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Williams wants spotlight on state debt, says legislation is needed (access required)

An alcoholic’s first step toward recovery is to admit being powerless to stop drinking even though it’s making life unmanageable.

Now a Tucson lawmaker wants to use the same approach to the state’s addiction to borrowing.

Rep. Vic Williams, a Republican from Tucson, said he plans to introduce a bill that would require the state to report annually all borrowing, as well as effect it will have on the state’s general fund.

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House speaker accuses court commission of religious discrimination (access required)

Speaker of the House Kirk Adams let fly an accusation of religious discrimination Dec. 13 against a state commission that chooses nominees for the Independent Redistricting Commission. Adams said in a press release that it appears Christopher Gleason, a Tucson applicant for the Independent Redistricting Commission, was blocked by the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments because of his faith.

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Republicans stand by transplant funding cuts (access required)

Like many states grappling with record-breaking budget deficits, Arizona has had to cut back on its health care and social services. What makes Arizona unique is the extent it has gone to save money — by restricting coverage of certain transplant procedures, arguing that they are optional or palliative. Yet the cuts are putting vulnerable Arizonans at risk of dying without the money to pay for procedures that may save their lives.

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Arizona police a buzzkill for visiting medical-marijuana users (access required)

While the state Department of Health Services scrambles over the next 120 days to draft the rules and regulations for how medical marijuana will be grown, dispensed and used across the state, uncertainty over the right of visiting medical marijuana patients to possess pot in Arizona has created confusion that may have to be sorted out in court.

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