Eighteen months ago the Arizona Legislature shut down due to the COVID19 pandemic and the governor’s shelter in place order. Arizonans have traveled a rocky road since then.
Throughout most of the pandemic, Arizona’s government has been willing to sacrifice lives in order to hew faithfully to the right’s anti-science ideology, which dovetails neatly with the “open for business” mantra. Pressure from the Chamber of Commerce, COVID deniers, and the Trump administration caused Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to jump the gun more than once and open the state up for business too soon. In the summer of 2020, Arizona was worst in the world for COVID19.
My guests today are Will Humble, executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association and former director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, and Rep. Melody Hernandez, who is paramedic. Humble provides a brief overview of where Arizona has been and where we are now with the pandemic. He breaks down the history, the science, the policies, the politics, and the personalities. In contrast, as a frontline healthcare worker throughout the pandemic, Hernandez tells stories of tragedy, death and perseverance.
Continue reading Podcast: COVID19 in Arizona: Where Are We Now? 18 Months Later (video)
We ended the third week of the Legislature today and finally voted on some bills on the floor of the House. Since everyone was not there, we didn’t vote on anything controversial. Consequently, there were only a handful of vote explanations.
Although I didn’t say much, I ended up saying more than many people today. I introduced the LD9 doctor of the day.
I took a tip from our Coms guy and explained my vote on HB2109 with one word … “Bingo!”
Some of the new members were wondering about my “no” on HB2122, so I explained my vote on that also. HB2122 allows municipalities to move financial advising fees for bond issues out of the bond budget and allows those fees to be paid from another unspecified source. In my opinion, this is a transparency issue. I know many constituents who are looking at budgets and data on governmental websites in order to determine how local, county, state and federal governments are spending our tax dollars.￼ If they look at the budget for a multi year bond issues, they expect to see the total cost. They shouldn’t have to dig around in layers of PDFs on a governmental website to find out the total cost. The cost of government should be transparent and readily available to the people.
Continue reading #AZLeg Week 3 Ends, as Pandemic Rages in Arizona (video)