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Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services

Stories by Howard

Arizona plans earthquake training drill Thursday

PHOENIX -- It’s not quite the “duck and cover’’ exercises of the 1950 s when school children were practicing to be prepared for nuclear attack.

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Longtime Arizona School Superintendent Carolyn Warner: 1930-2018

PHOENIX -- If it weren't for Bill Schulz, Carolyn Warner, who died Tuesday, could have been the first woman governor of Arizona.

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Prop 305 seeks to reverse AZ Legislature’s action on vouchers

But the more than 100,000 people who signed petitions to put Proposition 305 on the ballot now find they have to vote against it to get what they want: repealing legislation to expand who can get vouchers of taxpayer funds to attend private and parochial schools.

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Ken Bennett lacking campaign funds after loss

Ken Bennett found himself out of the running when he was trounced by incumbent Doug Ducey in the Republican primary in August.

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Gov. Ducey accuses Garcia of ‘rigging election’

PHOENIX -- Gov. Doug Ducey is doubling down on his claim that David Garcia tried to “rig” the election for a sales tax for education even though there is no evidence the Democrat gubernatorial hopeful had any role in crafting the measure.

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Lawmakers: Service tax ban is bad idea

To hear the proponents of Proposition 126 tell it, Arizona lawmakers are chomping at the bit to tax medical services, child care and even veterinary bills.

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Gov. Doug Ducey crows added jobs in second debate

Incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey repeatedly throws around the phrase that Arizona is “open for business” as both a commercial for the state and as proof his policies are what’s driving the state economy.

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Ducey defends voucher decision during debate

Gov. Doug Ducey defended his decision Monday to sign legislation to allow any student get a voucher of tax dollars to attend private or parochial schools, a measure that voters will decide in November whether to ratify even as they determine whether the incumbent gets another four-year term.

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Governor contends new law makes Prop 127 vote meaningless

It ultimately may not matter if Arizonans vote in November to require utilities generate more of their electricity from renewable sources.

Arizona jobless rate holds steady at 4.6%; U.S. average at 3.9%

The state’s economy continues to be propelled along by people wanting some new place to live or at least to fix up the one they way.

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Attorney General changes language on Prop 127 ballot

PHOENIX -- A key aide to Attorney General Mark Brnovich altered language of the ballot description of Proposition 127 that the state's top elections officer called "eyebrow raising'' and the lawyer for initiative organizers said is designed to help Arizona Public Service convince voters to reject it.

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Ducey open to reforms in charter schools amid reports of financial controversies

PHOENIX -- Gov. Doug Ducey said he's open to the idea of reforms in how charter schools are operated, including how they handle their finances.

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School super candidates unite in opposition to Prop 305

The two contenders for state schools chief found one key area of agreement in a debate Thursday: Both oppose Proposition 305.

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Border Patrol union aligns with Ducey in gubernatorial race

The head of the local Border Patrol union is telling Hispanics they should not support David Garcia for governor simply because he also is Latino.

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New Arizona law keeps Libertarians off election ballot

For the first time in more than two decades, Arizonans won't have the option to vote for a Libertarian Party candidate for governor.

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Attorney seeks reversal on ruling that hashish not part of medical marijuana law

Attorneys for a Yavapai County resident are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision which makes criminals out of medical marijuana patients who choose to use edibles and liquids rather than smoking the plant's dried flowers and leaves.

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Riggs, Hoffman advance in race for superintendent of public instruction

The Republican Party finally has its nominee for superintendent of public instruction.

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Governor selects Jon Kyl to assume McCain’s Senate seat

PHOENIX -- Saying there’s no time for on-the-job training, Gov. Doug Ducey tapped former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl to replace John McCain -- and become a vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Court rejects bid to throw energy proposal off ballot

PHOENIX -- Arizonans are going to get a chance to decide whether they want to require utilities in the state to produce more of their power from renewable sources.

Michele Reagan ousted as Arizona Secretary of State

PHOENIX -- Incumbent Secretary of State Michele Reagan found herself unable to hang on to her office Tuesday as she spent the campaign defending herself from election day problems from years' past -- some of those not even her fault.

Garcia moves forward to general election vs. Gov. Ducey

PHOENIX -- An educator who couldn't defeat Diane Douglas for state schools chief two years ago is in line to be the Democrat who takes on incumbent Republican Gov. Doug Ducey in November.

Judge: Education tax on richest would affect other taxpayers

PHOENIX -- Voters will be told that a proposed income tax hike on the richest Arizonans to fund education also would affect taxpayers who earn a lot less.

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$650K dog bite verdict against sheriff’s office rejected by AZ Supreme Court

PHOENIX -- The state’s high court has thrown out the $650,000 verdict awarded by a jury to a former Pima County resident who was bitten and permanently disfigured by a sheriff’s department dog.

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GOP spending to back Ducey grows to more than $9M

PHOENIX -- The Democrats don’t even have a gubernatorial candidate yet.

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Ken Bennett claims state computer error denied him public election funding

PHOENIX -- Gubernatorial hopeful Ken Bennett is blaming Secretary of State Michele Reagan for coming up short of the $5 donations he needs to qualify for public funding.

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Judge to decide if ‘Dark money’ initiative can move forward

Subpoenaed petition circulators fail to show up for court

PHOENIX -- The question of whether voters get to decide whether to outlaw “dark money’’ could depend on whether a judge voids a law that throws a hurdle in the path of initiative organizers.

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Judge ruling allows voters to get final say on education tax initiative

A judge has slapped down efforts by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry to block people from voting whether to hike income taxes on the rich to generate $690 million a year for education.

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Education tax hike on wealthy hinges on difference between ‘percent’ vs. ‘percentage point’

At a hearing Tuesday, both sides agreed that the Invest in Ed initiative would boost the tax rate on earnings above $250,000 a year for individuals and $500,000 from 4.54 percent to 8 percent. And what’s clear is that the mathematical difference between the two figures is 3.46.

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Governor adamant on need for for school safety bill

Gov. Doug Ducey is doubling down on his push for a law to let judges take guns from some people considered “dangerous’’ even though it was that provision that killed pretty much his entire school safety plan earlier this year.

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Governor says Arizona law trumps papal decree on capital punishment

PHOENIX -- Gov. Doug Ducey said he will obey Arizona law and not Pope Francis who has now declared that the death penalty is unacceptable in all cases.

Despite threat to San Pedro, Court allows 7,000-home development to move forward

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Supreme Court has given the go-ahead to a 7,000-home development near Sierra Vista even if it could dry up the San Pedro River.

Court rules mother of slain Mexican teen can sue Border Patrol for shooting

PHOENIX --- A federal appeals court Tuesday morning ruled the mother of a teen shot by a Border Patrol agent through the fence has a legal right to sue him and the federal government in U.S. courts for damages.

Appeals court throws out challenge to Native American Child Welfare Act

PHOENIX -- A court has thrown out a bid to void a federal law that challengers claim is racist because it places the desires and rights of Native American tribes over the constitutionally protected best interests of children.

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Gosar changes social media policy; ACLU drops lawsuit

PHOENIX -- The American Civil Liberties Union has dropped its lawsuit against Congressman Paul Gosar, saying it now has assurances that constituents won’t be blocked from posting comments on his Facebook page he does not like.

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#InvestInEd claims lawmakers deliberately misleading voters

PHOENIX -- Saying voters are purposely being misled, organizers of the #InvestInEd initiative asked a judge on Friday to force lawmakers to recraft the description of the measure that will go to voters.

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Democrat gubernatorial candidates debate immigration, education

Kelly Fryer lashed out at her Democrat gubernatorial foes Tuesday for talking about ways to improve border security rather than dealing with the issue of immigration as a humanitarian problem.

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ARIZONA SCHOOL REPORT: New WalletHub study provides another low mark for state schools

Arizona schools are near the bottom of the barrel nationally when academics, class size and even student bullying are considered, at least according to a financial advice website.

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Lawmakers OK language for 2018 ballot measures

PHOENIX -- A Republican-dominated legislative committee decided Wednesday that voters don’t need to be told that if they approve a business-backed tax-limiting measure the state could be foregoing more than $5.2 billion a year in revenues.

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Michelle Reagan defends record in secretary of state debate

PHOENIX -- The contest for secretary of state could boil down to whether voters believe that things are being better run now in the office than they were two years ago.

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Ducey: Troopers must cite, arrest lead-foot lawmakers

PHOENIX -- Saying legislative immunity is being abused, Gov. Doug Ducey directed that police officers under his control have the authority to cite -- and if necessary arrest -- lawmakers whose bad driving is more than just simple speeding.

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Voters sound off on ballot issues for secretary of state information pamphlet

PHOENIX -- Arizona voters will be inundated with nearly 500 arguments about why they should support or oppose the seven different measures that will be on the November ballot.

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Judge OK’S ‘clean elections’ measure for November ballot

PHOENIX -- Arizonans will get a chance to vote in November on whether they want to alter the powers of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission.

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Jury notes could be grounds for mistrial in Arizona Corporation Commission bribery case

PHOENIX -- The admission by a juror in the Corporation Commission bribery trial that she made some notes at home and brought them to deliberations could lead to a new trial even after all the testimony has been heard.

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Court rules USGS not liable in fatal 2012 copter crash over Verde River

The failure of a federal agency to mark an overhead cable does not make the government liable for the death of a helicopter pilot who flew into it, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

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Judge to rule on Clean Elections measure

A judge will decide whether lawmakers have an absolute right to ask voters to approve two changes in law in a single act, even if they may only want one of them and not the other.

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Arizona K-12 education tax hike on rich could take away tax break for others

A 2015 law requires that income tax brackets be indexed. The idea is that taxpayers should not be forced into a higher tax bracket simply because their income has kept pace with the cost of living.

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Lawsuit seeks to remove ‘ballot harvesting’ ban

A new lawsuit seeks to block Arizona from enforcing its ban on “ballot harvesting’’ for the upcoming election, claiming the state has no legal authority to regulate who can and cannot deliver someone else’s mail.

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New session of U.S. Supreme Court begins with Arizona age discrimination lawsuit

The ability of a tiny Arizona fire district to fire its two oldest employees takes center stage in Washington as the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments the first day of its new session, possibly with a new justice already seated.

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New focus on Roe vs. Wade as president nominates Kavanaugh for Supreme Court

The president’s choice of Brett Kavanaugh for the newest new Supreme Court justice Monday could mean the ability of Arizona women to terminate a pregnancy likely depends on who is elected governor in November.

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Do you have an opinion on state ballot questions? It’s yours to share for $75

PHOENIX -- Got an opinion on whether to hike income taxes on the most wealthy?

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