Last week, the Capitol was abuzz with everything from talk of criminal justice reform to how to fund Arizona’s public education system – and that’s just the beginning.
Improving Arizona criminal justice system has required stakeholders from all sides to come together in an effort to find common ground, but that process is far from over. Advocates point to county prosecutors as the greatest obstacle still standing in the way.
And even as legislators play an important role in that saga, public school teachers and their supporters continue to demand action for the state’s schools. Proposition 301 was extended for two decades, and the state Supreme Court cleared the way for voters to decide the fate of ESA expansion. Still, public school advocates aren’t celebrating just yet – they worry the Legislature will tinker with those measures.
Gov. Doug Ducey offered teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020, but will that be enough to satisfy their demands?
Leaders of Arizona Educators United took to Facebook to respond to the governor’s plan, pointing out Ducey had left out support staff and overall funding for public education.
Members of the grassroots movement who have been debating a potential strike are also raising questions of where the proposed funding will come from and how Ducey can ensure the plan remains in place in the years to come.
And all the while, the governor’s proposal is not yet a guarantee. The Legislator still has to approve it.
Public school employees voted last week, and they’ve decided to strike – but leadership behind the Red for Ed movement pumped the breaks.
They’ll walk out, Arizona Educators United organizer Noah Karvelis said, but not until Thursday, leaving Gov. Doug Ducey and lawmakers time to take action if they so choose.
But whether the elected officials at the Capitol will hear teachers’ call is yet to be seen. Ducey’s plan already threw budget talks into disarray, and they’d have to do some serious digging through the state coffers to find the money to fund AEU’s other demands.
On the inaugural episode of The Breakdown, our reporters lay out what they’re expecting to see this legislative session.
Familiar battles, especially on topics of education and school choice, are sure to dominate much of the political discourse in Arizona this year. But Gov. Doug Ducey also shared some surprising insights, and he hinted at a surprise involving foster care that will be revealed in his State of the State address.
Our team also addresses one significant holdover from 2017: the investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against Rep. Don. Shooter, R-Yuma.
The Arizona House of Representatives took a historic vote on Thursday to expel one of its members.
Don Shooter of Yuma was not only the first Republican to ever be expelled from the state Legislature but also the first state lawmaker in the United States to be removed in the wake of the Me Too movement.
But some of the women who came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against Shooter and others who work at the Capitol wonder if this moment will have a lasting impact. House Speaker J.D. Mesnard was praised for the difficult decision, yet he who was receptive to an investigation’s findings will not always be in power.
Don’t miss an episode! Point your podcast listening software at this link.
After two weeks in one crisis or another, lawmakers really got to work last week, and our reporters dug in.
Whether we’re talking about the Arizona Attorney General’s Office spending about 100 hours on each SB1487 complaint – ouch – concern over Senate President Steve Yarbrough’s STO plan – oh boy – or the battle to be the 8th Congressional District’s most conservative GOP candidate – oy – the Devil’s always in the details.
The Arizona Capitol Times team didn’t know how to say no to a “Hamilton” tribute, and “licenses schmicenses” was a real topic of conversation.
What a time to be at the Capitol.
The legislature is following Gov. Doug Ducey’s lead on professional licenses for a wide range of professions. And while some bills may not have succeeded last week, their intentions left a mark.
Meanwhile, the special primary election in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District is on Feb 27. The conventional wisdom says its a two-person race, but that doesn’t anyone is throwing in the towel just yet, including Democrats.
It’s unfortunate that the Prosecutors did not keep their word and stay neutral on this bill. After all, the changes we made were at their request. I suppose it’s always true that no one likes to give up power. https://t.co/gwGVp9RMMF
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