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BioDiv tells UN that U.S. has 'obligation' to protect species threatened by border wall

Tucson's Center for Biological Diversity, along with representatives of the Tohono O'odham in Sonora and a coalition of Mexican enviro groups, are pushing for the UN to investigate the consequences of the Trump administration's plan to build a border wall along the northern edge of a nature preserve.... Read more»

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FactCheck: Double-counting trillions in Trump's budget

How does President Donald Trump’s proposed budget reach a balance in 10 years, as the administration says it will?... Read more»

Trump’s first budget draws praise, pans from Az lawmakers

The White House said its proposed $4.09 trillion budget shows “respect for the people who pay the bills,” but Arizona Democrats said deep domestic cuts make it a “dangerous plan” that will hurt the most vulnerable Americans.... Read more»

Teachers speak out about working conditions, and they’re not happy

For the past decade, the vast majority of Arizona counties have faced a teacher shortage at the beginning of the school year, and as school districts head into the summer many teachers expect more of the same. And they’re not surprised.... Read more»1

Prop. 101

Tucson sales-tax bump passes easily; will fund police, fire & roads

In a special election Tuesday, Tucson voters approved a half-cent increase in the city's sales tax by a wide margin: 41,000 yes ballots to 25,000 no votes. Proposition 101 was OKed by a majority of those voting in every ward. It will take effect July 1, and fund police and fire equipment, and road repairs.... Read more»

Prop. 101

Deadline: Mail Tucson sales-tax ballots Wednesday

Tucson voters who want to have a say in a possible half-cent increase in the city's sales tax need to drop their ballots in the Prop. 101 special election in the mail on Wednesday, or turn them in by hand at one of seven sites next week. The vote-by-mail election ends Tuesday.... Read more»

Gallego jumps district lines to hammer McSally in healthcare rally

As part of a political campaign designed to hammer away at Republican members of Congress for their votes on the American Health Care Act, Phoenix-based U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego hosted a town hall in Tucson, honing in on fellow Rep. Martha McSally's turf. ... Read more»1

What the Devil won't tell you

Arizona losing the economic Battle of Yesteryear

The whole point of Arizona model of "always low taxes" is to win the battle for business. But it looks like our state is fighting the last battle and losing. We have the stingiest combination of low state spending and high poverty rates in America, and now state leaders — and the state as a whole — are going to have to go back to school to cash in on the changing economy.... Read more»

Obamacare

Squeaker in House becomes headache for Senate: 5 things to watch

After weeks of will-they-or-won’t-they tensions, the House managed to pass its GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act by a razor-thin margin. Now the bill — and the multitude of questions surrounding it — moves across the Capitol to the Senate. And the job doesn’t get any easier, with only a two-vote Republican majority and no likely Democratic support.... Read more»

The cost of cuts: Arizona tax carve-outs last year hit $13.7B

Teachers who marched on the Capitol in support of doubling the salary boost that lawmakers were considering went home empty-handed, as Republican lawmakers backed a budget that grants a two-percent increase over the next two years, saying there simply wasn’t money available. But that figure is dwarfed by how much tax revenue the state doesn’t collect each year: In fiscal year 2016, state law allowed $13.7 billion in taxes to go uncollected through a litany of exemptions, deductions, allowances, exclusions or credits.... Read more»

FactCheck: Did Democrats once support border wall?

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney made an apples-to-oranges comparison when he said he couldn’t understand why Democrats opposed supplemental funding for a border wall since many of them were for it back in 2006.... Read more»

School districts, education groups sue Arizona over funding shortfalls

Lawmakers have violated the Arizona Constitution by failing to adequately fund school facilities and repairs, according to a lawsuit filed against the state on Monday by school districts and education groups. ... Read more»

Trump concession on wall funding rekindles gov't shutdown talks

The threat of a U.S. government shutdown this weekend appeared to recede Tuesday after President Trump backed away from a demand that Congress include funding for his planned border wall with Mexico in a spending bill. ... Read more»

Federal judge blocks Trump order on sanctuary city funding

A U.S. judge on Tuesday blocked President Donald Trump's executive order that sought to withhold federal funds from so-called sanctuary cities, dealing another legal blow to the administration's immigration priorities. ... Read more»

What the Devil won't tell you

Tucson sales tax referendum confirms erosion is no hoax

Stuff breaks. Erosion happens. Things cost money. These are the realities prompting Prop. 101, the sales-tax bump going before city voters in just a few weeks.... Read more»

Legislative roundup: Pets and bill signings

Last week was the first week where legislators didn’t meet for committee hearings. Instead, their time was devoted to dozens of votes in the House and Senate and watching the governor’s pen for new laws all before working through the budget in the coming weeks.... Read more»

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