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Critics of the bill say enshrining HB2291 into law would invariably convince superintendents to stay away from struggling school districts.

Arizona school boards would have broader power to fire superintendents they believe are failing to meet the job’s responsibilities under a proposal that critics say could put board members at odds with the person they hired to run the districts — to the detriment of schools they oversee. Read more»

Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne urged lawmakers to lift the cap, warning that an already dire teacher shortage would be worsened if schools are forced to lay off staff towards the end of the year. 

An impending school funding ceiling is one of the first hurdles on the Arizona legislative agenda, and while schools are facing nearly $1.4 billion in budget cuts if it isn’t lifted, Republican legislative leaders say they will take action — just not immediately.  Read more»

"Barring a miracle from nature, it will likely get worse before it gets better. This should be a wake-up call for all of us, because it will take all of us to solve it." — Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs Read more»

Lawmakers are preparing for a possible special session to make changes to last year’s historic income tax cut package in a way that would avert a statewide vote on it in November, and to try to reverse a recent law that temporarily eliminates elections elections for political party activists. Read more»

The Arizona House of Representatives on Monday gave preliminary approval to House Bill 2198, in which employers could be forced to fork out a year’s wages as reparations to employees whose religious exemptions from a company’s COVID-19 vaccination policy were denied. Read more»

Frank Pratt in 2017.

Frank Pratt, a Republican state representative from Casa Grande, died Tuesday. He was 79 years old. Gov. Doug Ducey ordered that flags be flown at half-staff across Arizona on Wednesday in his honor. Read more»

President Joe Biden on Wednesday convened a first-of-its-kind meeting to make similar preparations for what is shaping up to be another devastating wildfire season in the West.

Gov. Doug Ducey was one of just three Western governors that the White House didn’t invite to a meeting on wildfires that the Biden administration convened, despite the particularly nasty fire season that Arizona is currently facing. Read more»

The Senate approved all budget bills, nearly all on 16-14 party-line votes throughout Tuesday and into the early morning hours of Wednesday. Read more»

Gov. Doug Ducey and lawmakers at a June 18, 2021, signing ceremony for emergency funding to fight wild fires.

Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday signed off on $100 million in emergency funding aimed at alleviating the impact of wildfires that have ravaged rural Arizona this month. Read more»

The current plan negotiated by Ducey and legislative leadership would scrap Arizona’s graduated income tax brackets and impose a 2.5% flat rate.

Sen. Paul Boyer - one of the two GOP holdouts blocking the proposed budget and tax cut plan forged by Republican leaders and Gov. Doug Ducey - is working on a compromise plan, while threat from the Telegraph Fire has delayed plans by second holdout David Cook, R-Globe, to put forth his own proposal. Read more»

Rep. David Cook speaking with supporters of Donald Trump at a campaign rally at the Phoenix Convention Center in 2016.

Arizona Republicans’ latest effort to force through a budget fell short again as GOP Rep. David Cook continued his opposition over a massive income-tax cut, voting with his Democratic colleagues to sink the plan. Read more»

The Telegraph Fire on June 6, 2021.

In the midst of casting the deciding vote against a massive tax cut for wealthy Arizonans that doomed a Republican-led budget proposal Monday, Rep. David Cook got word that his family has been ordered to evacuate their home in Globe due to the approaching Telegraph Fire, which has reached over 56,000 acres. Read more»

Rep. David L. Cook, R-Globe.

Arizona House Republicans’ effort to force through a budget fell short again as GOP Rep. David Cook continued his opposition over a massive income tax cut package, arguing that the small cities in his largely rural district can’t afford the revenue losses they’ll incur from the proposed flat tax. Read more»

Gov. Doug Ducey announced that he won’t sign any legislation until he receives a budget, and vetoed 22 unrelated bills to back up his threat.

The House of Representatives is back in session and will take another shot at passing a budget, including a massive income tax cut that would replace Arizona’s graduated income tax brackets with a flat 2.5% rate, but it still doesn’t appear to have the unanimous support from Republicans that it needs to pass. Read more»

The Senate on Thursday abandoned plans to vote on a budget and instead adjourned until June 10 amid a stalemate over a proposed budget deal and the massive income tax cut it includes, a day after the House did the same, though both chambers could return earlier if lawmakers reach a deal. Read more» 1

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