Make AZ Better Without Spending A Dime

The Arizona Legislature has the power to make the lives of Arizona's citizens better without spending a dime. By using the power of the law! Here's a list of things I'd like to accomplish at the legislature, without raising taxes: 

1. Comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation:  The protections many Arizonans rely up are being eroded at the federal level.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been instructed to remove all employment protections from the LGBTQ community.  Arizona can and should require that all workers receive protection in the workplace.  We can ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and make it illegal to discriminate against women--equal pay for equal work!  Major employers support these laws.  There is a real push by the GOP to prop-up discrimination in public accommodations (movie theaters, services and restaurants).  We can keep AZ from becoming a laughing stock, again. 

2.  Banish the pre-existing condition exclusion:  The Arizona Department of Insurance decides which insurers are permitted to provide insurance to Arizonans.  The legislature can and should require that any health insurance company serving our community is prohibited from discriminating against persons with pre-existing conditions or based upon gender.  As a cancer survivor, I know that I would not be able to purchase health insurance if the pre-existing condition reared its ugly head in the marketplace.  We can't return to the days when so many couldn't purchase insurance.  

3. Mandate Internet Neutrality:  Arizona can join 20 other states that mandate net neutrality to their citizens.  Why does this matter?  Arizona wants to attract the tech industry and has made great strides to accomplish this goal.  If Arizona's procurement rules required all internet companies that provide services to the state (we're a huge customer) to maintain internet neutrality for all Arizona customers, we'd set the marketplace standard.  Why does this matter?  Net neutrality allows new companies to compete on the same level as large companies that have the market share to demand that their companies have superior access to customers, hobbling new companies.  

4. Repeal our 1960 abortion law.  In the event the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade our existing abortion prohibition law would automatically be enforceable.  Repeal the law, protect the right. 

Laws matter! 

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Healthcare access

Proud To Be Endorsed by PPAZ

This is the second time that Planned Parenthood Advocates has chosen to endorse my candidacy.  Planned Parenthood serves more than 90,000 women, men, teens, and parents through preventive and restorative health care, and education.  I support evidence based sex-education, contraceptive access, preventative healthcare and cancer screening.  The efforts to keep men and women from accessing healthcare services must be stopped.  For those who are faced with the most difficult prospect of ending a pregnancy, Planned Parenthood is there, too.  But for their education and contraceptive care, many more would be faced with that most serious choice.  

Ms. N.B was the sponsor of a bizarre and unconstitutional law--requiring doctors to tell their patients that chemical abortions were reversible!  This law was based on a the theory of one doctor with a handful of patients.  Thankfully, when faced with an impending court ruling, Governor Ducey repealed the law.  That's only one example of Ms. N.B.'s effort to get between a woman and her doctor.  This session, Ms. N.B. championed a law that requires doctors to take document the reason a woman has made the most personal and difficult choice to end a pregnancy.  Doctor's already talk to their patients about domestic violence and abuse--this new law is just another attempt to invade the confidential doctor-patient relationship.  That's the last place the government belongs.  

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Campaign Q&A

Why Tonya?  

I am ready to lead Arizona into the future. I understand the importance of properly written laws and budgets that reflect our priorities. As an attorney, I understand our Constitution and know that crossing into unconstitutional territory is a useless publicity stunt. Instead, I value equality and am ready to stand with Arizona to protect against discrimination in every form, to provide the legal protections necessary to end housing, credit, and employment discrimination for all. I am ready to stand against government intrusion by supporting access to reproductive healthcare and the elimination of unnecessary regulatory schemes that stifle innovation. As a former small business owner, I understand the needs and challenges of growing a business. And, as a mother, I understand that our schools are in crisis and change is necessary to ensure our long-term success.

Restore funding to our schools, now.  

Since 2008, Arizona has de-funded public education by over $700,000,000.  The recent increase in funding does nothing to recover the cuts to our school buildings, buses, and textbooks.  In my 2016 Arizona Senate campaign I was pounding the pavement to restore school funding--my tune hasn't changed--but we have more voices joining the call.  The current system of tax credits--both corporate and individual--are keeping hundreds of millions from the general fund. That money needs to be brought back into general fund and equitably distributed in accordance with the state-wide funding priorities, like safe functional schools with properly paid teachers with manageable class sizes and current textbooks. 

Should we shine the light of day on private prisons and complete an independent examination of claims about cost-savings and private prisons?
As an attorney, I rely upon evidence to prove my cases. I fully support a fact based analysis of private prison costs so that lawmakers and Arizonan’s can evaluate the proponent’s claims. Additionally, I support a serious look at the State’s guarantee of a 90% occupancy rate in order to determine the size of the profit margin provide by empty beds and the market value of its reduction in fiscal risk for the operators. I am unaware of any other private business that receives such favorable contract terms from Arizona. It certainly encourages lawmakers to favor increased incarceration rates and lengthy sentences to justify the costs of the contracts provided to the private prisons.

Should we fund our Universities and community colleges?

The Arizona Constitution, Article 11, section 6 requires that “instruction shall be as nearly free as possible.” Our current budget does not provide any funding for community colleges, and very limited funding for our universities. Community colleges provide an opportunity for motivated students and adult-learners with the opportunity to receive vocational and technical training, as well as a low-cost entry into the four-year degree.  Many Arizonans rely upon our education system to obtain vital job-skills and technical training. Our businesses would benefit from a skilled workforce. The legislature should refocus our priorities to support students and businesses by funding education. There is room in the budget to provide for education. Instead, the legislature continues to favor funding private prisons and guaranteeing 90% occupancy.

Should we keep KidsCare, the state’s child health program?
Absolutely. The refusal to participate in KidsCare was morally and fiscally reprehensible. The rejection of federal dollars to provide health insurance and health stability to children in families with incomes that fell between AHCCCS and federal ACA subsidies was a political position that rejected the needs of our communities. Further, Arizona’s taxpayers sent their tax dollars to the federal government, and the benefit was spread out to the other 49 states with KidsCare, while uninsured children either went without healthcare or their parents were chased by debt collectors for the unpaid bills. We know how every legislator voted in the 2016 expansion of KidsCare. We can use that single vote to test their character.

 

 Your vote counts!  

Your vote counts!  

What Does “Participating” Mean in the Voter Guide?

Many of you have asked what does it mean in the Voter Guide when it says “Participating” or “Traditional” next to the candidates name?

“Participating” means that I have qualified for campaign funding through the Citizens Clean Elections Commission.  In order to qualify, I ( and my volunteers) obtained 296 contributions of $5 each from Democrat or Independent voters who live in my district.  Those individual contributions signify that the voters support my candidacy.

Why run a clean campaign? I chose to run a “participating” or “clean” campaign.  I wanted to send a signal that this district is ready for change.  Knocking on doors to convince people to hand you $5 in exchange for a sheet of paper isn’t easy.  But when they do, there is a contract between you–they have invested in the idea of a candidate who is ready to give them a voice in the legislature, and I am committed to represent their interests at the Legislature.

Some people wrongly believe that clean elections funding is taxpayer money–It IS NOT. In fact, the funding comes from the $5 contributions, a 10% surcharge on civil and criminal court penalties, fines paid by those who misuse the system and voluntary contributions.  The Clean Elections system was put into law by voter initiative.

For me, the most important aspect of Clean Elections funding is that it allows candidates to focus on speaking to voters, not collecting contributions from big donors.  I chose to participate in the system and voluntarily limited my ability to fund raise to around $4000 in “early contributions”  it is seed money to get the ball rolling on the campaign. This choice limits my ability buy signs and send mailers, but I wanted my focus to be on the voters.

What am I up against?  My opponent is “Traditional.”  This means that she has no limit on her ability to seek donations from lobbyists, individuals and businesses.  As an incumbent, she has a direct line to many donors.  She has used that pipeline and raised around $50,000 last election–even though she didn’t have an opponent.  Since she first ran for office, she has raised over $289,000 to obtain and keep her post–one that pays a base salary of $24,000 per year. (followthemoney.org)

On the other hand, I have great job– one that will be waiting for me at the end of the legislative session.  I am interested in joining the legislature to assure that Arizona does what is right for its citizens and its long term economic growth.

Here are a few volunteers after a long session of knocking on doors around Acoma Park!  They did a great job and I am grateful for their work!  

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