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Statement from Dana Wolfe Naimark about HB 2372 – TANF Lifetime Time Limit

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“In his state of the state speech and in his budget proposal, Governor Ducey announced that we should reward those who are making an honest effort to earn their way off Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance. In the name of cost-savings, Governor Ducey signed a budget two years ago putting Arizona children behind children in every other state in the nation by cutting the lifetime limit for cash assistance to 12 months. Last month, Ducey said the lifetime limit should go back to 24 months if parents are actively looking for a job and getting their kids to school.

“Unfortunately, the bill pushed by the Governor and passed by House Republicans today does not reflect that. In fact, a parent who is actively looking for a job and getting their kids to school on the day they hit the twelve month lifetime time limit will not have the opportunity for additional months of assistance if they have made a single mistake in the past twelve months. In language presented for the first time today, the bill adds new punishments for families who fall out of compliance – even temporarily — with any of the rules during their first 12 months of benefits.

“These punishments endanger children by wiping out minimal support that keeps families in their homes, food on the table, and shoes on their feet. Seven out of ten participants in TANF cash assistance are children. Arizona reduced TANF benefits more than any other state between 1996 and 2016 –nearly 50%. And Arizona spends less than 2% of our TANF block grant on work activities for parents.

“This bill is not the bridge out of poverty the governor described. Instead, it continues our track record of neglecting the poorest children.

“Representative Weninger, the sponsor of HB 2372, followed Governor Ducey in supporting the harmful 12 month lifetime limit two years ago. That was a mistake that the legislature should fix. But no lawmaker should hide behind a talking point about helping families out of poverty, while voting for a bill that puts children at risk.”

See TANF Snapshot for more information.



You Are Invited to Take Part in a Listening Session on Health Care

canstockphoto1969821As Congress continues to debate the fate of the Affordable Care Act, we encourage you to join us tomorrow evening for a Children’s Action Alliance’s Congressional Health Care Listening Session in Phoenix.

Members of Congress are in recess and in their home districts this week. We have invited Arizona’s senators and district representatives to participate, either by attending themselves or sending a staff aide.

We will give policy updates about health care and present questions to Congressional representatives, focusing on four broad policy areas:

• Coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and annual and lifetime caps
• Medicaid (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS, in Arizona)
• The Health Insurance Marketplace
• Children with special health care needs

The event is being held:
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
6:00 p.m.
Longview Elementary School
1209 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix

Parking is available in the lot northeast of campus off 12th Street

This is an opportunity for you learn more about our health care landscape and share your questions, concerns and hopes for the future of your health care. Attendees will be invited to submit questions and comments as part of the session.

Policy Brief: Arizona Families and Economy Count on the Affordable Care Act

Our latest policy brief: Arizona Families and Economy Count on Health Coverage in the Affordable Care Act. ACA Fact book

Join Advocates for Public Education at the State Capitol Monday

Monday is Presidents’ Day — Bring your kids and a couple of friends to celebrate with fellow champions for public education and show our elected officials our support for investments in teachers and students.
AZ Schools Now will meet at 10:30 in front of the State House of Representatives, 1700 W. Washington in Phoenix. Free parking is available directly across the street at Wesley Bolin Plaza.

• Get a tour of the capitol
• Share your personal story about why public schools matter
• Sign up on the legislative system so you can take positions on bills in the future from your own computer
• Watch the lawmakers in session and get a shout out from a legislator to show our strength
• Bring information about vouchers to your own representatives and senator


New Study Finds Repeal of Health Care Law Would Damage Arizona’s Economy

canstockphoto2101033Your efforts to reach out to Arizona senators John McCain and Jeff Flake to oppose a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a simultaneous solid replacement are working! Whether you have called or messaged them in the last month, Congress is holding off on repealing the ACA.

Here are two important new tools to help our delegation make the right decisions for Arizona. Children’s Action Alliance commissioned the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU to study the specific economic impact in Arizona of repealing federal funding for the ACA. The results are stunning: wiping out 60,000 jobs and putting the brakes on our economic growth. The analysis shows that repeal will bring about something we’ve never seen in Arizona before: a health care recession.

Here is our latest fact sheet on why repealing without replacing the ACA is bad for Arizona families.

Congress will be on recess between February 20 – 24, so our senators and representatives will be back home in Arizona. Stay on the lookout for emails and alerts from us to give you an opportunity to reach out to them in person.

Education Advocates Unite for AZ Schools Now Town Hall

Unite for change and join AZ Schools Now for a town hall meeting on K-12 education. With K-12 initiatives at the top of the legislative agenda, now is the time to be part of the discussion about important education measures being considered at the Capitol.

When: Thursday, February 16, 2017
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where: Central High School Auditorium
4525 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix
Click the photo below to RSVP. canstockphoto15080176

You’re Invited: Early Childhood Legislative Day

az-leg-emailer-logoCome join the fun at the State Capitol! Early childhood champions are gathering to raise awareness of the importance of the early years at Early Childhood Legislative Day.

Network with friends and legislators, as we show how early childhood development and health contribute to healthy children, third grade literacy, enhanced economic development and strong communities! Thanks to the sponsorship of the Arizona Early Childhood Alliance (AZECA).

When: February 13, 2017
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: Arizona State Capitol House Lawn
1700 W. Washington St. Phoenix, 85007

This is a vital opportunity to show policymakers how early childhood links to their priorities and the impact early childhood investments have made in communities all across our beautiful state. If you like, you can also visit with your legislators and view a House or Senate committee in action.

When you get there, be sure to stop by the information desk on the House lawn for a schedule of events and information you can share with legislators and staff.

RSVP here with your name, address, organization and whether you would be interested in meeting with a policymaker from your district.