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The Issues

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Abortion

Arizona Representative Lorena Austin of LD9 (Mesa/Tempe) has been a stalwart advocate for reproductive rights during their tenure at the Arizona Legislature. Standing firm against political interference, Rep. Austin adamantly believes the state should not dictate the deeply personal choices Arizonans make about their reproductive health. With a call for change, Rep. Austin ardently campaigns for the legalization of abortion and access to contraception in Arizona, recognizing it as a critical step towards safeguarding people's rights and bodily autonomy.

 

Most importantly, we must expand access to reproductive healthcare and protect access to abortion. As of this last month, nearly all abortions became illegal in Arizona. This pre-statehood law is a direct divergence from the will of the people as an overwhelming amount of Arizonans support protecting abortion access.

Affordable Housing

Representative Austin grew up living in affordable housing and understands the challenges faced by families and individuals in the Phoenix Metro area regarding housing options. Rep. Austin supports policies that increase the availability of smaller, more economical residences, aiming to uplift individuals from homelessness. They believe in stopping landlords from price gouging their tenants, and increasing housing affordability for families, veterans, seniors, persons with disabilities and working class Arizonans.  This commitment is evidenced by their sponsorship of House Bill 2772, which mandates the integration of middle housing in residential zones. Furthermore, their advocacy extends to HB 2773, granting municipalities the authority to enact ordinances facilitating the construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) for both single-family and multi-family occupancy.

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Education

Higher Education has been one of Rep. Austin's biggest priorities to ensure Arizona has a qualified workforce without the struggle of overwhelming student loan debt. One of Rep. Austin's greatest accomplishments in their freshman term was the allocation of $40 million dollars for the Arizona Promise Program, which helps cover tuition costs and fees for Arizona residents at public universities. 

 

Representative Austin proudly worked for Maricopa Community Colleges for approximately 10 years and understands the challenges faced by Arizona's teachers, bus drivers, custodians, and school staff.  Arizona consistently ranks near the bottom in education funding per pupil, with the current Superintendent of Public Education prioritizing increased funding for private education over essential public school needs. Despite being the backbone of our children's education and future, teachers and school staff are undervalued and underpaid. Arizona's public schools suffer from chronic underfunding, low teacher salaries, and high turnover rates, further exacerbated by a growing student population. Redirecting public funds from public to private schools through programs like ESAs and STOs exacerbates this crisis due to lack of accountability. Traditional private schools are taking millions of dollars from public schools. Arizona must prioritize investment in its public schools to build a robust workforce and ensure economic prosperity. 

Community Resources

Rep. Austin believes in the transformative power of public investment in public resources for the well-being of the community. Taking an active role at the grassroots level, Lorena routinely volunteers with local food banks, helps beautify historically underserved communities, and lends their voice to amplify concerns of the community.

 

Fearlessly advocating for marginalized groups, Rep. Austin champions LGBTQ+ rights, reproductive autonomy, affordable housing, fair wages, and the right to unionize — issues often sidestepped by other lawmakers. Rather than just voicing support, Lorena fosters partnerships between these communities and local organizations, facilitating collective action and amplifying their impact.

The Environment

Amidst Arizona's expanding population, securing access to clean water has become the climate justice fight of our lifetime. Despite recent upticks in rainfall and snowfall, our state grapples with an enduring drought and a glaring absence of sustainable water management strategies. Urgent action is imperative to safeguard our community's well-being, prioritizing it over the profit-driven agendas of developers and unscrupulous utilities that jeopardize our water reserves through depletion and contamination. 

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Amidst Arizona's expanding population, securing access to clean water has become the climate justice fight of our lifetime. Despite recent upticks in rainfall and snowfall, our state grapples with an enduring drought and a glaring absence of sustainable water management strategies. Urgent action is imperative to safeguard our community's well-being, prioritizing it over the profit-driven agendas of developers and unscrupulous utilities that jeopardize our water reserves through depletion and contamination. 

Sponsored bills

As a Member of the House of Representatives, Lorena Austin is actively involved in sponsoring and drafting legislation about issues that matter most to you.

Please contact their offices to share your thoughts on current legislation that may affect you, your family, and your community.

This bill appropriates $40 million to the Arizona Promise Program, ensuring tuition and fees coverage for eligible Arizona residents at public universities, aiming to make higher education more accessible and affordable.

A bill that mandates municipalities to allow the development of middle housing, including duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, cottage clusters, and townhouses, in residential zones.

Legislation that permits municipalities to adopt ordinances allowing the development of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in areas zoned for single-family or multifamily use.

This bill prohibits principals from discriminating, taking adverse action, or retaliating against workers who in good faith raise concerns about workplace violations of government health or safety rules, or significant threats to health or safety during a public health emergency.

This bill amends Arizona's Revised Statutes to enhance privacy protections for election officers and related roles. It imposes strict rules on disclosing personal identifiers like addresses and phone numbers, prohibiting their open availability online or through public records if it endangers safety.

A bill that initiates a cost-free pension program for employers with employee deductions for retirement plans. However, it may be too costly for smaller programs. Additionally, it updates voter and election officer instructions, specifying that individuals can only handle or return their own ballot, or that of family members, household members, or those they care for, making it unlawful to handle or return ballots for others.

This bill stipulates that any insurance policy that includes prescription drug coverage must cover contraceptive drugs or devices approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration without imposing any cost-sharing requirements.

Legislation that lays out the updated instructions for voters and election officers, which highlight that a person can only handle or return their own ballot, or the ballot of their family members, household members or persons for whom they are a caregiver. It is considered unlawful to handle or return the ballot of any other person. 

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