How a need to make something better Became a Law - Jake's Law
Denise and Ben Denslow were determined to make a difference to help others.
As their State Representative, I did everything I could to bring people together to achieve their goal. March 3, 2020 Jake's Law was signed into law. My name was kept off the bill by Republican powers-that-be; scroll to the bottom for that unimportant part of this story.
Jacob Edward Machovsky was lost to suicide on January 11, 2016. His parents, Ben and Denise Denslow established the JEM Foundation to honor him by helping others. JEM’s purpose is ending youth suicide.
Denise and Ben describe, "Jacob was hospitalized twice in under 2 months for suicidal ideation. Both times, Jake was released in only 5 days. The doctor and parents knew Jake wasn’t ready to be released, but the insurance company refused to pay for the needed care. ..."
This needs to be known about politics:
The Republican powers-that-be worked actively to keep my name off the bill, and to keep me out of press events. In the photos here, it was the parents and suicide survivors that invited me to the celebratory events when the bill was signed. Forever thanks to them!
Why did the Republican power-brokers try to cut me out? I cannot know their motivations. I can only say that I do not trade my votes. I do not vote yes on bills that will rip-off consumers or harm the environment, in exchange to get a bill passed with my name on it.
I was glad and honored to co-chair those meetings.
Rep. Jennifer Jermaine made made a good suggestion to cover special needs students for their full school careers. Rep Barto and others made practical suggestions. Lobbyist Carly Fleege was very dedicated to getting this bill signed into law.
I did the work to solve a big problem.
I did the work -- leading and persisting and always collaborating with others -- to reduce the suicide rates in Arizona:
- 2017-18 We added a Statewide Suicide Prevention Coordinator to the ongoing AZ Budget.
- 2017-18 We developed a Suicide Prevention ToolKit for Schools, which is utilized and furthered by the State Suicide Prevention Coordinator
- 2019-20 We passed the Suicide Prevention Training for Teachers bill, The Mitch Warnock Law, and furthered it with Sen. Bowie.
- 2019-20 I led the collaboration for Jake's Law, with Ben and Denise as the brilliant heroes who always kept going and always kept finding a way to get it done.