Friday, December 20, 2013

Tobin and Campbell urge governor to restore HURF funding Transportation infrastructure development critical to state’s economic recovery

Tobin and Campbell urge governor to restore HURF funding
Transportation infrastructure development critical to state’s economic recovery

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives Andy Tobin, R-Prescott (District 1), and House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), recently sent a letter to Gov. Jan Brewer urging her to prioritize the state’s infrastructure needs by restoring the Highway User Revenue Fund.

In the letter, the House leaders specifically requested that the governor allocate a total of $238 million to HURF in fiscal years 2015 and 2016. Since 2002, the state has diverted approximately $750 million from HURF, forcing local communities to scale down transportation infrastructure maintenance and development.

“Restoring HURF will help communities across our state repair streets and roads that were neglected at the height of the financial crisis,” Campbell said. “Now we have to invest in this fund so the state has the infrastructure necessary to continue on a path to economic recovery.” 


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Alston Statement on the passing of Arizona Fire Marshal Paul Saunders

Alston Statement on the passing of Arizona Fire Marshal Paul Saunders

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Lela Alston, D-Phoenix (District 24), released this statement regarding Arizona Fire Marshal Paul Saunders, who passed away Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013.

“I had the honor of knowing Paul and his wife, Rusty, for decades. Paul was a dedicated public servant. He will be remembered for his service as a Phoenix firefighter and as the state’s fire marshal, as well as for being a good friend. I will miss him and offer my deepest sympathies to his family. They will remain in my thoughts and prayers.”



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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

McCune Davis, House Democrats send governor recommendations to improve the Arizona National Guard

McCune Davis, House Democrats send governor recommendations to improve the Arizona National Guard

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today Rep. Debbie McCune Davis, D-Phoenix (District 30), and several members of the Arizona House Democratic Caucus sent the governor recommendations for improving the Arizona National Guard and assuring its reputation.

McCune Davis organized a public forum earlier this year after a report from the National Guard Bureau confirmed incidents of misconduct within the Arizona National Guard, which were initially uncovered by the Arizona Republic.

“It was important for the public to have an opportunity to review and comment on the National Guard Bureau’s findings,” McCune Davis said.

After the public forum, McCune Davis and several of her colleagues reviewed the testimony presented, including the information shared by both current and former members of the Arizona National Guard. Based on that review, McCune Davis and several other House Democrats sent the governor the following recommendations:

  • Create a position in the executive office which will act as a liaison between the Guard and the executive branch to manage and review complaints. Criteria for this position should include military experience and extensive knowledge of the code of ethical conduct.

  • Report the number of people with active complaints and cases in review outside of the state to someone designated to meet with those individuals to increase the understanding of the kind of victimization occurring in each case.

  • Form an ombudsman position with the authority to work with federal and state officials regarding current and future complaints and investigations. The position would also include the authority to review past and pending complaints of misconduct regardless of whether they have been addressed.

  • Issue a report to the Legislature with information about the number of individuals assaulted, number of overall complaints, and a status update on all complaints, including those that have received final disposition. This will allow the state to better monitor and address national concerns regarding sexual assaults in the military.

“I hope that Gov. Brewer and the newly appointed adjutant general, Brig. Gen. Michael T. McGuire, will be committed to restoring the credibility of the organization and ensuring the safety of our guardsmen. We owe it to them, as well as to all Arizonans, to make certain that the organization operates at the highest level of integrity moving forward.”

To see testimony from the May 2013 National Guard Public Forum, go to


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Rep. Andrea Dalessandro presents an Affordable Care Act Tele-Town Hall

Friday, December 13, 2013

District 19 Democrats hosting two Affordable Care Act Forums

District 19 Democrats hosting two Affordable Care Act Forums
In partnership with the Arizona Alliance of Community Health Centers and Concilio Latino de Salud

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senate Democratic Leader Anna Tovar, D-Tolleson (District 19), Rep. Mark Cardenas, D-Phoenix (District 19), and Rep. Lupe Contreras, D-Avondale (District 19), will join other community leaders, the Arizona Alliance of Community Health Centers and Concilio Latino de Salud in hosting Affordable Care Act Forums.
When:              Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013
5 to 7 p.m.
*This event will be in conjunction with the Office of Phoenix City Councilmember Michael Nowakowski
Where:             Murphy Education and Health Center
3140 W. Buckeye Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85009

When:              Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013
5 to 7 p.m.
*This event will be in conjunction with the Office of Congressman Raul Grijalva
Where:             Estrella Mountain Community College
Estrella Hall
3000 N. Dysart Rd.
Avondale, AZ 85392
                       
Information will be available in English and Spanish about the new Health Insurance Marketplace, including ways to check eligibility, find a plan and enroll. This event is free and open to the public and to the press. For additional information call 602-926-3054.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Campbell says internal CPS memo highlights Carter’s inability to lead CPS

Campbell says internal CPS memo highlights Carter’s inability to lead CPS

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), again called for Department of Economic Security Director Clarence Carter to resign today, after a news report confirmed that Gov. Jan Brewer received a memo explaining that Child Protective Services’ practice of labeling claims of child abuse and neglect “not investigated” was adopted specifically to reduce the workload of overburdened agency employees.

“The memo referenced in recent news coverage reveals truly disturbing details about the more than 6,500 reports that CPS ignored under Director Carter’s leadership,” Campbell said. “Apparently, some of these reports involved three or more prior complaints, prior court orders and cases that were previously labeled ‘NI.’ The memo came from Phoenix Police Detective Gregory McKay, who makes it obvious that this practice was adopted to deal with the agency’s lack of resources.” 

Campbell said he finds it alarming that Director Carter did not ask for the resources the agency needed to fulfill its statutory obligation to investigate all reports of child abuse and neglect.

“Director Carter had two opportunities last session to let us know what resources the agency realistically needed to be effective at keeping Arizona children safe. We provided an emergency appropriation at the beginning of the year so he could hire 50 full-time employees to help handle the caseloads. Also during the regular budget process, the Legislature provided funding for an additional 150 full-time employees,” Campbell said. “We did this because Director Carter told us that is what he needed to get the job done right. We know now that he was wrong. Either he was unaware of the growing crisis or he was unwilling to provide an accurate assessment of the trouble the agency was in. Either way, he has demonstrated that he lacks the ability and the credibility to run the agency. He should resign immediately.”

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Campbell to Border Security committee: Use your money to protect kids

Campbell to Border Security committee:
Use your money to protect kids

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – As the Joint Border Security Advisory Committee met today, House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), urged its members to support the idea of spending the $264,000 that has been donated toward building a US-Mexico border fence on hiring extra help for Child Protective Services as that agency struggles to review and respond to thousands of backlogged reports.

“The Border Security committee is just sitting on $264,000 and they have been for months. As expected, it is nowhere near enough to build a border fence. But it is enough to help increase the number of people right now working at CPS to bring security to children who live a daily struggle with abuse and neglect,” Campbell said.

“The legislature must give CPS more personnel resources immediately. The safety of the kids, who have been living in harm’s way for months, must be the highest priority for every member of the state legislature right now,” Campbell said. “It is a waste of time for a group like the Border Security committee to meet and do nothing when the legislature should be in a Special Session appropriating the $264,000 in border fence money, along with any other money we can, to CPS to get them some help.”

Though he believes much more is needed, Campbell said even $264,000 could be used to hire 5-6 more CPS case managers or for the Department of Economic Security to temporarily pay for helpers from other government and nonprofit agencies that are already trained in related fields to help CPS catch up with the backlog of reports that are waiting for investigation.

“It is just not rational to think that DES can review all these cases without some significant help. They need more boots on the ground,” Campbell said. “I simply don’t believe the Department’s claim that they can catch-up with things. If they could, they would have never gotten in to this backlogged situation to begin with. I fear that current abuse reports are being put on the backburner because of the political pressure on CPS employees to clean up this mess they’ve gotten themselves in to.”


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Media Alert: District 19 Democrats Cancel Affordable Care Act Forum scheduled for Dec. 11, 2013

Media Alert: District 19 Democrats Cancel Affordable Care Act Forum scheduled for Dec. 11, 2013

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senate Democratic Leader Anna Tovar, D-Tolleson (District 19), Rep. Mark Cardenas, D-Phoenix (District 19), and Rep. Lupe Contreras, D-Avondale (District 19), are canceling the Affordable Care Act Forum scheduled for Dec. 11, 2013.

When:             CANCELED
Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013
                        6 to 8 p.m.
Where:            Estrella Mountain Community College
                        3000 N. Dysart Road, Avondale, AZ 85392

The forum will be rescheduled and new information will be forwarded to the media when it is available.


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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Campbell urges Bennett to call special legislative session for CPS, demand Carter’s resignation

Campbell urges Bennett to call special legislative session for CPS, demand Carter’s resignation

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), today urged Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who is currently the acting governor, to call a special legislative session to provide emergency funding for Child Protective Services. Campbell also pressed Bennett to demand the resignation of Department of Economic Security Director Clarence Carter.

“While Gov. Brewer is in Hawaii, Secretary of State Ken Bennett is the acting governor. He should call the Legislature into special session immediately so we can begin to fix our state’s broken child-welfare system.

“Under the leadership of Director Carter, CPS failed to investigate more than 6,000 reports of child abuse and neglect. As acting governor, Bennett should step up to the plate and take action. He’s done it before. In Nov. 2011, he called the Legislature into special session to promote a political agenda. This time he should use his authority to promote the safety of Arizona children.

“The bottom line is CPS needs more resources to make certain this kind of disaster does not occur again. That will take legislative action, and my colleagues and I are ready to work. We look forward to implementing the recommendations of the newly formed CARE Team, after it completes its investigation. However, we know the agency needs more funding now. Director Carter already stated he will ask for additional staff in next year’s budget. We can’t afford to wait that long.

“While he is governor, Bennett should also demand Director Carter’s resignation. Gov. Brewer has chosen to protect her appointee rather than hold him accountable for failing Arizona kids. That kind of cronyism has put children in harm’s way, and it must stop. We need someone with both the experience and the credibility to right this ship.”




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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Campbell: ‘Director Carter may have missed a serious deadline’

Campbell: ‘Director Carter may have missed a serious deadline’

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), released this statement after Child Protective Services failed to announce if the agency met a self-imposed deadline to complete the investigation of unexamined reports of child abuse and neglect.

“Director Carter may have missed a serious deadline. According to the DES Work Plan for CPS, the examination of more than 6,000 uninvestigated reports of child abuse and neglect should have been completed on Dec. 2. That date has come and gone, and we are still waiting for answers. The agency has not verified whether all the reports have been reviewed, nor has it provided a detailed update on the status of the investigation.

“This is another indication of Director Carter’s inability to lead CPS through this crisis. He’s not offered an explanation, which shows a lack of accountability.  CPS is a deeply damaged agency and needs the leadership of a person with credibility. In my opinion, Director Carter lost all credibility when he allowed these cases to go unexamined in the first place. He needs to resign, and the governor should appoint someone who has the integrity and experience necessary to correct our broken child-welfare system and protect Arizona’s kids.”




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Gallego hosting Foreclosure Prevention Forum

Gallego hosting Foreclosure Prevention Forum

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX– Assistant House Minority Leader Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix (District 27), is hosting a community Foreclosure Prevention Forum.


What:              Foreclosure Prevention Forum

When:           Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013
                        5 to 7 p.m.

Where:           South Mountain Community Center
                        212 E. Alta Vista Rd.
                        Phoenix, Arizona 85042


This event is free and open to the public and the press. For more information, please call 602-926-5344. 

Monday, December 02, 2013

Statement from McCune Davis regarding the governor’s CARE Team

Statement from McCune Davis regarding the governor’s
CARE Team

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Debbie McCune Davis, D-Phoenix (District 30), a member of the Arizona Legislature’s Child Protective Services Oversight Committee, released this statement regarding the governor’s creation of the Child Advocate Response Examination Team.

“From the first reports of the unexamined CPS cases, my colleagues and I have been calling for an independent, multidisciplinary investigation of CPS. The governor’s announcement today is a step in the right direction. However, CPS is an agency in crisis and the CARE Team must now identify what problems contributed to this disaster and find ways to prevent something like this from ever occurring again. With that in mind, I urge the governor to add more child-welfare experts to the team. Such professionals have the kind of experience needed to truly assess the problems and find real solutions that protect Arizona children.”




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Statement from Rep. Catherine Miranda regarding the cause of death for her husband, former Rep. Ben Miranda


Statement from Rep. Catherine Miranda regarding the cause of death for her husband, former Rep. Ben Miranda

 

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX– Rep. Catherine Miranda, D-Phoenix (District 27), recently received information that the cause of death for her husband, former Rep. Ben Miranda, was hypertensive cardiovascular disease, which resulted in a heart attack.

 

“I wish to thank the many people who have given support and prayers to my family. I, too, am sorry for their loss, as I know that my husband Ben touched so many lives. I will continue to work for our community, as I did alongside my husband. Now I will be an even stronger advocate, so that I can truly honor his legacy.”

 

 

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