FAST ACTION 3/21/2021

BILL ALERTS for people who are short on time.

Use “My Bill Positions” in the RTS side bar menu to give these bills a thumbs-up or thumbs-down:

EDUCATION / CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

SB1529 – SUPPORT – Would extend county jail education programs to all inmates 21 years old and younger, regardless of a disability, who have not yet achieved a high school diploma or GED, and appropriate funds for the expanded program. The current requirement to provide education ends at age 18. Supported by the Arizona Association of County School Superintendents, Special Education Administrators Association of Arizona, and the Arizona Chapter of the National Social Workers Association.

FOSTER CHILDREN

HB2588 – SUPPORT – Would allow adolescents over age 16 in foster care to apply for certified copies of their birth registrations, as well as non-operating identification cards, without first obtaining the signature of a parent, guardian, foster parent, or employer. Adolescents in foster care may find it difficult to impossible to obtain the necessary signatures for these basic forms of identification, required for educational, vocational, and other purposes and helpful in transitioning to independence upon adulthood. Supported by American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Action Alliance, and the Arizona Chapter of the National Social Workers Association.

VETERANS

HB2706 – SUPPORT — Would appropriate $948,000 to the Arizona Department of Veterans Services to hire additional benefits counselors to assist veterans in navigating the maze of programs, services, and benefits available to them.

VULNERABLE and ELDERLY ADULTS

SB1321 – SUPPORT – Would appropriate $3 million and 43 FTEs for adult protective services. This additional level of support is MUCH NEEDED: Abuse of vulnerable adults and the elderly is on the rise, with the Arizona Department of Economic Security reporting a 20% increase in new reports of neglect, abuse, and/or exploitation in SFY 2020 (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020), with 20,166 new reports total. This increase is coming on top of an 87% increase in the monthly Adult Protective Services caseload for the prior 17 months, from July 2018 to November 2019. As a result of the psychological and financial stress and isolation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SFY 2021 numbers can be expected to be even worse.

HB2538 – SUPPORT – Would allow an adult with an intellectual or developmental disability who does not require a full or partial guardianship to enter  into a supported decision-making agreement with a supporter, enabling the disabled adult to manage their own affairs with informal assistance and guidance. Supported by the Arizona Center for Disability Law and the Arizona Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Posted in Action Alerts, Latest News.