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Transportation projects were among the biggest requests by members of Arizona’s congressional delegation for fiscal 2023, the second year Congress has allowed 'community project funding' – or earmarks – after a 10-year hiatus. But requests covered the gamut, from military construction to medical equipment to counseling programs.

For a second straight year, Republicans refrained from requesting any local projects funding, while Democrats this year raised their requests by more than $194.5 million, a 43% increase over last year, when earmarks were restored after a decade-long hiatus. Read more»

President Donald Trump, in an October 2020 file photo. A month later, Trump would be asking donors for money to challenge the election – and thousands of Arizonans responded, donating $1.5 million. The Jan. 6 committee said that money was diverted to other Trump funds, but no Arizona donors have complained.

Scottsdale led all Arizona cities for donations to Trump-affiliated fundraising committees - with donors from Phoenix and Tucson close behind - as retirees were by far the biggest group of Arizona donors, accounting for 56% of contributions from the state to the Save America PAC. Read more»

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers testified during the fourth congressional hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 21, 2022.

The Arizona Republican Party formally censured House Speaker Rusty Bowers Tuesday as “unfit to serve” the party, less than one month after he testified to the committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Read more»

Abortion-rights advocates protest at the Supreme Court after it overturned Roe v. Wade, the decision that recognized a right to an abortion, and said regulation should be up to the states. The House Friday passed bills that would reinstate Roe, but their future in the Senate is uncertain.

Arizona lawmakers split on party lines Friday as the House passed a pair of bills guaranteeing a right to an abortion, exactly three weeks after the Supreme Court overturned that right - but the chance of passage in the split Senate is slim. Read more»

A federal court upheld most of the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry’s policy that prohibits inmates from having sexually explicit materials. Even though it intrudes on the First Amendment, it is justified by the department’s need to maintain a safe, orderly system, the court said.

A federal appeals court upheld the Arizona prison system’s ban on sexually explicit material for inmates, rejecting claims by a censored prison magazine publisher that the policy violates the First Amendment. Read more»

Tourism officials say Arizona’s natural wonders are likely to keep tourists coming to the state over time.

National parks in Arizona welcomed 10.7 million visitors who pumped $1.12 billion into local economies in 2021, both sharp increases from the pandemic-induced lows of the year before, according to the National Park Service. Read more»

A woman fuels up at the the Circle K gas station on Roosevelt and Seventh streets in Phoenix on Thursday, when gas prices in Arizona averaged $5.34 a gallon. But a White House plan to ease the pain at the pump with a 90-day gas-tax holiday is getting a cool reception from lawmakers.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday urged lawmakers to suspend gasoline and diesel taxes on both federal and state levels for at least three months - but any tax holidays would have to be approved by an unenthusiastic Congress and by state lawmakers. Read more»

Airmen at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas celebrate Juneteenth in 2021, the first year it was a federal holiday. Since then, the holiday has grown in popularity, but it is still not widely observed.

It took more than two years for news of the Emancipation Proclamation to reach the last enslaved people in Texas – and though it may take as long to win wide acceptance for the new federal holiday, supporters say they intend to keep raising awareness. Read more»

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams was one the witnesses at the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on protecting children from gun violence. She said gun-reform is needed as well as resources for police.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams urged senators Wednesday to devote more resources to law enforcement agencies to help fight the rising incidents of gun violence among youths. Read more»

The March for Our Lives rally drew thousands to Washington, one of several cities across the U.S. - including Phoenix and Tucson - where protesters gathered Saturday to demand action on gun reform laws.

Arizona’s senators were part of bipartisan group that unveiled a compromise gun-reform proposal which is weaker than just-passed House legislation but might have the votes needed to get past a Senate filibuster. Read more»

Patrick Baughman, center, celebrates the anniversary of his gun shop, Against All Enemies. Baughman got into gun manufacturing in 2018, one of a fast-growing number of such businesses in Arizona.

At a time when headline-grabbing mass shootings are driving calls for gun reform, gun manufacturing in Arizona appears to still be a growth industry as the number of manufacturers grew 218% between 2010 and 2020, from 128 such businesses to 407. Read more»

The Biden administration said this week that Arizona, and the rest of the U.S., are benefiting from a robust economy, with low unemployment and rising wages. Critics say that may be true, but it ignores record high gas prices and soaring inflation that is hitting people when they shop for food, clothes – or just about anything else.

Despite rising inflation and high gas prices, White House officials insisted this week that Arizona is sharing in the nation’s “robust” economic recovery, with low unemployment, and expanding wages in the state. Read more»

A newborn grasps her father’s finger in this 2019 file photo. In 2021, births in Arizona rose for the first time since 2014, according to state data, increasing despite – or maybe because of – the pandemic, among other possible factors.

The number of children born in Arizona last year rose for the first time in seven years, stumping experts who had expected a baby bust to worsen through the pandemic. Read more»

Firearms on display at Legendary Guns store in Phoenix in 2018, when there were 377,838 firearm background checks in Arizona. By 2020, that number had jumped to 665,458 and it has since remained well above previous years. Now, analysts say there could be another surge in buying in response to the recent spate of mass shootings in the U.S.

Gun sales in Arizona have surged in recent years - with more than 4.3 million background checks on gun purchases over the last decade and one-third of those in the last two years - and experts say they could jump again, sparked by multiple mass shootings. Read more»

People board the light rail in Phoenix. A new Census Bureau report says that only about 60% of Americans are actually going to work when they go to work, with the rest working virtually. In Arizona, just 58.1% worked on-site as of May.

A sizable number of Arizonans have yet to go back to the office two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, opting instead to meet all clients, co-workers and other professional connections in the digital space. Read more»

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