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No permit, no problem: More states allow residents to carry hidden guns

21 states now no longer require residents to hold a permit to carry a concealed firearm, eliminating the previous requirements for gun owners to take gun safety and training classes and undergo a background check.... Read more»

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Report: Child care woes cost Arizona economy $1.8 billion per year

Instability in Arizona’s child care system is costing the state an estimated $1.8 billion in economic activity a year, according to a new U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation report, as gaps in care force parents to forgo professional and educational opportunities.... Read more»

Why 2021 could be the start of a radical change in how Washington influences local schools

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is urging Congress to approve $103 billion in new budget authority for the Department of Education - what could become a steady stream that’s nearly impossible to take back, meaning a huge change in federal control over local schools.... Read more»

Sinema, O’Halleran part of White House talks on Build Back Better plan

Two Arizona lawmakers, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Rep. Tom O’Halleran, were among the House and Senate moderates who met with President Joe Biden this week, as negotiations on the administration’s Build Back Better plan heated up. ... Read more»

Can you hear me now? Centrist positioning makes Arizona's Sinema a player, pariah

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s refusal to back the Biden administration’s spending package has made her a target for Democrats – but it has also landed her numerous meetings with the president this week and led to surprisingly high support for her among Arizona Republicans.... Read more»

Poverty rate climbed in 2020, but pandemic assistance blunted losses

The U.S. poverty rate rose from 10.5% to 11.4% last year, reversing years of steady declines, but that increase in poverty was offset by pandemic relief funds and other benefits, according to new Census Bureau data.... Read more»

Essential but ignored: How day care powered the pandemic workforce

When public school systems switched to remote learning, parents who required child care paid high sums for day care that relied on workers who were earning minimum wage - now, those same day care businesses are struggling to recover with high turnover of low-wage workers.... Read more»

Cleaned out of a job: Housekeepers lose work during the pandemic

According to the National Domestic Workers Alliance, more than 90% of domestic workers are women, and many are also immigrants and people of color — all groups that disproportionately felt the damaging effects of the pandemic.... Read more»

Direct child tax credit checks start for thousands of Arizona families

Monthly payments from the IRS are set to begin to most American families with children - beginning now through December - part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan and an advance on 2021 tax returns that could mean up to $300 a month per child.... Read more»

As pandemic rages, farmworkers say employers are ‘prioritizing production over … lives’

Bertha spent 17 days in her bedroom after testing positive for COVID-19.... Read more»

Report: Thousands of DACA recipients work on COVID-19 front lines

An estimated 29,000 health care workers in the U.S. are undocumented, according to a recent report, but have remained in this country under the DACA program. A program that the Trump administration is trying to abolish.... Read more»

Community groups launch COVID relief fund for undocumented families

When Gov. Doug Ducey was asked during an April 2 town hall event what message he had for the state’s undocumented community, who are left without access to state and federal economic relief programs to assist people during the COVID-19 crisis, the Republican leader provided no comfort or reassurance.... Read more»

Jobless claims jump 3 million in a week, Arizona mirrors national trend

New unemployment claims rose to almost 3.3 million last week, an increase of 3 million over the previous week and the highest on record, according to numbers released Thursday by the Labor Department. ... Read more»

Report: Aging legislatures overlooking concerns of younger voters

Legislators across the country are far older than their constituents, and issues important to young people are taking a backseat at state and national levels as a result, according to a new report.... Read more»

Report: State, national economies could surge under deportation-deferral plans

Granting deportation deferral to an estimated 137,000 Arizona residents would add hundreds of jobs annually and billions of dollars over a decade to the state economy, according to a new state-by-state analysis from liberal think-tank Center for American Progress.... Read more»2

Poll: Western voters oppose giving federal lands to states

A poll says 52 percent of voters in eight Western states don't think federal lands should be shifted to state control. An Arizona bill to do that was vetoed in 2012, but Utah law calls on the federal government to cede lands there by Dec. 31. Few expect that to happen.... Read more»2

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