February 25, 2022

Longdon Joins Nationwide Task Force to Combat 'Shoot First' Laws

Arizona House Democrats, Press Release

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Assistant House Democratic Leader Jen1tifer Longdon announced today that she has joined a new task force of state legislators committed to combat Shoot First laws, also known by the gun lobby as Stand Your Ground. On Thursday, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action announced the task force as part of a nationwide effort to reverse these laws. The new task force will double down on national efforts to restore self-defense laws in states, either by repealing Shoot First policies, reforming laws to ensure aggressors and gun extren1ists cannot claim self-defense, or preventing the expansion of Shoot First Laws to additional states.

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“We need more com1non-sense gun violence reform. Shoot First laws are inconsistently applied, encourage vigilantism and make no one safer, particularly people of color,” said Representative Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix. “I’m proud to join this movement to help rethink and reframe this important debate. It will save lives lost to needless gun violence.”

March 18, 2022

My View: How my new health insurance helped me get my life back

Jennifer Longdon – Contributing writer

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One minute, I was a healthy young businesswoman and the primary breadwinner for my family; the next, I was fighting for my life.

I was paralyzed just below the collarbone, and placed in a medically induced coma while my lungs healed. The severity of my injuries and length of my recovery eventually cost me my job and the health coverage it provided. My medical bills soared to over $1 million, costing my family our home and forcing us to declare bankruptcy.

Without insurance, I wasn’t able to afford the continued medical care I required. Thankfully, I found Medicare Advantage. Enrolling made a life-changing difference both for my health and my family.

Suddenly, I had access to the special equipment I needed at home to make my life easier, along with medications and complex care elements to stay healthy. None of it would have been possible without Medicare Advantage. 

Thanks to my plan’s low premium and cap on out-of-pocket expenses, I could finally simply focus on my recovery without worrying about how I would afford my next necessary treatment. I had peace of mind for the first time since the shooting.

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February 25, 2022

Arizona House passes bill requiring independent investigations on police use of force

Chelsea Curtis, Arizona Republic

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A bill requiring Arizona police agencies to independently investigate each other’s police shootings and other use of force incidents was passed in the House on Thursday. 

House Bill 2650 would also allocate more than $24 million to the creation of a new division within the Arizona Department of Public Safety focused on conducting some of the investigations. 

The bill was introduced by House Speaker Rep. Rusty Bowers and crafted with input from law enforcement leaders statewide. It also received bipartisan support with Reps. Kevin Payne (R-Peoria), Ben Toma (R-Peoria), César Chávez (D-Phoenix) and Jennifer Longdon (D-Phoenix) listed as co-sponsors. 

It was approved by the Arizona House on Thursday with a 50-9 vote and will next move onto the Senate for consideration. 

February 21, 2022

Arizona House approves bill that strengthens background checks for massage therapists

Anne Ryman, Arizona Republic

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The Arizona House passed a bill on Monday that would strengthen the criminal background process for licensed massage therapists. 

HB 2438 would require massage therapists to have fingerprint clearance cards beginning in January 2023 for initial licensure and license renewal. The legislation would also require state regulators to post online any disciplinary and non-disciplinary actions taken against licensed massage therapists.

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The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix, comes as a result of The Arizona Republic’s five-month investigation last year into sexual abuse complaints against massage therapists. The Republic’s investigation found that the licensing board gave many therapists second chances when they are accused of fondling or sexually abusing their clients. This puts customers in danger, and there is very little they can do to protect themselves

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Longdon was a massage therapist and spa consultant before her career ended in 2004 when she was paralyzed in a random drive-by shooting. 

Her bill would require an applicant to have a valid fingerprint clearance card to get a massage license or to renew a license.  Fingerprint cards are required under state law in a variety of professions, including teachers, school bus drivers and individuals who work in school classrooms. 

February 7, 2022

To stop the most onerous election restrictions from passing, Democrats are relying on GOP defectors

Emily Sacia/Cronkite News, AZ MIRROR

Ms. Sacia reports on the 99 election-related bills introduced by Arizona Republicans this session.

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While Democrats look for help from the other side of the aisle, Longdon said it shouldn’t be a partisan issue.

“What we’re really talking about here is protecting democracy, and that shouldn’t be a Democratic value or a Republican value,” Longdon said. “An accurate, secure and accessible election should be the goal of every legislator in this body.”

February 2, 2022

Arizona House panel approves massage therapy bill that requires more online transparency

Anne Ryman, Arizona Republic

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Legislation that would change the way massage therapists are background-checked passed out of the Arizona House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. 

HB 2438 would require massage therapists to have fingerprint clearance cards and would also require state regulators to post online both disciplinary and non-disciplinary actions taken against each licensed massage therapist.

The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix, comes as a result of The Arizona Republic’s five-month investigation last year into sexual abuse complaints against massage therapists. The Republic’s investigation found that the licensing board gave many therapists second chances when they are accused of fondling or sexually abusing their clients. This puts customers in danger, and there is very little they can do to protect themselves

December 29, 2021

State Rep. Jennifer Longdon joins disability advocates in fight against Arizona abortion ban

Ben Giles, KJZZ

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Rep. Jennifer Longdon joined multiple disability rights organizations and advocates urging a federal panel to uphold a decision blocking Arizona from enforcing a ban on abortions for genetic abnormalities.

In September, a federal district judge temporarily blocked enforcement of the law, which makes it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion if they know that the sole reason a woman is seeking the procedure is due to a genetic abnormality.

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Longdon, a Phoenix Democrat who was paralyzed in a random drive-by shooting, filed the amicus brief to the 9th Circuit along with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, as well as other disability advocates.

The brief states that the law “undermines its purported anti-discrimination purpose by stifling open communication between health care providers and pregnant patients about parenting children with disabilities.”

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