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Howard Fischer

Stories by Howard

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Court of Appeals asked to slash marijuana fees

An attorney for medical marijuana patients is asking the Court of Appeals to force state health officials to slash what they charge

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State Rep. Shooter suspended amid alleged sexist comments, complaints

Embattled state Rep. Don Shooter was suspended Friday from his position as chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

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Gov. Ducey supports closing ‘loopholes’ in tax code

Gov. Doug Ducey endorsed the concept of the President Donald Trump and Republican tax cuts Monday even though he conceded he has little idea of what’s in the plan.

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Ducey eyes 'rainy day fund' for Children’s Health Insurance Program

Gov. Doug Ducey may tap the state’s “rainy day fund’’

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State Board of Education to review new grading system

Facing a barrage of questions and criticism, the State Board of Education voted Monday to take another look at its new system for grading schools.

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Sex solicitors of undercover minors cannot get enhanced sentences

Judges cannot impose enhanced sentences on those convicted of soliciting sex with a minor when it turns out there was no child to begin with, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

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Was a levy that funds Medicaid illegally enacted?

The state’s high court agreed Tuesday to decide whether a levy that funds Arizona’s expanded Medicaid program was illegally enacted.

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Attorney General says current tuition ‘unconstitutional'

“The AG’s lawsuit, while it makes for good headlines, does nothing to change the burden for students and their families,’’ Bill Ridenour said

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AG takes Regents to court over college tuition

The state's top prosecutor is charging that the Board of Regents is ignoring a constitutional requirement that tuition for Arizona residents be “as nearly free as possible.”

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Trump rally in Phoenix won’t be violent, police chief says

PHOENIX – Phoenix’s top cop promised Monday there are sufficient protections in place for today’s Trump rally to prevent a repeat of the violent clashes that happened in Charlottesville.

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Arizona cities, towns and counties have no right to enact own gun regulations

Declaring lawmakers have the final say, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Thursday that cities, towns and counties have no right to enact their own gun regulations.

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Gov. Ducey will not remove AZ Confederate monuments

PHOENIX – Gov. Doug Ducey has no interest in removing any Confederate monuments on state land even in the wake of weekend violence after a racist demonstration in Virginia.

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State needs foreign-born residents to fuel economy

Arizona needs its 920,000 foreign-born residents, both legal and otherwise, to fuel the state’s economy, according to a new study and some business leaders.

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School voucher opponents want voters to get last word

Foes of taxpayer funded school vouchers are now using paid circulators to boost the chances that voters get the last word on the legislatively approved expansion of the program.

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Arizona jobless rate ticked upward

The state’s jobless rate ticked up a tenth of a point to 5.1 percent as Arizona employers shed more jobs last month than they typically do this time of year.

Precedent set for anti-trust violations by utilities companies

An Arizona utility can’t escape being sued for anti-trust violations for the rates it sets solely because it’s a quasi-governmental entity, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

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State health director wants daily opioid death reports

Citing state laws on epidemics, the state’s top health official wants Gov. Doug Ducey to give her more powers to deal with opioid overdoses, including the ability to identify and track individual patients.

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State of Emergency: Opioid overdoses get governor’s attention

Two Arizonans a day die from the more than 431 million pills prescribed and dispensed yearly

Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday declared a state of emergency on opioid overdoses...

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Farley announces intent to run in gubernatorial election

Admittedly underfunded and less well known than the incumbent, Tucson Democrat Steve Farley announced Monday he intends to take on Doug Ducey for governor.

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Arizona census data shows state growth, decline: Kingman up 0.9 percent

Arizona continues its most rapid growth on the edges of its largest communities.

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Indictment could lead to appointment vs. election for corporate commission

The head of the Arizona Corporation Commission says the indictment of a former member on bribery charges may make the case for appointing utility regulators instead of electing them.

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Arizona prisons illegally read inmate mail, 9th Circuit rules

For the second time in three years, a federal appeals court has declared illegal the methods used by state prison officials to check mail sent to their attorneys.

Petition started to fight vouchers for all Arizona students

Arizona voters may get the last word on making vouchers available to all students.

Effort to halt citizen initiative changes takes shape

Two former politicians are moving to overturn the decision by the Republican-controlled legislature to make it more difficult for voters to propose their own laws.

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Old corporate tax cuts weigh heavy in AZ budget

The $9.82 billion state budget is being billed by Republican lawmakers and Gov. Doug Ducey as the best outcome given the money the state has to spend.

Legislature moves to defund Planned Parenthood

Republican legislative leaders are using a provision buried in the state budget in their latest attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.

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State’s new drivers will have texting law to contend with in 2018

Saying sometimes parental admonitions are not always enough, Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation Thursday that will make it illegal for the state’s newest drivers to use their cell phones by behind the wheel.

State awards first loan guarantees to privately owned charter schools

The state has awarded the first two loan guarantees to privately owned charter schools in a program that has raised questions about its legality.

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State bill affecting local gun sales passes House

State lawmakers are making yet another bid to keep cities from requiring background checks when guns are sold from one person to another.

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House OKs county billboard legislation, goes back to Senate

The state House voted Thursday to open areas of Mohave County to electronic billboards.

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Gov. Ducey’s signature all that’s left to boost civil forfeiture links to crime

Gov. Doug Ducey is going to get the last word on whether Arizona tightens up the ability of police and prosecutors to seize property.

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Proposed riot racketeering law fizzles

Legislation to expand the state’s racketeering and conspiracy statutes to include rioting is dead, at least for this year.

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Arizona legislators talking about longer terms

Saying it will lead to greater continuity, more stability and less campaigning, the president of the Arizona Senate wants four-year terms for state lawmakers.

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Gas tax moving forward in state legislature

State lawmakers took the first steps Wednesday to asking voters to hike what they pay every time they fill up their cars and trucks.

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Sales tax exemption bill attracts bipartisan support

State lawmakers took the first steps Wednesday to potentially eliminating exemptions from sales taxes that now cost the state more than $12 billion a year.

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Lawmakers target teen drivers, texting

State lawmakers are moving to keep cell phones out of the hands of the newest drivers while behind the wheel.

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State lawmaker wants to keep most students from voting

When Rep. Bob Thorpe ran for re-election in November, the areas in around the Northern Arizona University campus were among his lowest vote tallies.

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State of the State: Ducey promises more money for education

Gov. Doug Ducey promised today to put more money into public education than legally required.

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Obamacare quick repeal may harm Arizonans, Ducey says

Saying he fears harm to Arizonans, Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday urged Congress to not rush repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

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Arizona Corporation Commission swears in new members amidst controversies

State utility regulators swore in a new member Tuesday and elected a new chairman amid controversies that could mean open warfare on the panel.

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Ducey vows to fight Obama’s potential monument designation

Gov. Doug Ducey is threatening legal action if President Obama sets aside 1.7 million acres of public lands in Arizona for a new Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument.

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Prosecutors need proof medical marijuana users actually impaired for DUIs

Medical marijuana users cannot be convicted of driving while under the influence of the drug absent proof that they were actually impaired, the state Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

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Ducey’s bid to delay immigrant licenses case denied

A federal judge has rebuffed efforts by the Ducey administration to put off until Donald Trump takes office a challenge to its policy of denying to a driver’s licenses to some the Obama administration has said can remain here.

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State lawmaker proposes making flag theft a felony

Saying the American flag is a special symbol, a Republican lawmaker wants to make it automatically a felony to steal one that is on display.

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Task force proposes more funds for school

A special task force is recommending higher teacher pay, more money for schools with a high number of students in poverty and a more “predictable and equitable’’ funding system among schools. And no ideas on how to finance any of that.

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Former AG Horne won’t face criminal charges

But that doesn’t mean he’s free and clear of other election-related allegations of impropriety

Former Attorney General Tom Horne won’t face criminal charges in connection with his alleged use of state employees in his unsuccessful 2014 re-election campaign.

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Study: Medical marijuana sales expected to double next 4 years

he amount of money spent on medical marijuana in the next four years will nearly double according to a new study – assuming the Trump administration doesn’t step in.

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Economist: Arizona economy on track for solid 2017 growth

Arizona should see continued job growth and a lower unemployment rate this coming year according to two economists.

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Douglas wants $680 million more for schools

State schools chief Diane Douglas wants an immediate boost in state aid to schools plus additional dollars to attract and retain teachers.