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.
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.”
In 2004, I was the victim of a random drive by shooting.
The injuries I sustained left me paralyzed from two inches below my collarbone, and my life was forever changed.
During the early days of recovery, I was worried I’d be unable to afford the care that I desperately needed after I lost my insurance. But I found a program that could help me. To this day, I am forever grateful that I enrolled in Medicare Advantage.
At a time when I felt instability, Medicare Advantage became one thing I could count on. Even with the change in my family’s financial situation, the low premiums and cap on out-of-pocket costs meant that I was still able to afford my medication and treatments.
Now, my life and health has steadied. Without my coverage, it is hard to imagine my recovery would have gone so well.
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The law, House Bill 2395, is designed to keep walkways clear for everyone, including those who can’t “just go around” such obstacles. Public or private driveways, crosswalks and sidewalks are among the areas included in the law’s provisions.
Rep. Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix, introduced HB 2395 in January, and it passed in February on a 49-11 vote. Gov. Doug Ducey signed it in May.
Jennifer Longdon was featured in Mr. Westervelt’s news reporting about the CDC’s announcement that it would begin funding a number of state health departments to collect near real-time data on nonfatal firearm injuries.
“We know from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data that just over 100 people, on average, are killed by firearms in the U.S. every day. That includes crimes, suicides, gun accidents and shootings involving law enforcement.
But how often is someone injured by a firearm in America? Why, how and what kinds of weapons are used? What are the underlying causes? What’s the relationship between shooter and victim? What evidence-based, scalable programs work best to help prevent criminal shootings, accidents and suicides? On these and other questions, people in public health, criminal justice, policing and academia admit they lack full and adequate answers.
They’re partly in the dark because for more than two decades, the gun lobby and Republican allies in Congress effectively blocked federal funding for firearms research, arguing that such study would undermine the constitutional rights of lawful gun owners.
The CDC under Dr. Rochelle Walensky says that will now, finally, start to change.”
First elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2018, Longdon – who was paralyzed in 2004 in a random drive-by shooting – is not just a win for diversity. Representing Central Phoenix, she’s also a steadfast, articulate defender of education, equality and health care. jenforaz.com
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill on Tuesday that bans abortions based on if the child has a survivable genetic issue such as Down syndrome. “…
The proposal faced an up and down battle through the state Legislature. The measure failed in the Senate earlier this month but then the Republican-controlled House and Senate agreed to amend the bill to satisfy concerns of a lone GOP senator who apposed it. Democrats said the bill was part of a larger campaign to stigmatize abortion, while Republicans said it was about the right to life.
“This is truly a sad day in Arizona,” state Rep. Jennifer Longdon, a Democrat representing District 24, said in a tweet. “Gov. Ducey’s decision to sign SB1457 is not pro-life. It is anti-families, anti-woman, and anti-doctor,” Democratic state Rep. Diego Espinoza of Tolleson tweeted. “I’m disappointed to see Arizona moving in this direction, ignoring the needs and desires of doctors, women, and families for an extreme political agenda.”
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The sweeping anti-abortion bill has other provisions, including one that confers all civil rights to unborn children. Democrats call that “personhood” provision a backdoor way to allow criminal charges against a woman who has an abortion.
In addition to the ban on abortions for genetic abnormalities and the “personhood” provision, the bill bans mail delivery of abortion-inducing medication, allows the father or maternal grandparents of a fetus aborted due to a genetic issue to sue, and bans the spending of any state money toward organizations that provide abortion care.
The measure also requires fetal remains to be buried or cremated, and it forbids state universities from providing abortion care.
. . .
* * * During Thursday’s budget talks in the House, members of the minority party not only criticized some of the appropriations and policy pieces passed by Republicans, but they also highlighted what isn’t in the budget. Democrats, through amendments that consistently failed on party lines, tried to add funding for full day kindergarten, for roads on tribal lands and to expand eligibility to children health insurance programs.
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Republicans limit debate in retaliation
Before it took up the budget bills, the House started its day with a rule change to limit debate, which House Speaker Rusty Bowers said was a response to Democratic lawmakers leaving the Capitol on Tuesday to delay passage of the budget by denying a quorum.
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The biggest change limited discussion of bills in what’s known as Committee of the Whole, where lawmakers debate and amend legislation before it goes up for a final vote. Normally, that process has no time limit, and sometimes individual bills are debated for hours as amendments are considered. Democrats often introduce amendments and debate them at length to draw attention to issues, knowing that the amendments lack the Republican support they’d need to pass. But House Republicans on Thursday limited consideration of each bill to just 30 minutes.
Democrats were livid.
“This is what I want you to know, Arizona. They’re not silencing my voice. … They’re silencing your voice, Arizona. Each one of us represents a quarter million of you. And we’re going to stay here and fight with everything we have, even if autocratic decisions try to shut us down,” said Rep. Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed legislation that makes it a crime to park a vehicle so that enough of a sidewalk is blocked to prevent someone using a wheelchair from passing.
It was already illegal to park on a sidewalk, but the bill signed by the Republican governor on Wednesday clarifies that even partially blocking a walkway is against the law.
House Bill 2395 was sponsored by Democratic Rep. Jennifer Longdon of Phoenix.
. . .
A sweeping anti-abortion bill that one OB-GYN called “unconstitutional, medically unsound and dangerous” is now in the hands of Gov. Doug Ducey, a “proudly pro-life” Republican who has never vetoed an abortion measure.
After months of debate and a series of last-ditch procedural maneuvers, the contentious Senate Bill 1457 passed out of the House and Senate on party-line votes Thursday and awaits action from Ducey.
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Democrats called the legislation extreme and unconstitutional, saying it would threaten the doctor-patient relationship, in turn jeopardizing women’s health. They pointed to a host of medical associations that opposed the measure and slammed Republicans for failing to provide for children with genetic abnormalities after they are born.
“Look at how we pay and train caregivers, how we treat people in long term care facilities and how we’ve been willing to put people with disabilities at the back of the line as we deal with COVID austerity,” said Rep. Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix, arguing that, “as a society, we do not value disabled lives.”
“The spina bifida bill I introduced this year went nowhere because of the price tag,” she said. “This is what a pregnant person sees as they face this decision, as they weigh the impact of this diagnosis, as they wonder: Who will protect this child after I am gone? This bill does nothing to ensure the health and well-being of children born with disabilities.”
A new training program is working to bridge the divide between Arizona’s law enforcement and its more than 1.1 million people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
The training is the product of a partnership between the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, often referred to as AZPOST. Together, the agencies created an eight-part training module that will highlight best practices for serving the deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind community members.
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Matt Giordano, AZPOST’s executive director, said he is “always looking for new, innovative ways” to foster conversation and improve relationships between law enforcement and the public, and that this partnership would do just that.
“This is one that I’m very proud of,” he said.
. . . Giordano discussed how the partnership began in state Rep. Jennifer Longdon’s office several years ago.
Prior to working at AZPOST, Giordano served as a police commander and said that’s when he met Longdon. After he started at AZPOST in 2018, he said Longdon called him and asked for a meeting.
When he walked into her office, Green was also there. The partnership was born in 2018.
“Everything came together beautifully,” Green said.
. . .
* * *
While it often sounds at the Legislature like the 2020 election never really ended, some contentious proposals that were bogged down for years are breaking through.
And Democrats have seen more of their bills advance than usual in the Republican-controlled Legislature.
The year has brought new leadership on both sides of the aisle in the House. This is Rep. Ben Toma’s first year as majority leader and Democrats chose Rep. Reginald Bolding, D-Laveen, as minority leader and Rep. Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix, as assistant leader.
“Reps. Longdon and Bolding have been a lot more interested in getting something for their caucus and for their members done than they are in making some political point,” said Toma, R-Peoria.
“Because of that, we could have reasonable conversations, and you’ve seen a lot more Democrat bills make it through the chamber than ever have before.”
. . .
COVID has brought great uncertainty into our lives in this past year.
We worry about how it will affect our own health, our families and friends; how it will impact our jobs and our ability to care for those we love. One thing we should not worry about is being able to afford appropriate medical attention for our children. Whether it’s an earache, a bump or sprain, or fear of COVID, no family should have to choose between a child’s health and a family’s survival.
Yet 30,000 of Arizona’s children are not covered by a health care plan. In those families, there are surely moments of uncertainty: do we go to the doctor or do we pay the rent or buy groceries? Will my child recover if we just “tough it out?”
This dilemma is exactly why Arizona’s Kids Care program exists. For every dollar Arizona invests, we get five more to cover these kids. With an additional $12 million in this year’s state budget (and $47 million in federal matching funds), we could insure those 30,000 kids. This is a worthy investment in common compassion and in our next generation.
These wrenching decisions to forego treatment can have lifelong consequences that impact the individual as well as our bottom line. I live with the real effects of such a decision. As a child, I had a strep throat that my parents could not afford to have treated. Without a doctor’s care that strep throat turned into scarlet fever. That, in turn, became rheumatic fever. A common and treatable childhood illness became a chronic condition that ultimately did permanent damage to my heart.
I sometimes fainted with exertion during childhood games of kickball. I somehow outgrew that and became very athletic as a teen. Then, in my 30s following the birth of my child, I developed an irregular heartbeat that required surgical intervention. Once again, I healed and engaged in performance athletics. However, just recently, that word “chronic” reared its ugly head once more and I developed a new irregular heartbeat that required non-surgical invention. I am again on the mend and expect a robust recovery.
Each of these cardiac events is directly attributable to that untreated strep throat in my childhood. Tens of thousands of dollars in medical treatments and lost productivity could have been prevented with a few dollars in antibiotics – had my parents been able to afford them.
I am not alone. Dentists commonly treat patients like me with advance antibiotics even before a teeth cleaning. How many of these 30,000 children who are currently uninsured will end up with lifelong consequences of childhood disease – from ear infections to strep throat to potentially COVID?
“Pennywise and pound foolish” is a common cliché. Yet this thinking has prevented KidsCare expansion. We’re told “Arizona can’t afford it.” I believe I am case-in-point on why Arizona absolutely must invest in our children’s health.
My colleagues in the House Democratic Caucus and I are pushing hard to include KidsCare expansion in the state budget, but we need your voices behind us. These children should be covered simply because it’s right. No one should suffer needlessly when a few dollars in treatment could ease their illness. We should also do this because it’s prudent. Treatment now can save tens of thousands of future treatments. We have an opportunity to expand KidsCare now. We should take it.
At Monday’s meeting of the Arizona House Health and Human Services Committee, members heard testimony in favor of a bill that would add spina bifida to the list of developmental disabilities. . . .
House Bill 2540’s sponsor, Rep. Jennifer Longdon, says spina bifida leads to harmful developmental delays. Including spina bifida on the list of developmental disabilities would make individuals with spina bifida eligible for crucial medical support, she said. Currently, children with spina bifida stop receiving support from the Department of Developmental Disabilities after age six.
. . .
Longdon spoke in support of the bill to the committee:
“The issue is making sure that we give folks the support they need to deal with the developmental delays that have come from this disability acquired at birth so that they can live [their] lives to the fullest.”
The cost of the bill is estimated to be between $2.5 million and $42 million in general fund money, with the ultimate cost depending on various details associated with the adoption of the new definition, such as hiring new staff.
. . .
“Arizona Legislators from both parties condemned the actions of protestors at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
“Today we witnessed a violent, unlawful, seditious and un-American coup attempt in our nation’s Capital,” said the statement, attributed to Minority Leader Reginald Bolding, Assistant Leader Jennifer Longdon and Whip Domingo DeGrazia. “It’s important to restate that there has been no credible evidence of election fraud brought forward in nearly 100 separate lawsuits throughout our country, and absolutely no justifications for armed extremists to break into the Capitol and try to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power that has defined our nation from its beginning.
“This is an insurrection based on lies. More importantly, their disgraceful efforts will not work. Our democracy will prevail, and Joe Biden will be sworn in as our next president, and our nation will be better for it. The Republican elected officials and party leaders, including members of our own Arizona State Legislature and Congressional delegations, who participated, planned and incited this behavior should bow their heads in shame and must be held accountable.””
Jen Longdon for House
PO Box 7295
Phoenix, AZ 85011
Jen Longdon for House
PO Box 7295
Phoenix, AZ 85011
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