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Howard Fischer, for the Miner

Stories by Howard

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Lawmakers moving to approve marijuana testing

On a 7-1 vote the House Committee on Military, Veterans and Regulatory Affairs approved legislation Monday to require the Department of Agriculture to test what is being sold at state-regulated medical marijuana dispensaries.

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AG Brnovich accusing DOJ of being ‘surprisingly dismissive’ in DACA cases

Attorney General Mark Brnovich is lashing out at the Trump administration for asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reject Arizona’s bid to deny driver’s licenses to “dreamers.’’

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New figures show increase in construction industry workers

The state’s beleaguered construction industry is finally showing some consistent signs of life.

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Arizona may gain an official state dinosaur

A 27-foot-tall dinosaur that lived about 100 million years ago could soon have something in common with the cactus wren, the palo verde and even the Colt single action revolver: becoming part of “official’’ Arizona.

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Legislators move toward stricter penalties for loss of life incidents

State lawmakers are moving to close what appears to be a loophole that allows some people to escape with what amounts to a legal slap on the wrist even if they kill someone while driving.

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Arizona House rules teachers are allowed to put ‘Ditat Deus’ in classrooms

Rep. Reginald Bolding, D-Laveen, said his vote against the legislation wasn’t based on Roberg’s objections. Bolding said he sees nothing in law now that precludes anyone from putting up the state motto now, in Latin or English.

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Gov. Ducey sets out some rules for autonomous vehicles

With hundreds of them already on Arizona roads, Gov. Doug Ducey is laying out some new – and stricter – rules for autonomous vehicles.

Legislators want to tell local governments when they can have elections

Three years after being rebuffed by the Arizona Supreme Court, Republican legislators are making another bid this coming week to tell local governments when they can have their elections.

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Regents: State attorney general can't challenge tuition

Lawyers for the Board of Regents told a judge Friday that Attorney General Mark Brnovich has no legal right to challenge the tuition it sets for the state’s three universities – or even the policies used to come up with those numbers.

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Bill in state House would ease taxes for parents

Got kids younger than 18? The state House voted Tuesday to give you $250 for each one.

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State senators agree to increase penalties in animal cruelty cases

Current law already makes animal cruelty a Class 6 felony. That is punishable by a year in prison.

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New legislation would award frozen embryos to parent who wants them

SB 1393 would strip judges handling divorce cases of their right to decide who gets the embryos.

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Supreme Court refuses to hear same-sex parental rights case

In what could be a key victory for gay rights, the U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to overturn a ruling that says gay couples are entitled to the same parenting rights as opposite-sex people when they get divorced.

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Lawmakers could help teachers pay for classroom supplies

Two first-term Southern Arizona lawmakers have less than two weeks to salvage legislation designed to help teachers pay for classroom supplies.

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Arizona Department of Health to license ‘sober living’ homes

Without dissent the House Health Committee agreed Thursday to have the Department of Health Services license the facilities that have popped up in the past few years around the state. HB 2529 now goes to the full House.

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Gov. Ducey: Don’t ‘politicize’ Florida school shooting

Three years into office, Gov. Doug Ducey said Tuesday he has no clear idea of how to prevent mass shootings at schools.

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State senate votes to require specificity from women when terminating pregnancies

State senators voted Thursday to require women be asked more specific questions before terminating a pregnancy over the objections of one lawmaker who said "the Catholic Church does not need to know why I am getting an abortion.''

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Arizona House agrees to levy new vehicle fee

Arizona motorists could fund what amounts to a $120 million infusion into road construction and repairs.

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Weapons on college campuses makes it past House

Students, faculty, staff and visitors are a step closer to being able to carry some kinds of weapons on the campuses of public colleges and universities.

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State House votes to spend money on traffic signage

State law already spells out that motorists must drive on the right half of the road unless passing someone going in the same direction.

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Gas tax remains stable, counties have to raise road funds on their own

On a voice vote Monday, the Senate agreed to permit the state’s 13 rural counties, for the first time ever, to ask their voters whether they’re willing to impose a one-cent sales tax

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Health and Human Services Committee approves adding new requirements for abortion providers

Women who want an abortion would have to tell state health officials exactly why

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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