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President Joe Biden greets House Speaker Kevin McCarthy before the State of the Union address in February. The two men have been unable to agree on a plan to raise the debt ceiling, pushing the country closer to a June 1 default on the government’s obligations.

Arizona travel and tourism would likely be hit hard by a long-term breach in the nation’s debt payments if the U.S. defaults on its debt, and even a "narrow miss on default” could affect housing, senior income, military spending and all important sectors of the Arizona economy. Read more»

Tucson's $2.2 billion budget tops a long list of agenda items the City Council will take up this week.

The Tucson City Council will hold a study session Tuesday to discuss, oh, just about everything they've ever thought about discussing at any particular time. Plus more in other local government meetings this week. Read more»

A group protests rising rents in Pima County on Oct. 1, 2021.

Pima County's homeless population increased 60 percent over the last five years, leaving just over 2,200 people living outside, in shelters or transitional housing, according to point-in-time count conducted in January. Read more»

Volunteers will raise the walls of the first of two tiny homes planned as temporary housing for transgender women of color this weekend in Tucson. Read more»

The declines mostly are a reflection of historically low fertility rates, which have been below the replacement rate of two children per woman since 2010. Births increased in only a handful of states in 2021.

Thirty-five states have fewer children than they did five years ago, a situation caused by declining birth rates nationwide, but also by young families migrating across state borders in search of cheaper housing. Read more»

Failure to cap enrollment in Arizona’s rapidly expanding universal school voucher program, known officially as Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, was a sticking point for many Democrats, who said the vouchers threatened to bankrupt the state.

The Arizona Legislature passed an almost $18 billion budget Wednesday, one that Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs negotiated with Republican leaders in the House and Senate - but Democrats excoriated Hobbs for her failure to better negotiate. Read more»

Arizona's friendly property tax laws don’t help the housing crisis: Some 26% of housing stock in Maricopa County alone is investor or seasonally owned, and 15% of home buyers are from out of state.

Arizona is short more than 200,000 homes to match demand and lawmakers think they can fix that by gutting local zoning regulations, a strategy that has drawn heated opposition from cities across the state. Read more»

'Fathers and mothers,' 'children,' 'how many more?' Grave markers from 2021 when record heat lead to a deluge of death along the border as people crossing the border succumbed to the elements.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero and Vice Mayor Steve Kozachik want to start another process to force the redaction of racially offensive provisions in old covenants, codes and restrictions that govern homeowners associations. Plus more in local government meetings this week. Read more»

First Place abrió un edificio residencial en 2018 para adultos con autismo y síndrome de Down o que son neurodivergentes como respuesta a la falta de vivienda para poblaciones neurodiversas.

Durante años, los adultos con autismo solo podían soñar con encontrar una vivienda que los ayudara a vivir de forma independiente en el Valle; ahora ese sueño se está convirtiendo en realidad con una mayor conciencia sobre las oportunidades y necesidades de vivienda. Read more»

Tucson-based rocket maker Phantom Space wants a rezoning on city owned far on the south side. The zoning examiner is only willing to recommend part of it, setting up interesting questions for later.

I don't get to use the words "space rezoning" very much but thanks to the city of Tucson's Office of Economic Initiatives I get to tie two of my geekiest fascinations together: rocket ships and land use. God bless the U.S.A. Plus, more in local government meetings. Read more»

In the absence of a more permanent solution, food assistance helps these service members feed their families, but SNAP eligibility varies by state, so a family that qualifies in one state might lose those benefits after a duty station transfer. The same goes for various state aid programs.

Like families across the country, military families are struggling with inflation, but the military community can face disproportionate challenges when the cost of living is high - a situation dating back over 25 years and made worse by federal guidelines. Read more»

Artists rendering of a possible future 'downtown Sahuarita.'

The Oro Valley Town Council will hold three special meetings this week, hoping to hire a town manager six months after Mary Jacobs resigned her post. Plus school textbooks and more in local government meetings this week. Read more»

Home prices are cooling off and mortgage rates fell last week, but the fallout from recent bank closures could continue to make it hard for some Americans to buy homes. Read more»

The challenge of keeping Sun Tran free for riders is front and center before the Tucson City Council.

The Tucson city staff has some ideas to recoup the $10 million necessary to keep Sun Tran buses free. One of them is a parking levy. Local Republicans are not happy about it. Plus, Marana tackles AirBnbS, and more in local government meetings this week. Read more»

First Place opened a residential building in 2018 for adults with autism and Down syndrome or who are neurodivergent as a response to the lack of housing for neurodiverse populations.

For years, adults with autism could only dream of finding housing that would help them live independently in the Valley - now that dream is turning into a reality with increased awareness about housing opportunities and needs. Read more»

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