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Buckle up

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National healthcare policy has been a frightening rollercoaster lately. Unfortunately, it's not over yet. 

Affordable Care Act - REPEAL WITHOUT REPLACE

For months we’ve seen Congress introduce ACA reform bills that would take healthcare from hundreds of thousands in Arizona, cause tens of thousands to lose their jobs and threaten our state’s entire healthcare system. 

The latest proposal introduced by Senators Graham and Cassidy appears to be losing momentum, due in part to opposition by Senator John McCain, who has criticized the lack of transparency in the process. In Arizona, Graham-Cassidy is expected to reduce healthcare funding by $1.7 billion in 2020, eliminate Medicaid expansion for low-income adults, make insurance more expensive and remove protections requiring coverage for pre-existing conditions. 

Unfortunately, and inexplicably, Governor Ducey expressed strong support for the bill, even before the impact to Arizona's healthcare system and economy was known. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “beginning in 2027, Cassidy-Graham would be virtually identical to a repeal-without-replace bill" due to the phase out of all federal Medicaid funding.


Children’s Health Insurance Program - KidsCare AT RISK

She_can't_achieve_her_dreams_if_she's_not_healthy_(5).jpgFunding for the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), called “KidsCare” in Arizona, must be reauthorized by Congress before it expires on September 30. KidsCare offers health coverage for children of low-income families who are working and earning too much to qualify for Medicaid coverage, but whose income is too low to afford insurance through marketplace exchanges. KidsCare is a proven, cost-effective program that incentivizes parents to work, while allowing their children access to healthcare during their critical childhood years. 

If the program is reauthorized, but with reduced funding, KidsCare still faces grave threats. During the 2018 budget process, there was a last-minute provision added that will freeze enrollment in our KidsCare program if federal funding levels drop. Families who earn enough will move out of the program, and no new families will be able to sign up. Arizona has been down this misguided path before; beginning in 2009, enrollment was frozen for five years, and Arizona became the third worst state for uninsured children in the nation.  

Along with a bipartisan coalition of State Representatives, I am urging our congressional delegation to reauthorize funding at current levels. Without reauthorization, federal funding for KidsCare will end, and over 23,000 Arizona children will lose their healthcare. 


WHAT TO DO?

Contact Senators Flake and McCain:

  1. Thank Senator John McCain for his stated opposition to Graham-Cassidy (602) 952-2410
  2. Ask Senator Jeff Flake to oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill and vote NO if it comes to a vote  (602) 840-1891
  3. Ask them BOTH to seek reauthorization of full funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program before the Sept. 30 deadline

Contact Governor Ducey:

  1. Remind Governor Ducey that Graham-Cassidy will take healthcare from thousands and cause serious harm to our economy and healthcare system;
  2. Ask him to advocate for Arizona children by seeking reauthorization of full funding for CHIP/KidsCare  
  3. Governor Doug Ducey: (602) 542-4331 or (520) 628-6580

We need this rollercoaster to end. I will continue to work for reforms that protect healthcare while improving access and affordability of care.  
Please join me at my next Coffee and Conversation, Saturday, October 7 from 9:30-11am at the Mesquite Library, 4525 Paradise Village Pkwy N, Phoenix, AZ 85032. Christine Marsh, State Senate candidate and 2016 Arizona Teacher of the Year will be my guest. Click here to RSVP.

Thank you,
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Kelli Butler
State Representative, District 28
(602) 926-5156
kbutler@azleg.gov

It's a waiting game

Whatever happens with healthcare deliberations in Washington, we know there will be serious, dangerous implications for Arizona.
 
Yes, the current Affordable Care Act needs modifications. We all want reforms, including more affordable premium costs and more choices in the insurance marketplace. But surely we don’t want to return to the day when insurers denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, set lifetime limits, and kicked children off parents’ insurance too soon.   

In Arizona, one out of five, or nearly two million people, are covered by Medicaid. Our system works well and is praised as a national model of efficiency. However, the proposed federal cuts to Medicaid would shift payment responsibility, and massive financial risk, to the states. As a member of the House Health Committee, I know the proposed measures will undermine our current healthcare system, damage our economy and gamble with the health of millions of people, including children and seniors.

It is summer, I know. There are many distractions, both here and in Washington. But this is so important and we need to be paying attention.  Here’s what you can do to help:

Call both Sen. McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake; tell them to support healthcare proposals that provide affordable coverage for more, not fewer Arizonans:

Sen. McCain:  (202) 224-2235 or (602) 952-2410
Sen. Flake:  (202) 224-4521 or (602) 840-1891

And if you’re in town, stop by for Coffee and Conversation this Saturday, July 29, from 9-10 am at the Devonshire Senior Center, located at 2802 E. Devonshire Avenue, Phoenix.  Christine Marsh, who has announced her candidacy for LD28 State Senate, will join me.  

Thank you for your support!  

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Four weeks. Two committees. One thousand bills.

Four weeks.  Two committees.  One thousand bills.

Although the workload is demanding, I am invigorated by my work as your state representative.  I serve on both the House Banking and Insurance Committee and the House Health Committee, and I am pleased that my first bill, HB2422, has been assigned to the House Health Committee.  If enacted, this bill would provide pregnant women on AHCCCS with dental care, improving both the health of the mother and her unborn child.  In fact, the Arizona Republic's Editorial board recently wrote about my efforts to promote oral health.

I am also working with members of my Democratic caucus on a series of bills that would reallocate and prioritize spending to provide a 4 percent raise for teachers statewide in 2018.  Although we have seen little work on the Governor’s budget proposal, we know that his promised raise for teachers of 2 percent over five years is horribly inadequate.  Worse, Republican legislators have introduced bills that could expand vouchers and eliminate $211 million in desegregation funding, taking even more money from our public schools.  Scottsdale Unified would lose over $7 million with the loss of desegregation funds.  

I remain determined to do what I can to raise awareness of the needs of our public schools.  My first commitment as a legislator is the restoration of funds to public education.  That is why I ran for office.  There are ongoing opportunities to discuss our priorities as a state and these discussions will become increasingly important when we begin the budget approval process.  I will always speak up on behalf of Arizona’s teachers and students and I hope you will, too.  Here’s how you can help:

•  Contact your state legislators and ask them to vote against any expansion of the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (vouchers) and any reduction in desegregation funding. 

•  Plan now to attend my Constituent Coffee on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 9:30-11am to discuss how we can all be most effective in influencing the decisions made at the Capitol.  Bring your neighbors and friends.  We will gather at the North Mountain Brewing Company at 522 E. Dunlap.  

Thank you as always for your support.  It means a great deal to me.  Please contact me with any questions or for more information on a particular bill or issue.  

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Kelli Butler

State Representative, Legislative District 28

What's this Single Shot thing anyway?


Early voting began this morning! Ballots are being mailed and early voting centers across the state are open!

We have come so far in the past year! For months now I have been knocking doors, introducing myself and my vision for Arizona, and talking with voters about the issues important to us all. 

This isn’t about me though, it’s about all of us - all of you. I am so humbled and inspired to see hundreds of volunteers, giving thousands of hours, knocking tens of thousands of doors, to help elect me to the State House. The faith and trust you’ve placed in me motivates me every day. We’re not done yet! The next phase is the most critical to our victory in November.

As voting begins, I want to stress the importance of the Single Shot Strategy for my House race. 

In Arizona, two representatives serve each legislative district. By choosing to vote only for me, and not using your second vote, it helps your vote go farther. The Single Shot Strategy has proven effective in allowing us to overcome the Democratic voter registration deficit in the past. It enables us to virtually ensure that at least one Democrat is elected to the State House — the only way the moderate values of our district are represented in a balanced way.

Please share the Single Shot Strategy with others, as it is vital to my campaign’s success.

If you vote by mail, please look for your ballot in the coming days.
If you’re voting in person at an Early Voting Center, click here to find locations.

As we enter the home stretch, I want to thank you for your continued support and invite you to get involved! This is a historic election for our state and your efforts these last 27 days will help us return to a balanced legislature, where good ideas from both sides of the aisle are given a fair shot at consideration.

Thank you and Happy Voting!

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Kelli Butler

Did you see today's headlines?

Screen_Shot_2016-09-20_at_12.14.15_PM.pngWe hear the catchphrases all the time:
Job Killing Regulations! 
Big Government Regulations!
 
Those are quick and easy buzzwords. After all, who can't think of an instance when regulation and bureaucracy was an inconvenience or even an enormous barrier? 
 
But let's dig a little deeper. The front page of today’s Arizona Republic will tell you - there is a need for common sense rules to protect our safety. Unsafe buses, crumbling school buildings and unsafe drinking water are the result of too little oversight and not enough accountability. Adequate funding is critical too.
 
It is the duty of the legislature to thoughtfully decide which regulations are vital for public safety and well being -- which are unnecessary and which, perhaps, don’t go far enough. There are bad regulations that overly burden new businesses or reduce competition, but there are good regulations that keep our air, water and working conditions safe. As a small business owner of my family’s dental practice, I’ve dealt with my share of regulations. Anyone who works in the healthcare industry will tell you - some just create reams of paperwork, but other regulations ensure your family's safety. 
 
As your State Representative, I will do the work necessary to decide which regulations are an unnecessary burden, and which are vital for our safety and wellbeing. I will ask questions, do the homework and most of all, I will not allow special interests to influence my vote. 
 
Don’t fall for the easy line -- “Regulations Are Bad.”  Some are, some aren’t. We must elect leaders who will honestly determine the difference.
 
In order to be successful in this election, I need your support. No matter how large or small, every contribution helps. Every phone call or door knock helps. Please do what you can!
 
Thank you for your support!
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Kelli Butler



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Go Team!




Labor Day traditionally marks the beginning of the General Election campaign, and I want you to know that I am ready!

After a year-long campaign, we finally know whose names will be on the ballot next to mine, but my positions on the issues will not change and my campaign strategy remains the same.

I will continue to talk about the importance of supporting our public schools and state universities in order to ensure that every child has educational opportunities for academic success, and that Arizona has the educated workforce needed to bring new businesses to our state.

And I will continue to knock on doors and make phone calls in order to reach as many voters as possible before the Nov. 8 election. I know that our message resonates with voters and I also know it is my job to lead the campaign necessary to get the message out!

Thank you for everything you have done to help with my campaign in this past year and I ask you to commit to doing whatever you can in these next 60 days. Arizona’s children and families are counting on us, and I am counting on you!

Let’s go!



Kelli Butler

Can you believe it?

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As of last night, my votes totaled 11,813.  If you cast your vote for me in the Primary election — thank you!

I am grateful and honored to have earned 11,813 votes of confidence in my ability to represent you at the Capitol. 

We’ve been working hard for over a year. Many of you have helped by knocking doors, calling voters and volunteers, and hosting events in your homes.  It has been truly wonderful to see so much support from our community. I’m grateful for the confidence you’ve placed in me and I will continue to work hard to earn your support and trust.

The General Election campaign begins today.  We now know my opponents. And we know what is at stake. We must elect leaders who will restore funding to our public schools, demand improvement from agencies that keep children safe and focus on an economic development agenda that will improve our economy. 

There will be challenges and opportunities in the remaining 9 weeks — and we must be ready. 

We know this district will be targeted by massive amounts of undisclosed dark money, attempting to distract us with negativity and divisiveness. I am committed to running a positive campaign, focused on the issues. But I am going to need your help to share our message. Here’s how you can get involved:

Volunteer

Donate

Place a sign in your yard

Thank you for your support - and your continued help!

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Kelli Butler

The Future Begins Tomorrow, With You




It is so important that you vote -- we need to go on record to support candidates who will focus on improving public education, bringing quality jobs to our great state and working in a bi-partisan manner to create sensible public policy that works for all Arizonans.

Many of you receive mailed ballots and have already returned them. If so, thank you for voting!

If you are a poll voter or did not mail your ballot back, you can find your polling location here.

Polls will be open tomorrow between 6 am - 7 pm.

If you would like to receive mail-in ballots for future elections, sign up using your driver's license number here.

Thank you so much for your support of my campaign. As we move into the General Election, I am ready to get to work to make sure voters know the differences between my opponents and me on the issues. I hope you'll want to get involved -- with your help, I know we will be successful in building a better Arizona for our future!

Our office is located at 3101 E. Shea Blvd and we're here working hard from 10:00am - 7:00pm every day. We've been phone banking daily and canvassing on evenings and weekends for over a year and we are just getting started!

See you at the polls!



Kelli Butler

A Monumental Occasion

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Happy 100th Birthday to America’s National Park Service!


On this date in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson established the National Park Service to protect and conserve our nation’s most treasured and significant natural spaces.

As an Arizona native, I’ve visited many of our state’s 22 national parks - I treasure memories of camping trips with my parents, and with my own two boys. Like so many visitors to our national parks, I am awed by the unique beauty of our incredible state.

It’s easy to think of our parks as only places of scenic beauty, recreation and adventure. But we should remember that our parks have tremendous positive impact on our economy. In 2015, there were 11.7 million visitors to Arizona’s national parks. Those visitors contributed $932 million to our economy and supported nearly 15,000 jobs in our state. 

I look forward to sharing these incredible natural wonders with my own grandchildren someday and I know many of you do, too. We must commit to the preservation of our parks and natural resources. Our parks are key drivers of economic growth and prosperity - and we must work together to ensure their beauty and accessibility for generations to come. 

Thank you so much for your support of my campaign for the State House — and thank you for caring about Arizona’s future.  It matters who is elected in November!

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Kelli Butler

Big Day Tomorrow




This Thursday is one of the most critical fundraising deadlines of my campaign. It is important that this campaign finance report shows strong community support and momentum going into the General Election. If you would consider making a donation today, I would very much appreciate it!

I know what it will take to win this State House seat - mail, literature, and signs - and a robust field organization helping me knock on thousands of doors each week. I’ve set my budget and determined my goals.

If you haven’t donated, yet - now is the time! Please contribute $100, $50, $25, or whatever you can. I need your help to make sure I’m successful in November.

If you’ve already donated, thank you! I hope you will consider donating again.

Thank you for your support!



Kelli Butler