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How the invisible hand of Steve Twist shaped Az's punitive justice system

Over four decades, Arizona victims’ rights advocate, adjunct law professor and former assistant state attorney general Steve Twist has had an enduring impact on policies that created one of the nation’s most punitive state criminal justice systems.... Read more»

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Arizona protected Airbnb with 2016 law, but cities & activists hope to regain regulating power

With Arizona law tilted firmly in favor of Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms, cities and towns looking to stop the negative effects of homes in quiet neighborhoods being rented out as “party houses” are increasingly finding their hands tied. ... Read more»

Arizona bill aimed at Google, Apple app store profits fails again

A bill that sought to slash the profits Apple and Google make from their app stores was rejected by Arizona legislators Wednesday, the second year in a row the Big Tech firms have kept such legislation from advancing. ... Read more»

Rightwing lobby group ALEC driving laws to blacklist companies that boycott the oil industry

The influential right-wing lobby group the American Legislative Exchange Council is driving a surge in new state laws to block boycotts of the oil industry - the strategy, which aims to protect conservative-friendly industries, is modeled on legislation to punish divestment from Israel.... Read more»

Over half of states have rolled back public health powers in pandemic

Republican legislators in more than half of U.S. states, supported by a corporate-backed conservative group and spurred on by voters angry about lockdowns and mask mandates, are taking away the powers officials use to protect the public against infectious diseases.... Read more»

Arizona and other states braced for a wave of COVID lawsuits that never arrived

In a legislative flurry, 30 states - including Arizona - instituted liability protections designed to protect businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits, out of fear that companies would be sued for exposing workers, clients or vendors to the swiftly spreading, deadly disease.... Read more»

GOP lawmakers, ALEC urge feds not to 'bail out' states

Several Republican lawmakers from Arizona are urging the federal government not to provide funding to states and cities that are coping with the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as Arizona faces a projected budget deficit of more than a billion dollars.... Read more»

Az House Democrats: ‘Offensive and wrong’ to assume we won’t be unified

Responding to a column this week, every Democrat in the Arizona House of Representatives pledged to vote for one of their own to lead the chamber if Democrats take control of the legislative chamber in this year's elections.... Read more»

Monday musings: Analysis

Will Dems win in 2020 only to see GOP control Az Leg in 2021?

Some deep blue Dems in the Legislature are being recruited to defect and vote for a Republican state House speaker, including Alma and Daniel Hernandez of Tucson. Plus: the 2020 presidential race all comes down to Wisconsin and Arizona.... Read more»1

Monday musings: Analysis

Ducey for president – but in D.C. or Tempe?

An often-asked political question by State Capitol observers these days: what will Gov. Doug Ducey do when his current, final term in office is over? What's his next dream job?... Read more»

Analysis

Arizona among top states for passing ‘copycat bills’ written by national partisan & industry groups

Arizona is among the top states for copycat legislation, “model” bills that are crafted on a national level by conservative, liberal and industry special-interest groups and then pushed on the local level from state Capitol to state Capitol.... Read more»

Conservatives plot course on rising ‘sea of red’ in state capitals

Shortly after the November election, with the nation’s political attention focused on the Trump transition, an influential advocacy group — ALEC — met outside Washington to discuss how to leverage the extraordinary shift of power to Republicans in the rest of the country.... Read more»

Model gov't: Arizona lawmakers outsource legislative ideas

At least a handful of the 1,361 bills introduced in Arizona this year match bills introduced in other state legislatures. Nearly identical laws introduced in multiple states, or “model legislation,” come from national industry associations, individual companies, or policy think-tanks and advocacy groups, such as ALEC.... Read more»

Charter school power broker turns public education into private profits

Baker Mitchell is a politically connected North Carolina businessman who celebrates the power of the free market. Every year, millions of public education dollars flow through Mitchell’s chain of four nonprofit charter schools to for-profit companies he controls. ... Read more»

Voting-rights groups slam bills on Clean Elections

A bill that would prohibit the Citizens Clean Elections Commission from investigating allegations of campaign contribution limit violations is part of a “war on voters” by Republican lawmakers, leaders of voter-rights groups said last week.... Read more»

Commentary

Shining a light on ALEC's power to shape policy

It’s amazing how a little sunlight will change the behavior of some of the biggest names in corporate America — sunlight here meaning greater transparency and accountability. The American Legislative Exchange Council's behind-the-scenes influence peddling should be getting more attention from the Washington press corps.... Read more»

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