Candidates Billy Peard and Steve Diamond Spearhead Call to Action
Two candidates for local office have launched an online petition calling on Governor Doug Ducey to release emergency money to Arizona hospitals that are facing revenue shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One local hospital, Green Valley, has already said it would be forced to close its doors if relief is withheld.
People who want to sign the petition can do so online here at:
On April 2, the Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital announced that it faces imminent closure due to financial strain. Also known as the Green Valley Hospital, the facility serves more than 40,000 local residents. Last week the hospital cared for 11 likely COVID-19 patients.
An executive explained that when the governor recently eliminated elective surgeries, and ER visits also declined, the hospital lost significant revenue sources.
On March 12, the Arizona legislature authorized Gov. Ducey to immediately spend $50 million to promote public health — but less than half of that amount has been distributed, and none of it has gone to hospitals — according to an April 3 report by the nonpartisan Joint Legislative Budget Committee.
Pima County officials have said that the county government is powerless to solve the hospital’s financial shortfall, absent direct assistance by the state.
Democratic candidates Billy Peard and Steve Diamond initiated the petition to call on Governor Ducey to release the funds. The petition also asks the state legislature to reconvene by videoconference to approve additional spending.
Peard is running for the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 2, which includes Green Valley. He said, “It would be devastating for our community hospital to close, but it’s not just about this one hospital; many hospitals statewide are feeling the squeeze right now and our state leaders need to step up.”
Diamond is running for Pima County Board of Supervisors in Supervisor District 4, which includes Green Valley. He said, “Lives are at stake. We must make every effort to convince Governor Ducey to get out in front of the crisis. Our petition coincides with efforts by county officials and others to persuade him.”
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