Summary of Valley Interfaith Project (VIP) Leader's Meeting on January 25, 2019
There have been 9 bills submitted already during the 2019 legislative session.
It is important to contact our state representatives to let them know we approve of this bill which will allow prisoners to earn early release credit.
Not So Dangerous Crime - If prisoner serves 1 day can earn 1 day of earlier release
More Dangerous Crime - If prisoner serves 3 days can earn 1 day of earlier release
Very Dangerous Crime or Crime with Children - if prisoner serves 6 days can earn 1 day of earlier release
All must exhibit good behavior and must attend classes such as Anger Management, Cultural Diversity, Job Training, etc.
The earlier release must be subject to approval of the court system.
GOVERNOR’S TASK FORCE ON RECIDIVISM
At Governor Ducey’s invitation a VIP Leader has been participating on the Governor’s Task Force for a couple of years.
Some VIP Leaders (along with Mental Health Organizations & Social Workers) attend Town Halls on the subjects of Justice Reform and Recidivism.
VIP Leaders have been attending research meetings with decision makers and authorities to gather information and form strategies. In February Leaders will meet with the Yavapai County Attorney.
SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS UCC
The Justice Reform Team Members will meet in Fellowship Hall at 6:30 PM on Monday, February 25. Please attend to learn of further updates.
We are a long way from catching up from the enormous hit to education since 2008. The Governor’s proposed budget has $600 million that he says is new money for education. However, that $600 million is what would have gone to the schools anyway.
A portion of the education budget proposes funding to be allocated based on performance. That means the money would likely go to schools in the wealthier communities where parents already have more resources and can be more engaged in educating their children.
Right now the school districts that received the recent education funding are merely able to give out stipends. If we are looking towards another possible recession in 4-5 years, we really need a dedicated source of revenue for our schools.
Arizona will be collecting $130 - $230 million from the US in conjunction with the 2018 Federal Tax Reform. There is a movement for our State to give those dollars back to the Arizonans from those tax cuts. Why not allocate that money to education instead?
VIP Leaders have been researching the issue of water scarcity and the Central Arizona Project in our state for several months now. Please join us at a Civic Academy on April 11 (time TBD) at the Franciscan Renewal Center to look at our water future.
ARIZONA CAREER PATHWAYS
The Arizona Career Pathways (ACP) is another leg of VIP. This group assists students while earning certificates or degrees which will allow them to earn sustainable wages. ACP has recently been granted $1 million for its efforts. The program now needs to recruit students. In the next couple months we will hold an informative meeting at Shepherd of the Hills so prospective students can work with the ACP Counselor to learn what opportunities are available. Please think of your acquaintances who are recent high school graduates or those who have been out of school for a few years so you may invite them when the date is established.