I Am the Most Independent Voting Democrat in the #AZHouse: Here’s Why (video)

Rep. Pam Powers Hannley

I am the most independent-voting Democrat in the Arizona House and perhaps in the Arizona Legislature. How did that happen? When I first ran for office in 2015, I said I would look at every bill and ask myself, “How does this help the people of Arizona?” And if it didn’t broadly help people OR if it was a carve-out for the connected, there was no reason for me to support it.

Continue reading I Am the Most Independent Voting Democrat in the #AZHouse: Here’s Why (video)

Republican Bill Blocks COVID Vaccines from K-12 Vaccine List (video)

COVID19

Rep. Joanne Osborne’s HB2086 would block all current and future COVID19 vaccines from being required vaccines for school children statewide. Good-bye, parental control and local input. Republicans want to dictate your future. No parents testified for or against this bill in committee, but on RTS, more than 300 people signed in against.

K-12 schools require vaccines for highly contagious diseases (like measles and chicken pox) that spread like wild fire in schools. The Republicans insisted that COVID is not a childhood disease and, therefore, is ineligible to be on the required school vaccine list. They claimed that parents and children were afraid of the vaccine (not COVID), and “kids don’t get that sick from COVID” so it’s no big deal. The Republican message to the children was, “Yeah, your grandpa died of this disease, but you won’t get that sick. Trust us. Suck it up.”

When I mentioned that Arizona has one of the worst COVID death rates in the country, one of the Republicans blew me off saying, “We’re talking about the VACCINE — not about COVID.” How can the topics be separated? The unvaccinated are dying at much higher rates.

Continue reading Republican Bill Blocks COVID Vaccines from K-12 Vaccine List (video)

Does Arizona Really Need Cheaper Guns? (video)

guns

Two of the gun bills winding their way through the Legislature are HB2166 (sales tax exemption for all weapons and related paraphelalia) and SB1123 (guns on campus). I’m suggesting a big NO to both of these on Request to Speak.

HB2166 picks winners and losers. Why should the state of Arizona exempt all weapons and related gear from Transaction Privilege Tax and Use Tax when Arizona doesn’t even universally exempt food purchased at grocery stores from sales tax?

SB1123 is a dangerous bill. It would allow guns on college campuses. Why do students, staff or faculty need guns on campus? Gun are a tool of intimidation … not a tool of learning.

Continue reading Does Arizona Really Need Cheaper Guns? (video)

There’s Progress in Maternal & Child Health … But We’re Not Done (video)

sleeping baby

For years, I have been pounding a drum about the need for the state of Arizona to fully fund maternal and child health and to tackle Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Too many Moms and babies are dying or living with poverty and disease due to stingy policies in Arizona.

Arizona’s Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Report (AMMMR) showed that 80 percent of the post childbirth maternal deaths were preventable and 20 percent were suicides. Moms need help — especially now with the added stress of COVID19 and limited childcare options.

M&C Health got a much-need boost recently with the passage of increased funding for Healthy Families (HB2111). Healthy Families is a program that was cut dramatically in the past 10 years and never restored. It is a voluntary home visitation postpartum program. Health educators visit new moms and their babies and teach topics like breast feeding, healthy diet, and coping skills, along with strategies to be a better mom.

Continue reading There’s Progress in Maternal & Child Health … But We’re Not Done (video)

Group Prenatal Care Would Benefit Moms & Babies (video)

sleeping baby

I’m often acused of giving you only bad news in my videos. Today’s video is about HB2230, a good bill that will likely be heard in the Health and Human Services Committee in the future.

HB2230 would create a grant program for OB/GYNs who want to set up a group prenatal program at their practice. This would be a great boon to pregnant women and new mothers.

When I was 30 years old and pregnant with my first child, my doctor’s practice offered weekly childbirthing classes with patients who were due within a three month window. We met weekly throughout our pregnancies. We learned a lot about pregnancy, nutrition, exercise and childbirth, but we also became friends, walking partners and later playdate moms. Those classes gave me a healthy community of women to learn with, to have fun with and to lean on.

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My Focus Is Food & Housing Security (video)

affordable housing

This week House and Senate members are gathering co-sponsors and filing many of their bills. This year, as I have in the past, I am focusing on the Social Determinants of Health and Adverse Childhood Experiences. Arizona is one of the stingiest states in the US. We force people to live with sickness and poverty.

Governmental policies should give people the freedom to thrive. That means helping families with food insecurity, housing insecurity and financial insecurity. That means helping them keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

Continue reading My Focus Is Food & Housing Security (video)