Monday, January 9, 2017

Arizona Democratic leaders announce 2017 legislative priorities

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senate and House Democratic leaders released these statements regarding the 2017 Democratic priories.
"The state of Arizona is facing a challenge that was created by this Legislature. Years of corporate tax cuts, falsely passed as ‘jobs bills’, have left state agencies hindered and the critical services they provide limited. We can and must do better for the people of Arizona.

"We must prioritize the programs and services that voters have said time and time again - in poll after poll – they overwhelmingly support. Our public safety nets must be strong, our roads must be repaired and expanded, and our public schools must finally see an investment that demonstrates a commitment to the future of our children and our state.

"As the 16th most populous state in the country and growing, the need for these vital services will not diminish. But we pay for them through a tax structure that is stacked against the middle class and favors special interests.

"This Legislature must not endorse the current frenzy in DC to rip apart AHCCCS, KidsCare and Obamacare with no replacement plan of any kind. To do so would nearly double the number of uninsured Arizonans and would immediately remove more than $3 billion from our economy.

"And after years of reform and millions of dollars, Arizona's child welfare system continues to struggle with high caseloads, startling staff turnover statistics and children languishing in a foster care system that too often fails them.

"Continuing the policy of slashing services for the working poor while forcing them to take a greater tax burden than corporations and the wealthy is unsustainable and grossly unethical. We must protect and strengthen the services that only the state can provide and which the people of Arizona overwhelmingly support."

House Democratic Leader Rebecca Rios (LD27):

"Democrats are working for a state where people can go to school, get a great education, find a prosperous job, live in a safe community and ensure their children have bright future. It is a state that is both prosperous and inclusive.
"Arizonans value equity and fairness, and it is our job to ensure the government represents those values. We have an obligation to be fiscally responsible, accountable and transparent.  To meet that mandate, Democrats will support programs and policies that build a solid foundation.

"That means investing in public education at the K-12 and university levels so schools have the resources needed to prepare our students for the future and so that college is affordable. When we prioritize education, we increase the strength of our future economy.  It also means protecting the gains we have made in individual rights and in access to health care, including Medicaid expansion and KidsCare.

"Our state is fighting to recover from decades of failed Republican leadership and policies, which put the needs of special interests above the needs of Arizonans. Democrats will always prioritize people over politics."

Media Contact:
Aaron Latham, Director of Communication, Arizona State Senate Democratic Caucus, 602-926-4477,

C. Murphy Hebert, Communications Director, Arizona State House Democratic Caucus, 602-926-5848,