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Howard Fischer, for the Miner

Stories by Howard

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Committee approves measure to have lawmakers make Senate nominations

Claiming they’re being ignored by John McCain and Jeff Flake, Republican state legislators took the first steps Tuesday to allowing them – and not the voters – to choose who gets to run for the U.S. Senate.

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Senate panel calls minimum wage measure ‘morally wrong,’ puts it back on ballot for voter reconsideration

Calling the voter-approved measure morally wrong, a Republican-controlled Senate panel voted Monday to ask voters to reconsider the 2016 measure which is set to hike the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020.

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In-store shelf life of eggs could extend to six weeks

That expiration date on the side of the dozen eggs you buy at the supermarket could soon have a bit less meaning.

State Senate votes to exempt military pensions from state income tax

A tax break for military retirees has cleared a pair of significant hurdles.

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Arizona may ban texting while driving

Arizona may finally be ready to join the 47 other states who find the practice of texting while driving so dangerous that they have made it illegal.

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Education Committee earmarks $800K toward SAT, ACT prep

Arizona high schoolers may get a little bit of extra state help getting into the colleges of their choice.

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Arizona residents consumed 43 tons of legal weed in 2017

Arizonans smoked, ate, drank or otherwise consumed more than 43 tons of legal medical marijuana in the year just ended.

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The race begins: Ducey, Farley and Garcia battle for governor

With no primary foe and 10 months to go to the general election, Gov. Doug Ducey already has collected more than $3 million for his reelection campaign.

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Cost of eggs up 35 percent, most other groceries down since last year

The latest survey of grocers by the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation finds that shoppers, on average, are paying less for ham, cheddar cheese and bread than the same period a year ago

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Rep. Thorpe proposes exemption to public records law

A veteran state lawmaker is carving out what one lawyer calls a large and “blatant’’ exemption to the state’s public records law.

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Courts: Woman cites biology in custody case against ex-wife

Keith Berkshire, attorney for Kimberly McLaughlin, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn last year’s ruling by the state’s high court which concluded that Suzan McLaughlin had the same right to claim parentage as if she had been Kimberly’s husband.

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Gov. Ducey’s plan would restore school funding

Gov. Doug Ducey trotted out a plan Tuesday to eventually restore funding for capital needs for schools to what it was before the Great Recession.

Prescott lawmaker wants added protection of Arizonans’ right to bear arms

A Prescott lawmaker is proposing changes in state law designed to protect the right of Arizonans to keep their weapons no matter what a future Congress decides.

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Senate President eyes cap on corporate tax credits for scholarships

Senate President Steve Yarbrough acknowledged that he has been a staunch defender of the tax credits originally available only to individual taxpayers.

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The top baby names of 2017

Emma, Isabella, Olivia, Liam, Noah and Sebastian lead 2017’s baby names

Remember all the Jessicas and Jennifers born in the 1980s and 1990s?

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Is having more than 42K people in state prisons justified?

Two state lawmakers hope to do what has proven politically impossible for decades: Convince colleagues to consider sentencing reform.

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Lawmaker wants nonpartisan races to be partisan

A Scottsdale Republican lawmaker wants to force city council and mayoral candidates to run with party labels, saying he believes it will help prevent liberals from sneaking into office

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Construction showing renewed signs of recovery around state

Arizona’s construction industry may finally be showing some real signs of life.

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Misrepresenting ‘service animals’ may become illegal

Saying owners are abusing the law, a Republican state senator wants to make it illegal to misrepresent a dog as a "service animal'' to bring it into places where pets are not allowed.

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Public officials’ cellphone records to be considered public record

Public officials can’t hide public business by using their own cellphones for texts, emails and social messages

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Representative declares war against Gov. Ducey’s opioid war

Rep. Jay Lawrence is declaring his own war against the governor’s war on opioids.

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State trying to collect tax on out-of-state purchases

State revenue officials are hoping a new tax form and a public relations campaign convinces more Arizonans to send them money

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Court won’t allow mining areas near Grand Canyon to reopen

9th Circuit sides with former Obama official

A federal appeals court has rebuffed efforts by mining interests to reopen a huge area around the Grand Canyon to new uranium mining.

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Gov. Doug Ducey formally sets Feb. 27 primary for Franks' seat

Republicans are lining up to vie for the seat in Congress vacated just this past Friday by Trent Franks

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9th Circuit, Border Patrol at odds over protesting at Arizona checkpoint

The Border Patrol who argued Tuesday it has the right to keep observers and protesters at least 150 feet from a controversial checkpoint in southern Arizona

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Governor Ducey says computer science is 'our future'

‘Computer science in terms of our future and economic development is critical’

A program to teach coding to high schoolers praised Monday by Gov. Doug Ducey as key to Arizona’s economic future

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Lobbyists urge state lawmaker to look at repealing law that says ‘you can’t style hair without 1,100 hours of training and a license’

The way Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita figures it, no one ever died from a bad hair style or blow dry – at least not literally.

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Lawmaker seeks to curb Arizona Board of Regents’ power

This would not be Rep. Mark Finchem’s first attempt to curb the board’s power

Without Congress’ action, KidsCare needs a fix

Capriotti warned this is, at best, a short-term solution

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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.