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How common are ransomware attacks? Lawmakers want to find out

Despite the magnitude of the problems caused by ransomware attack, most states don’t have such statutory requirements, so they can’t always warn other agencies that might be hit or help bolster their defenses - but that’s starting to change.... Read more»

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Surging catalytic converter thefts spur state crackdowns

The number of catalytic converter thefts has skyrocketed during the pandemic, and state legislators around the country have responded with measures to thwart the thieves and prevent the sale of stolen devices.... Read more»

Bipartisan commissions cause redistricting pain for Democrats

State redistricting commissions, largely pushed by Democrats as a brake on political gerrymandering, now are preventing the party from capitalizing on the past decade’s population boom among city dwellers and minorities, who traditionally vote Democratic. ... Read more»

Pandemic prompts cycling surge — and calls for new protections

COVID-19 has sparked a surge in cycling, as Americans have sought alternatives to crowded gyms, buses and trains, and there also has been an uptick in distracted drivers and speeding over the past 18 months, raising the risks for cyclists on the road.... Read more»

Az Republicans revive measure to repeal in-state tuition ban for undocumented immigrants

Republican Reps. Michelle Udall and Joel John brought back a measure on the House floor on Wednesday that would give voters an opportunity to a repeal an Arizona law prohibiting in-state tuition benefits for undocumented immigrants. ... Read more»

Guest opinion

Can we train cops to be ‘problem-solvers’ instead of warriors?

To achieve meaningful reductions in use of force, we need to do more than create a checklist that tells police officers what they can’t do. We need to educate officers on what they can do and should do, writes the head of the Police Executive Research Forum.... Read more»

What childhood vaccine rates can, and can't, teach us about COVID vaccines

When the vaccines become available to the general public, will enough people get it in your county, city or neighborhood to keep your community safe? Data on childhood vaccines, such as the one that protects against measles, mumps and rubella, provide hints. ... Read more»

Delay in Census data could push back Arizona redistricting work

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission likely won’t be able to start drawing new district lines until August thanks to a delay in data from the 2020 Census. The Census Bureau doesn’t expect to have the data used to determine congressional apportionment until April 30, meaning it could be three months until Arizona learns whether it will get the 10th congressional seat it expects to gain from the census.... Read more»

Az Senate bill would permit outside parties to pay for election recounts

Anyone who thinks a recount of an election might change the outcome would have the opportunity to put their money where their mouth is under a new bill filed for the 2021 legislative session.... Read more»

State taking steps to reopen economy, but reviving it could take years

As businesses shuttered by COVID-19 and resulting high unemployment have led to a collapse in sales and income tax revenues, state and local governments may be forced to slash budgets. That, in turn, could slow the overall recovery, economists say, with fewer workers and services pumping money back into the economy.... Read more»

Analysis

Coronavirus quarantines & your legal rights: 4 questions answered

With the spread of a deadly and communicable disease – the coronavirus is both – individual liberties may be temporarily sidelined to protect the larger community. ... Read more»

State boards waste little time approving professional licenses under new law

A new Arizona law requires most professional licensing boards and commissions in the state to accept valid out-of-state licenses for people looking to hang a shingle here.... Read more»

Feds don't regulate election equipment, so states are on their own

With the 2020 presidential election approaching, security experts, lawmakers and even election vendors themselves are calling for more rigorous testing of election equipment and stricter security standards for the private companies that provide election-related services. ... Read more»

Tougher seat belt laws could save more Arizona lives

Safety experts say Arizona's secondary seat belt laws put drivers at risk but the governor's office says statistics dispute such a claim.... Read more»

Critics say state licensing requirements have gone too far

A growing number of critics are calling state licensing requirements burdensome and pushing for changes.... Read more»

Top U.S. corporations funneled $185 million to political nonprofits

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling in 2010 did not, as some warned, unleash a flood of corporate money directly into elections. ... Read more»

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