March 2018 Constituent Update: News & Events

Save Our Schools March

As usual, this Legislative Session has been a whirlwind of meetings, events, protests, bad bills, and hectic schedules. (Photos below the fold.)

On the Saturday before the session started, more than 1000 people rallied and marched in support of public education. In the above photo, LD11 Candidate Hollace Lyon,  my husband Jim Hannley and I talk as we march to Save Our Schools. Check out a short video on my Facebook page.

We started the session by passing the big bipartisan opioid bill.
#AZ Leg Passes Landmark, Bipartisan Opioid Bill (video)

I dropped the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) again this year, and we are still working on this in the background. (It ain’t over ’til it’s over, as our old high school football coach used to say).
Arizona House Dems Drop 2018 #ERA Bill

We have voted on lots of crazy bills and some good ones in the past two months. As with last year, there is a bipartisan group voting for tax giveaways and a bipartisan group voting against tax giveaways. Millions of dollars in tax breaks have passed the Arizona House. These bills still have to make it through the Senate. If you don’t want tax cuts to continue to starve public education, check out the votes, the debates, and the bill numbers in these two blog posts and contact your Legislators. You can also make comments on bills that have been assigned to agendas by logging on to the Request to Speak system.
Marijuana to Bump Stocks to Tax Giveaways: How Did Your #AZHouse Rep Vote?
#TaxCuts & Deregulation: How Did Your #AZHouse Rep Vote?

Upcoming Public Events

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley
LD9 PCs organized three Ground Game house party events which drew great crowds. This event was hosted by Linda Horowitz.

I am extremely grateful to the Ground Game and to the LD9 precinct committee members for hosting three successful house parties this year. In March, I will be appearing at several public events. I hope to see you there.

An Evening with John Nichols, March 10

Author and historian John Nichols of The Nation will be in Tucson for the Festival of Books this weekend. As is his tradition, Nichols will be speaking at the IBEW Hall on Saturday night, March 10. Doors open at 6 p.m. I am proud to be Nichols’ warm-up act again this year. This free, public event is hosted by PDA Tucson and PALF. You can find more information here. To RSVP on Facebook go here.

Our Time Is NOW, March 17

The Arizona Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) will be holding its state convention in Tucson on March 17 at the IBEW Hall from 10 a.m – 3 p.m. I will be participating in a panel of women elected officials at the conference. For more background go to the NOW Facebook page here.

Three Events on March 18!

Walk a Mile in a Refugee’s Shoes

The Jewish Community Center is sponsoring Walk a Mile in a Refugee’s Shoes from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 18. More information can be found here.  My plan is to stop by at the beginning, since this will be such a busy day!

LD9/LD10 St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon

This ticketed fundraiser for LD9 and LD10 is an annual tradition at the Cunningham Home in midtown. It is a chance for LD9 and LD10 Democrats to hob-nob, eat corned beef (or not), and talk with electeds and candidates.

LD9 Town Hall

My seat mate, Dr. Randall Friese and I will be hosting an LD9 town hall on March 18 at the Martha Cooper Library in midtown from 3:30 – 5. As usual, we will each do a quick update and open the floor to questions from the audience. This is free and open to the public. Check out the event on Facebook here.

I hope to see you in the near future at one of these events.

Event Photos and More

Below the fold are a few photos from events and office visits. Thanks to all of you who made the trip up from Tucson during session. Representatives particularly appreciate it when regular folks come to the Capitol to testify in committee. The voice of the people is important– and all too often unheard up here.

Red for Ed Day in the Arizona House

#RedForEd in Arizona House
Arizona House Democrats show their support for public education on #RedForEd Day, March 7, 2018.

ERA at the Capitol

League of Women Voters
More than 70 members of the Arizona League of Women Voters came to the Capitol in February to lobby the Arizona Legislature on behalf of ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Here are a few ERA supporters from LD9. You could see the Equal Rights for Women sashes all over the Capitol that day. Waves of women’s groups and protesters have came to the Capitol to support the ERA. The Republicans are still stalling. They don’t want their members to be “embarrassed” by voting against equal rights for women. Reality check: There are more women in Arizona than there are Republicans.
Dozens of women came to the Capitol on opening day to rally for ratification of the ERA.

Arisona List Luncheon

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley, Paul Stapleton-Smith and Kitty Kennedy
Arizona List just keeps on growing. Hundreds of people who are passionate about protecting women’s reproductive rights, equal pay for women and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) attended Arizona List’s February luncheon. I’m here with Paul Stapleton-Smith and Kitty Kennedy of the Pima Area Labor Federation (PALF).

Peace Fair 2018

Peace Fair
My Field Organizer Antar De Sa, husband Jim (taking the picture), and I had great time at the Peace Fair again this year. Jim and I have been doing the Peace Fair for years– first with Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), then Arizonans for a New Economy, and now at the Powers for the People booth. We had many great conversations, collected tons of signatures, and passed out dozens of Legislative Report Cards and Powers for the People buttons. If you have not signed my petition, please do so online here.

LD9 Constituents Visit My Office

Secular Coalition, LD9
The LD9 Secular Coalition group was so large that we met in the Dem Caucus conference room. The Secular Coalition believes in separation of church and state. They back bills like my death with dignity bill and my bill to require doctors and healthcare institutions to reveal what legal procedures or drugs they will not provide because they are against their religious beliefs.
Moms Demand Action
A very large group from Moms Demand Action (for Gun Sense in America) came to the Capitol (on the same day as the League of Women voters, hence the sash). Here is the LD9 group, including January 8 hero Pat Maisch (far right). As usual, several bad gun bills have moved forward in the Arizona Legislature, and so far any sensible gun bills have not been heard in committee (a passive aggressive way to kill bills the Republicans don’t like). My seat mate, Dr. Randy Friese, tried to force a vote on his bump stock ban (days after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting), but the Republicans refused to debate.
Pima County Interfaith Council
The Pima County Interfaith Council (PCIC) comes to visit me at least once a year. This year, the meeting that was scheduled after theirs was cancelled. We ended up chatting for 45 minutes about public education funding, the fate of Prop 301 (extension of the current 0.6% sales tax for education), and how much they hate the tax giveaways. Since we don’t know the full cost of all of the giveaways, my rough estimate is that the Arizona House has passed nearly a half billion in tax giveaways in just two months. I voted against all of them. Where is that $500,000 going to come from? Raising sales taxes on the people and then giving away or excusing taxes for corporations is not sustainable economic development. When the public education lawsuit was settled, the judge said the state owed the schools roughly $1 billion. Instead of the state government paying back what it owed the schools, Prop 123 was offered as the “grand bargain” to fund public ed. Of course, the Legislature said it couldn’t possibly afford to pay the entire $1 billion to the schools. Maybe if we stopped cutting and excusing taxes, we’d have enough money to run the state and fund pubic education appropriately. It’s time to fund the People’s To-Do List– education, roads, healthcare, and security, and it’s time to stop giving taxpayer funds to big corporations and the rich.
Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley
Young dental hygienists came to visit me on the same day that a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge (far right) shadowed me. The dental hygienists spoke in support of the hotly contested dental therapy bill. I support the creation of a dental therapy scope of practice in Arizona because far too many people– particularly rural Arizonans and the urban poor– don’t have access to affordable dental care. Tooth decay and tooth loss are rampant on the reservations, and understandably, all of the tribes support dental therapy. Dental therapists would work under the supervision of a dentist in private practice or under dentist(s) in a community health center. Dental therapists can expand access to care by traveling to remote areas and using telemedicine to communicate with the supervising dentists. They can also help prevent tooth decay by doing screenings and health education. Dental therapy has a broad coalition of support including community health centers (like El Rio), the public health community, all of the tribes, the Goldwater Institute, and many more organizations. Besides being a public health issue, dental therapy is a workforce development for these young women because it gives them career progression and for the general public because tooth decay and tooth loss are deterrents to employment. Primarily dentists are opposed to dental therapy. I wholeheartedly believe that dental therapists could help expand a dentist’s business–rather than hurting it. Currently, dentists are losing business to Mexico because so many people can’t afford the cost of dental care. The dental therapy bill SB1377 passed the Senate with flying colors– with 100% of the Democrats voting “yes”. It will be heard in the House Health Committee soon– maybe next week. If you have an opinion, log onto Request to Speak and tell us what you think. (The judge and I talked about foster care, prison reform and mandatory sentencing.)
ER doctors
Emergency room doctors came to visit the Capitol in early March. These young women are all ER residents at Banner University Medical Center. We talked extensively about their experiences watching the opioid crisis unfold before their eyes in the ER. They were very enthusiastic about the recent opening of the opioid information line for healthcare providers. Establishing a noncommercial opioid information help line was one of my proposals in 2017. I am so proud that it was included in the big bipartisan opioid bill.
Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley and Brian Clymer
Former LD9 Chair Brian Clymer testified before the Banking and Insurance Committee about Workers’ Comp again this year. Workers’ Comp pays a percentage of a worker’s salary while they are on leave after an injury. In some cases, employees may receive Workers’ Comp for the rest of their lives.  Clymer did a great job defending the rights of workers who may not have legal advice when they are trying to decide if they should accept a full and final insurance claim. Once a worker accepts a full and final Workers’ Comp claim, they cannot go back to their employer or the insurance company if their injury flares up later in life. Full and final Workers’ Comp agreements were legalized in 2017. This year, the insurance companies want to remove the 2017 statute language that states full and final Workers’ Comp agreements should be “in the best interest of the employee” and be “fair and reasonable.” Clymer and I both spoke against this change in committee.

If you live in LD9 and have not signed my petition, please do so online here. Thanks for your support!

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To read news stories about the Arizona House go here.