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Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services

Stories by Howard

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Recess should count toward school funding, AZ senator says

PUSD superintendent: Not quite help needed

The way Sen. Warren Petersen sees it, elementary school children are being rushed through lunch and recess by schools that are fearful of losing state aid.

Unemployment drops again

Yavapai 1 of 2 counties with lowest jobless rates; retail remains weak, battles online competition

The state’s jobless rate ticked down two tenths of a point last month as companies continued to add workers at a slow but steady rate.

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Medicaid expansion remains, high court affirms

Fee paid by hospitals is legal; opposition calls it new ‘loophole’

The state’s high court on Friday upheld the legality of an assessment on hospitals that helps pay for health care for 400,000 Arizonans.

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Ducey: ‘No place for sexual harassment’ at Capitol

Let investigators do their job, the governor says

Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday his experience is that women who complain about being sexually harassed are generally telling the truth.

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Koch’s nonprofit gets involved in Arizona’s voucher debate

Conservatives to educate voters before next year’s referendum

A nonprofit funded at least in part by the Koch brothers is financing a six-figure TV campaign that a spokesman said is designed to “educate” Arizonans about school choice.

Gilbert, Scottsdale families spend most on gifts

Tucson spends the least

Don’t be surprised if that Christmas gift from your friend or relative in Tucson is not quite as flashy as one from someone in Gilbert.

Groups go after new ‘dark money’ contributions

Lawsuit calls law flawed, says Legislature acted illegally

A voter advocacy group, a union and Democrat lawmakers are asking a judge to void a new Arizona law expanding the ability of some group to make anonymous “dark money” contributions to political campaigns.

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President Trump enjoys 45-49% popularity in Arizona poll

Only 33 percent approval rating in national survey

Donald Trump remains more popular in Arizona than the nation as a whole.

Groups claim state violates federal laws on voter registration

Coalition gives Arizona 90 days to correct them, or they’ll sue

A coalition of voting rights groups is charging that state agencies are violating federal laws designed to provide opportunities for people to register.

Medical marijuana patients claim state permit price too high

Calling the fees illegally high, an attorney for medical marijuana patients is asking the Court of Appeals to force state health officials to slash what they charge people to get the state-issued permit they need to buy the drug.

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Another woman accuses Yuma’s Shooter of harassment

Ninth woman with complaints about the representative

Another woman has come forward to the Arizona Capitol Times with details of being harassed by Rep. Don Shooter.

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State reaches agreement to end rash of disability lawsuits

Lawyer says decision will hurt disabled Arizonans

A deal between the Attorney General’s Office and a group advocating for the disabled will keep them from filing new lawsuits against Arizona businesses — at least in state court.

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Online postings aren’t anonymous anymore

Court orders company to provide information on who made posts

Those comments you post online about your employer — and others — may not be as anonymous as you thought.

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State Rep. Don 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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Timeline of sex harassment claims crux of what may or may not happen to Shooter

The top official in the state House contends the chamber has the right to investigate charges of sexual harassment against Rep. Don Shooter — and even discipline him if lawmakers find him guilty — even though the Yuma Republican was not a representative at the time of the alleged incidents.

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Mexico calls on its U.S. friends to start speaking up

Says relations between two countries near a ‘critical’ state

Mexico’s ambassador to the United States said Wednesday those concerned about deteriorating relations between his country and ours need to speak up.

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Sexual harassment allegations made against a senator from Yuma

State House launches probes

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard launched “multiple investigations” Wednesday into reports of sexual harassment at the Legislature as several lawmakers and a lobbyist came forward with new allegations, naming Rep. Don Shooter as the offender.

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Lawsuit: State voters illegally denied the right to vote

Federal case filed; state says it complies with recent rulings

A new lawsuit charges that thousands of Arizonans are illegally being denied the right to vote in federal elections.

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Ducey's order aims to give convicted felons a fair shot at state jobs

Arizona joins national trend to 'ban the box'

Arizona is joining more than two dozen other states to give convicted felons a foot in the door for employment

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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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Oro Valley ‘best’ small city in Arizona; Prescott No. 6

The way WalletHub sees it, the best small city for living in Arizona is Oro Valley.

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Initiative would expose ‘dark money,’ former AG says

A former state attorney general wants Arizonans to vote to constitutionally ban anonymous donations from political campaigns.

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Governor looks to commercialize rest stops

Could pay to rebuild existing, dilapidated rest areas

The way Gov. Doug Ducey sees it, Arizona rest stops would be better if they included Starbucks coffee shops, Cracker Barrel restaurants and perhaps even AM/PM gas stations.

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Ducey offers money to help students with disabilities

Staff unable to say how much money

Gov. Doug Ducey is proposing new funds to help students with vision and hearing disabilities get a jump start on their reading skills.

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Arizona House releases detailed harassment policy

Move comes after a female lawmaker complains of treatment in Facebook post

In the wake of a complaint by a female lawmaker, House Speaker J.D. Mesnard on Monday released a detailed policy designed to curb sexual harassment.

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Ducey may use reserves to pay for Kids Care

Funds expected to run out next month; waiting on Congress to act

Gov. Doug Ducey may tap the state’s “rainy day fund’’ to keep health care coverage for 23,000 Arizona children until Congress finally acts.

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Court: Yarnell Hill residents can’t sue state over fire

More than 120 homes destroyed in the 2013 blaze

The state’s highest court won’t let homeowners burned out by the Yarnell Hill fire sue the state for negligence.

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Drug company founder indicted for pushing opioids

A federal grand jury has indicted the founder and chief shareholder of Chandler-based Insys on charges of overly aggressive — and illegal — marketing of its powerful opioid drug which has helped fuel the opioid epidemic.

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Fate of health care for 400K Arizona residents rests with court

The fate of health care for 400,000 Arizonans could depend on what seven justices of the state Supreme Court believe voters said they wanted 25 years ago.

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Gov. Ducey stays silent on President Trump

Gov. Doug Ducey won’t add his voice to that of two other top elected Arizona Republicans in criticizing President Trump.

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Report: Reagan violated law with late delivery of voter info

Attorney General’s office investigated May 2016 special election

The failure of Secretary of State Michele Reagan to get ballot brochures on time to the homes of 200,000 voters ahead of last year’s election broke state law, according to a new report released Wednesday.

Former DES director, aide sue state for libel

Tim Jeffries says report prepared by DPS is filled with lies

Saying his reputation was damaged, the former head of the Department of Economic Security is suing the state for libel.

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Flake bemoans political climate, won’t seek reelection

Senator says a true conservative can’t win in this environment

Calling the president’s behavior “dangerous to democracy,” Sen. Jeff Flake announced Tuesday he won’t seek another term.

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State to take another look at its school grades

Criticisms force Board of Education to reconsider revamp

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.

AG sides with state in Bisbee plastic bag dispute

Says state laws preempt any local ordinances

Saying state law trumps local control, Attorney General Mark Brnovich ruled Tuesday that a Bisbee ordinance banning plastic bags is illegal.

Arizona jobless rate lowest in decade

Wages are increasing, labor market tightening

Arizona’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped to 4.7 percent last month, the lowest rate in nearly a decade.

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Teachers slam Ducey over double-digit staff raises

Arizona teachers lashed out Friday at Gov. Doug Ducey for giving double-digit pay hikes to his staffers even as he was proposing an across-the-board pay hike for teachers of just 0.4 percent a year for the next five years.

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Federal judge declines to wipe out Arpaio’s conviction

Lawyer: Former sheriff would have won an appeal

Saying the president can’t erase facts, a federal judge on Thursday rejected a bid by former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to have all record of his criminal conviction wiped out.

Deputy shouldn’t have released his K-9, court says

Court upholds ruling of deputy’s negligence

The Arizona Court of Appeals has upheld a jury’s conclusion that a Pima County sheriff’s deputy was negligent in releasing his K-9 who bit and permanently disfigured someone following a traffic stop.

AZ tax cut coming, but don’t expect to see much

Arizona residents could see savings of up to $4.50

Arizonans are in line for an income tax cut when they file their returns next April.

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Official says no need to rename highway

The state’s top transportation official says there’s no need to rename the “Jefferson Davis Highway” in Arizona because as far as his agency is concerned it no longer exists.

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Court rules APS rate hike can go through

Residents to pay utility company 3.3 percent more

The Arizona Supreme Court won’t intercede to overturn the just-approved 3.3 percent rate hike approved for the state’s largest electric utility.

Federal court overturns sex abuse conviction in Arizona

Defendant was accused of molesting a 10-year-old in 1998

Citing prosecutorial misconduct and other issues, a federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned the sex abuse conviction of a Tucson man.

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Phoenix fights back against immigration push

Attorney general agrees, says sanctuary city talk is mostly rhetorical

Calling the city’s policy of welcoming migrants more rhetoric than real, Attorney General Mark Brnovich ruled Monday that nothing the council told the police to do violates state laws on illegal immigration.

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Volkswagen fights consumer fraud charge in Arizona

Lawyers for company say claims were ‘puffery’

Attorneys for Volkswagen are telling a judge the firm can’t be found guilty of consumer fraud and fined potentially hundreds of millions of dollars because its now-disproved claims of the cleanliness of the diesel vehicles it was selling were just promotional “puffery.”

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Registered sex offenders who become homeless get some protections in ruling

Registered sex offenders who become homeless can’t be jailed for failing to immediately report their new address to law enforcement, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Friday.

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Phoenix fights back against immigration push

City argues it does not have to follow the state’s directives

Attorney General Mark Brnovich has no legal right to look into the policies of Phoenix police in dealing with people suspected of being in this country illegally, a lawyer for the city is charging.

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Bisbee to state: Mind your own business

Attorney argues city should control city laws

The Bisbee city attorney told Attorney General Mark Brnovich Tuesday that his community’s regulations on plastic bags are none of the state’s business.

Goldwater Institute heads to court over experimental drugs

The Goldwater Institute goes to court today in a bid to force the Food and Drug Administration to cough up details on how dying people can get access to unapproved medicines.

State: Courts can’t dictate funding

Schools’ attorney says legislature has shorted them $2 billion

An attorney for the state is telling a judge she has no legal right to tell the Legislature it isn’t providing enough money for school construction and repair.

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