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Juvenile offenders given a leg up by bipartisan-approved Arizona House measure

Kids in juvie might see their financial load lightened, thanks to new legislation approved by the state House of Representatives that would eliminate the rollover of court fees on them and their families.... Read more»

Arizona Senate Republicans approve Mississippi-style abortion restrictions

The Arizona Senate approved Senate Bill 1164, which criminalizes doctors performing abortions after 15 weeks unless there’s a medical emergency, and makes no exception for pregnancies from rape or incest - a measure unconstitutional under current federal law.... Read more»

Arizona committee approves measure to ease SNAP requirements for ex-felons

A bill, sponsored by Snowflake Republican Rep. Walt Blackman, to help individuals in Arizona with drug-related felony convictions keep food on the table cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, taking its first step toward becoming law. ... Read more»

Ex-inmates would face less food insecurity under Az GOP proposal to ease SNAP restrictions

Arizona Republican Rep. Walt Blackman is backing legislation that would expand access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for recently released felons by requiring only that the formerly incarcerated person follow their terms of probation to qualify for food assistance.... Read more»

Arizona 'Justice for J6' rally draws small crowd of extremists, GOP officials

Only a few dozen people, many of them members of a violent extremist organization, showed up at the Arizona Capitol on Saturday for a rally claiming that Donald Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 did nothing wrong and were being held as “political prisoners.” ... Read more»

Sentencing reform dies for third straight year after Fann blocks Senate vote

Arizona will continue to have some of the strictest criminal sentencing laws in the country after Senate President Karen Fann refused to let the Senate vote on a bill that would allow some nonviolent inmates to earn early releases.... Read more»

Arizona Legislature wraps up 171-day session, the 3rd-longest on record

Arizona lawmakers on Wednesday ended the third-longest legislative session in state history after approving the final components of a state spending plan for the fiscal year that begins Thursday and taking final votes on several other outstanding measures. ... Read more»

Az House again passes sentencing reform bill, which faces unknown fate in Senate

For the second time this year, the Arizona House of Representatives passed legislation to allow some prison inmates to earn earlier releases, but it remains to be seen whether it will get a vote in the Senate, where the bill already died once this legislative session.... Read more»

Arizona 'audit' leader Doug Logan appears in conspiracy theorist election film

The CEO of a Florida-based firm chosen to conduct the review of Maricopa County’s election results appeared in a conspiracy theorist film riddled with falsehoods about the 2020 election and directed by a man whose previous work claimed aliens were behind 9/11. ... Read more»

Committee bypasses roadblock to revive and pass sentencing reform bill

A multi-year push to loosen Arizona’s strict sentencing laws was resurrected Tuesday, despite the resistance of a key Senate Republican who refused to hear the bill. The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would allow drug offenders to get out of prison after serving half of their sentences, and other nonviolent offenders to earn up to a third off their sentences. ... Read more»

Incremental movement on Arizona justice reform, but 'the big stuff is toast' in 2021

Several noteworthy criminal justice reform bills are working their way through the legislative process, but a major sentencing reform proposal that advocates have spent three years pushing is among the legislation that appears destined to fall short. Thursday is the deadline for Senate committees to hear House bills, and vice versa. And the final Senate Judiciary Committee agenda before the deadline hits has some notable omissions.... Read more»

Legislature drops 82 ethics complaints against OV Rep. Finchem related to U.S. Capitol riot

Oro Valley Republican Mark Finchem has been cleared of 82 ethics complaints that were filed against him after he was at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and praised rioters who stormed the building and disrupted Congress in the deadly siege.... Read more»1

Bill to reduce prison sentences for good behavior advances from Az House committee

The House Criminal Justice Reform Committee advanced several pieces of legislation, including a bill that would allow some prison inmates to earn an earlier release date if they participate in self-improvement programs while behind bars. The bills give hope to reform advocates that 2021 might be different than the past two years, where early optimism quickly turned into disappointment.... Read more»

New Legislature, new opportunities for Arizona criminal justice reform

The new Legislature brings new opportunities for a criminal justice reform movement that’s stalled out at the Capitol over the past couple years — and perhaps some new obstacles, as well.... 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»