||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (April 2015)|
|22nd Governor of Arizona|
January 21, 2009 – January 5, 2015
|Preceded by||Janet Napolitano|
|Succeeded by||Doug Ducey|
|18th Secretary of State of Arizona|
January 6, 2003 – January 21, 2009
|Preceded by||Betsey Bayless|
|Succeeded by||Ken Bennett|
|Member of the Board of Supervisors of Maricopa County|
January 3, 1997 – January 6, 2003
|Preceded by||Ed King|
|Succeeded by||Max Wilson|
|Member of the Arizona Senate
from the 19th district
January 6, 1987 – January 3, 1997
|Preceded by||Billy 'Bill' Davis|
|Succeeded by||Scott Bundgaard|
|Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
from the 19th district
January 3, 1983 – January 6, 1987
|Preceded by||Jane Dee Hull|
|Succeeded by||Don Kenney|
|Born||Janice Kay Drinkwine
September 26, 1944
Hollywood, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Glendale Community College, Arizona|
Janice Kay "Jan" Brewer (née Drinkwine; born September 26, 1944) was the 22nd Governor of the U.S. state of Arizona, from 2009 to 2015. A member of the Republican Party, Brewer is the fourth woman, and third consecutive woman, to serve as Governor of Arizona. Brewer previously served as Secretary of State of Arizona from January 2003 to January 2009, when Governor Janet Napolitano resigned after being selected as Secretary of Homeland Security. Brewer became Governor of Arizona as part of the line of succession, as determined by the Arizona Constitution.
Born in California, Brewer attended Glendale Community College (Arizona) where she received a radiological technologist certificate. She has never earned a college degree. She has served as a State Senator and State Representative for Arizona from 1983 to 1996. Brewer also served as Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors before running for Arizona Secretary of State in 2002.
Brewer came into the national spotlight when, on April 23, 2010, when she signed the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act. The act makes it a state misdemeanor crime for an immigrant to be in Arizona without carrying registration documents required by federal law, authorizes state and local law enforcement of federal immigration laws, and cracks down on those sheltering, hiring and transporting illegal aliens. Brewer sought a full term as Governor of Arizona in the 2010 Arizona gubernatorial election, and was elected on November 2, 2010, winning with 55% of the vote over Democrat Terry Goddard's 42%.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Political career
- 3 Political views
- 3.1 Budget and Fiscal Responsibility
- 3.2 Economic initiatives
- 3.3 Tort reform
- 3.4 Education
- 3.5 Health Care
- 3.6 Human Services
- 3.7 State Government Reform
- 3.8 Immigration
- 3.9 Abortion
- 3.10 Gun rights
- 3.11 Natural Resources
- 3.12 Energy
- 3.13 Military affairs
- 3.14 Judicial Appointments
- 3.15 Immigration, border security, law and order and "headless bodies"
- 3.16 Same-sex marriage and domestic partnership
- 4 Author
- 5 Controversies
- 6 Personal life
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Brewer was born Janice Kay Drinkwine on September 26, 1944, in Hollywood, California, the daughter of Edna C. (née Bakken) and Perry Wilford Drinkwine, then a civilian supervisor at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Hawthorne, Nevada. Brewer is of English and Norwegian descent. Her maternal grandfather, Emil Theodore Bakken, was from Norway, and her maternal grandmother, Carrie Nelson, was from Minnesota and the daughter of Norwegian immigrants. Meanwhile, her paternal grandmother, Sarah Rosina Ford (original surname Wilford), was an Englishwoman from Buckinghamshire.
Brewer and her older brother, Paul, lived solely in Hawthorne until she was ten years old, when the family moved to California, seeking "dry desert air and clean ocean breezes". Her father died of lung disease when she was eleven years old, having been ravaged by the constant exposure to chemicals while at the depot. She graduated from Verdugo Hills High School in 1962.
She married John Leon Brewer in Nevada, and worked briefly in Glendale, California, before moving to her husband's hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, in 1970. The couple later relocated to Glendale, Arizona, where John became a successful chiropractor, in addition to finding some real estate success. They settled in the Deer Valley section of Phoenix. The couple have three children.
Initially interested in running for school board, Brewer soon saw an opening in her local legislative district, and decided to run for State Representative. Brewer would go on to serve in the Arizona House of Representatives for three years, from 1983 to 1987, before deciding to run for the Arizona Senate, where she would serve from 1987 to 1996. As State Senator, Brewer sought legislation with the intention of creating an office of Lieutenant Governor in the state, arguing that holding the office of Secretary of State does not make a candidate qualified for Governor, and that the office should be filled by a member of the same party, should a vacancy arise. During her last three years as a State Senator, she held the senior leadership position of majority whip.
Secretary of State of Arizona
In early 2002, Brewer created a campaign committee to run for the office of Secretary of State of Arizona, to replace outgoing Arizona Secretary of State Betsey Bayless. Brewer ran against Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio in the primary race. Brewer won by a narrow margin of just 23,000 votes.
As Secretary of State, Brewer instituted a vote-by-fax program for overseas military troops, which would later be adopted by other municipalities, including San Francisco. Brewer also helped marshal changes brought about by Arizona Proposition 200, which required citizens in the state to show proof of citizenship before registering to vote or applying for public benefits.
Governor of Arizona
Governor Janet Napolitano was selected by President Barack Obama to serve as the Secretary of Homeland Security in the United States Cabinet. Since Arizona has no lieutenant governor, the Secretary of State stands first in the line of succession if he or she holds that post as a result of an election. Despite her earlier quarrels with the line of succession while serving in the State Senate, Brewer was sworn in as governor after Napolitano resigned from her position on January 21, 2009. She is Arizona's fourth female governor and its third consecutive female governor.
In her inaugural address, Brewer promised to keep taxes low in Arizona, in an attempt to attract business from other states, including California. Fewer than two months into her term, however, Brewer proposed a tax increase in front of the State Legislature, prompting Republican state Sen. Ron Gould to walk out of the address mid-speech. Attempting to rationalize the tax increase, Brewer stated that she was ultimately forced to ask for the increase due to the state's $4 billion state budget deficit.
On April 23, 2010, Brewer signed the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, otherwise known as Arizona SB1070, into law, making it "a state crime for illegal immigrants to not have an alien registration document", and requiring police "to question people about their immigration status if there is reason". It also makes it illegal for people to hire illegal immigrants for day labor or to knowingly transport them. In addition, it provides provisions to allow citizens to file lawsuits against government agencies that hinder enforcement of immigration laws. A follow-on bill, said to address certain "racial profiling" issues with the original bill, was passed by the Arizona legislature just before ending their 2010 session, and was signed by Brewer on April 30, 2010. Signing of the bill has led to massive demonstrations in Arizona, Washington, D.C. and many other cities across the United States, both for and against the legislation.
On June 3, 2010, Brewer met with President Barack Obama to discuss immigration along Mexico's border with Arizona, and how the federal government could work together with state officials to combat violence there. Brewer remarked after the meeting, "I am encouraged that there is going to be much better dialogue between the federal government and the state of Arizona now." According to press reports, about 1200 national guard troops will be stationed along the border, in a layout still to be determined.
On August 24, 2010, Brewer won the Republican primary, to face Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard in the general election. Brewer was elected in her own right on November 2, 2010, to the office of Governor in the state's 2010 gubernatorial election, earning 55% of the states votes over Democrat Terry Goddard with 42%. This was not unexpected, as polling conducted after Brewer's signing of Arizona SB1070 had shown her as an early favorite in the general election, and she was sworn in for a full term on January 3, 2011, on the State Capitol grounds in Phoenix.
As a result of a ballot measure approved by the voters in 2000, redistricting in Arizona is entrusted to a five-member panel with an independent chair. In 2011, Republicans wanted more favorable lines than those drawn by the commission, and Brewer sent a letter purporting to remove Colleen Mathis, the independent chair, from office. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that Brewer's action was illegal and it reinstated Mathis.
In 2013, the left leaning Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) rated Brewer as one of "The Worst Governors in America". However, in August 2013 conservative Newsmax magazine named Brewer among the "25 most influential women in the GOP".
Brewer was not be able to run for a second full four-year term in 2014. The Arizona Constitution limits the governor to two consecutive terms, regardless of whether they serve full or partial terms. However, former governors are allowed to seek additional nonconsecutive terms after a four-year respite. In November 2012, Brewer declared she was looking into what she called "ambiguity" in Arizona's term-limit law to seek a third term. In February 2014, Brewer reiterated that she was considering running for re-election, but on March 12, 2014, she announced that she would not attempt to seek another term in office, which would have required what The Arizona Republic called a "long-shot court challenge".
Budget and Fiscal Responsibility
The most urgent challenge Governor Brewer faced when she took office in 2009 was to resolve a multibillion dollar budget shortfall that was the most dire of any state in the nation. To combat the deficit, the Governor established a decision making process that forced Arizona to clearly define the appropriate role and scope of State Government and to focus narrowly on delivering those necessary services in the most effective and prudent manner possible.
Governor Brewer’s response to the fiscal crisis consisted of three main components. First, the Governor drastically reduced the size and scope of state government while prioritizing funding for public safety and education.
Second, proposed a three year temporary sales tax increase, which voters approved.[additional citation needed] The proposal was intended to raise 1 billion dollars a year in order to reduce the $3 billion/year deficit. She also borrowed approximately $1 billion dollars in an attempt to match expenditures.
Brewer created the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) to serve as the statewide economic development organization. The ACA board of directors consists of business people, with the intent to focus on business attraction, retention, and expansion in Arizona’s economic sectors.
The Governor also armed the ACA with a $25 million deal closing fund to help attract employers and replaced incentive programs with performance based tax credits.
With the help of the ACA, Arizona employers have created nearly 175,000 new jobs with an impressive 4.9 billion dollars in new capital investment. The ACA is also engaged in a national and international campaign to increase business attraction and direct foreign investment. Part of this strategy includes the creation of an economic development office in Mexico City, which is scheduled to open this fall.
Arizona Biomedical Corridor
In 2013, Arizona State University, the Mayo Clinic, and the City of Phoenix established the Arizona Biomedical Corridor through contractor KUD International. Governor Brewer guided the State Selection Boards’ approval of a beneficiary re-designation on 25 acres of State Trust land whereby Trust lands designated for K-12 Education were exchanged for University Lands. This allows the implementation of Arizona State University’s plans to establish post-secondary education and research facilities closely tied to the Mayo Hospital’s mission.
During Brewer's tenure Arizona’s tax code has undergone significant changes. In addition to the increase in sales tax, as governor Brewer reduced business property and equipment taxes and corporate income tax.. She eliminating the tax on energy sales to manufacturers. She also reduced the the effective tax rate on capital gains.
In addition to shifting tax rates away from business, she also undertook a simplification of tax filings. Governor Brewer convened a task force in 2012 to develop recommendations that would simplify the tax code, reduce taxpayer confusion and improve compliance and efficiency. Thanks to legislation enacted in 2013 and 2014, many task force recommendations are now law and will phase in throughout 2015, including single point of administration and collection, a single and uniform audit program, uniform state and city licensing procedures, and prime contracting relief for trade and service contractors.
As governor, Brewer signed Tort reform legislation which included a monetary cap on appeal bonds and a cap on damages. She also signed legislation to adopt the Daubert standard and made other changes to the burden of proof in malpractice claims.
Governor Brewer enacted policies that gave schools A-F letter grades, provided additional funding to schools that improved student performance, and evaluated and rewarded teachers based on effectiveness rather than seniority.
The AIMS test was inaccurate so the Governor replaced it with a new assessment that better measures the critical thinking and problem solving skills that students will need to be successful at college or in a career. Additionally, the Governor signed legislation adopting the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards and ending social promotion of third graders who cannot read. As a result of these actions, nearly 5,000 more third graders are reading at grade level in 2014 as compared to 2010 and the number of students at-risk of retention for low literacy skills has been cut in half.[additional citation needed]
Governor Brewer expanded access to private schools by increasing tax credits for school tuition organizations and creating empowerment scholarship accounts. These programs give parents more control over their children’s education and create healthy competition that drives schools to improve their performance in order to attract students. Since 2010, charter school enrollment increased by more than 30,000 students and funding for private school choice options increased by more than 50%.
Governor Brewer signed into law a number of reforms aimed at expanding access to and affordability of higher education while also improving student achievement, including:
- Performance based funding that begins to reward state universities based on outcomes such as degrees awarded and research funding secured.
- More degree offerings in rural Arizona and seamless credit transfers between community colleges and state universities.
- Expanded four-year degree opportunities throughout rural Arizona and seamless degree pathways between community colleges and the state's public and private universities.
Arizona, at Brewer's direction, joined coalition of 26 other states to fight the law in the U.S. Supreme Court.[contradiction] The court, however, upheld most of the ACA’s provisions and today it remains the law of the land. One of the sections that the Court made optional was the requirement that states expand Medicaid eligibility to childless adults at or below 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL).
The court decision had unique implications for Arizona because the voters had already expanded Medicaid coverage to all individuals up to 100% of FPL when they passed Proposition 204 in 2000. Since that time, the cost of covering the Prop 204 population increased rapidly, forcing the state to freeze enrollment for childless adults during the height of the budget crisis. As more Arizonans lost access to health insurance from their employer or through AHCCCS, hospitals experienced a dramatic spike in levels of uncompensated care. The Governor recognized that extending coverage to childless adults up to 133% of FPL would also enable Arizona to restore, in a more cost-effective manner, voter mandated coverage of the Proposition 204 population.
After much debate, the Governor’s Medicaid Restoration plan was enacted, taking Federal money through the ACA to expand Medicaid.
The AZ Hospital and Healthcare Association surveyed their members and found that statewide uncompensated care fell by 31% during the first four months of 2014.
To serve individuals who have a serious mental illness (SMI), but do not qualify for Medicaid, $39 million was added to the budget for additional services. Arizona ranks fifth nationally in spending on community-based programs and has the fewest residents per capita living in a state psychiatric hospital.
Arizona’s behavioral health system for Maricopa County individuals with SMI has been overseen by the Arnold v. Sarn lawsuit for more than thirty years. Governor Brewer and the plaintiffs reached an agreement that ends this litigation by reaffirming Arizona’s commitment to a community-based behavioral health system of care. The agreement ensures that Arizona will continue to provide community-based services such as supported housing, supported employment, peer support and assertive treatment teams.
The agreement builds national behavioral health standards into the system, requires an annual quality service review to determine if patient needs are being identified and addressed and an annual independent service capacity analysis be performed to ensure there are sufficient providers to meet patient needs.
The agreement is structured so that it remains enforceable by the courts should Arizona not live up to its commitments in the future. This guarantees Arizona will maintain its commitment to a community-based behavioral health system.
Governor Brewer directed the Arizona Department of Health Services to integrate behavioral and physical health care for Title XIX eligible SMI members through a “Recovery through Whole Health” program.
Health care cuts
In the face of a mounting budget crisis in Arizona, Brewer signed the 2011 legislative budget, which eliminates the Arizona variant of the State Children's Health Insurance Program program, known as KidsCare, that provides health insurance to uninsured children whose families' income exceeds the Medicaid cutoff. According to the FY 2011 budget, enrollment caps will also be put into place for Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), thereby limiting access to the program. Brewer, at a press conference, said the state had no choice but to eliminate the free health care programs saying, "We do not have the money [...] We are broke."
Brewer called a special session of the Arizona Legislature to join in the class-action lawsuit by 21 state Attorneys General to challenge the constitutionality of that part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which establishes a federal individual mandate to purchase health insurance. The mandate was considered by legislators and insurers  as a quid pro quo for the inclusion in the legislation of popular changes that will prevent insurers from pre-screening applicants and/or applying higher premiums and coverage caps on people with pre-existing conditions and/or rescinding policies once a patient becomes seriously ill.
In 2013 Brewer defended her support for Obamacare, and called it a "moral issue".
Brewer abolished the Child Protective Services (CPS) department and created the Department of Child Safety (DCS) - a permanent, stand-alone agency with the express mission of safeguarding Arizona’s abused and neglected children. As part of the new agency, the Office of Child Welfare Investigations will continue to investigate the highest priority cases of criminal conduct.
All 6,596 cases that were previously not investigated have been investigated and closed. A quarter of the 12,695 inactive cases have already been closed and the entire backlog will be reopened and reviewed by January, 2015. There has been a significant reduction in the total number of criminal cases filed that can be attributed to the changes in the call center and early intervention by the additional caseworkers hired because of the additional funding provided by the reform legislation.
Governor Brewer created a task force to study the issue and ultimately signed legislation based on its recommendations. The legislation strengthens penalties against traffickers, johns and those who are involved in the trafficking of persons, and works to further protect and assist victims of trafficking. In addition, the Governor created a Human Trafficking Council to implement best practices; promote greater collaboration with law enforcement, state agencies and the community-at-large; and raise public awareness about victims’ services, restitution and prevention. In October 2014 the Council launched EndSexTrafficking.AZ.gov, a website to engaged the public on sex trafficking. Additionally, verified sex trafficking training will become a basic requirement for all new Arizona law enforcement recruits beginning in January 2015.
Governor Brewer established the ArizonaSERVES Task Force to improve the working relationships between the State, non-profit organizations and community and faith-based entities. The Governor also created the Office of Faith and Community Partnerships and the Council on Faith and Community Partnerships. The Office serves as a state-wide faith and community initiative resource and promotes service and volunteerism throughout the state.
State Government Reform
As governor, Brewer reformed its personnel system, toward a system modelled after the private sector. As part of the reform effort, a number of pivotal actions were implemented including[better reference needed] consolidating the Governor's control over personnel, implementing at-will workforce, implemented a performance management system and pay practices to recognize and reward top performers, and other measures.
By March, 2013, 80% of the employees were at-will. As of 2015, on average over 100 employees volunteer every pay period to go from being covered to uncovered, at-will.
Brewer implemented changes to the procurement system. Brewer also implemented changes to the state retirement plan, ending the retirement plan for elected officials, increasing the requirements to qualify for state retirement, and established Alternate Contribution Rate for employees that return to work.
Governor Brewer signed Arizona SB 1070 into law in 2010, creating a significant controversy. SB 1070 made it a state misdemeanor for an alien to be in Arizona without carrying the required documents, as well as other provisions. When the Obama Administration challenged SB 1070 in court the Governor defended the law. Additionally, Governor Brewer has repeatedly urged President Obama and Congress to utilize the National Guard, Border Patrol agents, and technology to secure the southern border once and for all.
Governor Brewer signed pro-life legislation that authorized the Department of Health Services to conduct unannounced inspections of abortion clinics. In Arizona, the number of abortions among adolescents has dropped 32.5% since 2012 .
Governor Brewer prohibited local governments from maintaining a list of citizens who possess a firearm or enacting firearm regulations that are more stringent than state law, made it easier to claim self-defense in a shooting, allowed lawful gun owners to enter a restaurant or bar with a concealed weapon unless specifically prohibited by the establishment owner, and allowed U.S. citizens to carry a concealed firearm in Arizona without a permit .
In July 2009, Jan Brewer signed SB 1113, which entitles people in Arizona to carry concealed guns in bars or restaurants as long as they do not consume alcohol, and the business has not specifically posted a sign in accordance with Arizona law that guns are not to be permitted on the premises. Brewer also signed SB 1168, a measure that bans property owners from prohibiting the storage of firearms in locked vehicles parked on their lots. She signed SB 1243, which allows a person who is threatened to announce they are armed, or display or place their hand on their firearm before the use of deadly force. In April 2010, Brewer signed SB 1108, which removes the licensure requirement for law-abiding citizens who choose to carry a concealed firearm in the state of Arizona—the third state in the union with such a law after Vermont and Alaska. Brewer is a member and supporter of the National Rifle Association, as well as the Arizona Rifle and Pistol Association. On April 18, 2011, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed two bills, one setting a mandate that anyone running for President must have proof of U.S. citizenship, and the other allowing guns on college campuses.
Under Governor Brewer, Arizona stepped up its efforts by thinning approximately 29,000 acres on state land, in an effort to decrease forest fire risk.
Under Governor Brewer’s direction, the State Land Department negotiated a $200 million, 60.9 mile long high pressure natural gas pipeline beginning west of the Tucson Mountain Park and continuing south along State Highway 286 to the United States border with Mexico near Sasabe, Arizona, largely travelling through state trust land. The pipeline interconnected with the Sasabe-Guaymas pipeline in Mexico providing natural gas to electric generation facilities near the cities of Puerto Libertad and Guaymas, Mexico. This international pipeline will generate over $4.5m for Arizona’s Trust beneficiaries.
In order to prepare Arizona for the 21st century Governor Brewer directed the Arizona Department of Water Resources to develop Arizona’s Next Century: A Strategic Vision for Water Supply Sustainability, a document outlining Arizona's water use plan. The “Vision” was the necessary first step, organizing the state into 22 planning areas and envisioning options.
Governor Brewer issued Executive Order 2013-02 to develop land and natural resources management strategies for sustainable economic growth and establishing the National Resources Review Council (NRRC). The NRRC prepared an Interim Report containing recommendations from five subcommittees (Clearinghouse, Engagement and Partnering, GIS, Mitigation and Conservation Banking and Planning). The recommendations start with the creation of a single point of contact (OSPB) that will receive all federal natural resource requests and make sure all appropriate state natural resource agencies have been notified and help coordinate appropriate response(s) on behalf of the state.
Under Brewer's Governorship, Arizona has gone from number six in the nation for solar to the number three state . Governor Brewer has led Arizona to a reliable energy future by consistently promoting policies and initiatives that strengthen the economy, improve the environment, and ensure lasting energy security.
In October 2014, Governor Brewer announced the creation of The Arizona Collaboratory for Advanced Energy Solutions (AZ CAES), which is a new partnership of industry, Arizona universities, government, non-profits and national laboratories designed to increase Arizona’s competitive advantage in securing public funding, private funding and sponsored energy research at the three state universities . AZ CAES was established through a competitive grant from the National Governor’s Association
For the first time since 1990, Governor Brewer in 2014 adopted a state energy plan and established energy goals for Arizona . The plan was designed to increase solar development; promote energy education and energy sector apprenticeship and job training opportunities; reduce energy use in state buildings through the creation of $1.1 million revolving loan fund for energy efficiency projects; and create a State Energy Advisory Board to address energy issues on an annual basis .
Arizona’s Energy Assurance Plan was updated with a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Last updated in 2006, the plan identified clear channels of communication and procedures in the event of an extended energy emergency. Multiple energy emergency table-top drills and training on city, state and regional levels were conducted with participants from all energy sectors .
Due to a change in Mexican law opening up energy markets between the United States and Mexico, a bi-national energy assessment was completed. Presented to Arizona Governor Brewer and Sonora Governor Padres, both signed a Declaration of Cooperation between the two states to evaluate on an on-going basis viable energy exchange opportunities. The Governor’s office led a 19-member task force and held meetings in Hermosillo, Sonora and Nogales, Arizona to complete this assessment. The Task Force formed international contacts for future bi-national electricity transmission projects.
As governor, Brewer pushed for keeping Arizona military bases open. Brewer also granted in-state student status for the purposes of tuition at any Arizona public university or community college to any person honorably discharged from the US Armed Forces. Additionally, she allowed children of active duty military parents to qualify for Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. She also extended professional licensing to include military experience.
During Brewer's time as governor, she filled a number of vacancies in the courts. She appointed three State Supreme Court judges, Ann Timmer, John Pelander, and Robert Brutinel, all Republicans. She also appointed a number of Superior and Appellate Court judges. She was criticized for promoting judges primarily from the Republican Party.
Immigration, border security, law and order and "headless bodies"
||This section of a biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2015)|
Brewer believes in strict enforcement of border security, with absolutely no amnesty for illegal immigrants entering the United States. In addition to signing Arizona SB 1070, she has prohibited state and local governments from giving any public benefits to illegal aliens, in addition to making it a misdemeanor for a state or local government official to fail to report immigration law violations discovered while administering a public benefit or service. Brewer has also supported efforts to re-deploy the Arizona National Guard along the southern Arizona border, in an attempt to provide increased border security.
On May 2, 2011, Gov. Brewer signed into law a bill authorizing the construction of a border fence between Arizona and Mexico.
The bill, SB 1406, permits Arizona to work with other border states in constructing a privately funded border fence, hailed as a major step in enforcing national security.
"The federal government has put states like Arizona on the back burner for far too long, making flawed claims that the border has never been more secure," said Sen. Steve Smith, sponsor of SB 1406. "For proof that a well-built fence really works, all you need to do is look at the progress in Yuma County."
On June 27, 2010, Brewer appeared on "Sunday Square Off", which broadcasts on KPNX-TV. While speaking on the subject of crime related to illegal immigration, she was quoted as saying that "law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded," a claim that has been disputed. Brewer later indicated she "misspoke".
On July 11, 2010, Jan Brewer announced that $10 million given to her state by the federal government, most of which was intended to go to education, would instead go to enforcing border security.
On April 3, 2012, Gov. Brewer signed HB 2349 into law. The bill protects federal funding for tens of thousands of students at Arizona's public universities. The legislation received overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers of the Arizona Legislature. Federal law requires school campuses to be drug-free in order to be eligible for federal funding or student financial aid. The federal government makes no exceptions for medically prescribed usage of marijuana approved by State voters. The legislation applies the same drug-free campus protections to all community colleges, high schools, junior high schools, middle schools and preschools throughout Arizona. House Bill 2349 was approved 52-2 by the House and 28-2 by the Senate.
Same-sex marriage and domestic partnership
Brewer supported Arizona Proposition 107, which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman. This 2006 referendum, which would have prevented both same-sex marriage and civil unions in the state, did not pass - the first time U.S. voters rejected an attempt to ban same-sex marriage. However, in 2008, another proposition that banned same sex marriage (but not civil unions) passed.
Jan Brewer signed a law repealing legislation put into place by former governor Janet Napolitano, which had granted domestic partners of state employees the ability to be considered as "dependents", similar to the way married spouses are handled.
According to an editorial in the Arizona Daily Star on October 13, 2009, the Department of Administration in Arizona "stated that about 800 state employees are affected and that the cost to insure domestic partners is about $3 million of the $625 million the state spends on benefits". However, the state was giving those employees another year of coverage, due to legal necessity: "A legal review determined existing contracts with state employees will be honored."
A federal lawsuit, Diaz v. Brewer, formerly Collins v. Brewer, challenging Brewer's action is being heard in federal court. The plaintiffs, represented by Lambda Legal, a LGBT rights advocacy group, asked for summary judgment based on due process and equal protection claims. On July 23, 2010, U.S. District Judge John W. Sedwick denied the due process claim, but based on the equal protection claim he issued a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the law pending a trial. Brewer said the state would appeal the decision.
Brewer is the author of Scorpions for Breakfast: My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media, and Cynical Politicos to Secure America's Border, published November 2011 by Broadside Books. Brewer is a New York Times Best Selling Author with "Scorpions for Breakfast" having reached the New York Times Best Seller lists for e-book nonfiction and combined print and e-book nonfiction. "Scorpions for Breakfast: My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media, and Cynical Politicos to Secure America's Border" also reached #7 in Amazon's Top 10 Best Sellers
Brewer's signing of Arizona SB 1070 and her position of Governor made her the recipient of much of the bill's criticism. In response to the various personal attacks launched against her, many of which called her a Nazi, she responded: "Knowing that my father died fighting the Nazi regime in Germany, that I lost him when I was 11 because of that... and then to have them call me Hitler's daughter. It hurts. It's ugliness beyond anything I've ever experienced." Brewer's father died in 1955 (ten years after World War II ended) from lung cancer, believed to be caused from constant exposure to chemicals while working as a civilian supervisor at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada making munitions used by allied forces. Critics stated that her use of the term "died fighting" was misleading, although her spokesman remarked that she did not view it as an improper statement.
After Brewer's statement that "Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded," a Fox News team investigated the claim. They concluded that in the last two years only one human skull had been found, and that had been the result of animals. Six medical examiners in Arizona from Yuma, Pima, Santa Cruz, Cochise, Pinal and Maricopa confirmed that they had no records of decapitated bodies. Brewer later retracted her previous statement, saying, "That was an error, if I said that. I misspoke, but you know, let me be clear, I am concerned about the border region because it continues to be reported in Mexico that there's a lot of violence going on and we don't want that going into Arizona."
The Brewer administration has also been investigated for questionable activities by KPHO for hiring Chuck Coughlin and Paul Senseman, both lobbyists for Corrections Corporation of America, as a policy advisor to her campaign and communications director in her administration. Both Coughlin and Senseman no longer work for CCA. CCA operates six private, for-profit prisons in Arizona. After KPHO published its investigative report, Brewer's re-election campaign retaliated by pulling all campaign ads from KPHO.
On August 15, 2012, the same day that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting applications under the Obama administration's new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Governor Brewer issued an executive order preventing the state of Arizona from issuing driver's licenses and public benefits to young illegal immigrants who receive deferred status and work authorization under the new program. In addition to driving privileges, Governor Brewer's order bars illegal immigrants who qualify for deferred action from receiving state-subsidized child care, health insurance, unemployment benefits, business and professional licenses, and government contracts. Thousands of individuals submitted applications for the new program.
Brewer and her husband have had three sons, one of whom died of cancer in 2007. Another son was declared not guilty by reason of insanity for the rape of a Phoenix woman in 1989; he has been a psychiatric patient for 25 years in the Arizona State Hospital.
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- "Brewer, Jan". Current Biography Yearbook 2011. Ipswich, MA: H. W. Wilson. 2011. pp. 92–95. ISBN 9780824211219.
- Vaughan, Jessica. "Attrition Through Enforcement: A Cost-Effective Strategy to Shrink the Illegal Population". Center for Immigration Studies. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
- Daly, Michael (2010-04-27). "Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs immigration law 124 years after great-grandmother's journey". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 2010-06-04.
- "Jan Brewer ancestry". Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
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