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State officials urge Congress to continue aid to counties with large federal lands

Local leaders from Arizona and other states urged Congress to safeguard the payment in lieu of taxes, which reimburses counties for untaxable federal land and is vital to county budgets.... Read more»

Analysis

U.S. now involved in 134 wars, or none, depending on your definition

The White House spent much of last week trying to figure out if the word “war” was the right one to describe its military actions against the Islamic State. So how many wars is the U.S. fighting right now? Somewhere between zero and 134.... Read more»

Az lawmakers want greater say in U.S. strategy against ISIS

Members of the state’s congressional delegation differed on exactly what the U.S. strategy toward ISIS should look like, but they mostly agreed that they should have a greater say in it. The comments came as lawmakers were being briefed by White House officials on the plan.... Read more»1

Rally to push deportation stay for woman in sanctuary at Tucson church

Supporters of Rosa Robles Loreto rallied Thursday to urge immigration officials to change a decision to deny a her stay of deportation, holding a vigil in front of Tucson’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Field Office.... Read more»1

Advocates on both sides take dim view of Obama’s immigration stance

As Congress returned from its August recess, advocates and Arizona lawmakers from both parties had harsh reactions to President Barack Obama’s recent announcement that he would not take action on immigration reform by the end of summer as he had previously vowed.... Read more»

Az and EPA discussing best way to meet strict new emissions rule

Arizona would face the second-steepest reductions in carbon emissions in the country - 52 percent - under the federal plan, which aims to cut carbon nationally by 30 percent by the year 2030.... Read more»

DHS secretary asks for $1.2 billion to pay for border 'surge'

Homeland Security Jeh Johnson is pushing for $1.2 billion in increased funding to pay for this summer’s border “surge” along the Rio Grande Valley — a response to the sudden influx of thousands of unaccompanied minors and adults with children.... Read more»2

Gun Wars

Domestic violence: Efforts focus on getting guns away from abusers

Advocates for domestic violence prevention and victims repeatedly asked Congress and state legislatures for a more streamlined process to keep guns out of the hands of abusers. However, the NRA cites the necessity to arm oneself for protection against acts of violence.... Read more»

Immigration judges urge Congress to fix record-high caseload backlog

Congress needs to double the number of judges and reorganize immigration courts to cope with a record-high 375,000 backlogged cases - including 15,000 in Arizona - two of those judges said.... Read more»

Spending on Arizona primary topped $43.5M

Driven by the race for GOP nomination for governor, politicians and independent committees spent a “staggering” sum on the primary, according to the most-recent campaign filings. That number is likely to go up, and millions more are likely to be spent before the Nov. 4 general.... Read more»

Border Patrol cuts overtime pay for agents

Belt-tightening made necessary by federal spending cuts, as well as pointed questions about the use of hours by federal agents with the Department of Homeland Security have resulted in cuts to the overtime hours of agents working as supervisors or in administrative duties, even as reform legislation languishes in Congress.... Read more»

States fill federal vacuum on immigrants

During another year of congressional inaction on immigration, states pushed for more changes at the state level, including opening up access to education for unauthorized immigrants.... Read more»1

Gun Wars

In Az and Conn., disparate responses to mass shootings

The similarities in the attacks were striking: Both were carried out by heavily armed young men with histories of mental illness. But in the aftermath of the tragedies, the states took radically different approaches on gun violence.... Read more»

Rio Grande Valley mayor welcomes National Guard troops

Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal is among the few public officials on the border welcoming the presence of National Guard troops to deal with the surge of illegal immigration.... Read more»

Analysis

How scared should Americans be of the Islamic State?

The United States is grappling with the risk level of the extremist militants retaliating as Obama inserts military might into Iraq.... Read more»

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