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Howard Fischer, for the Courier

Stories by Howard

Arizona unemployment rate reaches 4.9 percent; US at 3.9 percent

Arizona’s jobless rate is stalled - and at a rate higher than earlier this year -- even as the national figure continues to drop.

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Gov. Ducey vetoes minimum liability insurance bill

Motorists are going to be able to operate their cars and trucks on Arizona roads with the same level of liability insurance they had to purchase in 1972.

Judge: ‘No citizen has legal right to ignore, defy officer’ during traffic stop

Waiting until you’re on your own property before pulling over for police won’t save you from having you or your vehicle legally searched.

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Lawmakers attempting to bring Gov. Ducey back to the gun laws table

Democrat lawmakers are using Friday’s school shooting in Texas in a bid to get Gov. Doug Ducey to call lawmakers into special session to adopt new gun laws.

Unemployed workers must take job, or risk losing benefits after 4 weeks

Arizonans who don’t take pretty much any job after being out of work for at least four weeks will lose their unemployment benefits.

Lawsuit challenges referendum placed on November ballot

The author of Arizona’s Citizens Clean Elections Act wants a judge to block a vote on a plan by Republican lawmakers to take away some of the power of the commission that administers the program of public financing of candidates.

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Sidewalk robots are on the way

Coming soon to a sidewalk near you: 200 pound autonomous delivery robots.

Governor challenges Arizona school on use of teacher raise money

Gov. Doug Ducey took a swat Tuesday at Tucson Unified School District for plans to use some of the cash it is getting for teacher pay hikes to help give raises to other staffers.

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Ducey pushes for statewide betting sites

Gov. Doug Ducey is open to the idea of allowing Arizonans to place bets on sporting events at 55 off-track betting (OTB) sites around the state.

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Ducey authorizes hemp farming in Arizona

Don’t be surprised if sometime next year you see acres and acres of what appears to be marijuana growing, unfenced, in the desert.

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Arizona Supreme Court: Companies hold no responsibility for toxic exposure

Arizona companies have no duty to protect family members from exposure to toxic materials their employees bring home on their work clothes, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Friday.

$340,000 civil fine for illegal calls

An Arizona company will pay for its practice of disturbing some residents.

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Supreme Court: States can OK sports betting


PHOENIX — A new ruling Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court could open the door to Arizonans legally betting for — or against — the Diamondbacks, the Cardinals and even the Wildcats, Sun Devils and Lumberjacks.

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Medical marijuana protection legislation comes up short

Arizona’s more than 162,000 medical marijuana users are not going to get any state protection from being sold drugs that are tainted with pesticides or mold, at least not for the time being.

Trolley tracks appeal denied

If you hurt yourself while riding your bicycle across trolley tracks, it’s probably your own fault.

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Arizona Supreme Court to hear arguments on Snowbowl effluent case

The Arizona Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the Hopi tribe can try to block the use of treated effluent to make snow on the San Francisco Peaks.

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Gov. Ducey pushing school safety bill, despite party opposition

Undeterred by opposition from his own party, Gov. Doug Ducey is determined to make another bid this coming year to let parents and school officials ask judges to take guns away from people who are a danger to themselves or others -- assuming he’s still governor.

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Judge upholds ban on 'ballot harvesting' in Arizona

Bringing ballots to polls for someone else is a felony

A federal judge won’t overturn a law that makes it a felony to bring someone else’s early ballot to a polling place.

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School voucher opponents to help block 'dark money'

The group responsible for forcing a public vote on the future of vouchers will now help a bit to block “dark money’’ in future political campaigns.

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Utility regulator loses bid to throw out criminal charges

A federal judge has rejected a bid by a former utility regulator, his wife, a lobbyist and a utility executive to throw out criminal charges against them.

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Initiative circulators face new hurdles

A state law throwing new hurdles in the path of initiative circulators will remain, at least for now.

AG warns Sedona against short-term vacation rentals

State says no registration of Airbnb rentals allowed

The Attorney General’s Office is telling Sedona to stop licensing short-term vacation rentals or lose half of its state aid.

Legislature does not make Honor Roll

If the just completed legislative session were a school year, the Class of 2018 would not be making the Honor Roll.

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Volkswagen settles Arizona lawsuit for $40M

Provides payments to Arizonans, in addition to nationwide litigation

Volkswagen will be shelling out $40 million to settle charges that it defrauded Arizona residents by selling them vehicles billed as clean-burning diesel, something they were not.

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School vouchers to go to voters

2 lawmakers split from Republicans, say they won’t rescind expansion program

It looks like voters are going to get the last word on whether they want more tax dollars used to send children to private and parochial schools.

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Ducey signs teacher pay plan

Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation early Thursday granting teachers an average 19 percent pay increase within three years.

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Arizona Senate OKs budget with big teacher raise

The Arizona Senate has passed a $10.4 billion state budget plan that provides more than $300 million in raises for many of the state's striking teachers after working all night.

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Statewide teacher walkout stretches out another day

The first-ever statewide teacher walkout is dragging into another day Thursday, as many teachers have decided they’re not quite ready to go back to work.

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Teachers told to go back to classrooms

Unable to convince Republicans to provide more cash for K-12 education, members of the #RedForEd movement were told late Tuesday to go back to work.

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Lawmakers work on teacher raises

Rebuffing last-minute protests by educators picketing the state capitol, Republican lawmakers took the first steps Monday to providing a 9 percent raise this coming year for teachers.

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Walkout by Arizona educators enters third day

PHOENIX — The teachers’ strike enters its third day Monday, as educators remain dissatisfied with the pay hike proposal by Gov. Doug Ducey and many schools remain closed despite threats by the Goldwater Institute to sue.

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Initiative would target high-income earners with surcharge for education funding

Ignored by the governor and GOP lawmakers, a coalition of teachers, parents and education advocates are taking their case for more state dollars for classrooms directly to voters even as Ducey and legislative leaders say they’ve reached a budget deal — one that ignores those demands.

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Gov. Ducey addressing teacher raises, but not student spending

Republican legislative leaders were closing in on a deal late Thursday to give Gov. Doug Ducey the pay hike he wants for teachers -- but not the package being demanded by tens of thousands of educators who walked off the job.

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Tuition battle continues, Attorney General has no legal right to question policies

Attorney General Mark Brnovich has no legal right to challenge the tuition the Board of Regents sets for the state’s three universities; or even question the policies used to come up with those numbers, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Connie Contes decided Thursday.

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Ducey holds firm on not offering more to teachers

Saying he won’t be offering anything more, Gov. Doug Ducey said Wednesday the teacher strike will end when they realize he’s made them a good offer and they all go back to work.

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Campbell proposes one-cent sales tax for education

Prescott representative: 'If you've got a better idea, put it in writing'

PHOENIX – With a teacher pay plan eluding a deal and what he contends are unrealistic revenue estimates from Gov. Doug Ducey, a Prescott Republican lawmaker wants colleagues to consider a financial "bridge'' to provide immediate dollars.

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Lawmakers working to strike a deal before Thursday’s walkout, but say efforts may be futile

Top Republicans are huddling to see if they can reach an accord over the issue of teacher pay ahead of Thursday’s strike deadline, potentially forestalling or at least undermining the walkout.

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Senate votes to allow Department of Transportation to levy vehicle fees

PHOENIX — It could soon cost more to register your car or truck in Arizona.

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Former Secretary of State Bennett making bid for Arizona governor

Former Secretary of State Ken Bennett is going to try to keep incumbent Doug Ducey from once again being the Republican nominee for governor.

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House approves legislation clarifying where people can, can’t sell products and services in residential areas

State lawmakers are trimming the ability of cities and counties to keep people from running businesses out of their homes.

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Ducey wants budget that includes pay raises for teachers

Already fighting with educators over his pay hike plan, Gov. Doug Ducey opened a second front Friday, this time attacking members of his own Republican Party.

Senate panel voted to force some people to surrender weapons

A Senate panel voted 4-3 Thursday to allow judges to force some people to surrender their weapons — but only after a multi-step process that supporters say will protect due process rights.

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Teachers express overwhelming support for strike

Claiming overwhelming support, leaders of the #RedForEd movement called Thursday night called for a strike -- but not for another week.

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Governor signs bill outlawing ‘fake’ service animals

If you’ve been sneaking Fluffy into the grocery store with the claim that’s your service dog, you’ll soon have to make other arrangements for your pet.

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Teacher pay hike plan rejected by Arizona PTA

Calling the governor’s plan not sustainable, the Arizona PTA has withdrawn its backing for Gov. Doug Ducey’s teacher pay hike plan.

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Ducey plans to fund part of teacher pay increase with new form of gambling

Gov. Doug Ducey is hoping to fund part of his teacher pay package through a new form of gambling that may be illegal; is opposed by a key backer of the governor; and also could blow up the deal Arizona negotiated nearly two decades ago with Indian tribes.

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Jobs may be at risk if Arizona teachers walk out

Empowered by successful walkouts in other states, Arizona teachers began three days of voting Tuesday on whether to follow suit here.

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New Arizona law will impose fines for false service-animal claims

If you've been sneaking Fluffy into the grocery store with the claim that’s your service dog, you’ll soon have to make other arrangements for your pet.

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Educators to decide this week whether to strike

Calling the governor’s proposal inadequate, leaders of the #RedForEd movement have scheduled a vote this week to decide by Friday whether to strike.

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Teachers to vote on walkout; no proof money will be there for Ducey's pay pledge

PHOENIX - Calling the governor's proposal inadequate, leaders of the #RedForEd movement have scheduled a vote this week to decide whether to strike.