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Howard Fischer, for the Miner

Stories by Howard

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Medical marijuana OK to possess on college campuses

The justices said the 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act gave those who have certain medical conditions permission to obtain up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana every two weeks.

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State wants to deny contracts to firms that boycott Israel

Ensign argued, however, the measure is, at its heart, a law against discrimination.

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State education superintendent has evolution on her hit list

Superintendent of Public Instruction is proposing to eliminate requirements that students be able to evaluate how inherited traits in a population can lead to evolution. Replacing that last word would be "biological diversity.''

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Sidewalk delivery robots are on the way

Coming soon to a sidewalk near you: 200 pound autonomous delivery robots. Without comment, Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation on Wednesday authorizing these devices to use sidewalks.

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Lawmakers attempting to bring Gov. Ducey back to the gun laws table

Democrat lawmakers are using Friday’s school shooting in Texas in a bid to get Gov. Doug Ducey to call lawmakers into special session to adopt new gun laws.

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Unemployed must accept job in 4 weeks or lose benefits

Arizonans who don’t take pretty much any job after being out of work for at least four weeks will lose their unemployment benefits.

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Gov. Doug Ducey talks sports betting in Arizona

The governor said Tuesday he wants to “maintain the culture and flavor of our state’’ in deciding who should get the right to offer wagering on professional and amateur sports.

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Ballot measure could take away parts of Clean Elections Act

In a new lawsuit, Louis Hoffman contends the referendum put on the November ballot by GOP lawmakers asks voters to make two changes to the law on public financing of political campaigns.

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Sports betting now allowed in all states, Supreme Court rules

In a 6-3 decision the justices struck down a 1992 federal law which dictated that most states cannot allow such wagering.

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Arizona company fined, banned for illegal telemarketing calls

The owners of Desert Valley Aire Inc. have agreed to $340,000 in civil fines to end a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General’s Office. The company, which has offices in Phoenix, Tucson and Prescott, admitted to making at least 25,000 illegal telemarketing calls from 2011 to 2015.

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Arizona Supreme Court decides companies have no liability for ‘take-home’ asbestos

Arizona companies have no duty to protect family members from exposure to toxic materials their employees bring home on their work clothes, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Friday.

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Politics intervened in Gov. Ducey’s school safety plan

Even before Ducey could get his proposal printed up, the governor had to jettison some key provisions because of GOP criticism.

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Judge upholds bringing ballots to polls for others a felony

Rayes also rebuffed a bid by challengers to force counties to count the votes of those who cast their ballots at the wrong polling place.

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Initiatives must be within strict compliance of election laws

A state law throwing new hurdles in the path of initiative circulators will remain, at least for now

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Arizona AG tells Sedona to stop licensing vacation rentals

In a formal opinion, O.H. Skinner, the agency’s chief of the government accountability and special litigation unit, said a 2016 state law specifically trimmed the authority of local governments to regulate operations like Airbnb and other home sharing services.

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Gov. Ducey doesn’t want to raise taxes to finance education

The governor said he wants to know more about the ballot measure being pushed by teachers and education advocates

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School vouchers to be decided by voters

It looks like voters are going to get the last word on whether they want more tax dollars used to send children to private and parochial schools.

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Marijuana testing bill fell short Thursday, did not resurface

SB 1420, which would have required the Department of Agriculture to set up a testing scheme, fell short of the necessary votes Thursday for approval. It is not expected to resurface this session.

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Volkswagen settles Arizona lawsuit for $40M

Volkswagen will be shelling out $40 million to settle charges that it defrauded Arizona residents by selling them vehicles billed as clean-burning diesel, something they were not.

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Legislative session ends with a mixed bag of results

Oh, sure, there were a few outstanding successes, like coming up with a comprehensive plan to deal with opioid abuse from all angles. And even the vote to give teachers a 19 percent pay hike probably rates an A even though educators wanted far more, like restoring state aid to at least 2008 levels.

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Budget deal passed; teachers get raise

Republican lawmakers pushed through their $10.4 billion spending plan early Thursday after rejecting multiple attempts by Democrats to add more money to the budget for public education.

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#RedForEd walkout now on teacher-by-teacher basis; all KUSD schools open Thursday

Roger Jacks, Kingman Unified School District superintendent, said in a brief note posted on the district’s Facebook page around noon Wednesday that all schools in the district will be open today.

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#RedforEd surrenders; teachers should be back at work Thursday

The budget does include a tax break for retired military, exempting more of their pensions from state income taxes.

Legislators balancing budget on backs of local taxpayers

State lawmakers are moving to adopt a $10.4 billion spending plan for the coming fiscal year, balancing the books – and finding the dollars for a teacher pay hike plan – at least in part by passing along expenses to some local taxpayers.

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Educators take school funding directly to the voters

Ignored by the governor and GOP lawmakers, a coalition of teachers, parents and education advocates are taking their case for more state dollars for classrooms directly to voters even as Ducey and legislative leaders say they’ve reached a budget deal – one that ignores those demands.

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Ducey, legislative leaders close in on raise for teachers

Package teachers are demanding with walkout not being addressed

Republican legislative leaders were closing in on a deal late Thursday to give Gov. Doug Ducey the pay hike he wants for teachers, some changes to the $10.1 billion budget sought by GOP lawmakers – but not the package being demanded by tens of thousands of educators who walked off the job.

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Arizona Senate approves adding $4 on traffic fines

Legislation approved Tuesday by the Senate would tack a $4 penalty on all traffic fines.

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Ducey demands education budget from lawmakers, insists including pay increase

Already fighting with educators over his pay hike plan, Gov. Doug Ducey opened a second front Friday, this time attacking members of his own Republican Party.

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Arizona teachers call for a strike; walkout at least a week away

Claiming overwhelming support, leaders of the #RedForEd movement Thursday night called for a strike – but but not for another week.

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Governor signs bill outlawing ‘fake’ service animals

If you've been sneaking Fluffy into the grocery store on a claim it's your service dog, that time may be coming to an end.

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State senate panel gives judge room to take weapons

A Senate panel voted 4-3 Thursday to allow judges to force some people to surrender their weapons – but only after a multi-step process that supporters say will protect due process rights.

Gov. Doug Ducey is gambling with teacher salaries

Documents obtained by Capitol Media Services show the governor hopes to generate $15 million a year by convincing Arizonans to play “keno.’’

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Teacher strike still possible

Gov. Ducey’s plan doesn’t meet the key goal of getting an increase of education funding

Calling the governor’s proposal inadequate, leaders of the #RedForEd movement have scheduled a vote this week to decide by Friday whether to strike.

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2 Arizonans join lawsuit to block citizenship question on 2020 census

With no action by the governor or attorney general, two Arizona residents filed suit Wednesday to block the Census Bureau from adding a citizenship question to decennial count.

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Ducey signs minimum marriage age legislation

Gov. Doug Ducey on Wednesday signed legislation which sets for the first time ever a minimum age for marriage in Arizona.

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Ducey signs new list of abortion questions into law

Women who want to terminate a pregnancy are going to be asked some questions first. But they don’t have to answer.

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Online alcohol orders illegal 2 - 6 a.m.

Well, the way Attorney General Mark Brnovich sees it, you can’t get on your computer and order booze between 2 and 6 a.m., even if you’re not planning to have your order delivered until more reasonable hours – and even if that order is going out of state.

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Gov. Ducey unveils plan to get teachers pay hikes over next 3 years

Hoping to head off a walkout, Gov. Doug Ducey unveiled a plan Thursday he said will provide teachers the 20 percent pay hike they are demanding -- by the 2020-2021 school year.

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Gov. Ducey defends decision to send troops to border

Ducey, speaking with reporters after addressing the troops, did not dispute that apprehensions along the Arizona-Mexico border are as low as they’ve been in decades.

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Arizona Supreme Court ruled illegal to allow DACA to pay in-state tuition

Thousands of DACA recipients are going to have to pay more next year if they want to attend any of the state’s three universities or community colleges.

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New bill would make AZ minimum marriage age

On a 20-8 margin the state Senate voted Thursday to make it illegal for anyone younger than 16 to wed.

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Ducey signs bill mandating 2 recesses for K-5 students

Gov. Doug Ducey on Thursday signed legislation mandating two recess periods a day for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

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Proposal would make it illegal to ‘misrepresent’ a service animal

State lawmakers are hoping to keep Fido and FiFi out of grocery stores, restaurants and airports if they have no legal right to be there.

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Ducey’s school safety plan includes $11M for campus police

Gov. Doug Ducey is working to cobble together the votes for his comprehensive school safety plan.

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Food prices spike over last quarter

Arizona families are probably spending a little bit less for groceries than they were a year ago.

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AZ legislature could see increase in representatives, senators

Arizona voters could soon decide if more is better – at least when it comes to state lawmakers.

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Ducey rejects teacher demands for pay increase

Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday that teachers aren’t going to get the 20 percent pay hike they are demanding – not now and not in the foreseeable future.

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Cracking the law around eggs-piration dates

Grade A eggs are to remain available for sale for up to 45 days

What’s the difference between a Grade A egg and one that’s labeled Grade AA?

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Frozen embryos to be given to the person who ‘promises to actually allow them to be born’

Saying frozen embryos are just another piece of property, state lawmakers on Thursday claimed for themselves the right to tell judges what should happen to them when couples get divorced.

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Largest utility firm attempting to get energy initiative on the ballot

On paper, what’s going to the Senate Appropriations Committee today has the same goal as the initiative of having 50 percent of what’s generated in Arizona produced by renewable sources like wind, solar and geothermal by 2030.

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