Stephen Farley

  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #144: 1-24-12

    Howdy, Friends O'Farley…

    Things don't always happen the way you want them to. We in Tucson know that all too well.

    But as we move forward -- even from terrible events -- in a spirit of love and hope and empathy, and join together in our community as we have especially since January 8, 2011, we have shown we can rise above anything and be a beacon unto the nation. 

    As my family and I watched the video on Sunday of Gabby telling us that she would resign her seat, we cried. We feel like she is a member of our family. My daughters have joined me at Giffords events -- and asked pertinent policy questions -- for years and years, and Gabby has always been our hero. 

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #143: 1-17-12

    Howdy, Friends O'Farley… 

    The Governor's budget is out, and it seems to have taken its theme from the classic Spaghetti Western, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. But believe it or not, it is an improvement over the last couple of years' budgets that were purely Bad and Ugly. This one actually has some things that we in the minority can support.

    Here's some good: 

    --> She does ask for more funding for a few education programs, including remedial reading instruction for third graders who are behind in their performance. 

    --> $10 million in community college scholarships for veterans for workforce training.

    --> More money for investigators for Child Protective Services, and more pay for overburdened CPS field workers -- something long overdue.

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #142: 1-10-12

    Howdy, Friends O'Farley… 

    Welcome to the sixth annual weekly edition of the Farley Report, since we are now officially under way at the Capitol as the 50th Legislature, Second Regular Session. 

    I hope you all had a healing weekend among friends and family as we honored those we lost on January 8, 2011, and celebrated our strength and passion as a united community that has proven we can rise above horrific events to move forward together.

    I was particularly humbled that Gabby and her family and staff visited the Gabe Zimmerman Memorial Trailhead on Saturday, and she said about the tile artwork I created to honor Gabe, "Good stuff. Real good stuff." 

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #141: 12-21-11

    Howdy, Friends O'Farley… 

    I apologize that my Farley Report is a day late this month. It's not just because my Santa duties got in the way. Late last night the Independent Redistricting Commission approved the final draft maps for both the congressional and legislative districts, and I wanted to bring you the details right away. 

    After months and months of public hearings, public comment, and public attacks from the Governor and legislative leaders, the people's commission asserted their independence and approved a final legislative map that actually returns the control of the Arizona Legislature to the people, by making more of us legislators work harder to earn your votes. 

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #140: 11-15-11

    Howdy, Friends O'Farley… 

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…"

    We all know the first line of A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens's 1859 epic novel on the rise of the French Revolution. The last couple of weeks in Arizona politics could perfectly be described by his entire opening paragraph, no matter where we stand on the political spectrum:

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way."

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #139: 10-18-11

    Howdy, Friends O'Farley…

    It's Public Input Month at the Farley Report. Arizona needs you to step up and make your voices heard on two vital issues that will determine our future.

    First, to ensure our economy and quality of life for the rest of this century, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) needs to hear from you as it creates the alternatives analysis and environmental impact study for passenger rail between Tucson and Phoenix.

    Analysts have projected that, even if I-10 is expanded to ten lanes, by 2050 a trip to Phoenix will take more than five hours by car -- assuming there is not a dust storm in the way. We need to plan and build alternatives now.

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #138: 9-20-11

    Howdy,  Friends O'Farley,

    This month I will start with the good news -- earlier this month we won a small victory for public transit and jobs in Arizona. The bad news is that it only benefits Maricopa County residents so far, but I will try to help bring that victory to the rest of us.

    You may recall that last year the Republican majority, in its efforts to avoid closing corporate tax loopholes, decided to seize all the money from projects funded by the State Lottery, and redirect those funds to legislative appropriation from that point on. That included revenues for State Parks through the Heritage Fund, and $34 million per year for public transit systems around the state through the Local Transportation Assistance Fund (LTAF). 

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #137: 8-16-11

    Howdy,  Friends O'Farley,

    It's the back-to-school edition of the Farley Report, and, thanks to $1.6 billion in Republican cuts from the Legislature over the past three years, our public school students are now dealing with the largest class sizes in history along with new fees and old textbooks.

    So once again, our schools need your help.  Above all, get all your friends to vote for a different legislative majority in 2012, but until then, consider volunteering or donating to your local school district who could use your human and financial resources more than ever right now. You can find out more about helping TUSD here: http://tusd1.org/contents/volunteer_howto.html and helping Amphi here: http://www.amphifoundation.org/pages/fundraising/amphi_foundation_donations.htm

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #136: 7-19-11

    Howdy,  Friends O'Farley,

    Bear down, Arizona. Tomorrow most of the 357 bills passed by the Legislature will go into effect.

    Unfortunately there were no laws heard or passed that help people who are unemployed or have homes in foreclosure. Laws were passed to kill jobs, but none to create them.

    Thanks to the legislative majority, here are some of the new laws of the land: 

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #135: 6-21-11

    Howdy,  Friends O'Farley,

    Last Monday the Legislature wrapped up our third Special Session without doing anything but hammer home the message that, after 46 years of uninterrupted rule, the Republican majority is simply not on our side.

    By "our", I mean all of us -- no matter what party we belong to. As most of us out here in the trenches know, our economy is still deep in the grasp of the worst recession since the Great Depression. Unemployment knows no party labels. Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, Greens, and everyone else -- we are all suffering. Many of our fellow Arizonans have been out of work for nearly two years.

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #134: 5-17-11

    Howdy,  Friends O'Farley,

    I hope things are going well with you now that the Legislature is no longer in session.

    The last Farley Report was a bit of a downer, based on the high quantity and low quality of bills that passed through the House on that final day of session. I promise you that this report will be more hopeful.

    One cause for celebration was that the Governor actually listened to many of our Democratic arguments on the floor and vetoed 28 Republican bills, often using reasoning and actual phrases that we had used during debate.  I appreciate her listening to us -- this proved that a one-third minority can be very successful in opposition.

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #133: 4-20-11

    Howdy,  Friends O'Farley,

    I apologize for any syntactical errors -- I got 90 minutes of sleep last night.

    Tuesday morning, Representative Albert Hale--former president of the Navajo Nation--offered a blessing on the floor that served to comfort many of us all day and all night as we fought through one of the most emotionally wrenching ends-of-session that we have ever experienced. One part of the blessing went something like this:

    There is peace and beauty above us.
    There is peace and beauty below us.
    There is peace and beauty around us.
    There is peace and beauty within.

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #132: 4-12-11

    Howdy,  Friends O'Farley,

    I'm sorry for the late hour of this Farley Report this week. We worked into the evening in our second caucus of the day pushing through our bill review as we head toward the end of this disastrous legislative session. 

    The latest word from Republican leadership is that we will adjourn Sine Die (to end the session) sometime between next Tuesday and next Thursday. Unfortunately, that sense of urgency has spurred hundreds of bills to move in many nefarious ways -- many of which we hoped were stalled somewhere in the system.

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #131: 4-5-11

    Howdy,  Friends O'Farley,

    It happened as we knew it would, and it happened badly. The House budget passed on April Fools' Day, the amendments were agreed to by the Senate, and it is now awaiting the Governor's signature who has until Friday to sign it.

    Unfortunately, this budget is no joke. And despite the headlines to the contrary, it's not balanced either. They agreed to push this year's $350 million deficit into the next year, and pushed the deficit and economic recovery further down the road by slashing jobs in education, health care, and child care, shoving the budget problem onto cities and counties who will then have to raise our taxes, and dismantling our education system from K-12 to universities.

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #130: 3-29-11

    Howdy,  Friends O'Farley,

    From my Capitol office window I have been noticing small groups of Republicans going in and out of the front doors of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) all day.

    That means only one thing -- we are nearing a House budget. On the House floor this afternoon the Senate budget bills were first-read, meaning that we could do a final vote on the House budget as early as Thursday.

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #129: 3-22-11

    Howdy,  Friends O'Farley,

    Thank you to the 1,700 fellow Southern Arizonans who received CPR and first aid training from the Red Cross last Saturday as part of Gabrielle Giffords' Save A Life Saturday. What a wonderful response to a terrible tragedy -- because of your commitment, our community is now safer.

    We have just passed through a week of highs and lows at the Legislature. Since things have generally been so tough here lately, I will start with the good news.

    As you probably heard by now, last Thursday -- with seven to ten Republicans alongside all nine Democrats in opposition -- all five ineffective, unconstitutional, mean-spirited Russell Pearce driven immigration bills were killed on the floor of the Senate.

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #128: 3-15-11

    Howdy,  Friends O'Farley,

    This year's budget drama is taking shape as I write this, and the picture is not a pretty one.

    You'll recall the Governor's disastrous budget proposal from January with these features:

    --> Elimination of  healthcare and housing for 5,200 seriously mentally ill people.

    --> A quarter-billion dollar cut to our universities and community colleges, also endangering UMC and our trauma center.

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #127: 3-8-11

    Howdy,  Friends O'Farley,

    None of us will forget the events of January 8--two months ago today. I know many of us initially felt a sense of helplessness in the face of an unmitigated tragedy. What can we do in the face of senseless violence? How can we help our community recover and lead the nation to a better place?

    I know so many of you are finding your own way of doing that, whether personal or public. I have spoken with Tucsonans seeking increased commitment to solving conflicts in a civil way whether those differences are political, religious, or ethnic. Some are working to commemorate the victims in public memorials and gatherings, while others are working directly to help victims' families and others affected by the shootings. I want to tell you about another way you can help.

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #126: 3-1-11

    Howdy,  Friends O'Farley,

    I want to start off tonight with some very good news for a change. To make it even better, it's all about the future of our politics.

    The Independent Redistricting Committee -- which as of this morning consisted of two Republicans and two Democrats -- chose a true Independent as its chair, and the final makeup of the five-member committee promises to finally demonstrate true independence from the Legislature as we voters had hoped for when we set up the commission in the first place.

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  • The Farley Report from Phoenix #125: 2-22-11

    Howdy,  Friends O'Farley,

    The most important object on my desk on the House floor is my grandmother's Bible. It was given to her when she was 11 by her mother, a few months before she lost her mother to the 1918 outbreak of Spanish Influenza. 

    In the pages between the Old and New Testament are handwritten records of my family's births, marriages and deaths. My grandmother recorded her own mother's death in those pages, and the ink is smeared from her tears as she wrote that devastating event.

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Tucson small business owner, father, artist and Democrat. Fighting to give all of us a better future. State Senator for #AZLD9
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