Category: Cronkite News

Proposition 122 Aims to Allow State to Reject Certain Federal Laws

PHOENIX – Rep. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, says too many laws and edicts from Washington are interfering with the individual rights of Arizonans. To combat this, he suggests Arizona assert its sovereignty when state leaders or voters determine that one is unconstitutional. “There’s so many federal intrusions and encroachments that we have to take a stand and say enough is enough,” Borrelli said. “We should be able to fight back. It goes back to the original intention of the Constitution.” That’s the essence of a ballot measure to be decided in November. Proposition 122 would amend the state Constitution to say that Arizona may exercise its “sovereign authority” to restrict the use of its money and personnel to purposes consistent with its Constitution....

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Schools getting extra $317 Million Issue in Governor’sRace

PHOENIX – State courts have ruled that Arizona owes public schools a first payment of more than $300 million for failing to make annual inflation adjustments to base funding as called for by a voter-approved law. Over five years, the bill could be $1.6 billion. Whether and when schools get that money may depend in large part on who occupies the governor’s office come January. Democrat Fred DuVal says the state should make the first payment. Republican Doug Ducey says he agrees with Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision to appeal the ruling, though he isn’t ruling out the possibility of a...

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Arizona Schools Suffered Some of Nation’s Biggest Funding Cuts

WASHINGTON – Arizona has had the nation’s third-steepest cuts in the rate of its per-pupil spending since the start of the recession, according to a national study released Thursday. The report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said most states saw some drop, but Arizona’s 17.5 percent decrease trailed only Oklahoma and Alabama. Advocates said the cuts have led to bigger classes, teacher shortages and the elimination of full-day kindergarten, and are more reason to support a court-ordered restoration of $300 million by the legislature for failure to adjust school funds for inflation. By Miranda...

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Study Shows Border Deportations Surged as Interior Removals Declined

WASHINGTON – Deportations of immigrants caught at the border surged under the Obama administration at the same time that the number deported from the interior of the U.S. fell sharply, according to a study of a decade’s worth of government data. The  report released Thursday by the Migration Policy Institute found that immigrants stopped at the border accounted for 70 percent of all deportations by 2013, and that almost 60 percent of the 3.7 million illegal immigrants deported from 2003-2013 had committed no other crime than crossing the border. Slug: BC-CNS-Deport Report. About 500 words. By Laurie Liles. Photos...

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Arizona voters deciding whether lawmakers get first raise since 1998

PHOENIX – During his 12 years as a state lawmaker, Sen. Steve Gallardo found that the only thing part-time about the job was the pay. “In order to serve in Legislature and be a good lawmaker and produce quality work, it has to be a full-time job,” said Gallardo, a Phoenix Democrat who recently won election to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. In November, voters will decide whether to increase lawmakers’ salaries from $24,000 a year to $35,000 a year based on a recommendation from the Commission on Salaries for Elective State Officers. It would be the first raise for state lawmakers since voters approved one in 1998, the only time a raise has been approved. Gallardo, who supports Proposition 304, said a lawmaker’s days at the statehouse often begin at 7:30 a.m. and ended at 9. Then there’s work with constituents. The long hours were easier for him because he’s single, he said, but that not all of his fellow lawmakers were in the same situation. “In session bills get done really quickly and lawmakers can’t afford to spend time after because they have other jobs to focus on,” Gallardo said. Since 1998, voters have consistently gone against proposed raises for lawmakers, with the last defeat coming in 2008. There weren’t proposals in 2010 or 2012 due to the recession. In addition to their salaries, lawmakers also...

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