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The number of signatures needed to put a measure on the ballot in Arizona would roughly double if a GOP plan to amend the state constitution is successful.

Republican lawmakers are seeking to place a measure on the 2024 ballot that critics say could further hamstring Arizonans’ efforts to pass their own laws by increasing the number of signatures required to put changes to state law and the constitution on the ballot. Read more»

14 states, including Arizona, were penalized on their report cards this year for giving regulatory preference to adult-use cannabis operations.

A report from a patient advocacy group found the future of medical cannabis in the states is hazy unless costs are decreased, product safety standards are improved, and civil rights are strengthened for patients and prescribers. Read more»

The special committee will review Hobbs’ appointments and then make recommendations to the Senate on what action to take. This is a novel approach: Throughout Arizona’s history, executive nominees have been reviewed by the Senate’s regular standing committees.

Republicans moved to create a new committee Thursday that aims to “evaluate executive nominations,” setting the stage for a major political battle between Gov. Katie Hobbs and Senate Republicans. Read more»

A sign outside Burton Barr Public Library in Phoenix on Nov. 8, 2022.

Arizona Republicans have taken another step in their attempt to completely overhaul elections in the Grand Canyon State, with a proposed bill that would force hand counts in the state’s elections, a practice that elections experts say would be logistically impossible. Read more»

U.S. Rep. David Schweikert at an October 2020 'Make America Great Again' campaign rally for Donald Trump in Scottsdale. Photo by

U.S. Rep. David Schweikert was a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus in 2015 - but Schweikert has quit the group, ostensibly because he was sick of being confused with the members of a similarly named far-right group of Arizona state legislators. Read more»

A man holds up a sign questioning if religious uniforms fall under the same definition as the clothing drag performers wear in Phoenix during a protest of anti-drag bills on Jan. 22, 2023. The definitions included in the bills, which seek to target drag performers who often use clothing perceived as belonging to the opposite sex, have been criticized as being too broad.

Concerns that a proposal seeking to restrict drag shows could lead to the criminalization of transgender Arizonans were ignored by Republican lawmakers on Thursday, who defended their approval of the bill by equating drag with pedophilia and calling it “evil” that must be stamped out. Read more»

Pima County Attorney Laura Conover spoke against the proposed bill, saying that there are already laws on the books that prosecutors can use for these types of deaths, and her office has successfully prosecuted several dealers for manslaughter.

A proposed Arizona law that would allow drug dealers to be charged with homicide if their product killed someone was shot down by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, with one lawmaker saying it would cause more problems that it would solve. Read more»

All the budget bills passed out of the Senate along party lines with the support of the chamber’s 16 Republicans.

Arizona Senate Republicans passed a “skinny budget” Wednesday afternoon that merely extends much of the $18 billion budget passed last year for another 12 months, despite Gov. Katie Hobbs saying that she intends to veto it if it reaches her desk. Read more»

Discretionary spending funds the vast majority of federal departments and agencies annually, including the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs.

President Joe Biden and U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy huddled behind closed doors at the White House on Wednesday in the first of what will likely be several conversations as the country approaches two fiscal cliffs this year amid divided government. Read more»

A resident protests outside the Lazy Daze Mobile Home Park.

As mobile homes continue to be displaced by development across Arizona, a bipartisan bill would increase allotments dispersed by the Mobile Home Relocation Fund, and increase the amount the landlord must pay to the fund for each tenant filing for relocation assistance. Read more»

A Border Patrol vehicle patrols the border between San Diego and Tijuana in this 2016 file photo. Lawmakers sparred at a recent House hearing over whether a surge at the border contributes to human trafficking.

U.S. House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee blamed the Biden administration for fentanyl drug smuggling at the U.S.-Mexico border - though most fentanyl is seized at ports of entry through screenings and not brought by migrants fleeing violence or economic hardship. Read more»

Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs has previously denounced laws that target the trans community, and her chief of staff, Allie Bones, summarily dismissed Kavanagh’s anti-trans bill restricting preferred pronoun use in schools as dead on arrival.

A new proposal introduced by a GOP lawmaker with a history of anti-trans legislation seeks to mandate that public schools provide an alternate option to people who are “unwilling or unable” to use the multi-occupancy restroom or locker room that matches their biological sex. Read more»

In addition to the politicians that Southwest Gas solicited for support, several business groups connected to the utility filed letters echoing the utility’s talking points.

The Arizona Corporation Commission approved a natural gas rate hike on Jan. 10, in part because of misrepresentations of the intent of consumer advocates involved in the process that public records show Southwest Gas helped organize. Read more»

Forcing schools to slash 17% of their annual budgets at the end of the academic year amounts to cutting as much as 70% of planned expenses.

With less than a month to go before schools are forced to cut $1.4 billion from their budgets, Arizona lawmakers took the first step towards addressing the problem on Tuesday — although some made sure to say they had reservations about doing so. Read more»

Critical race theory is a graduate-level field of academic study about the ways that racism is embedded in various aspects of society — but it has turned into a catchall term for various race-related teachings, including instruction on white privilege and anti-racism.

For the third time in as many years, Arizona lawmakers are trying to pass legislation that would ban so-called “critical race theory” in public schools, though the measure stands virtually no chance of becoming law with Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs in the executive office. Read more»

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