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PHOENIX -- The U.S. Supreme Court will decide who exactly is the "Legislature'' in Arizona, at least for purposes of drawing political lines.
Arizonans may get a chance to decide if they want to let farmers here grow an industrial — and not psychoactive — version of marijuana.
Well, it seems that President Obama and his attorney general are not the only liberals eager to throw white law enforcement officers “under the bus.” Yup, one of our very own recently came out publicly citing Arizona white law enforcement officers’ high black-American arrest statistics. Who should local law enforcement be arresting in our local inner-cities; Eskimos, Berber tribesmen, or Polynesians?
PHOENIX -- Arizona will not be able to enforce controversial limits on medication abortions, at least not now.
PHOENIX (AP) — Lawyers for the Arizona Legislature are asking the state Court of Appeals to block a judge's order requiring hundreds of millions of dollars in extra school funding payments while they appeal.
PHOENIX (AP) -- A top aide to Arizona's incoming state superintendent of public instruction says Diane Douglas doesn't plan to immediately throw out the state's learning standards.
In Kathleen Murphy’s Inbox letter on Nov. 30, she’s correct that many stupid voters don’t do, or are too lazy to do, research. They get their info from “conservative TV or radio”? What about ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, HLN, MSNBC or “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report”? Are they all conservative? I don’t think so.
PHOENIX -- Saying it's impossible and would wreck the budget, attorneys for state lawmakers are urging a judge to reject a request by Arizona schools for more than $1 billion in inflation funding they were not given.
Attorneys for state lawmakers are urging a judge to reject a request by Arizona schools for more than $1 billion in inflation funding they were not given.
Saying it's impossible and would wreck the budget, attorneys for state lawmakers are urging a judge to reject a request by Arizona schools for more than $1 billion in inflation funding they were not given.
PHOENIX (AP) — If Christian Avila lived a few hundred miles to the west, he would have a driver's license and qualify for in-state college tuition and a host of other opportunities available to young people granted legal status by President Barack Obama two years ago.
But Avila lives in Phoenix, and the 24-year-old immigrant who was brought here from Mexico by his parents at age 9 still has to navigate the sprawling city in fear as he drives to school or work.
"You get nervous, your legs start to tingle a little bit when there's a cop behind you, when you're doing nothing wrong by driving to work,' said Avila, a community college student and immigration activist. "You're not breaking any rules, you're following the law. But unfortunately it's where we live."
With last week's action by Obama that expanded the deferred action program and added millions of other immigrants, Avila's plight highlights a harsh reality about the president's changes. The president may be allowing them to remain in the U.S., but it doesn't mean their state will let them drive a car, get an education at an affordable rate or obtain health insurance.
A patchwork of rules began to form in states — largely along political lines — after the president allowed some young immigrants to stay in the country. Conservative states like Nebraska and Arizona kept them from getting driver's licenses while liberal locations were much more welcoming in terms of state services and benefits.
Now, states must make new decisions on how to respond to the president's action that allows millions more immigrants to remain in the U.S.
In California, Democrats, immigration groups and health care advocates are pushing for the immigrants to receive health care under the state's version of the Medicaid program. The California Department of Health Care Services is deciding how to proceed. The president's action excludes immigrants who came to the country illegally from qualifying for federal health benefits.
In Nevada, officials are drawing up a bill for the Legislature making clear that unauthorized immigrants can become teachers in the state. Current rules specify that a prospective teacher must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident before they can receive a teaching license in Nevada.
A new gubernatorial administration in Arizona will have to decide whether to continue a hard-line approach toward state benefits that outgoing Gov. Jan Brewer took.
After Obama took action in 2012 granting legal status to 1.8 million young people brought to the U.S. as children, Brewer issued an executive order denying them driver's licenses or other state benefits, including in-state tuition at the state's public universities. A federal appeals court ruled the license ban was unconstitutional, and Brewer is considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"Our position is unilateral action by the president does nothing to change the fact that an illegal alien's presence is the United States is not authorized under federal law," Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder said.
Arizona's Republican Governor-elect, Doug Ducey, has said he intends to continue Brewer's current ban, if it survives court challenges.
Maryland's Democratic governor, Martin O'Malley, has taken a decidedly different tack. He's a supporter of state laws granting in-state tuition to people without legal status and grants them driver's licenses. He has even been willing to get into a policy fight with Obama on the stream of unaccompanied immigrant children from Central America over the Mexican border, criticizing the White House proposal earlier this year that could have expedited the deportation of the children.
Arizona remains an outlier in its treatment of immigrants granted work permits and is among the most harsh when it comes to those who remain in the U.S. without legal authorization.
States surrounding Arizona provide in-state tuition to all residents, regardless of immigration status. And in January, California joins nine other states in allowing immigrants who can't prove they're in the U.S legally to get a driver's license.
Utah provides leniency when it comes to driving privileges and education, despite passing a law in 2011 that mirrored Arizona's landmark immigration crackdown, SB1070. The state issues driving-privilege cards that must be renewed annually for those who cannot prove they're in the country legally.
Nearly 36,300 were issued last year, said Nannette Rolfe, the director of Utah's Driver License Division. Utah also offers in-state tuition at public universities and colleges to residents not in the U.S. legally.
To be eligible, students must have attended a Utah high school for at least three years and earned a diploma or GED. They can't hold a non-immigrant visa and must file an application to legalize their immigration status when eligible to do so. In the 2012-2013 academic students, 929 students took advantage of the program.
Despite the fact that life would be easier if he left the state, Avila said he's staying put.
"This is where we got dirty as kids, this is where we learn how to speak English, this is where we learn how to do a lot of stuff," he said. "Here in Arizona is where my friends, my family, live and I don't see it as an option to run away, but rather stand up and change the conditions that we live under."
PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Legislature's budget analysts say a tax on electronic cigarettes could bring $6 million a year in new revenue into the state's coffers.
In January, new Gov. Doug Ducey will appoint a new director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The director’s term coincides with the governor’s.
Arizona's charter schools are not entitled to another $135 million of taxpayer funds, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
The successful gubernatorial candidate who promised to balance the budget without tax hikes or borrowing won't be presenting a truly balanced spending plan to lawmakers in January.
The fact that politics may have been involved in drawing legislative lines is no reason to declare them illegal, the attorney for the Independent Redistricting Commission is urging the U.S. Supreme Court.
PHOENIX (AP) — Several major education groups say they're interesting in learning more about Diane Douglas' positions on education issues, including more about her views regarding the new school standards known as Common Core.
Douglas is a Republican who was elected state superintendent of public instruction, defeating Democrat David Garcia in last week's general election.
Garcia conceded Monday, the same day that Douglas issued a statement saying her victory is a mandate to end Common Core.
Douglas is former Peoria school board member who ran a low-key campaign in which she largely avoided public events in favor of tea-party gatherings and interviews on conservative talk radio shows.
Arizona School Boards Association President Tim Ogle said his group is going to try to arrange a meeting with Douglas. "I think the purpose of a conversation like that is to become familiar with her beliefs because we're really not very familiar and to give her the opportunity to converse with us about her hopes and fears for the Department of Education," Ogle said.
As superintendent, Douglas will oversee the state Department of Education and be a member of the state Board of Education. That board, along with the Arizona Legislature, sets education policy for the state's K-12 public school system. It adopted Common Core in 2010.
Some Arizona lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to pass legislation to either repeal the standards or change them during the last legislative session.
Ogle said his group wants to know whether Douglas has an alternative to Common Core. "If Mrs. Douglas has another strategy, then we're anxious to know what it is," he said.
Andrew Morrill, president of the Arizona Education Association, said educators didn't learn much about Douglas during the campaign aside from her opposition to Common Core.
"She was very clear on that issue, and yet there are questions even about her thoughts on our academic standards," the union president said. "I think a lot of folks are waiting to hear the answer. There are a million public-school students, and they are creating the urgency."
TUCSON -- Gov. Jan Brewer asked the Arizona Supreme Court Thursday to quash efforts by a minority of state legislators to effectively kill the expansion of the state's Medicaid program.
The Arizona Supreme Court is set to take up Gov. Jan Brewer's appeal of a decision allowing a lawsuit challenging her Medicaid expansion plan to proceed.
PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Supreme Court is set to take up Gov. Jan Brewer's appeal of a decision allowing a lawsuit challenging her Medicaid expansion plan to proceed.
PHOENIX (AP) — The Republicans who control the Arizona Legislature are meeting to elect new leaders as they appeared poised to gain seats and boost their majority.
PHOENIX (AP) — State Sen. Michele Reagan has defeated a longtime member of the Arizona Democratic political establishment to become the next secretary of state.