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PHOENIX (AP) — Criticized for its own handling of head injuries, the NFL launched an extensive lobbying campaign to pass laws protecting kids who get concussions while playing sports. The result: Within just five years, every state had a law on the books.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Refusing to bend to the new Republican Congress, President Barack Obama unveiled Tuesday night an ambitious State of the Union agenda steeped in Democratic priorities, including tax increases on the wealthy, education and child-care help for the middle class and a torrent of veto threats for the GOP's own plans.
Sen. John McCain is waging another national campaign — this time, to define his legacy.
Under an Oct. 17 federal court ruling, gays and lesbians have the right in Arizona to marry, but homosexual couples may still find themselves unable to wed here in the church of their choice.
Gov. Doug Ducey may have to deal early on with a problem dumped on him by the previous administration: the unconstitutional expansion of Medicaid.
As a Democrat, the November elections were not kind to my party. We lost, often badly, in most of the races where we ran competitive campaigns. There are many reasons for this defeat, but the conclusion is the same: when it comes to the reins of power in Arizona, Republicans hold all of the cards.
A second-term state lawmaker wants to increase the hurdle for voters to approve changes to the Arizona Constitution.
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona's new state Legislature will face a big problem as soon as its members are sworn in — a projected $1.5 billion budget deficit in the next 18 months, a third of that in the current budget year that ends June 30.
PHOENIX (AP) — Republican Doug Ducey becomes Arizona's 23rd governor this week, ascending to the 9th floor of the state Capitol's executive tower amid the challenge of overcoming a budget shortfall while enacting an agenda that won him voter approval.
With the new year upon us, there are a host of issues state leaders likely will face in 2015.
PHOENIX -- In a major legal blow to Gov. Jan Brewer, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a minority of lawmakers have the right to challenge the financial basis for expansion she crafted of the state's Medicaid program.
PHOENIX -- He admits the plan is a political long shot.
Being uninsured in America will cost you more in 2015. It's the first year all taxpayers have to report to the Internal Revenue Service whether they had health insurance for the previous year, as required under President Barack Obama's law.
Here is a roll call of some of the famous people who died in 2014.
When another possible government shutdown was threatened recently, not everyone was living in fear and dread. During the previous shutdown in October 2013, furloughed government workers went looking for love. The dating site Zoosk reported a 46-percent jump in business in the Washington, D.C. area.
PHOENIX (AP) — Republicans will have their largest U.S. House majority in 83 years when the new Congress convenes next month after a recount in Arizona gave the final unresolved midterm race to a Republican challenger.
PHOENIX (AP) — A federal judge has ruled an Arizona law defining a political committee is unconstitutionally vague, but stopped short of barring authorities from enforcing it.
A federal judge late Friday voided state laws requiring groups to register before spending money on campaigns — and with it, the reports they're supposed to file on who is behind all that cash.
“Buyer beware” is always a good rule of thumb when weighing some “deal” that seems too good to be true. But it should be “taxpayer beware” or “ratepayer beware” when the “deal” in question involves a solar power system, since the bargain being offered often involves pilfering from one pocket (taxpayers) to fill another (solar power companies).
Stupid is as stupid does
The city of Tempe has become a national front-runner in LGBT equality after scoring a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Spurning furious Republicans, President Barack Obama unveiled expansive executive actions on immigration Thursday night to spare nearly 5 million people in the U.S. illegally from deportation and refocus enforcement efforts on "felons, not families."
The moves, affecting mostly parents and young people, marked the most sweeping changes to the nation's fractured immigration laws in nearly three decades and set off a fierce fight with Republicans over the limits of presidential powers.
In a televised address to the nation, Obama defended the legality of his actions and challenged GOP lawmakers to focus their energy not on blocking his actions, but on approving long-stalled legislation to take its place.
"To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill," Obama said, flexing his presidential powers just two weeks after his political standing was challenged in the midterm elections.
As Obama addressed the nation from the White House, immigration supporters with American flags draped over their shoulders marched on the street outside carrying signs that read, "Gracias, Presidente Obama."
Despite Obama's challenge to Republicans to pass a broader immigration bill, his actions and the angry GOP response could largely stamp out prospects for Congress passing comprehensive legislation under the current administration, ensuring that the contentious debate will carry on into the 2016 presidential campaign.
Republicans, emboldened by their sweeping victories in the midterms, are weighing responses to the president's actions that include lawsuits, a government shutdown, and in rare instances, even impeachment.
"The president will come to regret the chapter history writes if he does move forward," Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican who is soon to become the Senate majority leader, said before Obama's address.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who has refused to have his members vote on broad immigration legislation passed by the Senate last year, said Obama's decision to go it alone "cemented his legacy of lawlessness and squandered what little credibility he had left."
While Obama's measures are sweeping in scope, they still leave more than half of the 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally in limbo. The president announced new deportation priorities that would compel law enforcement to focus its efforts on tracking down serious criminals and people who have recently crossed the border, while specifically placing a low priority on those who have been in the U.S. for more than 10 years.
He insisted that his actions did not amount to amnesty.
"Amnesty is the immigration system we have today — millions of people who live here without paying their taxes or playing by the rules, while politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up votes at election time," he said.
The main beneficiaries of the president's actions are immigrants who have been in the U.S. illegally for more than five years but whose children are citizens or lawful permanent residents. After passing background checks and paying fees, those individuals can now be granted relief from deportation for three years and get work permits. The administration expects about 4.1 million people to qualify.
Obama is also broadening his 2012 directive that deferred deportation for some young immigrants who entered the country illegally. Obama will expand eligibility to people who arrived in the U.S. as minors before 2010, instead of the current cutoff of 2007, and will lift the requirement that applicants be under 31. The expansion is expected to affect about 300,000 people.
Applications for the new deportation deferrals will begin in the spring.
Immigration-rights activists gathered at watch parties around the country to listen to the president announce actions they have sought for years.
"We're going to have plenty of Kleenex around," said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, spokesman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.
The White House insists Obama has the legal authority to halt deportations for parents and for people who came to the U.S. as children, primarily on humanitarian grounds. Officials also cited precedents set by previous immigration executive actions by Democratic and Republican presidents dating back to Dwight Eisenhower.
Tom Horne will pay $10,000 out of his own pocket to end an investigation into whether he illegally used staffers at the Attorney General's Office in his unsuccessful reelection campaign.
Another election season has come and gone. You might reasonably conclude that, once again, no ballot fraud occurred in Arizona, from the absence of any news accounts. But that’s almost certainly not true.
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona voters have given Republicans another four years to lead the state, rejecting Democratic efforts to win statewide offices for the first time this decade.
Republican state treasurer Doug Ducey won the governor's office by a wide margin, beating Fred DuVal after a campaign that saw the Democrat fail to gain traction as he was hammered by nearly $8 million in negative ads paid for by outside groups.
Ducey takes over from retiring Republican Gov. Jan Brewer in January, but he will be faced with an immediate budget crisis as the state expects a budget deficit exceeding $1 billion.
Republican state Sen. Michele Reagan was elected secretary of state, making her the state's top elections official and the first in line to become governor if Ducey is unable to continue in the job. Mark Brnovich won the attorney general's race, Republican Jeff DeWit becomes the new state treasurer after an uncontested race, and two Republicans beat their Democratic opponents for the regulatory body known as the Corporation Commission to the secure the near GOP sweep of top statewide offices.
The lone statewide office that remained too close to call Wednesday — superintendent of public instruction — was being led by Republican Diane Douglas over Democrat David Garcia.
That left Democrats who had looked at the midterm elections as a way to grab a statewide constitutional office considering how they came up short.
Democratic Party spokesman Frank Camacho said the party's grassroots organizing efforts mainly fell short and its candidates lacked the fire to inspire young people. The exceptions were Ruben Gallego, who won the 7th Congressional District seat of retiring Rep. Ed Pastor, and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema's win in the 9th District.
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick won her sprawling rural 1st District as well. Democratic Rep. Ron Barber was locked in a tight race with retired Air Force pilot Martha McSally in southern Arizona's 2nd District.
But statewide elected offices were nearly out of reach for Democrats, who last held one before the 2010 general election.
"You see how they can inspire young folks," Camacho said. "We just have to go out there, identify them and get them ready for state, local or national office. We have to give voters a reason to vote for Democrats."
Ducey's easy win came as Republicans gained across the nation, taking control of the U.S. Senate and solidifying their control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ducey, the 50-year-old former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, portrayed himself as the inevitable winner in the final weeks of the campaign, buoyed by heavy spending on his behalf by outside groups and strong Republican turnout in early voting. He emerged from a bruising six-way primary in August in the race to replace Gov. Jan Brewer and went on to outspend DuVal in the general election by a hefty margin.
He'll take office in January and face a fiscal crisis caused by lower-than-expected tax revenue and a court order that could put Arizona on the hook for up to $2.5 billion in new education spending. The state faces a projected deficit of $1.5 billion in the current and next budget years amid promises from both candidates to cut taxes.
"I'm grateful for the privilege you have given me, for the trust you have placed in me, and I pledge my best efforts as the governor of this great state," Ducey said in a victory speech. "Whether you voted for me or you voted for someone else, I intend to be governor for all and work to create opportunities for every single Arizonan."
Ducey thanked his campaign staff, his wife, Angela, his three sons, and his opponent, Fred DuVal, calling him "a good man."
DuVal, in a concession speech at the Democrats' election-night headquarters in Phoenix, also thanked his supporters, and he said he had called Ducey to offer his congratulations.
"A registration disadvantage and clearly a bad national environment were hard enough to overcome. But we were also reminded that unlimited money is a powerful thing in politics — and is not a healthy thing," DuVal said.
He took a swipe at the massive amounts of outside spending used to attack him in the race from outside groups. Ducey and Duval each spent about $2.2 million in their general election campaigns, but Ducey has benefited from $7.9 million in outside spending compared with about $1 million for DuVal.
"I would like to call and congratulate the other big winners tonight, but frankly the other big winners are undisclosed, unknown and out of state," DuVal said.