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Lawsuit could pose threat to newly approved multi-state drought plan

PHOENIX — Arizona’s top water official said Wednesday that a lawsuit filed by California’s Imperial Irrigation District could pose a threat to the newly approved multi-state drought contingency plan.

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Bill to outlaw ‘distracted driving’ also on governor’s desk

'We need this bill for other activities'

House Bill 2318 was not the only measure to pass on Thursday. While it passed 44-16, lawmakers also voted 31-29 – strictly along party lines – for SB 1141. That is a totally separate measure to outlaw “distracted driving,’’ which also will go to the governor.

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Lawmakers approve statewide ban on using cellphone while driving; awaits Gov. Ducey's signature

Bill to outlaw 'distracted driving' also on governor's desk

Arizona lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to a comprehensive statewide ban on the use of hand-held cellphones by motorist, sending the bill already approved by the Senate to Gov. Doug Ducey for his anticipated signature.

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House may vote Thursday on banning cellphones while driving in Arizona

New law may supersede Prescott, Prescott Valley hand-held ordinances

PHOENIX -- Arizona is on the verge of no longer being just one of three states without a comprehensive ban on texting while driving.

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President signs drought contingency plan, but work remains

PHOENIX — President Trump on Tuesday signed the plan for how Arizona and other Colorado River basin states will divide up the limited water that is now available.

Bill would allow parties receiving subpoena from ACC to object, challenge in court

PHOENIX — State lawmakers are moving to curb the ability of regulators to seek documents from some private companies because of a fight with one firm that doesn't want to cough up the information.

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Opt-out provisions in timeshare bill no longer on the table

PHOENIX — Lobbied by the industry, state lawmakers are not going to help those who bought timeshares get out from under what is often a lifetime obligation.

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House votes to deny public contracts to firms that refuse to do business with Israel

PHOENIX — Claiming boycotts are anti-Semitic, the state House voted last week to deny public contracts to firms that refuse to do business with other companies that do business in Israel.

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Former Rep. Don Shooter claims ‘orchestrated cover-up’ led to his removal from House

PHOENIX — Ousted state Rep. Don Shooter wants the Senate Ethics Committee to determine whether former House Speaker J.D. Mesnard acted unethically in refusing to release parts of an investigative report on Shooter that resulted in his expulsion.

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Survey: Eating at home costs slightly more than a year ago

PHOENIX — Rising beef prices are pushing up the cost of eating at home.

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Judge asked to order US Senate election soon

Attorney: McSally should not hold McCain seat until 2020 without vote

An attorney for members of various political parties told a federal judge Friday she should order a statewide election -- and soon -- to let voters fill the Senate seat now occupied by Martha McSally.

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U.S. wants to block suit over border shooting

Lower court cleared way for woman to sue over son’s death

The Trump administration wants the U.S. Supreme Court to conclude that the family of a Mexican teen who died after being shot by a Border Patrol agent through the fence at Nogales has no right to sue.

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Ducey signs bill to repeal ‘no promo homo’ law

The state’s controversial “no promo homo’’ law is on its way out.

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Lawmaker proposing to expand firework sales and use

A Sierra Vista lawmaker who sells fireworks around certain holidays is defending his proposal to expand the number of days when Arizonans can buy and use them.

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Planned Parenthood sues over Arizona abortion rules

Claiming the rights of women are being violated, Planned Parenthood filed a broad-based legal attack on a host of Arizona laws and regulations governing abortion.

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Gov. Ducey signs bill to allow licensed professionals to practice in Arizona without review

Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation Wednesday that will pretty much allow anyone with any professional license to practice in Arizona without further state review.

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Minimum wage bill falls far short of votes needed at Senate Rules Committee

Bill could have paid some young workers less than

PHOENIX — A bid to allow employers to pay some young workers less than the voter-mandated minimum wage is effectively dead.

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Road tax hike could take $1.6 billion out of Arizonans’ pockets over 20-year span

PHOENIX — Ignoring complaints by a Pima County lawmaker, the state Senate voted Thursday to allow a public vote to not just extend the existing half-cent sales tax for roads and transit projects but to double it.

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Arizona bill would allow sale of fireworks for additional cultural celebrations

State lawmakers agreed Thursday, April 4, that members of the Indian community should have the right to use sparklers and similar fireworks for the festival of Diwali the same as other Arizonans can for other holidays.

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Offering AzMERIT option could cost state $340M

Arizona is in danger of losing $340 million in federal cash because of a decision by state lawmakers to allow schools to offer an alternative to the AzMERIT standardized tests.

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Bill giving child rape, sexual abuse victims more time to sue assailants put on hold

Victims of child rape and sexual abuse won’t get more time to sue their assailants, at least not this year.

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Bill denying cities, towns from enacting new regulations on landlords heads to Senate

Saying they were just helping tenants, the state Senate voted Wednesday to bar cities and towns from enacting any new regulations and restrictions on landlords.

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Fire Safety Officer: Wetter winter good for drought, but not for wildfire

All that wonderful rain and snow this winter is going to create perfect conditions for more and larger wildfires this summer, according to a key state official.

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Citizenship question could cause Arizona to lose millions, congressional seat

Gov. Doug Ducey is siding with the Trump administration in its bid to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census despite concerns by some that it will cause an undercount that could cost the state millions -- and maybe a congressional seat.

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Ethics Committee to make code of conduct for lawmakers

Facing Democrat demands, House Speaker Rusty Bowers on Wednesday finally directed the Ethics Committee to come up with a code of conduct for lawmakers — including whether they can be ousted for their public comments — more than a year after it was first promised.

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Lawmakers hoping to force consolidation of more than 200 state school districts

Saying too much money is wasted on duplication, state lawmakers took the first steps Tuesday to force consolidation of the more than 200 school districts in the state.

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Lawmakers admit there isn’t enough time to save Arizonans from $155M tax hike

With less than two weeks until the filing deadline, proponents of saving Arizonans from an unexpected $155 million income tax hike sought by Gov. Doug Ducey this year have given up.

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Bill could expand texting while driving ban, allowing police to make traffic stop for ‘distracted driving’

The state House is set to debate a proposal that could be an alternative to -- and a broader version — of efforts to ban texting while driving.

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Senate committee pumps brakes on minimum wage bill, cite Arizona Constitution

Senate President Karen Fann: ‘I have a hard time trying to take money away from [workers under 22] if they’re truly trying to pay their way through school’

PHOENIX — A bid to slice the minimum wage for some young workers hit a speed bump Monday as some lawmakers questioned its legality.

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Senate to vote on minimum wage bill that could see young workers paid less

PHOENIX — Legislation to allow employers to pay some young people less than the voter-mandated minimum wage cleared a crucial hurdle Thursday after its sponsor agreed it would not be tied to whether the worker was in school.

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Senate panel passes bill to boost penalty for those who abuse pets

On the narrowest of margins a Senate panel agreed Thursday to boost the criminal penalty on those who purposely and knowingly abuse and kill family pets.

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Lawsuit filed against state’s ‘no promo homo’ law

Two gay rights organizations filed suit Thursday in federal court in Tucson challenging the legality of what is known as Arizona’s “no promo homo’’ law.

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APS admits it spent $10.7M to elect pair in 2014 Corporation Commission campaign

The state’s largest electric utility admitted late Friday it spent $10.7 million in 2014 to elect two regulators of its choosing.

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1983 Police Report: Former Rep. Stringer paid for sex with underage boys

House Speaker says representative quit when told Arizona officials had details of Maryland case

Rep. David Stringer quit the Legislature Wednesday after House Speaker Rusty Bowers revealed to him he had the report of the legislator's 1983 arrest in Maryland for allegedly having sex with two boys, one age 13 and the other listed as a child younger than 15 who was developmentally disabled.

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Lawmakers push for newly remodeled public bathrooms for disabled adult children

Answering pleas of parents of disabled adult children, a Senate panel on Wednesday resurrected legislation to require that new or extensively remodeled bathrooms in public buildings have suitable changing stations so they don’t have to put their offspring on dirty bathroom floors.

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Some sex offenders may avoid being registered for life

Lawmakers may roll back registry for certain sex offense situations

State lawmakers are weighing whether to give judges more leeway to eliminate the requirement that certain people register for life as sex offenders.

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Rep. David Stringer resigns just before Ethics Committee deadline to produce documents

PHOENIX — Embattled state Rep. David Stringer resigned late Wednesday in the face of a probe by the House Ethics Committee into charges of making racially charged comments and a recently disclosed 1983 arrest on charges including child pornography.

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Lawmakers looking to strip ‘permanent’ from early voting enrollees

Republican lawmakers are moving to effectively strip the word “permanent’’ from the laws that allow voters to enroll in the permanent early voting list.

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Push to reveal ‘dark money’ donors revisited by former attorney general

Armed with volunteers and 15 months until a deadline, former Attorney General Terry Goddard launched a new bid Tuesday to end “dark money’’ anonymous donations to Arizona political campaigns.

School board member illegally elected, can no longer serve

A member of the Window Rock Unified School District was illegally elected and can no longer serve on the board, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled on Tuesday.

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Lawmakers taking steps to ensure rural medical marijuana users have easy access

PHOENIX — State lawmakers are taking steps to ensure that rural residents have easy access to medical marijuana without having to grow their own.

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State unemployment rate remains at 5.1 percent, recent numbers show

PHOENIX — The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 5.1 percent in February as the number of jobs created pretty much matched the number of people looking for work.

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Bid to create special tuition rate for ‘Dreamers’ hits snag

PHOENIX — A bid to legally create a special community college and university tuition for “dreamers’’ and others who don’t qualify for the in-state rate has run headlong into a potentially fatal snag.

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Bill aimed to clarify taxes for online purchases could cost state millions

PHOENIX — A plan to clarify what online purchases are and are not taxable has run into a fiscal problem: a $33 million price tag.

Court rules in favor of divorced woman seeking to implant embryos, despite objections from ex-husband

PHOENIX — A now-divorced woman is entitled to implant some fertilized embryos created before she was married despite the objections of her former husband, the state Court of Appeals has ruled.

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Senators debate options to teen’s suggestion of lemonade as official state beverage

Bill puts lawmakers in mood for a drink

PHOENIX — A bid by a Gilbert teen to have lawmakers officially recognize lemonade as the state drink may be hijacked by some legislative adults.

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Bill legalizing marijuana edibles fails in House

Would have made case before Supreme Court moot

PHOENIX — Republican lawmakers rejected a bid Thursday to clarify that edible forms of marijuana made from extracts are legal.

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Rep. David Stringer attorney: Ethics Committee can have documents with court order

PHOENIX — The attorney for embattled state Rep. David Stringer said Thursday the Ethics Committee can have a document it is demanding — if it goes to court.

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State House approves bill changing voter registration activities

PHOENIX — The state House voted Monday to create some new crimes for certain voter-registration activities in a move several lawmakers suggested will suppress voting, particularly by the young and minorities.