Caucus files public records request on Brewer’s use of discretionary stimulus dollars
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Democrats are holding accountable Gov. Jan Brewer and the Republican majority in the state legislature today for lying to the media and the public about funding for transplants.
Brewer’s office lied by blaming federal law on Tuesday for their own state cuts to transplants after a man was turned away from a liver transplant. In fact, Brewer and the Republican majority attempted to cut transplants in 2009, then successfully cut transplants in 2010 before the federal health care law passed.
“This was no one else’s choice but that of the Republican majority and Gov. Brewer, and it was theirs only,” said Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema. “Every other state in the entire country pays for these transplants, every single one. The federal law has nothing to do with this.”
In 2009, the transplant program was saved thanks to a Sinema amendment.
Republicans hide use of stimulus dollars, Democrats FOIA
No special session is needed to save the $5 million transplant program, and House Democrats are urging Brewer to use federal stimulus dollars to save the transplant patients. According to state economists, Brewer has $30 million in discretionary stimulus funds she can use on anything. She recently used $2 million on an algae program. According to state economists, Brewer said she has used the $30 million, but has not disclosed what she spent the money on. She also has not disclosed that to the public, so House Democrats have sent a FOIA request (click here to view) to her office to uncover how she spent Arizona’s money.
“This is absolutely outrageous,” said transplant survivor and state Rep. Anna Tovar, D-Tolleson (District 13). “Gov. Brewer and the Republican majority are acting as judge, jury and especially in this case, executioner, and they won’t even come face to face with Arizonans who will die because of their mistakes. What they are doing is wrong, disgusting and despicable.”
Francisco Felix, who was ready to receive a liver transplant Tuesday but was sent home due to cuts to AHCCCS, is now living out what likely will be his final days with his wife and four children.
“The Republican majority and Gov. Brewer need to be held accountable for lying to the public and turning their backs people whose lives hang in the balance,” said House Democratic Whip Chad Campbell. “They won’t even give the patients, the public or the media the time of day when it comes to tough issues like this or Arizona’s failed private prison system. The public needs to know that they won’t even face the people who elected them and explain themselves. They need to be held accountable.”
Voting history on cuts to transplants
HB 2010: health; budget reconciliation; 2010-2011. (Seventh Special Session in 2010), reference to the liver transplants with Hepatitis C is on page 21, line 37: http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/7s/bills/hb2010h.pdf
The final House vote on transplants includes all House Democrats voting against it, with all House Republicans voting for it except for Rep. Doug Quelland: http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/49leg/7s/bills/hb2010.hthird.1.asp
The final Senate vote on transplants includes all Senate Democrats voting against it, with all Senate Republicans voting for it except for Sen. Jay Tibshraeny. Sen. Carolyn Allen did not vote: http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/49leg/7s/bills/hb2010.sthird.1.asp
Brewer then signed the bill into law.