Balloon Litter Bill for 2020

Local Girl Scouts push to make Balloon Litter outdoors illegal.
Consequence: No fines; just pick up litter.
It's about the drastic decline of birds, and balloons harm farm animals too.
If you release balloons indoors, it's okay because the litter can be picked up.
I'll drop the bill Fri.

"Animals are awesome and we shouldn’t live in a world without animals.” - Scout Amber who wrote me a letter that started this bill.

She and all the girls in her troop are great advocates for a healthy environment.
😓We have also learned that for people with severe allergies to latex, balloons are a danger-- even in the air near an allergic person.

🐦🦅🦆🐦You've heard about the drastic loss of birds. In North America, bird populations have declined by nearly 30% since 1970. Balloons are the most lethal kind of plastic that birds consume.
🐄🐃🐂Birds - like turtles, big horn sheep, and cattle-- think the balloon litter is food. They eat them or get tangled in the strings  


Read more

Gun Violence Prevention - has 2 parts

Gun violence prevention requires both action for gun safety and action for the people who use gunsMHA_Award_ME_and_Debbie_Plotnik_2019-0806.jpg

Action for gun safety must include background checks, careful red flag laws, more gun safety classes,  and more. (See below) 

Action for the people who use guns is about behavioral changes.  We want to stop people from being violent.  Full stop.  Whether they use guns, sticks, knives  or any other deadly weapon, we can do more to stop their violent intentions.  Teaching coping skills and healthy relationship skills to high school students probably will not stop homicides by drug cartels, but it certainly can reduce domestic violence.  
Preventing suicides -- by firearm or any method --  can be improved with better access to mental health and substance use treatment. 

  I've just returned from the NCSL Summit, National Conference of State Legislatures 2019 convention, where I've learned some useful approaches.  


At the event, I was honored by Mental Health America as a Champion for Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment.  It is recognition of the work that Neighbors Council and I have done to prevent suicide and improve access to mental health treatment in Arizona.  Currently we are working on a big project to improve access to counselors, psychologists and all forms of mental health and behavioral health treatment.  

You can help!  We are gathering stories to develop data about the problems of access to care in Arizona.  

Have you,  or do you know somebody who was denied treatment or who cannot find a provider?   Please CLICK HERE to help.  You will be anonymous on the survey. 

The Arizona Connection to Mass Shootings:
In El Paso, Madison McGuire was a little girl who was at that Walmart selling juice as a fundraiser so her soccer team could come to Arizona for a tournament.  Her teammates and ...

Read more

Girl Scouts' Balloon Bill Raises Environmental Awareness but Angers the GOP

Brownies' project provokes GOP leader attack

Ahwatukee Foothill News
By Paul Maryniak, April 24, 2019

LD 18 representative Mitzi Epstein, pictured on the right, worked with an Ahwatukee Girl Scout Troop this legislative session to draft a bill (HB 2664) that would curb the harmful release of balloons outdoors. Republican LD 12 representative Warren Peterson, pictured on the left, released a press release celebrating the demise of this "radical" bill.

Read more

Dist. 18 reps reveal their priorities for legislative action

L to R: Jennifer Jermaine, Mitzi Epstein

Dist. 18 Reps Talk About Priorities for Funding

Wrangler News

By: Noah Kutz, April 22, 2019

Mitzi Epstein and Jennifer Jermaine discuss legislative priorities with the Chandler Chamber of Commerce. Both representatives support strengthening education funding. 

Read more

76 Trombones and Your Town

Strike Out the Band ... 
Law to levy tax for city band nears final note 

 February 18, 2019   marching-band_capTimes_clipart.jpg

Note from Mitzi Epstein - HB2454 might be intended to remove unnecessary laws,  or it might be a placeholder for a striker. I expect it to be a "vehicle" bill,  one that will be used to skip normal vetting steps.  

But on the face of it,  ...  here's a quote from the article... 
“I love marching bands, I love music, I love the idea of a band in the gazebo,” Rep. Mitzi Epstein, D-Tempe, said when the legislation was debated in committee. “Arizona has a lot of small towns and therefore should be able to have the flexibility to do what they want.”     


Read more

Donate Volunteer