Monday, January 27, 2014

Arizona House Democrats release 2014 Policy Blueprint

Arizona House Democrats release 2014 Policy Blueprint
Legislative agenda focuses on restoring Arizona

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Arizona House Democrats today unveiled a policy agenda for 2014 designed to restore the state’s economic stability and to lay the groundwork for a stronger future.

“Our state is recovering from a difficult few years,” House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), said. “Arizonans have struggled with high unemployment, incomes that aren’t rebounding and increases in the cost of living. Our schools have been forced to absorb deep budget cuts and our public and private infrastructure has been neglected. Despite all this, we are making progress. This legislative session, House Democrats are focused on building the foundation for the Arizona we want for today and for the Arizona we want in ten years.”

Campbell added that building a stronger state starts with education.

“The K-12 education system has suffered from a long-term lack of capital funding,” Campbell said. “If we expect our schools to prepare our kids for college and for an increasingly global economy, we have to invest in education. That includes providing resources for the reforms we’ve already implemented. Also, making tuition more affordable and costs more predictable, as well as creating a state-funded tuition assistance program for students pursing higher education should be priorities.”

Assistant House Minority Leader Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix (District 27), said that creating jobs and
investing in infrastructure will help move Arizona toward long-term economic stability.

“State budget investments should be made in job creators,” Gallego said. “We should be putting money into our state parks and promoting tourism. Also, restoring the Highway User Revenue Fund would help improve our state’s transportation system and would create jobs in both urban and rural communities.”

Gallego also said Arizona’s historic business and trade relationship with Mexico is an important job generator, especially along the border.

“We cannot overlook the economic impact our trade partner Mexico continues to have in this state,” Gallego said. “With that in mind, it’s time for us to integrate ‘dreamers’ and DACA recipients into Arizona’s economy by offering them more affordable college opportunities and allowing them to get driver’s licenses.”

House Minority Whip Bruce Wheeler, D-Tucson (District 10), added that Arizona House Democrats are committed to restoring the state’s eroded safety net for families and children most in need.

“Our most immediate concern is ensuring children in our state are safe and that those who are suffering from abuse and neglect are protected and provided a chance for a happy future,” Wheeler said.  “We will continue to demand accountability from the leadership in the child welfare system.  Additionally, we must find ways to fund preventative services and programs for people and families dealing with joblessness, domestic violence, drug abuse and mental health issues. Our state is better served when we help families before they fall into crisis. To make Arizona stronger, we have to provide support for those most vulnerable.”

Arizona House Democrats recently released a document with an overview of their legislative priorities for the session. That document is available for review below.

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