The day after I sent out the last Farley Report, an Arizona bill starting with "SB10" once again put our state on an international stage in a negative light. This week I will share with you the inside story of the hurtful, regressive SB1062 -- what it says, what the proponents say, what it would really do, how it got here, how the floor action proceeded, how we have been damaged already, and the reaction. And I will tell you how you can contact the Governor and urge that she veto the bill ASAP.
Feel free to pass this briefing to everyone you know around the country to help us stop this bill. I'm sending this report a day early due to the urgent need for action. Please go to my Facebook page for late breaking updates. The governor has until Friday to veto or sign, but I'm hoping she vetoes early to stop the bleeding.
Welcome to the Bicentennial Farley Report! Yes, I've written this long, wonkish insider email to you 200 times now, and I am grateful you are not tired of me yet.
The last two days have felt like two weeks as we started the final week of hearing Senate bills in the Senate. Three of my bills are progressing in their original form, others are moving in different forms, and I've got some hot committee and other action to report on as well.
Howdy, Friends O'Farley…
The action is swirling at all levels in the Legislature now that all bills have been dropped -- 525 in the Senate and 758 in the House. Committees are bursting at the seams with long agendas, and we are starting to plow through votes on the floor. Closed-door small group meetings are being held among Republicans about the budget, and hope is in the air for an early end to session sometime in April. On Monday, in Senate Government and Environment Committee, we heard 16 bills for more than four hours, including a couple of doozies I'll talk about later.
Here in the Legislature, it's all about relationships. Now is when those relationships start to pay off, as every legislator spends his or her waking hours urging committee chairs to hear key bills. I've been pretty successful so far at accomplishing those goals, usually by kneeling next to a chairman on the Senate floor and highlighting the finer points of why my bill is worthy. I really do believe that partisan considerations don't have to stand in the way of a good bill being heard, and the proof is that two conservative lawmakers are hearing two of my bills this week in their committees. Hopefully there are more to come.
We are starting to really get moving this week as committees are swinging into action, and we consider an emergency supplemental appropriation for Child Protective Services (CPS).
On to the news:
--> CPS Emergency Supplemental Appropriation: WIth the support of the Governor, I helped to sponsor an emergency bill (SB1224, and its House version, HB2496) to immediately hire 126 new CPS caseworkers, 20 supervisors, 4 assistant program managers, 30 case aides, and 12 additional support staff. This will help a great deal to get through the backlog of uninvestigated cases of abuse and neglect that were discovered in October, and get on top of the cases that have come into the agency since then. It is not the solution, but it is a good start. The bills are slated to come to the floor tomorrow or Thursday for a final vote and then the Governor's signature.
It's a short week in the Capitol due to our break for the MLK holiday, but there's plenty going on already.
But first, a Farley Pledge Break:
It's that time again! If you'd like me to continue serving you in the Senate, I need to get re-elected. In order to get re-elected, I need two things from you tonight: Signatures and funding.
1) Signatures: If you live in District 9, and you like the representation I have been providing you, you can now sign my nominating petition online by clicking on this link. It's really easy and will take no more than 30 seconds of your time, so please click and sign today, and urge your friends to do the same. It costs you nothing! Thank you!
Please sign my nominating petition here.
Welcome to the first weekly Farley Report of the 51st Legislature, Second Regular Session!
Read on for a rundown of the Governor's priorities as laid out in her State of the State yesterday, her proposed fix of Child Protective Services, and a few developing stories up here at the Capitol.
This will be the last monthly Farley Report of the 2013 off-session. The next time I write to you will be January 14, the second day of the 2014 Legislature. From then till Sine Die you'll be hearing from me every Tuesday night with the latest news straight from the source.
This Report is a little preview of some of the legislation I am developing for the upcoming session. But first, a Farley Pledge Break:
Even though the Legislature is not in session, I've been pretty busy since the last Farley Report. I'd like to share with you some signs of policy progress, and some other news you might find useful. Sorry -- it's bit lengthy this time!
First off, a brief Farley Report pledge break:
If you'd like me to continue serving you in the Senate, I need to get re-elected. In order to get re-elected, I need to raise money and sign up volunteers. I won't be asking you to help me with your feet until next spring, but I could use your help now to contribute funds to my campaign.
As Congress continues to fiddle while the country burns with anger at being held hostage by partisan posturing, I thought you might like to hear about something positive from the federal government that will start tomorrow regardless of whether or not they come to their senses.
October 1 is the big day for the opening of the Healthcare Exchanges, so I am sending you an excellent rundown on what these exchanges will mean to you, and how they can help dramatically improve your life -- especially if you are self employed, run a very small business, have an employer who does not offer you insurance, or currently buy on the individual market.