“We believe government should be honest and effective, and that we the people should have a right to know how our money is spent so that we can have a better quality of life and a strong future,” said House Minority Leader Chad Campbell. “If we don’t hold government accountable, it will continue to get away with insider deals like private prisons and irresponsible actions like eliminating life-saving transplants.”
House Democrats’ Road Map for a Strong Future relies on using Arizona’s natural strengths — renewable energy and solar power — to build a strong 21st Century economy and create good paying jobs. It prioritizes education as a means to get ahead in the worldwide economy and build an unshakable economic sector in research such as bioscience and technology.
House Democrats also underlined their support for strong public safety and tough immigration laws that go after Arizona’s real immigration problems — violent human smugglers, drug traffickers and corporations that hire illegal immigrants.
But House Democrats agreed that a strong future can’t rely on Gov. Jan Brewer’s “Four Cornerstones but No Structure” budget that does nothing to fix Arizona’s broken system.
“Gov. Brewer chose to cut more than $1.2 billion dollars from essential services — schools, health care and cities, towns and counties,” said Assistant House Minority Leader Steve Farley. “But she also chose to hand out revenue to a Building Slush Fund and tax breaks for special interests.”
House Democrats' Road Map for a Strong Future
Rep. Eric Meyer, D-Paradise Valley, and House Minority Whip Matt Heinz, introduce bills that target dangerous synthetic drugs
House Bill 2383 requires all mortgage servicers to engage in loss mitigation techniques in an effort to avoid unscrupulous servicing practices and to ensure the rights of homeowners under the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.
“The foreclosure abuses we have seen have hurt Arizona homeowners and our economy,” McCune Davis said. “Now more than ever, we need to hold these abusive mortgage servicers accountable to We the People. Arizona has the opportunity to fix a broken system, get our economy moving again and protect essential services for middle class homeowners.”
Hundreds of Arizona borrowers have filed complaints with the Arizona Attorney General's Office concerning abusive practices of their mortgage loan servicers. Despite federal efforts to encourage loan servicers to modify loans of borrowers at risk for foreclosure, consumers continue to complain of lenders failing to respond to their requests, misrepresenting the length of time the loan modification process will take and pursuing foreclosure while a loan modification is pending.
Under the Bill of Rights, borrowers would have the right to:
• Receive timely and accurate responses to good-faith borrower inquiries
• Receive clear information on how to avoid foreclosure• Pursue loss mitigation or loan modification negotiations whenever possible
• Not have their home foreclosed during loan modification negotiations
• If and when foreclosure becomes necessary, to have such foreclosure based on accurate documents, verified by someone with personal knowledge of the information contained therein.
The Borrowers’ Bill of Rights would also make any violation of its provisions an unlawful practice subject to investigation and prosecution by the Attorney General under Arizona's Consumer Fraud Act.
McCune Davis’s bill would cover all companies that service mortgage loans in Arizona, from national banks to small mortgage companies. This ensures that every person with a mortgage in Arizona can expect the standards set forth in the Borrowers’ Bill of Rights from whatever company services their loan.
“One-sided mortgage contracts and abusive foreclosure practices are unfair to consumers and they need to be held accountable, especially during one of the worst foreclosure crises we have seen in our lifetime,” McCune Davis said. “It is time to balance the scales. Borrowers should have rights that can be enforced.”
Cosponsors of the bill include House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, Reps. Hobbs, Patterson, Alston, Hale, Catherine Miranda, Tovar.
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Democrats on Friday said government needs to be held accountable after Gov. Jan Brewer released another plan rife with massive cuts and a tax increase that undermine our state’s ability to fix its economic woes.
“Gov. Brewer and her plan are not on your side,” House Minority Leader Chad Campbell said. “Jobs and the economy should be top priorities, but Brewer’s plans have left Arizona in crisis and they continue to do so. Now more than ever, we need to hold government accountable to ‘We the People’.”
-Increases property taxes on homeowners. Arizonans will see a $62 million increase overall in property taxes.
-Eliminates even more Arizonans from health care. Even though Arizonans repeatedly have passed voter-approved measures to adequately fund health care, Brewer's budget proposal would eliminate health care coverage for 280,000 Arizonans, including 5,200 of the seriously mentally ill. The cuts also disqualify Arizona from receiving $1.1 billion in federal dollars that Arizona taxpayers send to Washington, D.C. In a study commissioned by business leaders, a similar proposal would have resulted in 42,000 jobs lost in the health care sector.
-Does not restore life-saving transplants. Nearly 100 Arizonans’ lives are at stake because they were kicked off of health care and have no access to transplants. Brewer's budget prioritizes funding for state building repair, while the $1.2 million needed for transplants goes unfunded.
-Cuts another whopping $243 million from higher education. Since 2009, Brewer has made the largest cuts to education in state history, failing to solve the deficit and boost Arizona’s economy. Her newest cuts to universities and community colleges, 20 percent cut to their overall budget, disable the infrastructure needed to economically rebound and create incubators for economic sectors that will enable our state to weather future economic downturns through the creation of high-paying jobs.
-Borrowing on the backs of our kids. Brewer's budget also requires the K-12 education system to weather additional cuts of $170 million and will force school districts to loan the state an unprecedented fourth roll-over payment, totaling the state's debt to school districts at $1.2 billion. School districts are forced to borrow funds from the bank and incur the costs of interest to pay their bills while waiting for the state's late payments. Teachers will receive a $5.1 million pay cut.
“Gov. Brewer’s budget proposal is wrought with decisions that jeopardize our long-term economic recovery, eliminates jobs instead of creating them and worsens the educational and health care systems in our state,” said Senate Minority Leader David Schapira. “Our response to the economic crisis is a test of who we are as a people.”
Democrats believe in a government that is on your side:
-Accountability: Democrats believe in accountability — plain and simple. It’s time that government stop working for special interests and start working for ‘We the People.’ We need to hold accountable the system, lobbyists, governor, special interests, those getting special tax treatment, big corporations and tax cheats.
-Balanced, responsible solutions: Democrats believe we need to put Arizona first again by harnessing our natural strengths to build a strong 21st Century economy and create good-paying jobs. That includes making our state a leader in the development of solar power and renewable energy manufacturing.
-Strong future: Democrats know that quality education is both a moral and economic issue — key to both our state’s economic recovery and children’s future. We are fighting to fully fund our schools, ensuring our children have access to all-day Kindergarten and that our public universities and community colleges remain affordable and provide needed job training.
-Strong leadership: Democrats oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants and support tough immigration laws that arrest and deport human smugglers, drug traffickers and crack down on corporations that hire illegal immigrants. We’re fighting to give our hard-pressed local law enforcement agencies the tools they need to keep our families safe. We are pushing for the federal government to finally step up and secure the border.
In holding government accountable, Brewer has rejected options to solve the budget deficit such as:
-Go after tax cheats and uncollected taxes. Arizona has an opportunity to help balance the budget by going after hundreds of millions in uncollected taxes that rule breakers have not paid.
-Close tax loopholes. Nearly $10 billion of outrageous tax loopholes exist in Arizona, and Republicans refuse to close the loopholes that benefit their rich, special interest friends. These loopholes, such as tax-free country club memberships, spa treatments and facelifts and 4-inch pipes are a waste of our tax dollars.
To see Brewer’s irresponsible budget, go to: http://www.ospb.state.az.us/
The press conference will replace the House and Senate Democrats’ originally scheduled response to Gov. Jan Brewer’s State-of-the-State address.
The press conference still will immediately follow Brewer’s speech TODAY on the Senate Lawn.
Please join us.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Congresswoman Giffords, her staffers, others and their families,” said House Democratic Leader Chad Campbell. “This is a horrific and senseless act, and we are all praying and sending out our thoughts for the victims today.”
Assistant House Democratic Leader Steve Farley and House Democratic Whip Matt Heinz, both from Tucson and who have worked closely with Giffords, said she is a champion for Arizona.
“I am honored to count Gabbie as a close friend and I know she has always fought for Arizonans and is beloved by her constituents and the people of Tucson,” said Assistant House Democratic Leader Steve Farley. “She is one of the brightest and best and we all know through our hopes and prayers that she will fight through this. This is a human tragedy and we are praying for all the other victims who are here with her.”
“Gabbie is my friend and I am most concerned about her safety and well being,” said Heinz, a hospital physician in Tucson. “She is a wonderful woman and I’m proud to have her representing the people of Tucson in Congress. She has always stood up for what’s right for Arizona, and now we are all standing up for her.”
Vigil for Congresswoman Giffords and Tucson shooting victims
When: Tonight at 6
Where: State capitol, Phoenix
House Democrats will hold a vigil for anyone who wants to join in sending their thoughts and prayers for Congresswoman Giffords, her staff and others who have been victimized in this horrific event.