Arizona

Blockchain, Cybersecurity Will Challenge Lawmakers in 2019 | 11-30-2018

SNCJ devotes the last three issues of each year to a preview of the coming state legislative sessions. Here in part one of that three-part series we’ll take a look at a few of the issues that are likely to draw the attention of state lawmakers next...

‘Blue Wave’ Continues Rolling In | 11-16-2018

When Election Day ended two weeks ago the “blue wave” many had predicted for the first midterm of the Trump presidency seemed relatively modest in size. But since the election that wave has continued to roll in, bringing more Democratic gains...

Democrats Gain in State Elections | 11-09-2018

Buoyed by the votes of suburban women and independents, Democrats gained hard-won ground in the nation’s statehouses in Tuesday’s midterm election. Democrats won seven governorships and six legislative chambers previously held...

Voters Rejected Most Tax Measures on Ballot: | 11-09-2018

Proposed tax increases and restrictions on future tax hikes were on the ballot in several states last week. Most of them failed. Colorado voters rejected both Amendment 73 , which would have increased corporate and personal income taxes to provide...

Mixed Results for Closely Watched Ballot Measures | 11-09-2018

Marijuana legalization was one of the most prevalent issues on state ballots on Nov. 6. And with the approval of one of those measures, Proposal 1 , on a 54-46 vote, Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to legalize marijuana for recreational...

More Democratic Women Candidates Than Republican Ones in Most States | 11-02-2018

Of the 3,388 women running for legislative office in 46 states this year, 70 percent are Democrats. In 19 of those states, there are about twice as many Democratic female candidates as Republican ones. In 15 states, there are three times more. In five...

Democrats Seem Poised for State Election Gains | 10-19-2018

The pendulum of politics that in many states has swung Republican for the last eight years appears to be heading in a Democratic direction in the Nov. 6 midterm elections. Nonpartisan analysts and pollsters give Democrats a solid chance to win nine...

Sizable Statehouse Gains Possible for Dems in November | 10-19-2018

If the November election holds to the usual pattern for the first midterm election of a new presidency, Democrats could win control of nine legislative chambers in seven states, according to Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures...

MO Could Become 2nd State to Ban Sales Taxes on Services | 10-19-2018

Next month Arizona voters will decide whether their state will prohibit the expansion of its already limited sales taxes on services, which are currently levied only on certain software and transportation businesses. In 2016 the Missouri Association...

Environment - October 22 2018 | 10-19-2018

CO River Water Agreement Seven states that depend on the Colorado River for water reach agreement on a management plan for the waterway. The deal between COLORADO, UTAH, ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO, CALIFORNIA, NEVADA and WYOMING creates a collection of drought...

State Lawmakers Taking More Interest in Cryptocurrencies | 10-05-2018

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to buy goods and services, pay bills, gamble online, transfer money internationally and as an investment vehicle, among other things. And that activity is drawing more attention...

More State Cryptocurrency Legislation in 2018 | 10-05-2018

At least 21 states have introduced bills or resolutions dealing with digital currencies in 2018, about double the number of states that did so last year, according to analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net....

Tax Limits on November Ballot in Several States | 09-28-2018

On Nov. 6 voters in states from coast to coast will have an opportunity to restrict future efforts by their lawmakers to raise taxes. Measures on the ballot in Washington ( Initiative 1634 ) and Oregon ( Measure 37 ) would prohibit local governments...

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...