combat the violence near our border and in our neighborhoods.

For example, my bill, House Bill 2763, substituted by Senate Bill 1059, cracks down on human smuggling. It eliminates a requirement to prove that a trafficked individual be obtained “for transport” to qualify as being trafficked for sex or labor. The bill gives police more tools to arrest criminals who traffic people for sex or slave labor.

We need a uniform system that secures our borders, requires those who are here to become legal, and puts in place a policy going forward to deal with the root causes of illegal immigration.

It’s time to get to work and deal with the real immigration problems in Arizona.

SB 1070 fails to do any of that.


Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema

Sen. Allen's e-mail:

Sent: Monday, May 03, 2010 7:56 AM
Subject: Subject: Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen. I want to explain SB 1070

Subject: Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen. I want to explain SB 1070

I'm Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen. I want to explain SB 1070 which I voted for and was just signed by Governor Jan Brewer.
Rancher Rob Krantz was murdered by the drug cartel on his ranch a month ago. I participated in a senate hearing two weeks ago on the border violence, here is just some of the highlights from those who testified.

The people who live within 60 to 80 miles of the Arizona/Mexico Border have for years been terrorized and have pleaded for help to stop the daily invasion of humans who cross their property . One Rancher testified that 300 to 1200 people a DAY come across his ranch vandalizing his property, stealing his vehicles and property, cutting down his fences, and leaving trash. In the last two years he has found 17 dead bodies and two Koran bibles.

Another rancher testified that daily drugs are brought across his ranch in a military operation. A point man with a machine gun goes in front, 1/2 mile behind are the guards fully armed, 1/2 mile behind them are the drugs, behind the drugs 1/2 mile are more guards. These people are violent and they will kill anyone who gets in the way. This was not the only rancher we heard that day that talked about the drug trains.

One man told of two illegal's who came upon his property one shot in the back and the other in the arm by the drug runners who had forced them to carry the drugs and then shot them. Daily they listen to gun fire during the night it is not safe to leave his family alone on the ranch and they can't leave the ranch for fear of nothing being left when they come back.

The border patrol is not on the border. They have set up 60 miles away with check points that do nothing to stop the invasion. They are not allowed to use force in stopping anyone who is entering. They run around chasing them, if they get their hands on them then they can take them back across the border.

Federal prisons have over 35% illegal's and 20% of Arizona prisons are filled with illegal's. In the last few years 80% of our law enforcement that have been killed or wounded have been by an illegal.

The majority of people coming now are people we need to be worried about. The ranchers told us that they have seen a change in the people coming they are not just those who are looking for work and a better life.

The Federal Government has refused for years to do anything to help the border states . We have been over run and once they are here we have the burden of funding state services that they use. Education cost have been over a billion dollars. The healthcare cost billions of dollars. Our State is broke, $3.5 billion deficit and we have many serious decisions to make. One is that we do not have the money to care for any who are not here legally. It has to stop.
The border can be secured. We have the technology we have the ability to stop this invasion. We must know who is coming and they must come in an organized manner legally so that we can assimilate them into our population and protect the sovereignty of our country. We are a nation of laws. We have a responsibility to protect our citizens and to protect the integrity of our country and the government which we live under.

I would give amnesty today to many, but here is the problem, we dare not do this until the Border is secure. It will do no good to forgive them because thousands will come behind them and we will be over run to the point that there will no longer be the United States of America but a North American Union of open borders. I ask you what form of government will we live under? How long will it be before we will be just like Mexico , Canada or any of the other Central American or South American countries? We have already lost our language, everything must be printed in Spanish also. We have already lost our history it is no longer taught in our schools. And we have lost our borders.

The leftist media has distorted what SB 1070 will do. It is not going to set up a Nazi Germany . Are you kidding. The ACLU and the leftist courts will do everything to protect those who are here illegally, but it was an effort to try and stop illegal's from setting up businesses, and employment, and receiving state services and give the ability to local law enforcement when there is probable cause like a traffic stop to determine if they are here legally. Federal law is very clear if you are here on a visa you must have your papers on you at all times. That is the law. In Arizona all you need to show you are a legal citizen is a driver license, MVD identification card, Native American Card, or a Military ID. This is what you need to vote, get a hunting license, etc.. So nothing new has been added to this law. No one is going to be stopped walking down the street etc... The Socialist who are in power in DC are angry because we dare try and do something and that something the Socialist wants us to do is just let them come. They want the "Transformation" to continue.

Maybe it is too late to save America . Maybe we are not worthy of freedom anymore. But as an elected official I must try to do what I can to protect our Constitutional Republic . Living in America is not a right just because you can walk across the border. Being an American is a responsibility and it comes by respecting and upholding the Constitution the law of our land which says what you must do to be a citizen of this country. Freedom is not free.

Sinema discusses her meeting with the U.S. Department of Justice on FoxNews

Yuma legislator boosts transparency in government

2010-05-05 21:31:21
A local elected official has helped pass legislation to make it a little easier to provide transparency in government.

Rep. Lynne Pancrazi, D-Yuma, sponsored House Bill 2707 this past legislative session. The bill requires tow truck companies to disclose their ownership while applying for contracts with the Department of Public Safety for towing and storing vehicles.

"It just brings some transparency into the process," she said. "I see all these legislators who try to fix things that I don't think are broken."

It's a bill, Pancrazi said, that is the direct result of working with a constituent on a problem.

While working with the constituent, Pancrazi learned that if an owner of a tow truck business owns several different businesses, that one owner was previously only required to provide the employee ID number, or EID.

And many times, she said, the same tow truck owners would be hired for government contracts.

With the bill, which Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law at the end of this session, each bidder will be required to provide the business owner and the business name.

(Read more)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Watch Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema discuss SB 1070 on Countdown with Keith Olbermann

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sinema to host discussion on new health reform law in Tempe

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema, a member of the White House Health Reform Task Force, will host a discussion about the new health reform law Tuesday in Tempe.

When: May 11, 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Where: Tempe Historical Museum, 809 E. Southern Ave., Tempe

President Obama signed health reform into law this year. Sinema will discuss health reform with easy-to-understand details, answer questions and explain what the new law means for Arizona.

“Health reform makes health care affordable for all families, provides greater accountability, ends discrimination against Americans with pre-existing conditions and gets our economy back on track,” Sinema said. “As a member of the White House Health Reform Task Force, I’m happy to answer any questions about the new health reform law.”

Sinema was one of 32 legislators nationwide selected to President Obama’s White House Health Reform Task Force. Working in the task force, Sinema shared best practices and lessons learned from Arizona, which helped shape national health reform. She has worked tirelessly on the state and federal level to create dialogue among legislators and leaders.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Tourism industry could be among biggest losers in immigration fight

The Arizona Republic

Dawn Gilbertson

Arizona's multibillion-dollar tourism industry, still struggling to recover from a bruising recession, has been among the highest-profile targets of immigration-law opponents.

Calls for a boycott of Arizona meetings and vacations started within Arizona, with U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva asking for a convention boycott a few days before Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill into law April 23.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the only publicized cancellation to date, but hotel and convention officials say that 19 meetings have been cancelled and several other groups have taken Arizona off the list of sites under consideration in the past week. The cancellations could have an economic impact of more than $6 million, the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association said.

(Read More)

Tempe lawmakers’ hard work lands bills on governor’s desk

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Tempe’s team of Democratic state lawmakers successfully worked to pass important bills this year ranging from protecting Arizonans from predatory tow truck companies to ensuring that parents have the right to chose which medical professionals can diagnose their children.
Rep. David Schapira, D-Tempe (District 17), Rep. Ed Ableser, D-Tempe (District 17) and Sen. Meg Burton Cahill, D-Tempe (District 17) each saw their bills move through both legislative chambers this session.

“We each worked together in a bipartisan way to make sure these important bills passed,” Schapira said. “The most essential parts of being state lawmakers are working hard on behalf of our community and representing the values of our constituents.”

District 17 lawmakers’ bills that await the governor’s signature:
· HB 2080 — Helps students with chronic health problems by expanding parents’ choices of health professionals to certify their children need special accommodations to complete their coursework.
· HB 2401 — Provides forgiveable loans to students at our state's universities who commit to teach in elementary school districts with teacher shortages.
· HB 2462 — Creates strict measures to work with law enforcement to aggressively crack down on predatory practices and price gouging by the tow truck industry.
Burton Cahill
· SB 1232 — Conforms Arizona’s civil rights laws with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“It is wrong for tow truck businesses to prey on Arizonans parked on private property, and this bill will hold these companies to higher standards,” Ableser said. “As your Tempe lawmakers, we will keep working hard to get Arizona back on track by protecting consumer rights.”

All of the bills passed with bipartisan support.

“We are working to make positive changes and find common sense solutions for the constituents we represent,” Burton Cahill said. “It has made me proud to do that for all the years I have served Tempe and south Scottsdale and I thank the people of District 17 for allowing me to do that.”

Sinema domestic violence provisions on governor’s desk

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – A bill that offers more protection for victims of domestic violence passed the legislature last week.

Senate Bill 1266 included Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema’s amendments that classify strangulation and suffocation as aggravated assault, subject to a Class 4 felony, and allow the court to grant custody of an animal to a petitioner of an order of protection.
“I was happy to work in a bipartisan way to protect victims of domestic violence in Arizona,” Sinema said. “This bill offers law enforcement and prosecutors another tool to ensure the safety of Arizonans and provides a harsher penalty to violent offenders.”

The bill added the following to the definition of domestic violence:

First and second degree murder
Negligent homicide
Sexual assault
Intentionally or knowingly subjecting an animal in the person’s care or control to cruel neglect or abandonment that results in serious physical injury to the animal
Intentionally or knowingly subjecting an animal to cruel mistreatment
Intentionally preventing or interfering with the use of a telephone by another person in an emergency

Sinema has been working to pass these provisions for several years, and the bill awaits the governor’s signature.

Pancrazi bill providing transparency in government contracts signed into law

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – A bill that calls for transparency in government contracts for tow truck firms was signed into law last week.

House Bill 2707, sponsored by Rep. Lynne Pancrazi, D-Yuma (District 24), requires tow truck companies to disclose their ownership while applying for contracts with the Department of Public Safety for towing and storing vehicles.

“This bill is important to ensure fairness when tow truck companies are applying for government contracts,” Pancrazi said. “Business is important to Arizona and we want to encourage competition and thriving small businesses in our state.”

Many times, the same tow truck company owners would be hired for government contracts, providing no fairness, accountability or competition.

The bill received bipartisan support.