RTS Alert for 4 Good Bills (video)

Rep. Pam Powers Hannley

Usually, I’m telling you about bad bills and encouraging you to give them a thumbs down on the Request to Speak (RTS) system.

Today I am featuring for good bills that passed unanimously out of the commerce committee. Yes, this happens when the bills are moderate and useful to the general public.

HB2396 outlines a procedure where dating websites can identify predators and notify other users who have been contacted by the bad actor. Dating websites are infamous for old pictures and lies about age, weight, and marital status. That sort of personal spin will remain. This bill goes after fraudsters who whew people on dating websites and extort money from them. According to Rep. Regina Cobb, the bill sponsor, Arizona is lost $8 million to this type of fraud in 2018 alone.

HB2305 allows microbrewers and craft distillers to share equipment with like businesses but maintain separate businesses. if you’ve ever been to a microbrewery, you know that the tanks and other related equipment can fill an entire room. This allows multiple microbrewers to share a large space that would contain common brewing equipment, but have separate business locations at that address and separate taxes. Distillers can share equipment with other distillers. This should help small brewers and distillers.

HB2382 allows people who live in trailer parks to have live-in caregivers who may be younger than the age restrictions for a retirement trailer parks. This puts into statute a common practice. Sometimes trailer parks have restrictions regarding how many people can live in a trailer. Retirement trailer parks have age restrictions. This bill waves these restrictions to allow somebody who needs 24/7 care to have a live in caregiver. this is a consensus bill that has been negotiated by the stakeholders. It puts us in line with federal law.

HB2697 was a bill that everyone on the committee could relate to. This bill was brought to the committee by the attorney general’s office because of the large volume of complaints about spa and gym contracts during the pandemic. Gyms make it really easy to sign up for a membership but extremely difficult to get out of the contracts, even when they are month to month. This bill leaves the reasons to get out of a contract the same but adds email and electronic communication to the ways that consumers can communicate termination of their membership to the corporate home office.

If you feel so inclined, give HB2396, HB2305, HB2382 and HB2697 a thumbs up on Request to Speak.

One thing I must note here, although these bills are all OK, three of the four are solving “problems” for people with enough money in their pockets to buy gym memberships, join an online dating service, or own a brewery or distillery. Only the mobile home caregiver bill recognizes the state of many people in our state.

This post was originally published on Facebook on February 3, 2021.

Prison & Long-Term Care #COVID19 Data Needed to Judge Virus Spread in #AZ (video)

prison

Forty percent of Arkansas’ COVID19 cases are prisoners. In a Marion, Ohio prison, more than 1800 prisoners and 100 guards have tested positive for novel Coronavirus. That is 73% of the inmates in that prison. Although prisons and jails are hotspots for the novel Coronavirus across the country, Arizona has no clue what in happening in our prisons with COVID19.

We have tested only 0.4% of the 41,594 prisoners in Arizona. NONE of the nearly 5000 women at the Perryville prison have been tested. Only six of the 5000 prisoners in the Yuma prison have been tested. Arizona is in the dark about the extent of the novel Coronavirus spread in our prison system, and Governor Ducey and the Department of Corrections  (DOC) are making no moves toward improving the situation or the lack of transparency. The DOC has a dashboard up, but the data are minimalist.

In addition to not knowing what’s going on in the prisons, there is no transparency in the Arizona data related to COVID19 in long-term care facilities. In New York, 25% of the COVID19 cases are in long-term care (LTC) facilities including the senior living centers. Arizona long-term care providers tell me they are providing data to federal, state and county governments, but those data are not on the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) website.

The people of Arizona are being kept in the dark about COVID19 in prisons and LTC centers. Many of us have loved ones in an assisted living center, a nursing home, a skilled nursing facility, a jail, or a prison– or who work there.

Until we know the extent of infection in these high-risk facilities, we have no idea what the spread of the novel coronavirus is in the state of Arizona. The caregivers and prison guards are unknowingly working with infected patients and inmates without protective gear. This situation puts prisoners, guards and all of their families at risk.

Continue reading Prison & Long-Term Care #COVID19 Data Needed to Judge Virus Spread in #AZ (video)