Statement from Wheeler on AZ Supreme Court decision to review Medicaid lawsuit
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Assistant House Minority Leader Bruce Wheeler, D-Tucson (District 10), released this statement after the Arizona Supreme Court announced today it will review the Court of Appeals’ decision to allow the Medicaid expansion lawsuit to go forward.
“The Arizona Supreme Court's decision today was the right one. Protecting the legislation that provided for the expansion of the Medicaid program is of the utmost importance. The majority of the Legislature supported Medicaid expansion because it is good for Arizona's economy, hospitals and residents. It is already helping people across our state get quality, affordable care. I am confident that the court will ultimately affirm the Superior Court ruling and put this issue to rest.”
House Democrats receive accolades from League
of Arizona Cities and Towns
CAPITOL, PHOENIX – For their support of and commitment to cities and
towns during the 2014 legislative session, the League of Arizona Cities and
Towns recognized 12 Arizona House Democrats.
awards are a reminder that we work for the people of Arizona in partnership
with cities and towns. We know that municipalities are economic drivers in our
state, which means it is vital that all levels of government work together to
ensure our communities stay safe and strong,” House Minority Whip Eric Meyer, D-Paradise Valley (District 28), said.
“My colleagues and I always appreciate the support we receive from the league
and we look forward to continuing our collaboration.”
Two House Democrats were recognized as Champions of
Cities and Towns:
Rep. Juan Carlos Escamilla, D-San Luis (District 4)
House Minority Whip Eric Meyer, D-Paradise Valley (District 28)
Additionally, the following legislators received the
Friends of Cities and Towns Award:
Rep. Lela Alston, D-Phoenix (District 24)
House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24)
Rep. Mark Cardenas, D-Phoenix (District 19)
Gabaldón, D-Sahuarita (District 2)
Rep. Sally Ann Gonzales, D-Tucson (District 3)
Rep. Debbie McCune Davis, D-Phoenix (District 30)
Rep. Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix (District 29)
Saldate, D-Tucson (District 3)
Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson (District 9)
Assistant House Minority Leader Bruce Wheeler, D-Tucson (District
and town officials appreciate the support from these outstanding legislators
and their recognition that local decisions should be made at the local level,” League
of Arizona Cities and Towns Executive Director Ken Strobeck said. “We are
successful when we are all working together for the benefit of our citizens and
honored the awardees on Aug. 21 during the 2014 Annual Conference. The
conference, held at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel in Phoenix from Aug. 19 - 22,
is a four-day meeting with more than 900 mayors, council members and officials
from across the state. For more information about the League of Arizona Cities
and Towns, visit www.azleague.org.
Miranda chides Huppenthal, will lead
NHCSL study on humanitarian efforts for unaccompanied minors
CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Catherine Miranda,
D-Phoenix (District 27), today criticized Superintendent of Public Instruction
John Huppenthal for using the crisis involving unaccompanied migrant children
for political gain.
recently called a press conference to announce that he asked for the federal
government to pay for the education of unaccompanied migrant children.
Huppenthal made a disappointing choice to target vulnerable children,” Miranda
said. “Schools are expected to educate all children, and they should not be
forced to determine the immigration status of any student. Teachers and
administrators already have a big job. They are there to help our children
succeed. Superintendent Huppenthal should know that, so I believe he called this
press conference for the sole purpose of promoting himself during an election
who on Wednesday was appointed to lead the National Hispanic Caucus of State
Legislators’ investigation into the child migrant situation, said that the
unaccompanied migrant children who Huppenthal referenced in his announcement are
involved in a humanitarian crisis.
is imperative that we recognize that many of these children are suffering and
they deserve security and fair treatment,” Miranda said.
is also the NHCSL’s vice president for public policy and will accompany the
NHCSL’s Executive Committee on a tour of a Customs and Border Protection
facility in Arizona next month.
this situation will take collaboration between our border states and the
federal government,” Miranda said. “It’s my intent to ensure that the
conversations about solutions are constructive and substantive. There is no
room for political theater.”
The NHCSL is the premier national association of Hispanic state
legislators working to design and implement policies and procedures that will
improve the quality of life for Hispanics throughout the country. NHCSL
was founded in 1989 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with the
mission to be the most effective voice for the more than 350 Hispanic
legislators. For more information, visit www.nhcsl.org.
Huppenthal: ‘Stop bullying school kids’
CAPITOL, PHOENIX –
Rep. Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix (District 29), today criticized Superintendent
of Public Instruction John Huppenthal for using his position to promote an
extremist agenda. Quezada, who is also the president of the Pendergast
Elementary School District Governing Board, called on the superintendent to
Huppenthal announced today that he is asking the federal government to pay for
the education of unaccompanied children who cross the border. The timing of his
announcement is suspect in light of his political campaign. In reality, he is
using these children as an opportunity to grandstand, and he should stop
pandering to extremists at the expense of students.
students are the majority in Arizona schools and Latinos are the largest
student minority group. Unfortunately, Superintendent Huppenthal shows distain
for this growing student population and their families.
Superintendent Huppenthal ended the Tucson Unified School District ethnic
studies program, which fostered cultural awareness and
promoted understanding, respect and success among Latino students. The
program led to higher test results and to increased graduation rates among
Latino students. In June, he was criticized for writing anonymous blog posts
attacking families that utilize public assistance and calling for the elimination
of Spanish-language media. His announcement today has no real impact
because schools are not allowed to monitor the immigration status of students.
All of this demonstrates that he is prioritizing an extremist agenda over the
needs of our students.
clearly states that we have a responsibility to educate all kids. Arizona
schools and teachers must be empowered to fulfill that responsibility,
regardless of the immigration status of students and their family members. Our
teachers, parents and communities want all our students to have the same
opportunities to succeed. It is time for Superintendent Huppenthal to recognize
that it is vital for the future of our state that all students are prepared for
the increasingly global economy. The bottom line is he has to stop bullying
these school kids in an attempt to score political points.”
to serve on the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators Executive
At the annual meeting of the National Caucus of Native American State
Legislators this week, members elected Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson (District
9), to serve on the organization’s executive committee as secretary.
am grateful for the opportunity to be on the executive committee of this
organization,” Steele said. “As a professional counselor, I have spent much of
my career building a bridge of respect and understanding between cultures.”
more than 70 members from 17 states, the National Caucus of Native American State
Legislators is a discussion forum for Native American legislators working to
increase awareness of the diverse Native American cultures. It also serves as
an advisory committee for the National Caucus of State Legislators on issues
affecting Native Americans.
whose ancestors are Seneca, Mingo and German, added that she is particularly
interested in the organization’s focus on the development of inclusive policies.
She has experience in this arena. Steele created the Native Ways program at a
residential treatment center in Tucson.
program became a model of culturally appropriate mental health and substance
abuse treatment,” Steele said. “That experience showed me that it is possible
to create culturally competent public policy. I am looking forward to being
more involved with the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators and
continuing to develop meaningful policy. Ultimately, it will allow me to better
serve my wonderfully diverse community.”
NEW REPORT CHARTS GROWTH OF CHILDHOOD
HUNGER TO SUBURBS; ARIZONA OFFICIALS JOINED ARIZONA FAIR SHARE EDUCATION FUND
THURSDAY TO DISCUSS FINDINGS
Report shows food insecurity growing more rapidly in
suburban neighborhoods than in rural or urban city areas!
Phoenix – Arizona Fair Share Education Fund (AZFSEF)
released Childhood Hunger in America’s
Suburbs, a new report detailing the changing geography of childhood hunger
at a time of growing suburban poverty, at a 10 a.m. news conference on
Thursday. AZFSEF was joined by State Representative Lela Alston, State
Representative Martin Quezada, and David Martinez III from St. Mary’s Food Bank
Alliance to discuss the report.
“Childhood hunger has
changed,” said AZFSEF State Organizer Kimberley Pope. “Hunger is no longer
strictly an urban and rural phenomenon. It affects nearly every American
community, including communities that might otherwise think child hunger is a
problem that happens ‘somewhere else.’ Our perceptions have to change -- and
with our perceptions, our policies.”
added, “Arizona has an inexcusable amount of children dealing with food
insecurity, roughly 1 in 3 kids, and all evidence shows that the numbers are
growing despite our charitable efforts. This is a problem we can’t ignore.”
As Representative Alston
stated, “Almost half of the children enrolled in Arizona’s
schools are eligible
for free or reduced-price lunch. Those are kids in city schools, in suburban
schools, in rural schools. Childhood hunger is not a problem that can be
pinpointed to one area. This is widespread in our state, and every one of those
kids deserves a better shot.”
David Martinez III has the unique experience of working with
low-income families in a charity setting, and pointed out that every community
has a different need. “St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and other charities are
doing our part to try to close the child hunger gap by operating summer and
afterschool meal programs in our community. But despite our efforts, we are
still only able to reach a fraction of children in need. Charities likes ours
could do far more to protect Arizona’s children from hunger if we had the
choice of operating a meal program that matches our community’s needs, rather
than forcing communities to adopt a one-size-fits-all model.”
Note to media: Arizona Fair Share Education Fund has pictures of
Thursday’s event. To follow up, please contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (602)
Arizona Fair Share Education Fund is a grassroots field
and advocacy group, working to make sure everyone gets, pays, and does their
fair share; and plays by the same rules. Find out more at http://www.fairshareonline.org/edfund
from Campbell on the death of Sen. Chester Crandell
CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix
(District 24), released this statement regarding the death
of Sen. Chester Crandell, R-Heber (District 6).
“I am shocked and saddened by the news of Sen. Crandell’s passing.
We didn't always see eye to eye on things, but I have absolutely no doubt that
Sen. Crandell worked on the issues he did because he believed they would
improve Arizona. He served his constituents with honor and class. This is a
great loss for our state and I offer my condolences to his family and his