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Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services

Stories by Howard

Lower prices good news for ham, cheese lovers

In contrast, prices for eggs, bacon tick up

Good news if you like grilled ham and cheese.

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Arizonans consumed more than 43 tons of legal medical marijuana in 2017

Arizonans smoked, ate, drank or otherwise consumed more than 43 tons of legal medical marijuana in the year just ended.

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Despite no challengers - yet - Gov. Ducey has amassed $3 million in campaign war chest

PHOENIX -- With no primary foe and 10 months to go to the general election, Gov. Doug Ducey already has collected more than $3 million for his re-election campaign.

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Ducey budget puts emphasis on K-12 education

PHOENIX -- Gov. Doug Ducey unveiled at $10.1 billion spending plan for next budget year built on projections of more consumer spending, Arizonans buying more lottery tickets and hiring back many of the auditors who ensure that people are paying the state what they owe, auditors the governor previously laid off.

Attorney contends schools conflict with legislature a political issue, not a matter for courts

PHOENIX -- An attorney for the state told a judge Friday he has no legal right to hear a complaint that the Legislature is not providing enough funds for schools.

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Tucson lawmaker seeks new surcharge for medical marijuana users

PHOENIX -- A Tucson Republican lawmaker wants people who are legally entitled to use medical marijuana to pay for a program to discourage drug use among others rather than lowering the excess fees they pay the state.

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Mesnard: Trump tax cuts won’t have negative impact on Arizona taxpayers

PHOENIX -- One of the state’s three Republican legislative leaders has vowed he won’t let the Trump tax cuts have a negative ripple effect on Arizona taxpayers.

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State of the State: Governor pledges more money for education

PHOENIX -- Gov. Doug Ducey promised more money on Monday for education. But the Republican governor's State of the State speech was short on details.

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Gov. Ducey to make push for more education funds without raising state taxes

PHOENIX -- Gov. Doug Ducey kicks off the legislative session Monday with a call for more education funding -- but not with the tax hikes that some say are necessary to provide truly adequate funding for schools.

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Education coaltion plan calls for $950 million more for Arizona classrooms

PHOENIX -- Hoping to set the agenda, a coalition of educators and others laid out options that could generate more than $950 million for education this coming year, all without a general hike in sales taxes.

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Layman’s guide to following AZ Legislature

PHOENIX -- Want to keep tabs on your lawmakers and not even have to get out of your pajamas? You can -- if you have a computer.

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New law in 2018 could set limits on opioid prescriptions

PHOENIX -- While public education is expected to be the top issue when lawmakers return on Monday, a few other subjects are likely to command some attention.

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Arizona legal users need not fear AG’s tough talk on marijuana laws

PHOENIX -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions may be looking to crack down on marijuana sales in states where they are legal.

Court rules GPS vehicle tracking by police requries warrant

PHOENIX -- Police cannot put a GPS device onto a vehicle to track its movements without first getting a warrant, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

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State hopes to keep some aspects of ‘ethnic studies’ ban

Judge said it was unconstitutional, top educator wants to try again

The state’s top education official wants to salvage at least some of a law banning “ethnic studies” that was struck down as unconstitutional by a federal judge.

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Senate president agrees to caps on corporate tax credits for scholarships

PHOENIX -- The architect of an ever-increasing siphoning off of state tax revenues to help send students to private and parochial schools said Thursday he’s now willing to consider a cap -- now that the diversion has topped $74 million a year.

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Minimum wage goes up again on Monday, some get a 50-cent per hour raise starting next week

Arizonans at the bottom end of the income scale are going to be getting a bit more in their paychecks this coming week.

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Lawmakers press for new look at Arizona sentencing laws for non-violent offenders

PHOENIX -- Two state lawmakers hope to do what has proven politically impossible for decades: Convince colleagues to consider sentencing reform.

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Lawmaker says opioid dossage best left to doctor’s discretion

PHOENIX -- Rep. Jay Lawrence is declaring his own war against the governor’s war on opioids.

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Proposed legislation would force city council, mayoral candidates to declare party affiliation

PHOENIX -- A Scottsdale Republican lawmaker wants to force city council and mayoral candidates to run with party labels, saying he believes it will help prevent liberals from sneaking into office.

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Nearly 2,000 Arizona teaching jobs remain vacant so far this school year

PHOENIX -- A new report shows that nearly 2,000 teaching positions in Arizona remain vacant four months into the school year.

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The Name Game: Emma and Liam the most popular baby names in Arizona in 2017

PHOENIX -- Remember all the Jessicas and Jennifers born in the 1980s and 1990s?

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Arizona population growth 5th highest in nation

Arizona added enough residents in the 12 months ending July 1 to rank its growth the fifth highest in the nation.

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Lawmaker wants to ban marijuana billboard advertising

PHOENIX -- The way Sen. David Farnsworth sees it, the decision by voters to legalize the sale of marijuana for medical uses does not mean they get to promote it.

Critics say state’s sexual harassment policy does not go far enough

PHOENIX -- A move by Senate leadership to update the chamber’s harassment policy is provoking some criticism over what is not included.

Attorney paid by state legislature says lawmakers free to run for congressional post without vacating current position

PHOENIX -- Sitting state lawmakers are free to run for the now-open congressional seat vacated by Trent Franks without having to quit their current job -- at least according to an attorney paid by state lawmakers.

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Plan to build privately funded border wall falls flat; sheriff to use donations

PHOENIX -- Unable to build the border fence they wanted with private donations -- or even come close -- a special legislative panel disbanded itself, giving out the remaining cash raised to the Cochise County Sheriff’s Department.

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Business coaltion plans push for 2020 education tax election

PHOENIX -- A plan by business leaders to ask voters for a 1.5-cent sales tax hike for education in at the 2020 ballot could set the stage for a possibly expensive battle with Gov. Doug Ducey and his Koch brothers allies -- assuming Ducey is still in office at that point.

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Arizona flu cases spike

A huge spike in the number of flu cases could portend a particularly bad year for the flu in Arizona.

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Congressman Trent Franks resigns from U.S. House after allegedly asking staffers to have his child

PHOENIX -- Congressman Trent Franks said Thursday he is resigning from the U.S. House ahead of an Ethics Committee investigation stemming from his discussion with two female staffers about the possibility of surrogacy.

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Will governor put money where his mouth is on high school coding program?

PHOENIX -- A program to teach coding to high schoolers praised Monday by Gov. Doug Ducey as key to Arizona’s economic future had to be financed by local taxpayers and grants due to the lack of state dollars.

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Proposed legislation would prohibit non-disclosures in sex harassment cases

PHOENIX -- A first-term state lawmaker wants to curb the ability of those accused of sexual harassment or rape to buy silence from their victims.

Ducey opposes plan to clamp down on dark money campaign financing

Gov. Doug Ducey signaled his opposition to a new initiative to forbid anonymous funding of political campaigns, saying it would interfere with the ability of people to participate in campaigns without fear.

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Governor dismisses new report critical of Arizona education funding

Gov. Doug Ducey is fighting back against a report by a left-leaning research group that shows Arizona is spending less on K-12 education today than before the recession when inflation is taken into account.

Medicaid officials prepare contingency plan to continue coverage for children of working poor

With no immediate congressional action in sight, state Medicaid officials are preparing to implement a contingency plan to ensure that nearly 24,000 children of Arizona working poor do not lose their health care coverage this coming month.

Lawmaker wants to repeal law on training required to be hair stylist

Scottsdale Republican wants to repeal a state law which says you can't style hair in Arizona without at least 1,100 hours of training at a state-licensed school.

Legal opinion sought on legislature's authority over Board of Regents

An Oro Valley Republican lawmaker wants to know whether he and fellow legislators can legally clamp down on the Arizona Board of Regents.

ASU journalism school revokes lifetime achievement award given Charlie Rose

Calling the behavior "unacceptable,'' the journalism school at Arizona State University took the unprecedented move of revoking the lifetime achievement award it gave just two years ago to Charlie Rose.

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Confiscated corkscrews to be sold to highest bidder by state

PHOENIX -- Wondering what to get that special wine lover for Christmas? How about a corkscrew?

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Proposed legislation could make wearing masks a felony during public offence

Thinking of wearing a Trump mask to a political demonstration?

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Ducey silent on whether or not he’ll campaign with Trump

Facing a possible tough reelection next year, Gov. Doug Ducey won’t say whether he wants the help of the nation’s chief executive.

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Governor considers using VW payout to replace school buses

Auto company paid Arizona $59M to settle lawsuit

Gov. Doug Ducey is sitting on $59 million in unexpected cash.

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ASU revokes lifetime achievement award from Charlie Rose

Calling the behavior “unacceptable,’’ the journalism school at Arizona State University took the unprecedented move Friday of revoking the lifetime achievement award it gave just two years ago to Charlie Rose.

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‘Why do we need to allow underage marriages to happen?’’

Representative wants to repeal exiting laws

Saying 18 is plenty young enough, a Scottsdale lawmaker wants to repeal existing Arizona laws that allow children of any age to get married.

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Attorney for opioid manufacturer says firm is immune from lawsuits over marketing practices

The attorney for a Chandler opioid manufacturer says his firm can’t be sued by the state over its marketing practices because anything it may have done wrong is in the past.

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Poll shows Arizonans not eager to vote in support of legalization of marijuana

Don’t look for Arizonans to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, at least not in the immediate future.

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Trump enjoys 45-49% popularity in Arizona poll, only 33% approval rating in national survey

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

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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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2017 Turkey Dinner Won’t Gobble Up Your Budget

PHOENIX -- The cost to feed the horde this Thanksgiving is going to be as low as it’s been in a decade.

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Another woman accuses Rep. Shooter of sexual harassment

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