Arizona House OKs limiting initiatives to one subject
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona House Republicans have approved a measure limiting citizen initiatives to a single subject. Minority Democrats say the proposal makes it harder to pass comprehensive measures. The measure passed Wednesday evening on a 31-29 party-line vote. It will appear on the November ballot if it also passes the Senate. The voter referral is one of a series of measures advancing in the Legislature that critics say would limit the rights of residents to write their own laws through the ballot box.
BORDER WALL-ORGAN PIPE
Tribal leader: Work to build border wall hurts sacred land
PHOENIX (AP) — A Native American leader from Arizona has told federal lawmakers about the pain his tribe feels about government officials blasting through land they consider sacred to build part of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Ned Norris' emotional testimony Wednesday said the work was dynamiting sacred sites and burial grounds. It came hours after a new round of explosions in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument near the U.S.-Mexico border. The Trump administration says archaeological monitors have found no sign of burial or other sacred sites. Environmental groups also are decrying the work at the monument named for its cactuses that resemble organ pipes.
Arizona's most populous county becomes gun 'sanctuary'
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona's most populous county is joining a growing national movement in which areas are declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted in Phoenix Wednesday to declare the county a “Second Amendment Preservation County.” Maricopa, one of the nation's fastest-growing counties, is following dozens of counties nationwide and four others in Arizona that have approved similar symbolic resolutions, which are meant to stave off gun-control policies that could be seen as unconstitutional. The proposal lost some of its edge when the board dropped a stipulation that government funds would not be used to infringe on gun rights.
Arizona sets guidelines in tribal sovereign immunity cases
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that a woman who was severely injured on a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon can proceed with a lawsuit against the tribal corporation that ran the excursion. The opinion Tuesday also established benchmarks to determine whether such entities share in the same immunity from lawsuits as the tribes that created them. Sara Fox and her husband sued the tribal corporation after she fell off a raft and was pulled into the propeller. The court said the corporation didn't prove it was entitled to share in the tribe's sovereign immunity and sent the case back to a lower court.
Arizona's largest newspaper quits candidate endorsements
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona's largest newspaper says it won't endorse candidates in the 2020 presidential race or any other elections. Executive Editor Greg Burton and Editorial Page Editor Phil Boas explained the decision in a column published Wednesday. They say their research shows readers find endorsements alienating and “blur the way they view our news stories.” They write that readers don't see the sharp line that news organizations draw between their neutral news stories and their opinion content. The Republic's 2016 endorsement of Hillary Clinton garnered global attention because it was the first time the paper recommended a Democrat in its 126-year history.
Initiative filed to block Arizona school voucher expansions
PHOENIX (AP) — A grassroots group that spearheaded a successful effort to get voters to repeal a massive expansion of Arizona's school voucher program in 2018 has filed a new initiative designed to rein in the program. The voter initiative filed by Save Our Schools Arizona Wednesday would cap growth and put in place several other limits. The group needs to collect signatures from nearly 238,000 registered voters by July 2 to get the measure on the November ballot. The move comes as Republicans who control the Arizona Legislature move to slightly increase the reach of the existing voucher program. A key GOP voucher advocate is proposing an overhaul of the way the program is run.
ELECTION COMPLAINTS-ATTORNEY GENERAL
Arizona legislation would give AG control of voter fraud
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Republicans are advancing legislation that would give the attorney general control over reports of suspected voter fraud and allow police at polling places. The House passed the measure in a party-line vote this week over vocal objections from Democrats who say it would lead to the intimidation of voters and unfounded allegations of fraud. Republicans say it would create one destination for people to point out suspected election irregularities and increase their confidence in the integrity of elections. The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Kelly Townsend goes next to the Senate.
Auditor criticizes assisted living and nursing home board