We could not accomplish anything without the hard work and dedication of Advocates like you! Thank you for supporting us at our events, Days at the Capitol, and for taking action via emails. Please check back here for recaps of our ongoing success in advocacy.
PROP 100 PASSED BY VOTERS ON MAY 18th!
The past two legislative sessions of the Arizona Legislature have been marked by challenging budget discussions and difficult deliberations to balance a $3 billion deficit. Many of the legislator’s arguments on cutting vital state programs versus increasing revenue, were polarizing and the decisions made were devastating to vulnerable people in our state.
Over the past two years, general fund revenues for the state of Arizona have decreased by 35%. This is the result of the current economic recession, and reflects a general decline in state income tax assessments, user fees and sales taxes collected. And, while the legislature recently passed a state budget, it has also reduced eligibility for Arizona’s Medicaid program (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment – AHCCCS). This leaves more than 300,000 adults without health care coverage, and potentially jeopardizes $8 billion in federal funding for health care.
May 18, 2010, marked the state’s Special Election for Proposition 100, which was passed by voters by a large margin. State Proposition 100 temporarily raises the Arizona state sales tax by one cent per dollar (from 5.6 cents to 6.6 cents) for three years, and raise a projected $3 billion in revenue. Two-thirds of revenues raised will be directed to education, while the remaining one-third will be divided between public safety and health and human services.
The passage of Proposition 100 is a major success for the disability community. The Arizona Disability Advoacy Coalition proudly supported this proposition and will track its progress over the next 3 years.
ARIZONANS WITH DISABILITIES LEGISLATION PASSED ON MAY 10th!
On Tuesday, April 6, 2010 more than 50 disability advocates gathered together for a Day at the Capitol. Participants included consumers of the many member organizations for the Arizona Disability Advocacy Coalition (AZDAC). The day’s agenda included: a training on the Arizona Legislative Information System and the Request to Speak Program facilitated by Daniella Yaloz of the Just Vote Arizona Disability Coalition (JVADC); a state of the budget address and explanation of the need to support Proposition 100 during the May 18th special election by Tim Schmaltz of Protecting Arizona’s Family Coalition (PAFCO); Question and Answer sessions with Senator John Huppenthal, Senator Burton-Cahill, and Representative Doug Quelland; review of AZDAC’s priority issues by Daniella Yaloz and AZDAC vice chair, Amina Kruck; and 3 individual visits with state legislators.
The most pressing issue at the time was the need for legislative support of Senate Bill 1232, the Arizonans with Disabilities Act, which is legislation to make state law for the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act, conform to federal law which was signed by President Bush in 2008. As of that day, the necessary legislative action had not been taken by the State Legislature and advocates feared that the bill would “die” before the end of the session. During AZDAC’s Day at the Capitol, leaders in the disability community were able to convince committee chairs to reassign SB1232 to a different committee, to ensure it would receive a hearing and go to Committee of the Whole for a final floor vote.
As a result of pressure on state legislators and subsequent citizen lobbying efforts of disability advocates, SB1232, the Arizonans with Disabilities Act, was passed by the Arizona Legislature and later signed into law by Governor Brewer on May 10, 2010.