Monday, February 24, 2014

Tucson Democrats pushing for job creation, inclusion and mental health awareness

Tucson Democrats pushing for job 
creation, inclusion and mental health 

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Arizona House Democrats from Tucson are working at the Capitol to push for job creation, funding for mental health programs and creating more inclusion for people with disabilities.

Rep. Demion Clinco, D-Tucson (District 2), is sponsoring HB 2696, a bill that would require that Arizona companies be given preference over out-of-state companies when bidding on state contracts if both companies have the lowest bid. The Arizona House Government Committee recently passed this bill, and it must now be heard in the Arizona House Rules Committee.

“The best way to achieve long-term economic security in our state is to invest in local business,” Clinco said. “When we invest in local business, we are investing in job creation and our communities. The goal of my bill is to help locally owned Arizona businesses, which bore the brunt of the economic downturn, stabilize and grow.”

Rep. Stefanie Mach, D-Tucson (District 10), introduced HB 2667, which would remove the words handicapped and disabled from state laws and from all materials the government produces in the future, such as signs that indicate parking for people with disabilities. The Arizona House Health Committee recently passed this bill. Next it will go to the Arizona House Rules Committee for consideration.

“These terms do not accurately reflect the people in our community,” Mach said. “My bill changes the offensive words in our statutes and replaces them with the more respectful terms, ‘person or persons with disabilities.’”

Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson (District 9), introduced HB 2490, the Youth Mental Health First Aid Bill, which is intended to help people identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness, eating disorders and substance abuse disorders in youth. The legislation would provide an additional $250,000 to the Department of Health Services for a Mental Health First Aid Program that would train adults who work with youth to identify mental health issues. The Arizona House Health Committee also passed this bill, and it too must be heard in the Arizona House Rules Committee.

The goal is to show people how to identify when a young person is struggling and to teach them how to intervene and get the appropriate assistance,” Steele said. “This bill would expand a program that we know is working to get youth who are showing signs of distress the aid they need.”

To see the full version of HB 2696, go to:

To see the full version of HB 2667, go to:

To see the full version of HB 2490, go to:


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