The 2018 Legislative Session is off and running! Although this is a Campaign year with many Legislative District seats up for grabs, the Democratic Caucus is still focused on pushing forward progressive legislation that moves Arizona forward. At the start of the session, the Democratic Caucus announced their priorities for the session led by Minority Senate Leader, Sen. Katie Hobbs, and Minority House Leader Rep. Rebecca Rios. Click for the video of the press conference.
“These are not only the solutions Democrats will champion this session; these are the priorities Arizonans want and deserve to see from their elected officials. Democrats have a realistic and responsible blueprint for honest, ethical and compassionate state leadership that works for you. To our colleagues across the aisle, as we begin this yearʼs legislative session, we invite you to join us to find opportunities that move us closer to the Arizona we deserve. The choice is yours. Arizonans will be watching.” – 2018 Democratic Priorities, 01/08/18
The 2018 Arizona Legislative Democratic Vision, doesn’t hold back from addressing the vast issues affecting each of the communities and regions of our State from Education, Economic Development, Public Health, Tax Fairness, Higher Education, Elections, Environment and Natural Resources, Women’s Rights, and Criminal Justice.
“And to our fellow Arizonans, Democrats will have your back in the fight for our kidsʼ education, for a state that supports home-grown Arizona businesses, and for a strong safety net that lifts up Arizonaʼs most vulnerable citizens. And we will continue to embrace our incredible diversity as our stateʼs greatest strength. Our shared vision for Arizona places people over private profit, acknowledges the critical role that honest and ethical government plays in our society, and – most importantly – understands that a successful tomorrow is only possible through wise investment today.” – 2018 Democratic Priorities, 01/08/18
So what have the Dem’s introduced so far?
Rep. Reginald Bolding has introduced HB 2018 will amend state law to specify that children in pre-K through 2nd grade cannot be expelled or suspended from school unless the student’s presence would cause imminent danger to other students. The bill also advocates for restorative justice programs. This type of legislation is geared towards stopping the “school to prison pipeline” which predominantly affects students of color and of a lower economic status.
Our house democratic women leaders (with the support of their democratic male colleagues) have introduced the Equal Rights Amendment, for the 53rd Legislative Session. With the passage of the ERA in Arizona, the United States will be one step closer to adding the amendment to the constitution ensuring equal pay and protection under the law.
Rep. Cardenas has introduced HB 2144 which will prevent any state or local law enforcement from coordinating with federal law enforcement to investigate, detain or prosecute, any Arizona resident who is lawfully operating under Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act, or who possess or are prescribed the medicine.
This is especially important after Attorney General Jefferson Sessions has forgone state rights, by rescinding the Obama Administration’s policy to not interfere with
states that have allowed the sale of marijuana.
Stay tuned for more updates on the session and subscribe to ADLCC.