Arizona

Data Privacy Popular Issue in States | 09-14-2018

At least 33 states have considered legislation this session dealing specifically with the privacy of personal data. Nineteen of those states have enacted data privacy measures. They include California, which enacted AB 375 , modeled after the European...

Politics in Brief - September 10 2018 | 09-07-2018

EDUCATION FUNDING MEASURE OFF AZ BALLOT The ARIZONA Supreme Court has blocked a measure from the state’s November ballot that was aimed at increasing the tax rate on residents making more than $250,000 a year from 4.54 percent to 8 percent to...

Voters Gravitate to Political Poles in Key Aug. 28 Primaries | 08-31-2018

Primary elections were held in three states on Aug. 28. And a few of the results suggest that the energy of the Democratic and Republican parties is moving to the left and the right, respectively. In Florida’s gubernatorial primaries, Democrats...

Unsafe At Any Speed | 07-20-2018

There’s several kinds of stupid in this world. Driving darned near 100 miles per hour in a 55 zone, for instance. And then there’s the kind of dumb where said speed demon brags about it to the cop who pulls him over, and even claims to take...

Governors in Brief - July 16 2018 | 07-13-2018

DUCEY DECRIES ‘RECKLESS’ CALLS TO ABOLISH ICE In an op-ed in USA Today last week, ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) said calls from a growing number of Democratic officials to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency were “reckless”...

Straws Latest Flashpoint in Battle Over Plastics | 06-29-2018

Today, a visitor to a Bon Appétit cafe will have no problem finding plenty of tasty things to nosh on. But finding a plastic straw for their soda or a plastic stirrer for their coffee will soon be impossible. San Francisco-based Bon Appétit...

Govs Differ on Border Separations | 06-29-2018

The ongoing controversy over family separations at the U.S. border with Mexico has spurred a bipartisan group of governors to pull back or reject outright President Trump’s request to send National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico. Democrats...

Will State Elections Bring Statehouses Closer to Balance? | 06-15-2018

Lauren Arthur is not a household word, except perhaps in the neighborhood of suburban Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives. But Arthur, who on June 5 won a special election to fill a vacancy in the Missouri state senate, epitomizes the high hopes of...

State Legislative Chambers Vulnerable to Democratic Wave Election | 06-15-2018

In a normal wave election - which is typical of the first midterm election of a new president - the party out of power picks up six to eight state legislative chambers. A normal wave in November could give Democrats control of both chambers in Arizona...

Governors in Brief - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

REYNOLDS SAYS SHE ISN’T BEHOLDEN TO IA GOP PLATFORM : Saying the issue of same-sex marriage has been settled by the courts, IOWA Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said last week she doesn’t have to abide by state GOP platform proposals that favor limiting...

The Local Front - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

TN City Council Approves Ordinance The Knoxville, TENNESSEE City Council approves an ordinance to allow goat grazing on private property. The new law allows private property holders to obtain a permit to use goats to rid land of invasive plants, which...

More States Considering ACA Medicaid Expansion | 05-18-2018

Thirty-two states have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act but letting states decide whether or not to implement the Medicaid expansion provided for by the federal law. A budget proposal...

Business - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

Supreme Court Overturns Sports Betting Law The Supreme Court of the United States overturns a federal law that barred states from authorizing sports betting. The ruling came in the case of Murphy v. NCAA. (For more, see Budget & Taxes in this issue...

Social Policy - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

MI Senate Approves SB 741 The MICHIGAN Senate approves SB 741 , which would bar local governments from banning the ownership of certain dog breeds. The bill, which would nullify all current bans and bar municipalities from imposing new ones, moves...

The Local Front - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

CA Federal Judge Strikes Down A federal judge in CALIFORNIA strikes down a ban on shipping coal through the Port of OAKLAND . U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said the City Council did not have enough evidence that the coal operations would pose...

Health & Science - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

NH House Approves SB 313 The NEW HAMPSHIRE House approves SB 313 , which would expand Medicaid eligibility to cover an additional 50,000 residents. It has returned to the Senate (UNION LEADER [MANCHESTER]). CO House Approves HB 1436 The COLORADO...

More Than Half of States Allow Marijuana Use | 05-04-2018

Twenty-nine states have passed laws broadly legalizing the use of marijuana. Twenty of those states allow the use of the drug for medical purposes, such as pain relief or the control of nausea. Nine states have legalized recreational use of marijuana...

Governors In Brief - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

AZ GOV SIGNS OFF ON TEACHER PAY RAISE ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed budget legislation last week that will hike the pay of Grand Canyon State teachers by 20 percent over the next three years. The wage increase came after dozens of the state’s...

Some State Progress in Deadly Opioid Crisis | 04-20-2018

Thirteen states have made progress in battling the deadly opioid epidemic while eight states have notably failed to deal with the crisis, according to a report issued this month by the National Safety Council (NSC). It comes on the heels of a report earlier...

Most States Not Doing Enough to End Opioid Crisis | 04-20-2018

Only 13 states are currently taking five or all six of the key actions needed to end the opioid crisis, according to a report from the National Safety Council, a nonprofit organization that seeks to eliminate preventable deaths. The six actions are: educating...

Business - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

CA Senate Rejects SB 827 The CALIFORNIA Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing rejects SB 827 , which would have forced cities to allow taller, denser development around public transit (CAL MATTERS [SACRAMENTO]). WI Governor Signs AB 771...

Teacher Strikes Portend Potential Election Issue in Red States | 04-13-2018

As teachers were preparing for a walkout in Arizona last week, thousands remained out of the classroom in Oklahoma in protest of limited school funding and a protest continued in Kentucky over the restructuring of teacher pensions. The unrest suggests...

Education - April 16 2018 | 04-13-2018

LA Senate Approves SB 178 The LOUISIANA Senate approves SB 178 , which would allow Pelican State students to wear bulletproof backpacks on school grounds. It is now in the House (FOX8LIVE.COM [NEW ORLEANS]). IL Governor Signs SB 863 ILLINOIS...

Immigration - April 16 2018 | 04-13-2018

AZ Supreme Court Rules The ARIZONA Supreme Court rules that public colleges and universities are not legally able to offer in-state tuition rates to immigrants covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The ruling upholds...

Social Policy - April 16 2018 | 04-13-2018

AZ House Approves SB 1394 The ARIZONA House approves SB 1394 , a bill that would require Grand Canyon State hospitals and clinics to ask patients the reason they are seeking an abortion. The measure returns to the Senate (ARIZONA CAPITOL TIMES [PHOENIX...

Politics in Brief - April 9 2018 | 04-05-2018

FBI NABS AL LAWMAKER IN CORRUPTION STING : FBI agents arrested longtime ALABAMA Rep. Jack Williams, former state GOP Chairman Marty Connors and Trina Healthcare CEO Ford Gilbert last Monday on corruption charges. Gilbert is accused of devising a scheme...

States Looking for Cure to High Drug Prices | 03-30-2018

During his State of the Union speech in February, President Donald Trump declared his intention to address what he called “the injustice of high drug prices.” He repeated the promise last month in New Hampshire during a press conference on...

Many States Considering Bans on Pharmacy ‘Gag Clauses’ | 03-30-2018

As of March 22, at least 27 states had introduced bills this year prohibiting pharmaceutical benefit manager (PBM) or health insurer contracts that prevent pharmacists from informing customers about alternatives to medications they’ve been prescribed...

Governors in Brief - April 2 2018 | 03-30-2018

INSLEE SIGNS QUARTET OF WA #METOO BILLS : Saying “We must do better to make sure employers understand there is no place for these behaviors in the workplace,” WASHINGTON Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed four bills last month that address sexual...

Budgets in Brief - April 2 2018 | 03-30-2018

AZ BANS LOCAL SODA TAXES: ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed HB 2484 , prohibiting local governments in the state from imposing extra taxes on sodas or other sugary beverages, as some left-leaning cities in other states, including San Francisco and...

The Rewards and Perils of Redistricting | 03-16-2018

In democracies, voters are supposed to choose their legislative representatives. Increasingly, however, U.S. courts have found that representatives choose their voters through partisan gerrymandering of legislative and congressional districts. With...

Half of States Use Commissions for Redistricting | 03-16-2018

Commissions, rather than legislatures, have primary responsibility for drawing state legislative and/or congressional districts in 13 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In another 12 states, commissions either assist legislators...

Governors in Brief - March 5 2018 | 03-02-2018

BROWN SIGNS CA DAM INSPECTION MEASURE : One year after the near failure of the Oroville Dam, CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation ( AB 1270 ) last month to codify and strengthen the Golden State’s dam inspection standards. A significant...

Blockchain Bills Under Consideration in 14 states | 02-09-2018

At least 18 bills dealing with blockchain or distributed ledger technology have been introduced in 11 states so far this year, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking system. Another five blockchain-related measures that were introduced...

Education - January 15 2018 | 01-12-2018

AZ Federal Judge Blocks A federal judge permanently blocks a 2010 ARIZONA law that prohibited Grand Canyon State schools from offering courses in ethnic studies. U.S. District Court Judge A. Wallace Tashima ruled that the ban was “not for a legitimate...

Land Grab Lesson for Border Wall Watchers | 12-15-2017

In the spring of 2007, long before presidential candidate Donald Trump began promising to build a wall along the border with Mexico, the federal government initiated one of the most aggressive seizures of private land in decades to build a fence to keep...

2018: A Year of Living Dangerously | 12-15-2017

The shadow of President Donald Trump and the Republican tax bill will hover over state governing bodies in 2018, a year of midterm elections that Tim Storey, political analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures, says will be “a referendum...

Most States Taking Action on Cybersecurity | 12-08-2017

As of Oct. 30 at least 43 states had introduced over 240 bills and resolutions related to cybersecurity this year, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net data by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-seven of those states have enacted...

CHIP Money Running Out in States | 12-01-2017

At least 11 states will exhaust their Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funds before the end of the year, if Congress fails to extend federal funding for the program, according to a survey of state Medicaid officials by the Kaiser Family...

Business - November 13 2017 | 11-10-2017

ME House Veto HB 1139 The MAINE House upholds Gov. Paul LePage’s (R) veto of HB 1139 , which would have established a regulatory and taxation system for marijuana. LePage said there was still too much uncertainty that federal marijuana policy...

Sexual Harassment Prevalent Problem in Statehouses | 11-03-2017

Incidents of sexual harassment or sexual assault involving female state lawmakers, legislative staff or lobbyists have been reported recently in at least 16 states. The legislatures in all of those states have training programs or policies in place to...

Lawmakers Look to End Harassment Under the Dome | 11-03-2017

What started as a flood of allegations of sexual harassment and assault against powerful Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has morphed into an ever-widening outcry against such outrages regularly committed by men in all workplaces, including statehouses...

Governors In Brief - October 23 2017 | 10-20-2017

SNYDER SIGNS MI POLICE MICONDUCT LAW Looking to prevent police agencies from hiding misconduct that leads to terminations, MICHIGAN Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed legislation last week that requires law enforcement agencies to keep records of the circumstances...

Budgets In Brief - October 23 2017 | 10-20-2017

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FREES UP CHIP MONEY FOR FIVE STATES Since Congress failed to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), providing health care for children from low-income families that don’t qualify for Medicaid, the Trump...

Politics In Brief - October 2 2017 | 09-29-2017

DHS CONTACTS STATES ABOUT 2016 ELECTION HACKING The Department of Homeland Security directly notified election officials in 21 states last month that they had been targeted by hackers connected to the Russian government during the 2016 election campaign...

Education - September 18 2017 | 09-15-2017

California Assembly Gives Final Approval The CALIFORNIA Assembly gives final approval to a bill making the first year of community college free for in-state students going full time. The measure ( AB 19 ) now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown (D) (ASSOCIATED...

Politics In Brief - September 18 2017 | 09-15-2017

SUPREME COURT STAYS TX REMAP ORDER: The U.S. Supreme Court stayed the Aug. 24 ruling by a three-judge panel of the United States District Court for the Western District of TEXAS that several of that state’s legislative districts had been drawn...

Business - September 4 2017 | 09-01-2017

Business In Arizona An ARIZONA judge rules that a Grand Canyon State law barring local municipalities from requiring employers to provide additional employee benefits is unconstitutional. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Joshua Rogers said the...

Trump Promises Opioid Emergency Declaration | 08-18-2017

President Donald Trump said his administration is preparing to declare a federal emergency aimed at addressing the national opioid abuse crisis, but what that means to beleaguered governors seeking to quell the crisis remains unclear. The president...

Politics In Brief - August 14 2017 | 08-11-2017

JUDGE GIVES GO-AHEAD FOR AZ LAW RESTRICTING CITIZEN INITIATIVES Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens ruled last week that a new ARIZONA law making it more difficult for citizen initiatives to qualify for the state ballot can take effect...