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Analysis

U.S. child welfare system is falling short because of persistent child poverty

Although government spending on the child welfare system totaled $33 billion in 2018, the most recent year for which an estimate is available, it’s still failing to meet all children’s needs because of overwhelming demand. ... Read more»

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Some states are already targeting birth control

The Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade will further fuel some conservatives’ efforts to limit access to birth control - as Republican lawmakers have begun a push to restrict access to birth control methods they claim are abortifacients.... Read more»

The Tucson agenda

Sahuarita's mega surplus; TUSD needs auditors

The political world loves "rainy day funds," but Sahaurita's excess cash is borderline insane. Meanwhile, a Tucson Unified School District's audit committee woes are the fault of a community that doesn't want to step up.... Read more»

As businesses hunt for educated workers, states loosen purse strings for higher ed again

Many states are boosting their budgets for public higher education more than at any time since 2008 and proposing even higher allocations down the road as politicians are focusing on the need for educated workers in an economy that’s short of talent.... Read more»

Tucson jury finds man guilty of gun smuggling, threatening federal officers

A Las Vegas man who engaged in an armed standoff with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Lukeville, Arizona in 2019 was found guilty of impeding and threatening federal officers, and smuggling firearms and ammunition into Mexico. John Milton Lee, 62, planned to drive weapons to Guatemala, but was turned back by Mexican authorities. ... Read more»

Ginni Thomas emailed GOP lawmaker Shawnna Bolick for help overturning Biden’s Arizona win

Ginni Thomas, conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, tried in the days after the 2020 election to convince Rep. Shawnna Bolick and House Speaker Rusty Bowers to help her overturn Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona.... Read more»

Judge blocks Biden administration from lifting Title 42 public health order used to quickly expel migrants

A federal judge in Louisiana on Friday blocked the Biden administration from lifting a public health order that immigration officers have used to quickly expel migrants at the southwest border, including asylum-seekers.... Read more»

Yuma sheriff isn’t investigating election fraud because of '2000 Mules'

Dinesh D’Souza told a conservative podcast that “2000 Mules,” his film making flawed and faulty claims about election fraud in 2020, directly led the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office to open up an investigation — but the sheriff says that’s simply not true. ... Read more»

9th Circuit revives Arizona fight over COVID relief restrictions

Arizona has standing to challenge a provision in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that bars states from using the federal funds to cut taxes, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled Thursday, reversing a federal judge’s decision. ... Read more»

Private landlords have become the key to Arizona subsidized housing

Private landlords serve as gatekeepers for tenants who’ve received vouchers, but the majority of Arizona’s roughly two dozen public housing authorities, which manage the program for HUD, lack a formal process for approving private landlords.... Read more»

Tribal police agencies in Arizona & across the nation struggle to attract, maintain officers

A Navajo Nation official told a Senate panel this week that the tribe’s police department lacks the resources to attract and retain officers, a problem that experts say is faced by tribal police departments across the country. ... Read more»

Feds approve 35,000 more work visas, as firms struggle to fill open jobs

Arizona businesses welcomed the federal government’s release this week of another 35,000 H-2B visas for temporary guest workers, as a tight U.S. labor market has left companies scrambling to fill vacancies. ... Read more»

California to test solar panels over irrigation canals to save water, boost electricity output

A pilot project in California’s lush Central Valley looks to save water and increase energy efficiency by building solar-panel canopies over existing canals - but such a solution is impractical in Arizona, where costs would be too high and the savings too low.... Read more»

Yes, the drought really is that bad

The Southwest has been hit hard with dry conditions as shrinking snowpacks, parched topsoil and depleted reservoirs are symptoms of the West’s worst set of dry years since 800 A.D. - and there is a significant likelihood the megadrought continues.... Read more»

Tucson offers to turn off tap on some Colorado River water to try to save Lake Mead

Tucson is offering to give up part of its Colorado River allotment to try to maintain water levels in Lake Mead, an important reservoir for Arizona and other Southwestern states that has been imperiled by drought. ... Read more»

UA Native education programs win grants from AZ education department

With the help of a grant from the Arizona Department of Education, the Native SOAR program at the University of Arizona hopes to expand its mentoring program and provide more quality services to Indigenous students and Arizona educators, both in person and online.... Read more»

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