ARIZONA STATE of the STATE 2013 SPEECH by GOVERNOR JAN BREWER HIGHLIGHTS THE DIVIDE BETWEEN RICH, POOR, RED, BLUE AND MEXICAN, TASK FORCE TO STUDY BORDER SMUGGLING, SCHOOL FUNDS and AZ-FED LAND
Monday’s festivities were scheduled to include the swearing in of 30 Senate members and 60 members of the House of Representatives, keynote speakers and Gov. Jan Brewer’s State of the State speech.
Arizona’s newly retired U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl kicked off opening day of the 51st Arizona Legislature by urging state lawmakers to partner with the federal government on two of his legacy issues, immigration and water rights.
But some minutes into the speech, Kyl, 70, cut short his remarks and left, saying he didn’t feel well.
The highlights of the address are the governor seeking more CPS workers, more funding for schools, including a pay-for-performance plan, reform the sales tax code, creation of a few task forces including one to manage federal lands in Arizona (which the BLM, Forest Service and National Park Service will have something to say about) and one to combat human trafficking, a pledge to do something about immigration reform after the border is “secure” and the biggee – to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to 133 percent of the federal poverty line.
All except the human trafficking and the state natural resources task forces will receive considerable resistance from her Republican colleagues who still control the House and Senate.
This is Arizona’s legacy. We were the last of the continental states … carved from rugged country … a territorial landscape equally harsh and beautiful. Arizona’s challenges are great, but not greater than our capacity to meet them…Gov. Jan Brewer 2013
ARIZONA LEGISLATURE WEBPAGE
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SECOND ANNIVERSARY of JANUARY EIGHTH SHOOTING LAUNCHES GIFFORDS POLITICAL ACTION PACK TO FUND and BACK LAWMAKERS AGAINST THE RICH GUN LOBBY
Tears were shed Tuesday as Tucsonans remembered the shooting two years ago that killed six and wounded nineteen. Bells rang throughout Tucson at 10:10am, where ever folks were-they stopped or went outside where churches and schools rang their bells, nineteen times, all in memory of Tucson victims and the hundreds victimized throughout the United States in eleven attacks since the Tucson shooting two years ago. Eleanor Percello, from Marana, wiped tears away Tuesday morning at the Safeway at Ina and Oracle Roads where the shooter killed nine year old Christina Greene, Gabriel Zimmerman 30, and Judge M. Roll, Dorothy Morris, 76; Dorwan Stoddard, 76; and Phyllis Schneck, 79. After the shooting in Tucson thousands visited the shrines and attended the vigils, each has shed a tear, you can’t help but feel touched by all the love, concern and sentiment expressed, “Let a new era of love begin with me” wrote one, “from this day forward I will…” said another. One was inspired to paint John Lennon’s words from “IMAGINE” on flagstone, including “Imagine all the people living Life in Peace”. President Obama came to Tucson and grieved. Since then Congress has done nothing.
FIGHTING GUNS: USA TODAY OP/ED by GABBY GIFFORDS and MARK KELLY
For some the event was life-changing…certainly no lives have changed more than Congresswomen Gabby Giffords who was shot in the Tucson shooting, and her husband, Mark Kelly. Today, Mark and Gabby announced “Americans for Responsible Solutions” an action pack to raise money to combat the gun lobby they say.
In a second anniversary OpEd in USA TODAY, Kelly and Giffords writes Americans for Responsible Solutions, which they launched on January 8th, to invite people from around the country to join a national conversation about gun violence prevention, ARS will raise the funds necessary to balance the influence of the gun lobby, and will line up squarely behind leaders who stand for what’s right. Until now says ARS, the gun lobby’s political contributions, advertising and lobbying have dwarfed spending from anti-gun violence groups. No longer. With Americans for Responsible Solutions engaging millions of people about ways to reduce gun violence and funding political activity nationwide, legislators will no longer have reason to fear the gun lobby. Other efforts such as improving mental health care and opposing illegal guns are essential, but as gun owners and survivors of gun violence, we have a unique message for Americans.
We have experienced too much death and hurt to remain idle. Our response to the Newtown massacre must consist of more than regret, sorrow and condolence. The children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and all victims of gun violence deserve fellow citizens and leaders who have the will to prevent gun violence in the future.
I was shot in the head two years ago today. Since then, my extensive rehabilitation has brought excitement and gratitude to our family. But time and time again, our joy has been diminished by new, all too familiar images of death on television: the breaking news alert, stunned witnesses blinking away tears over unspeakable carnage, another community in mourning. America has seen an astounding 11 mass shootings since a madman used a semiautomatic pistol with an extended ammunition clip to shoot me and kill six others. Gun violence kills more than 30,000 Americans annually.
Dear fellow Americans,
Two years ago today, a mentally ill young man shot me in the head, killed six of my constituents, and wounded 12 others. My recovery has been tough, but I’ve worked very hard, and I feel lucky to be with my family and have this opportunity to do something important for my country.
Since that terrible day, America has seen 11 more mass shootings, but no plan from Congress to reduce gun violence. After the massacre of 20 children and six of their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary, however, it’s clear: This time must be different. As moderate, gun owners and victims of gun violence, we know there are some common sense things this country can do to reduce gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership. And we’re not alone.The vast majority of Americans – including three-quarters of NRA members – support efforts that promote responsible gun ownership. But a gun lobby driven by an extreme ideological fringe has used big money and influence to stop Congress from acting.
That’s why, today, we are inviting you to join us as we launch Americans for Responsible Solutions. Our leaders must take action to reduce gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership. Please encourage your family and friends to join the conversation by sharing Americans for Responsible Solutions now.
We can’t take back the bullet that went through my head or fill the 20 empty beds in a Newtown neighborhood, but we can come together right now to prevent future tragic shootings wrote Gabby Giffords and husband, Mark Kelly.
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