Billy Peard Releases Proposed Legislation to Address COVID-19 in Arizona
"During these times, it is important for our elected officials to be proactive and to think outside the box," Peard said. "While I am not currently in office, I am releasing these proposals with the hope that some portion of them may be seriously considered by our elected officials."
Arizona legislators unanimously approved a $55 million public health package on March 12 and a school reform measure on March 18, but there remains much to be done. Peard's proposals would reduce the strain on state institutions, increase relief for workers, and reduce face-to-face interactions – reforms yet to be seriously debated by legislators.
In the latest example of political inaction, the GOP-led House on Thursday failed to approve a $50 million COVID-19 aid package. Peard proposes a COVID-19 omnibus bill, which would address several pressing matters, without increasing government spending and without drawing down the state's rainy day fund. Peard's proposals include:
- Authorizing the Legislature to meet virtually;
- Allowing Arizonans to sign ballot petitions virtually;
- Expanding paid sick leave on a temporary basis;
- Tolling various statutes of limitations in civil lawsuits;
- Releasing nonviolent offenders from county jails and freeing up essential personnel;
- Reforming the workers' compensation system on a temporary basis.
Peard offers the proposal to any legislator – Republican or Democrat – who wishes to introduce the legislation in whole or in part in the days and weeks ahead.
Legislative District 2 encompasses all of Santa Cruz County, as well as portions of Tucson, Green Valley, and Sahuarita. Peard is seeking the Democratic nomination for state representative during the upcoming August 4, 2020 primary election. Peard is a native Tucsonan and an attorney.
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