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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.

Hundreds gathered on the lawn in front of the Arizona House of Representatives Sunday to voice their discontent with the legislature’s Republican majority, which has overseen the passage of several anti-LGBTQ laws in recent years. Read more»

The mask mandate was first implemented in April 2020 by then-Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, who shared his concern about the lifted mandate on social media shortly after it was announced.

Almost three years after it was instituted to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Navajo Nation has lifted its mask mandate, making mask use optional in public spaces and businesses for the general public, and is now considered fully reopened to the general public. Read more»

The appeals court ruled that even a narrow reading of the provision represents an 'unconstitutional condition' on federal funds.

A provision of the American Rescue Plan Act which would have prevented states from using pandemic relief funds to offset new tax cuts cannot be enforced and violates the spending clause of the U.S. Constitution, a unanimous panel of the 11th Circuit ruled on Friday. Read more»

U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego has jumped into the U.S. Senate race. For the moment, his prospects are a lot better than independent incumbent Kyrsten Sinema's.

U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego is a former Marine Corps combat officer and it shows, as he guns the engine on his U.S. Senate campaign. He is reading the terrain well, surrounding himself with good commanders and has just seized the high ground. Read more»

Arizona recently entered a tier 2A shortage due to the dwindling of the Colorado River, with a 21% reduction in Colorado River allocation going into effect at the start of this year, about 9% of the state’s total water usage.

Arizona is ranked No. 3 among the states for water efficiency and sustainability, but still has a lot of room for improvement, according to an analysis by The Alliance for Water Efficiency that ranks each state on conservation, sustainability and affordability. Read more»

A look at the roadwork projects in the draft RTA plan would suggest Tucson is doing OK in the fight for projects.

Tucson looks like it's coming out OK in a draft RTA Next plan, with 24 of 37 projects slated for the region's urban core. Plus, Pima County dives into initial appearances and Buffalo Soldiers, and more in local government meetings this week. Read more»

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Apartments in Downtown Tucson are among the few that accept federal Section 8 housing vouchers in Tucson.

The city of Tucson will close the pre-application period for public housing and Section 8 voucher waitlists Monday night, giving people a final weekend to submit applications. Read more»

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrote to Congress last week, to inform members the United States would reach its $31.385 trillion borrowing limit Jan. 19. 

The nation reached its debt limit Thursday, beginning the uncertain process known as extraordinary measures, in which the U.S. Treasury Department uses accounting maneuvers to avoid defaulting on the debt. Read more»

Pima Animal Care Center will stay closed to the public through Monday as officials work to stem the contagious respiratory disease strep zoo. Two dogs were euthanized because of the infection, and several more have contracted it. Read more»

SRP and Clenera will begin construction on Arizona’s largest solar plant in 2023 northwest of Flagstaff. SRP has been working to expand solar, including at East Line Solar in Coolidge, shown here, which was initiated by SRP and is owned and operated by a subsidiary of AES.

Salt River Project has partnered with Clēnera, a private renewable energy company, to bring Arizona its largest solar plant on 2,400 acres of private land northwest of Flagstaff by 2024. Read more»

Being certified in grief counseling doesn’t mean someone is a licensed counselor, but to the general public, it seems like the same thing: A certification can be easily mistaken for a professional license.

With COVID-19 deaths well past 6.5 million worldwide, the demand for grief counseling has exploded, but a shortage of trained and licensed mental health professionals has created a market opportunity for people without clinical training and licenses to work as grief therapists. Read more»

Law enforcement can obtain people’s data from tech companies such as Google, whose privacy policies say the companies reserve the right to share users’ data with law enforcement.

Some sites selling abortion pills use technology that shares information with third parties like Google - and law enforcement can potentially use this data to prosecute people who end their pregnancies with medication. Read more»

Although rents in the state had started dropping slightly by late last year, homelessness in Arizona is still on the rise as housing remains unaffordable for many. 

Democratic lawmakers in the Arizona House of Representatives are looking to pass a suite of housing bills that aim to help renters weather the ongoing housing crisis, but their proposals have detractors in the state’s powerful landlord lobby.  Read more»

Lithium is a key element for the production of electric vehicle batteries.

The U.S. is urging Mexico to open up lithium exploitation to the private sector in order to make the critical mineral cheaper - though lithium rights are nationalized in Mexico and the technology to extract lithium from the Sonoran Desert does not yet exist commercially. Read more»

Voters in November authorized allowing undocumented Arizona high school graduates to pay in-state tuition and receive state financial aid.

The Arizona Legislature has been in session for barely a week, and already Republican lawmakers are saying bipartisanship appears firmly out of reach and the state is headed for a government shutdown this summer.  Read more»

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