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Proponents say successor to school voucher plan will withstand lawsuits (access required)

Teachers unions and advocacy groups that sunk Arizona’s private school voucher system two years ago haven’t made any moves to strike down its successor, even though they say it is blatantly unconstitutional.

But school choice advocates say they followed the instruction of an Arizona Supreme Court justice and the previous program’s critics in crafting the new system, which will allow it to withstand the inevitable lawsuit.

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A push from the right: More conservatives joining fight to change sentencing guidelines

Since the late 1970s, rising crime has led lawmakers to require prison time for many non-violent offenses.

But some say eliminating the options of fines, work release, substance-abuse treatment and house arrest in favor of prison time can turn non-violent offenders into career criminals.

Now, as states face large budget deficits, calls for reforming sentencing for non-violent offenders also are coming increasingly from conservatives who call prison costs unsustainable.

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