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Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., walks through the Capitol on his way to the State of the Union. A previous proposal from McCain on climate change was cited by President Barack Obama as the sort of market-driven, bipartisan proposal that is needed in Congress.

For Arizona lawmakers, President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday was either an urgent national call to arms or a ruinous plan for big government, depending on which side of the aisle they sit on. Read more»

The U.S. District Court in Arizona has had a significantly higher caseload than the national average, according to court statistics. The number of felony cases filed per judge in Arizona is shown in red, and the national average is in blue.

Sen. Jeff Flake said he met with Rosemary Marquez and will review her writing, making supporters optimistic that the long-delayed judicial nominee will get a hearing after 19 months. Marquez has been nominated to the busy U.S. District Court in Arizona, which faces a crushing caseload, with more vacancies recently announced. Read more»

Students at Hugh E. Laird Elementary in Tempe, in this October photo, were allowed to taste-test school lunches last year in an effort by the school district to get students to eat more healthy food.

Arizona schools are serving breakfast to 50,000 more low-income students than they did five years ago, but still reaching fewer than half the children eligible. Read more»

In testimony to a House committee in July, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano defended her department’s policy to exercise 'discretion' when deciding whether to deport younger, low-risk undocumented immigrants.

Only 14,069 of the estimated 80,000 Arizonans eligible for deferred deportation had applied for the federal program through its first six months, a rate much lower than the nation as a whole. Read more» 1

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., here with Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said that now is the time for comprehensive immigration reform and he thinks the plan put forward by senators Monday is a good starting point for discussion.

Arizona’s two senators joined six others Monday to unveil a bipartisan “tough, but fair” plan for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for some people now here illegally. Read more»

Arizona’s congressional delegation voted 7-2 this week to raise the nation’s debt limit, crossing party lines to do so and creating some unusual alliances in the process. Read more»

President Barack Obama waves at Monday’s inauguration ceremony, where his inaugural address included a call for action on immigration reform, among other measures.

Latino groups, citing the mention of immigration reform and the prominent role Hispanics played in Monday's inauguration, said they are optimistic that President Barack Obama can move beyond words to action in his second term - and impatient for that to happen. Read more» 1

Phoenix Mayor Stanton, second from left, with Aerospace Industries Association Vice President Cord Sterling, Bipartisan Policy Center analyst Shai Akabas and Senate aide Darrel Thompson, left to right, after a meeting on the effects of looming federal budget cuts.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton joined other mayors who criticized Washington leaders for their inability to act on a budget. The mayors fear that the failure to reach a budget agreement could cripple local economies, if drastic spending cuts are allowed to kick in this spring. Read more»

Over-prescription is one of the issues cited by experts as a possible cause of high rates of prescription drug abuse. Arizona had the sixth-highest rate of prescription pain-killer abuse in the country in 2010-2011, according to a recent report.

Arizona had the sixth-highest level of prescription pain-reliever abuse in the nation in 2010-2011, a new report says. But abuse rates had dropped from the previous year, which state officials say may show that efforts to curb abuse are working. Read more»

Emily Nottingham is applauded at a congressional hearing where she testified about her son, Gabe Zimmerman, one of six people killed in a 2011 shooting in Tucson that also wounded 13 people, including then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Tucson.

A packed congressional hearing room gave a standing ovation Wednesday to Emily Nottingham, whose testimony about her son killed in a 2011 Tucson shooting spree brought several people to tears. “We have allowed ourselves to overemphasize gun rights to the detriment of other rights, including the most important, the right to be alive,” she said. Read more»

Arizona was one of 15 states to get a D on a national report card ranking how well states were doing when it comes to making dental-sealant treatment available to low-income children.

Arizona got a D on a national report card on low-income kids' access to cavity-preventing sealant, which supporters call a "cost-effective, evidence-based, preventative service" that improves dental health in the long run. Read more»

Voters on Tuesday rejected a ballot measure to declare state sovereignty over Arizona’s forests and other natural resources. Read more»

Arizona State University’s text-alert program now includes social media as well as an alert system for incidents that don’t rise to the level of emergencies.

Emergency alert systems put into place after the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings have evolved into multi-platform tools to share critical information during emergencies. Read more»

Varying rates of population growth in Arizona.

The rapid population growth that drove Arizona’s economy before the Great Recession could return in large part within several years as things improve elsewhere, experts say. Read more»

Rep. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, speaks at a news conference supporting Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of legislation that would have allowed electronic billboards on state highways and interstates, something that astronomers said could jeopardize the dark skies that observatories need.

Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of a bill that would have allowed electronic billboards will help preserve world-class astronomy in Arizona, a group of astronomers said Thursday. Read more» 2

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