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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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Bill would protect good Samaritans who break into hot cars to save children, pets

A bill proposed to allow good Samaritans to intervene when children or animals are left in hot cars is waiting on a vote in the Arizona House of Representatives. SB 1001 was designed to protect Good Samaritans who break into cars to save a child or pet if they have “a good faith belief” they are in danger.... Read more»

Legislative roundup: A retired justice, minimum wage & drunken hair cuts

The week in the Arizona Legislature.... Read more»

Legislative roundup: Women, fake news and money

Wednesday was International Women’s Day and it was clear across the capitol who supported it and who didn’t. Some women across the world took the day to strike, wear red and blue, or not buy anything, while others kept their nose to the ground. Women packed both the House and Senate galleries.... Read more»

Lawmaker wants to establish industrial hemp industry in Arizona

A Republican state senator from Lake Havasu City sees economic opportunity in industrial hemp and wants to bring Arizona into the fold.... Read more»

Az lawmakers debate raising minimum auto liability insurance

You might have to pay about $80 more on car insurance next year if a bill working its way through the state Legislature passes.... Read more»

Legislative roundup: More guns and some not so nice things

By mid-day in the beginning of March, it’s already too warm to spend much time outside in Phoenix, but you wouldn’t know that at the state Legislature. Senators, representatives, interns and pages are all working from 9 a.m. to well into the evening, blocking off most of the sun-lit hours. Gov. Doug Ducey has finally started signing bills into law, and the late-night marathon sessions have given legislators dozens of bills to read every day.... Read more»

What the Devil won't tell you

Arizona's low classroom spending is the price of districts being broke

Every March the Auditor General releases a report on K-12 classroom spending and every year the math-challenged press falls for the clickbait line “Arizona classroom spending near record lows.” The real story: the state doesn't provide enough money to pay teachers – the biggest driver of classroom expenses – then cuffs districts around for not spending enough in classrooms. Jerks. ... Read more»1

Az lawmaker wants to allow people to shoot rat and snake shot within city limits

It’s been illegal to fire a weapon within city limits in Arizona since 2000. One state rep. wants to tweak that statute – commonly referred to as “Shannon’s Law” – and add an exemption for people to shoot rat or snake shot. Tucson resident Charles Heller, a spokesman for a gun-rights group, supports the bill and said shooting snakes has been a long-time practice here.... Read more»

State bill would pay $2.5M toward memorial for Jan. 8 attack

Several Arizona legislators support a bill to fund a memorial honoring survivors and victims of the Jan. 8, 2011, attack in Tucson, when a man started shooting during a congressional meet-and-greet in a grocery-store parking lot.... Read more»

Legal aid, advice available for immigrants, but ‘notario’ fraud also prevalent

President Donald Trump’s election and immigration executive orders have led to an increase in the number of immigrants seeking legal advice and assistance in Arizona, and local law organizations are responding to this influx by supplying pro bono and low-cost legal help to community outreach groups.... Read more»

Legislative roundup: Cell phones and tampon tax

On Valentine’s Day, the Arizona State Capitol was full of gratuitous shows of love: singing on the House floor, heart-shaped balloons on the rose garden. But whether state minimum wage workers will feel the love became the question. Meanwhile, legislators reviewed bills on tax returns, sales taxes on tampons, teen drivers and more.... Read more»

Legislature taking up major civil asset forfeiture reforms

In the wake of a yearlong investigation that found lax oversight of the program that allowed Arizona law enforcement to seize $200 million from people suspected of committing crimes and spend more than half of it on general operations, the Legislature is considering a measure that would fundamentally alter how police can take a private citizen’s money or property. ... Read more»

What the Devil won't tell you

Church of Blake wants a piece of Az's school voucher action

So how can Blakeism make taxpayer dollars with no accountability work for me as I spread a vision some may find morally repugnant? Stick it to the suckers, that's how. Arizona lawmakers are fast-tracking a bill to give tax money to religious schools. Well, I've got a church and I will teach those little ragamuffins all they need to know.... Read more»2

Legislative roundup: Tanning, guns, tuition costs

This was the busiest week yet this session for Arizona lawmakers, with committee hearings taking hours and bills vetted by the dozens. The week on the capitol began graced with dozens of Arizona firefighters spotting the mall, and ended with a farmers market. Somewhere in between, a mini horse trotted across the Rose Garden to lobby for service animals.... Read more»

What the Devil won't tell you

Time out on cruelty: Ducey's budget takes itsy-bitsy steps in right direction

Ducey's budget does not put us on a path toward a moderate future. Arizona still has a smoldering hole where the empathy goes. But for him, this budget, with its nods toward education, is practically a drum circle. I'll take it, praise the light and implore voters to make more structural changes in how Arizona operates. ... Read more»

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