Category Archives: Legislature
From the Center for Arizona Policy:
In the current debate over whether Arizona should expand Medicaid services pursuant to the federal Affordable Care Act, questions have arisen regarding the funding of abortion providers. To clarify the misinformation surrounding this issue, Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) has provided the following analysis of the concerns raised along with our recommendation on how the Legislature might address the issue.
Medicaid Expansion Pro-Life Issues Q & A
Question: Will Medicaid expansion result in additional money and benefits for abortion providers in Arizona?
Answer: YES. There is no law currently in force to prevent abortion providers from receiving payment from AHCCCS for providing family planning or medical services other than abortion. These taxpayer dollars subsidize the abortion business by freeing up additional money to be spent on abortion services.
Additionally, an AHCCCS patient who receives family planning services from an abortion provider might not otherwise have had a relationship with an abortion provider. Once that relationship is established, the patient will be more likely to return to that abortion provider if that patient has an unexpected pregnancy.
Thus, abortion providers’ participation in Medicaid necessarily benefits them both financially and through creating a stream of patients for the abortion side of the business.
With the proposed expansion of Medicaid to cover additional childless adults, the likelihood of this “patient stream” benefit is magnified because the population being covered is the prime target of the abortion industry.
Question: But doesn’t federal law already prohibit using Medicaid to pay for abortions?
Answer: YES, but the prohibition only applies to direct funding for abortion.
Currently, because of state law and the federal Hyde amendment, Medicaid dollars cannot be used to pay directly for abortions, except under the following circumstances:
- Federal law requires AHCCCS to pay for abortions resulting from rape and incest.
- State law requires AHCCCS to pay for abortions to save the life of the mother.
- The Arizona Supreme Court decision in SIMAT requires the state to pay for “medically necessary” abortions for indigent women.
There is no evidence to date that these categories are currently being abused, but an unscrupulous abortion provider could be found stretching the definitions in an effort to receive government funding for abortions.
However, the concern is not generally these limited categories. As explained above, the concern is primarily that taxpayer dollars funding Medicaid subsidize the abortion business and provide new patients to abortion providers who participate in AHCCCS.
Question: Didn’t the Legislature address this last year through HB 2800?
Answer: YES, but that law is not currently in force.
Federal district court Judge Neil Wake issued a permanent injunction preventing the State from enforcing HB 2800 to exclude abortion providers from AHCCCS. His ruling is based on federal Medicaid statutes and rules, and the decision is currently being appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether to take a similar case out of Indiana.
Question: Can the Legislature do anything to address the issue?
Answer: YES, but until we receive a favorable court ruling or see Congressional action, there are only limited steps the State may take to partially restrict the benefits of Medicaid to abortion providers.
Some potential incremental options for amending Medicaid expansion include:
- Clarifying that Medicaid dollars cannot be used either directly or indirectly for performing, assisting, or encouraging abortions and requiring AHCCCS to conduct audits to ensure compliance.
- Prohibiting abortion providers from performing abortions on AHCCCS members who have come to them previously for family planning services.
- Enhancing abortion reporting requirements to include information about which abortion providers are receiving AHCCCS money.
Recommendation: Center for Arizona Policy requests that the incremental steps listed above be included in the final adoption of any Medicaid expansion measure.
From the East Valley Tea Party:
This “Gang of 6″ Republican Senators voted with the Democrats to pass the budge WITH Medicaid Expansion in it. !!
Attorney General Tom Horne has issued a letter to the Bisbee City Council stating that a proposed Civil Union Ordinance, if passed, would be unconstitutional and require the attorney general’s office to initiate an action in the courts to enjoin, or stop it.All three members of the legislature representing Bisbee have expressed deep concerns about the constitutionality of the ordinance. In a statement today, Attorney General Tom Horne said: “I have today sent a letter to the Bisbee City Attorney and City Council members stating that they have no authority to pass the ordinance that they will be considering tonight. This is in response to a complaint received from all three state legislators representing Bisbee: Senator Gail Griffin, Representative David Gowan and Representative David Stevens.
The ordinance seeks to change seven separate State statutes within the boundaries of the city, dealing with issues such as community property, inheritance of property, and appointment of personal representatives. The only proper way to change a statute is through the Arizona Legislature, not through actions of the City Council attempting to change a State statute within its boundaries. I emphasize that I am not expressing any opinion on the policy of the ordinance. My job is to enforce the laws that exist and I am obligated to respond to complaints from state legislators. If the ordinance is passed, the Office will initiate a special action in the Courts to enjoin it.”
Civil unions are a radical, left-wing attempt to promote counterfeit “marriage.” They actually promote cohabitation — subjecting women and children to drastically heightened risks of violence.
State Representative Steve Montenegro (LD13), responding to a letter he received earlier this week from nearly 20 conservative community leaders, announced Thursday that he had formed an exploratory Committee to explore a campaign for the office of Secretary of State.
The third-term lawmaker released the following statement about this announcement:
“I am honored to have the confidence of so many great leaders from around the state. When respected leaders of your community come together and ask you to consider serving a worthy cause, it is impossible not to answer their call.”
“I appreciate their kind recognition of my voting record, and agree that ourparty faces challenges in communicating our message to every corner ofour state. Our message of smaller government, greater personal freedom, and opportunity for all, remains a winning message and I look forward to sharing it with everyone across this great state.”
The letter read, in part “As a conservative, you have a voting record second to none, which offers voters the assurance that you can be trusted to protect taxpayers and our Constitutional rights. You respect the rule of law and youcan be trusted to be fair and impartial in that important office. As a Latino Republican, and a legal immigrant into this country, you have the ability to take our message into every neighborhood in Arizona and connect with voters in a way that no other candidate can.”
Arguments can be made that the best days are when Congress or the Arizona Legislature are not in session. We have no shortage of laws in this state and this nation.
But there are other circumstances that show a lawmaker’s commitment to his constitutents, his focus on the job he was elected to serve, and his willingness to fully apply himself to the needs of the state. Some people just can’t be bothered to show up on a regular basis and fulfill their elective duties.
I’m talking about Rich Crandall, member of the Arizona Senate, at least on a part-time basis.
Crandall has no shortage of interests and activities dividing his time. Too bad one of them is serving only as a part-time Arizona senator. So far this legislative session, Crandall has introduced three bills. None of them really bear any significance on you the taxpayer.
None of the 30 members of the Senate has introduced fewer bills. And perhaps none is more distracted by all his extracurricular activities.
Crandall actually lives in Utah and is unofficially serving as that state’s “ambassador” to the Arizona Senate.
Last legislative session, Sen. Crandall voted on a mere one-third of the bills put before the Arizona Senate.
He couldn’t be bothered to show up to the Senate regularly because he had another job.
Crandall defeated conservative John Fillmore in a close primary election last summer. The difference may well have been Crandall’s endless mud-slinging, his steady stream of negative attacks on Fillmore.
That the voters of this east Mesa legislative district would reward a part-time lawmaker with another term defies reason. But his supporters deserve the limited input he is giving them. Those who didn’t support him deserve better.
PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer today celebrated the news that Americans United for Life (AUL) has named Arizona its “2013 Pro-Life All Star.” AUL also ranked Arizona the nation’s 5th most pro-life state, based on regulations in place here that protect women and the unborn.
“As a proud and passionate champion of pro-life legislation, I am truly elated and honored by this announcement,” said Governor Brewer. “I thank AUL for this recognition, and I vow to continue to support policies that safeguard Arizona women, families and, of course, our most
vulnerable population – the unborn.”
AUL is a pro-life organization dedicated to the passage of life-affirming legislation. Every year, the group awards each state a ranking based on its efforts to endorse and enact measures that protect the unborn, women and families. This year, AUL selected Arizona as the Nation’s Top “All Star” for its significant pro-life successes in 2012. These successes are the reason Arizona climbed 9 spots in AUL’s rankings between 2011 and 2012.
Last year, Arizona enacted the Mother’s Health and Safety Act – legislation that bars abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy due to increased risks to the mother and the likelihood the unborn will feel pain. The State also passed a measure to ensure women considering an abortion receive critical information about their decision – including the opportunity to view an ultrasound and listen to their child’s heartbeat. Finally, in May, Governor Brewer signed into law the Whole Woman’s Health Priority Act to ensure taxpayer dollars are not used to fund abortion providers, whether directly or indirectly.
We thought our work as conservative activists/voters/bloggers/PCs was done. We had driven out almost all of the Republicans In Name Only (RINOs) from the Arizona Legislature and positions of leadership within the party. We patted ourselves on the back and described ourselves as successful RINO hunters.
Gone are Bill Konopnicki, Toni Hellon, Mike Hellon, Slade Mead, Steff Huffman, Steve May, Sue Gerard, Betsey Bayless, Carol Springer, Carolyn Allen and others.
It took years to see all of them off. Some, like Allen, we were unable to dislodge; she left of her own accord due to age and term limits. She identified herself as a Planned Parenthood activist. May claimed to be a “conservative,” but Planned Parenthood endorsed him – never a good sign.
We took great joy to see them – most of them – replaced by Republicans true to the party principles and platform.
And coupled with Jan Brewer’s ascension to the governorship after socialist Governor Janet Napolitano left for Washington, the state moved forward to protect the sanctity of human life and marriage. Conservative leaders cut state spending, overcoming a huge budget deficit created by the socialists (Democrats working together with RINOs like Mead and Konopnicki). Brewer has disappointed with some vetoes of good legislation, but for the most part is performing admirably. And she’s standing tall against the radical president who loves to sue Arizona.
But it’s been less than a week since Tuesday’s GOP primary election, and we find ourselves surveying encroachment by those who refuse to adopt Republican Party principles. We face a legislative session without conservative stalwarts like Ron Gould.
Once again, we need to weed out a rising crop of RINOs. Fortunately, they represent a minority in the Arizona House and Senate, but they can still block good legislation. In fact, Crandall has already threatened to do just that as chairman of the Senate Education Committee. He’s in league with the left-wing establishment controlling public schools. The area constituting Crandall’s district was once ably represented by standout Republicans Chuck Gray and the late Marilyn Jarrett.
We can’t vote the RINOs out of office for another two years. But that gives us 24 months to raise up conservatives to challenge them and defeat them in 2014. Not a week can be wasted.
We’ll need to defeat: Jerry Lewis, Bob Worsley, Michele Reagan (Allen’s successor and well entrenched in her Scottsdale district), Andy Tobin (a big fan of unions), part-time lawmaker Crandall, Doug Coleman and Nancy Barto (good on life and marriage, but a border appeaser).
The best way to succeed in reducing the RINO crop is through the Tea Party chapters.
Bob Worsley is running for Arizona Senate in Mesa against longtime conservative Russell Pearce. The Arizona Latino Republican Association is taking exception with remarks Worsley made on the campaign trail:
Whether he did so intentionally or simply spoke out of ignorance of the prevalence of politically conservative Latinos, Bob Worsley made a serious miscalculation. He has mischaracterized the Arizona Latino Republican Association (ALRA) as having been formed for the sole purpose of endorsing Russell Pearce. He likened the decade-old conservative grass roots efforts of ALRA together with another unrelated organization. He insulted all of Arizona’s conservative Latinos by suggesting that no Latinos would legitimately endorse Russell Pearce. ALRA will not be drawn into interpreting the motivations behind Worsley’s messaging regarding any other organizations.
However, the offensive comments he made on KFYI merit a response that will set the record straight about ALRA.
Here are some facts that accurately describe the history, purpose and success that is the Arizona Latino Republican Association:
* ALRA has been in existence for over 10 years as the only voice of Arizona’s conservative Latinos
* We are the only statewide Latino organization capable of articulately communicating with voters and media in both in English and Spanish
* Our membership includes Republican Precinct Committeemen, Tea Party Patriots and a number of elected Republican officials
* 14% (4 out of 29) of the Arizona delegates that will be seated at the 2012 Republican National Convention are current ALRA members
* ALRA has achieved unprecedented growth and established a chapter of conservative Latinos in the City of Tucson. We are also currently in the process of expanding to other cities and states alike
* Most importantly, ALRA endorsed Russell Pearce for Senate in LD 25 because he is the only candidate who consistently advocates the rule of law and who also enjoys a proven record of conservative leadership.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Worsley either failed to investigate these facts for himself or purposely ignored them before he maligned our efforts as well as the significance of Arizona’s conservative Latinos. It is also unfortunate that Barry Markson/KFYI did not challenge or even question any of those offensive suppositions. Any inquiries regarding the nature, mission and significance of ALRA can easily be answered by going to our website-LatinoGOP.org.
We invite both Mr. Worsley and KFYI to do their homework and review our website before making any more inaccurate or offensive statements regarding ALRA or the conservative Latinos we represent.
Reymundo Jiménez Torres, President
Arizona Latino Republican Association