Time to reshape our country’s spending priorities
I was surprised to learn from the Friends Committee on National Legislation that 37 cents of every dollar we pay in federal income taxes goes to pay for current and past wars. At the same time, education, diplomacy, and help to the nearly 100 million people living in poverty in this country get only pennies on every dollar.
When it comes to AHCCCS expansion, consider the Golden Rule
Byron Schlomach’s recent editorial, “Standing on principle can be costly,” challenges lawmakers to stand up for a “principle” when making a choice about Medicaid expansion. He describes exaggerated worst case scenarios that fail to acknowledge the certain bleak reality that will occur if the Legislature does nothing to restore Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) coverage for childless adults.
Opposition to Medicaid expansion is real
Since January, many of us at the state Capitol have been trying to determine a common-sense way to approach reliable health care for our neediest citizens. It is clear that a full expansion of our Medicaid program to 133 percent above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) will add 400,000 patients or more to an already overloaded system. After carefully studying this complex issue, I have determined the plan is unsustainable and potentially harmful to hardworking Arizona taxpayers.
The economics of mental illness
Mental health care may be one of the biggest unmet needs of our time. Nearly one in two people in the United States will suffer from depression, anxiety disorders or another mental health ailment at some point in their life, and about one in 17 Americans currently has a serious mental illness.
Fixing the Funding Gap for a Better Arizona
Scott Mussi’s and Serena Unrein’s guest opinion titled “HB2646 is risky business for taxpayers” published April 16 is factually wrong and improperly suggestive on so many points, it begs a response.
Let Arizona residents draw the map
On the chance that the state’s legislative map must be redrawn before the next federal census, let me suggest a workable method that (1) retains the Redistricting Commission’s authority, (2) observes the Arizona Constitution’s redistricting principles, and (3) reduces the influence of political parties.
We need a sunrise, not sunset, for energy choice in Arizona
Recently I spoke out in support of a critical effort underway in Arizona: keeping the state’s rooftop solar industry alive. Like school choice and health care choice, solar choice should be a core part of the Arizona agenda, and my party’s message. Unfortunately, utility monopolies in Arizona are trying to limit solar energy choice because more energy independence for Arizonans means smaller utility profits.
Arizona moves in the right direction with passage of synthetic drug law
A little more than two weeks ago, Arizona joined the ranks of more than 41 states that have successfully passed urgent measures to combat an epidemic that is shattering families, plaguing law enforcement and killing more of our citizens each day. For Arizonans, the signing of HB2327 serves as a critical tool aimed at attacking the production and use of so-called “designer” drugs commonly referred to as “bath salts” or “Spice.”
Tax simplification should not hurt cities
The East Valley Partnership recognizes the need to streamline and improve our state’s tax system. That is why we support the major tenets of Gov. Jan Brewer’s plan to reform Arizona’s Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) that is currently burdensome for businesses and puts local merchants at a disadvantage to out-of-state Internet retailers.
Child safety in Legislature’s hands with fiscal 2014 budget vote
The 2013 legislative session began with a unanimous vote in the House and the Senate to appropriate emergency funding for additional Child Protective Services staff. With that vote, lawmakers affirmed child safety as a top priority and recognized that the dramatic growth in the number of reports of child abuse and neglect and the number of children living in foster care demand increased capacity to respond.
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