Governor Doug Ducey Acts On 76 Bills

(Editor’s note: News releases are published unedited, unless they contain factual errors.)

May 11, 2016Governor Has Now Signed 207 Bills, Vetoed 6

PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey has now acted on a total of 213 bills, signing 207 and vetoing six. The governor has until May 19 to sign or veto the remaining bills on his desk.

Today, the governor signed a total of 75 bills, and vetoed one — HB 2484.

PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey has signed legislation protecting child victims who use therapy dogs. The bill requires courts to allow victims under 18 years of age to have a therapy dog accompany them when testifying in court. HB 2375 also permits the court to allow a victim over the age of 18 to be accompanied by a therapy dog.

Statement from Governor Ducey:

“Our heart goes to children who have been victims of crimes, and we need to be doing everything possible as a state to protect them and provide them the support they need as they face the hurdles of the criminal justice system,” said Governor Ducey. “Therapy dogs have a proven positive impact on comforting both children and adults under intimidating and stressful circumstances. I’m proud to sign this bill – and I want to thank the sponsor Rep. Eddie Farnsworth and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery for their leadership and dedication to protecting Arizona victims.”

Statement from Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery:

“Our office has utilized a therapy dog program for more than five years running – and we’ve seen firsthand the impact it’s had on hundreds of people throughout Maricopa County. Our canines have worked with victims in the most traumatic situations, and I can attest to the fact that having a therapy dog by their side truly helps these individuals find comfort and gain courage to testify before a court. I’m excited that the success we’ve had in Maricopa County will now expand to benefit victims statewide.”

Governor Doug Ducey Signs Legislation To Protect Foster Children And Eliminate The Grandmother Penalty

PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey has signed two bills to protect Arizona foster children and their caregivers, including the elimination of the Grandmother Penalty.

HB 2452 lifts Arizona’s current TANF Capped Kids policy – referred to as the “Grandmother Penalty” in the governor’s State of the State address in January – and ensures kids and caregivers have the resources they need in the absence of parents. HB 2260 makes significant reforms to improve foster care and adoption policies.

“We should be making it easier – not harder – for relatives to step in and care for a child when a parent has failed to properly do so,” said Governor Ducey. “Removing the Grandmother Penalty ensures that kids are not punished for the failings of their parents, and that relatives have the resources they need to take on the role of caretaker. A grandparent should never be forced to choose between taking in the child they love and turning them over to the state. This measure ensures that’s not a decision they’ll have to make. I am grateful to Rep. Jeff Weninger for his commitment to standing up for Arizona kids and families.”

“There are nearly 19,000 foster children currently under state care in Arizona. Every one of them deserves a home in which they are safe, clothed, fed and most importantly, loved,” said Governor Ducey. “I’ve been clear that we must do all that we can to see more adoptions, foster parents, and more permanency for our most vulnerable children. These reforms, championed by Rep. Kate Brophy McGee, make significant improvements to foster care training and licensing, and reduce time to permanency to ensure that when a child finds a loving home, they have the opportunity to stay there.”

Governor Doug Ducey Signs Bill That Attracts Top Doctors

Compact Improves Medical Licensing and Allows For Increased Access to Medical Care

PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey today signed House Bill 2502, which enters Arizona into the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, improving the medical licensing process and allowing for increased access to medical care.

“I’ve said repeatedly that we want Arizona to be the healthiest state in that nation. The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact increases Arizona’s ability to attract top quality doctors to the state by dramatically decreasing licensing time, and lets the world’s most talented physicians know that Arizona is open for business. Patients also benefit as the bill ensures that bureaucratic regulations, like processing paperwork, do not keep qualified physicians out of the operating room where they could be saving lives. I appreciate Rep. Heather Carter’s leadership on this significant legislation.”

Governor Doug Ducey Signs Bill To Protect Salt River Horses

PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey today signed House Bill 2340, which provides needed protections for the Salt River Horses.

“The Salt River Horses are beautiful, majestic and a treasure to our state. Since last summer, we have worked to protectthemandtheirabilitytoroamfree,”saidGovernorDougDucey. “ManyArizonanswererightlyoutraged when the future of the Salt River Horse was put at risk, and I was clear then that I would do everything in my power to protect them from danger. Today, I am proud to sign a bill that paves the way state, local and federal forces to work together to keep them free from interference or harassment. I am grateful to Rep. Kelly Townsend for her leadership and committment to protecting the Salt River Horses.”

Governor Doug Ducey Signs Bill Ending Board Of Education Legal Dispute

PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey today signed House Bill 2620, which ends the ongoing legal dispute over the

State Board of Education.

“With the passage of this bill, we are happy to have the ongoing legal issues between the State Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction resolved,” said Governor Ducey. “This compromise will allow all of us to focus on what is truly important — ensuring that every child in Arizona has access to the best public education system in the nation.”

Statement from Arizona State Board of Education on HB 2620

PHOENIX (May 11) — The Arizona State Board of Education (SBE) commends the Legislature as HB 2620 was finalized last Wednesday and sent to Governor Doug Ducey’s office for enactment.

HB 2620 settles two ongoing lawsuits between the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) and SBE by allowing the SBE to retain and supervise its own employees while agreeing to transfer the Investigative Unit to ADE under the supervision of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

See below for statements from board members:

“The central mission and goal of SBE is to craft and create solid and meaningful policy that appropriately raises the bar for Arizona’s education community and ensures readiness for 21st Century careers irrespective of post-graduation plans,” said SBE Vice-President Reginald M. Ballantyne III. “The enactment of HB2620 refocuses us on what is essential in K-12 education – learned students. I applaud the efforts of the governing leaders involved in securing passage of this important legislation.”

“All parties should be commended for their efforts and for putting the needs of Arizona’s kids and schools first,” SBE member County Superintendent Tim Carter said. “I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with ADE in support of better policies, better schools, better teachers and better administrators throughout Arizona.”

“I am very supportive of this solution and glad that we can continue to collaboratively focus on policy matters with ADE,” noted SBE public member Jared Taylor.

“It is with deep appreciation that I thank the Governor, Legislative Leadership and ADE for a solution that ensures the State Board of Education can focus on the responsibility of setting policies that provide Arizona’s children with the best opportunities for success,” SBE President Greg Miller concluded.

Big Victories for Arizona Families in 2016 Legislative Session

Statement from Center for Arizona Policy President, Cathi Herrod

PHOENIX – “Arizona families have reason to celebrate today. Legislators successfully fought for life, women, fundamental freedoms, and hardworking taxpayers – passing laws that promote the values Arizonans hold dear.

Lawmakers passed a budget that includes sensible legislation to strip special interest groups of deceitful privileges. No longer will health clinics like Planned Parenthood be allowed to gouge taxpayers by charging the government up to ten times the cost of medication.

Additionally, legislators empowered the state to take action against those who may abuse the Medicaid program. Through the Taxpayer Protection and Medicaid Integrity Act, violators can be removed from AHCCCS altogether. Working families deserve to know that their hard-earned dollars are being used prudently and not being wasted.

Most heartening are the steps taken this year to protect life and care for women. Too many women have suffered anguish at the hands of the abortion industry. Regret is sometimes instantaneous. Abortion providers can no longer lie or hide potentially life-saving information about the abortion pill.

It took legal action for Planned Parenthood to admit that the first of two prescribed abortion pills is as little as 20% effective. If a woman changes her mind before taking the second pill, abortion doctors are now required to inform the woman of the low efficacy and refer her to a physician.

This, on the heels of an historic law signed by Governor Ducey earlier in the year that prohibited the sale and research of aborted baby body parts. Abortion providers in Arizona will no longer be able to peddle aborted remains for profit.

We applaud the pro-life legislators and governor who stood with women and families this session and boldly passed humane laws.

Arizona lawmakers have also given teeth to a previous law ensuring college students can practice their freedom of speech on state campuses. Now, when college bureaucrats try to stop a student from handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution, as they did at Paradise Valley Community College, students will have recourse.

The working poor and foster children are also winners this session. Organizations that serve them can now receive twice the amount in donations thanks to an increase in the contribution amounts allowed under the Charitable Tax Credit program. Also, the law creates a new and separate tax credit specifically for foster care charities.

We join Arizonans in thanking the lawmakers who stood strong for life, women, and families this session.”

– The $9.6 billion fiscal year 2017 budget signed today by Governor Doug Ducey includes a $1.5 million appropriation to the Arizona Commission on the Arts. The additional funding represents a 50% increase over the 49-year-old state agency’s current fiscal year budget. Derived from interest accrued on the state’s Rainy Day Fund, this one-time allocation will not increase overall state spending.

“We thank the statewide advocacy network of Arizona Citizens for the Arts and our champions in the State Legislature, on both sides of the aisle, for securing this funding,” said Robert Booker, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts. “As we enter our 50th year as Arizona’s state arts agency, we are proud to have earned this bipartisan vote of support.”

Established by the state legislature in 1967, the Arizona Commission on the Arts administers funding from both the state and federal government in support of programs that contribute to the growth and stabilization of Arizona’s arts sector, enhance student learning, nurture artists’ creative and professional development, preserve the rich traditions of Arizona communities, and ensure all Arizonans can participate in and experience the arts.

After several years of reductions, the agency’s General Fund appropriation was eliminated in fiscal year 2012. During the same recession-era budget balancing efforts, the $20 million Arizona ArtShare Endowment, built over twelve years with bipartisan support, was also eliminated. The loss of these funding streams represented a more than 60% reduction in the Arts Commission’s budget between fiscal years 2008 and 2012.

“With the additional funding allocation for next year, the state’s leadership acknowledges the vital role that Arizona’s artists and arts organizations play in their communities as innovators and creative catalysts,” said Booker. “The arts are an economic driver, enhance the education of our young people, and create opportunities for dialogue and understanding among and within Arizona’s diverse communities. This funding will create, expand, and improve opportunities for Arizonans to engage in the arts in communities across the state.”

About the Arizona Commission on the Arts

One of 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies across the United States, the Arizona Commission on the Arts is a 49- year-old agency of the State of Arizona and a leading force in the creative and professional development of Arizona’s arts sector. Through robust programs, research initiatives and strategic grantmaking, the Arts Commission catalyzes arts-based partnerships that strengthen Arizona communities through the arts.

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May 2016