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Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services

Stories by Howard

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How much are YOU willing to PAY?

Arizona voters may be asked to boost state sales tax for education

PHOENIX -- A House panel voted Monday to ask voters to sharply increase what they pay in sales taxes to fund public education.

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Drought: Arizona lawmaker vows to press on despite tribe’s threat

PHOENIX -- House Speaker Rusty Bowers is blowing off a threat by the Gila River Indian Community to pull out of the drought contingency plan -- and deny the state its water -- if he pursues his own legislation on forfeiture of water rights.

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Is your cellphone spying on you?

Arizona lawmakers seek disclosure on digital information collected and how it’s used

PHOENIX -- Rep. Kelly Townsend says she knows her phone is watching and listening to her, even when she’s not talking on it.

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Lawmaker seeks judicial-retention vote for city magistrates

Saying magistrates can be squeezed politically, a House panel voted Wednesday to all but strip city councils of their ability to fire them.

Senate votes to repeal $32-vehicle-registration fee

State lawmakers are picking another fight with Gov. Doug Ducey over taxes and fees.

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Grant Woods withdraws from U.S. Senate race

The 2020 Senate race claimed its first victim as former Attorney General Grant Woods gave up his plans to run -- as a Democrat.

Lawmaker proposes state tax filing extension to June 15

PHOENIX -- With a stalemate at the Capitol over changes in income tax laws the head of the Senate Finance Committee wants to give Arizonans more time to file their returns.

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Cave Creek man takes lead to recall Stringer

Chris Hanlon has filed the necessary papers with the Secretary of State's Office to begin collecting and spending money. And he said the newly formed organization, Arizona Deserves Better, has members who live in the Prescott Republican's legislative district who are from both parties as well as political independents.

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Supreme Court unable to find Stringer law application

A spokesman for the Arizona Supreme Court told Capitol Media Services that his agency is unable to find Stringer's 2003 application form seeking permission to practice law in this state.

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GOP seeks to block last-minute filing of early ballots

SB 1046 would not deny the right to vote to those who don’t drop their ballots into the mail in time to arrive by Election Day. They would still get the right to cast a regular ballot a polling place.

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Income tax fight puts Arizona tax returns in legal limbo

PHOENIX -- Arizona taxpayers who are ready to start filing their state returns are in a sort of legal and financial limbo because of a fight over income taxes between Gov. Doug Ducey and Republican lawmakers.

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Arizona lawmakers want to limit regulations cities put on landlords

Republican lawmakers agreed to put new limits on the regulations that cities and counties can enact on landlords.

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State schools chief wants to repeal ‘no promo homo’ law

The state’s new schools chief is calling on lawmakers to repeal a law that prohibits any courses on AIDS and HIV from portraying homosexuality “as a positive alternative lifestyle.’’

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Governor signs Colorado River drought plan before federal deadline.

Gov. Doug Ducey signed a drought contingency plan Thursday afternoon, just six hours ahead of the deadline set by a key federal official for the state to act or face having their Colorado River water supply determined by her.

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Legislative plan would force liability-only auto insurance rates in Arizona to increase

Arizona motorists who purchase just the bare minimum liability insurance now required could be forced to spend more -- if Gov. Doug Ducey goes along.

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Prescott lawmaker seeks gas tax hike to pay for Arizona road system

The legislation by Republican Rep. Noel Campbell would hike the levy most motorists pay in three steps, reaching 43 cents a gallon by the middle of 2021. And HB 2536 would automatically adjust it annually to reflect inflation.

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Proposed law would extend time frame for sex abuse lawsuits

State lawmakers want to give child sex abuse victims more time to sue their assailants, saying they need more time to process and understand what happened to them.

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Arizona Bar initiates investigation of State Rep. David Stringer

David Stringer's legal problems multiplied Wednesday as the State Bar of Arizona launched an investigation to determine if he lied on his application to practice law here.

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Vote expected today on Ducey's drought contingency program

State lawmakers are set to vote -- and presumably give final approval -- sometime today to a drought contingency plan designed to help deal with how Arizona deals with being able to draw less water from the Colorado River.

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Lawmaker wants physicians to list ingredients, side effects of vaccines

PHOENIX -- Would you agree to immunize your child if you knew the vaccine had aluminum phosphate, bovine serum or formaldehyde?

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GOP lawmakers vote to cut Arizona income tax rates

Defying both Democrats and their own Republican governor, GOP lawmakers voted Monday to cut income tax rates across the board to prevent what they believe would be a “windfall’’ to the state on the backs of Arizona residents.

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Effort underway to oust Prescott Republican David Stringer from AZ House of Representatives

PHOENIX -- House Republicans sidelined a bid Monday to oust Rep. David Stringer, preferring instead to give the Prescott Republican a chance to explain his 1980s arrest and comments about race and immigration to the House Ethics Committee.

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Rep. Stringer responds to 1983 accusations of sex-related crimes and child pornography

"I have never been convicted of a crime”

State Rep. David Stringer acknowledged Friday he had been arrested decades ago on multiple sex-related charges but insisted he has “no criminal record’’ despite a plea deal.

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Lawmaker seeks reduced fees, longer terms for medical marijuana cards

A Lake Havasu Republican lawmaker wants to reduce the financial burden on medical marijuana patients.

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Senate panel agrees to tighter restrictions on vaping devices

Hoping to curb teen use, state lawmakers are moving to put new restrictions on where and how vaping devices can be sold.

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Ducey consents to issue driver’s licenses for ‘Dreamers’

PHOENIX -- After fighting the issue in court for years, Gov. Doug Ducey has finally agreed to issue driver’s licenses to all deferred action recipients.

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Lawmaker advocates ‘porn tax’ to help build borderwall

What if you knew that money could help build a wall with Mexico?

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AZ Medicaid recipients may have to work for benefits

About 126,000 Arizonans who get free health care will soon be required to work if they can.

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Lawmakers push back on Ducey plan to curb legislative immunity

A proposal by Gov. Doug Ducey to abolish so-called legislative immunity is getting some negative reaction from some lawmakers who enjoy its protections -- and would have to vote to put it on the ballot for voters to repeal.

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Gila River tribe threatens to leave drought plan

The Gila River Indian Community is threatening to blow up the drought contingency plan because of efforts it says will undermine its claim to water rights.

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Gov. Ducey spending plan comes in at $11.4 Billion

PHOENIX -- Flush with cash, Gov. Doug Ducey is proposing an $11.4 billion spending plan for the coming year.

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Proposed change in law would ensure edible medical marijuana remains legal

PHOENIX -- A Peoria Republican lawmaker is moving to alter state law to ensure that edible forms of medical marijuana remain legally available to patients.

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Water conservation plan pits cities vs. Pinal farmers

PHOENIX -- An organization that represents major Arizona cities is effectively warning Pinal County farmers not to demand more in the proposed drought contingency plan.

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Arizonans consumed nearly 60 tons of medical marijuana in 2018

PHOENIX -- The number of pounds of medical marijuana being purchased and consumed in Arizona is increasing at a rate twice as fast as the number of people legally entitled to use it.

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Governor pushes school safety, drought contingency in State of State

PHOENIX -- Undeterred by last year's defeat, Gov. Doug Ducey said Monday he will make another run at getting lawmakers to approve his school safety plan -- including a controversial provision to allow judges to take weapons away from people considered dangerous.

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Legislation seeks to outlaw sale of vaping products to teens

PHOENIX -- Calling the current law fatally flawed and ineffective, a veteran lawmaker wants the state to impose far more restrictions on access to vaping products by teens.

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Governor Doug Ducey demands Colorado River drought plan for Arizona before feds get involved

PHOENIX -- Gov. Doug Ducey used his second inaugural speech Monday to exhort lawmakers and others with a claim to Colorado River water to approve a drought contingency plan before a solution is imposed by the Bureau of Reclamation.

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AG hopes to ‘Stop skyrocketing tuition’ at state’s universities in 2019

PHOENIX -- Attorney General Mark Brnovich used his inaugural speech Monday to point up a key disagreement he has with Gov. Doug Ducey.

You can get front-row seat to Monday’s Arizona inauguration ceremony for $10,000 minimum

PHOENIX -- Want to watch Monday’s inauguration of the state’s top officials in person but don’t want to be stuck in the cheap seats -- or left standing?

Activist wants to freeze property taxes for seniors

PHOENIX --The way self-proclaimed tax activist, Lynne Weaver sees it, anyone who make it to age 65 should not have to pay property taxes on their homes.

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New state law adds layer of consumer protection from ‘surprise’ hospital bills

Arizonans are finally going to get some protection from “surprise’’ hospital bills.

Lawmaker wants online signatures allowed for initiatives, referendums

PHOENIX -- A proposal by a Southern Arizona lawmaker could make it easier for groups to propose their own state laws and constitutional amendments.

Phoenix man seeks public vote to legalize all drugs in Arizona

A Phoenix resident is seeking a public vote on a proposal to make Arizona the first state in the nation to effectively repeal all drug laws.

Citizen initiative seeks exclusive ward elections for Tucson City Council seats

Unable to get courts to void Tucson’s current council election system, some political interests now are taking their case directly to voters.

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Name game 2018

One thing is clear from the latest list of the most popular baby names in Arizona this year.

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Attorney general asks Supreme Court to block Phoenix anti-discrimination ordinance

PHOENIX -- Arizona’s chief prosecutor is urging the state’s high court to block Phoenix from enforcing its anti-discrimination ordinance against two women who refuse to craft wedding materials for same-sex nuptials.

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Two commissioners say APS making too much money

PHOENIX -- Two utility regulators are questioning whether some customers of Arizona Public Services are paying too much -- and the company is earning more than it is legally entitled.

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Ducey seeks modifications to Arizona’s tax code

Governor says plan will boost state revenue by at least $180 million

PHOENIX -- Gov. Doug Ducey wants to boost the taxes paid by Arizonans by $180 million -- or more -- when they file their tax returns this spring.

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State lawmaker arrested for extreme drunk driving

PHOENIX -- A state lawmaker just elected to his second term was arrested on charges of extreme drunk driving after trying to escape it by identifying himself as a legislator.

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Did you get a raw deal trying to fight a traffic ticket?

Proposed law would let you wipe slate clean with defensive driving class

Arizona motorists accused of speeding and other offenses could soon have a new way to escape their tickets -- and, more to the point, the higher insurance rates that follow.