House panel advances GOP plan to check citizenship of welfare recipients

PHOENIX - A House committee, on a party-line vote, gave preliminary approval Monday to a ballot measure that would require cities, towns and agencies to check the citizenship status of anyone applying for public welfare benefits or a license of any kind.


Arizona public schools struggle to fill teaching positions as leaders brainstorm school staffing solutions

PHOENIX – From legislative proposals to extend Proposition 123 to the two-day Arizona State University Fulton Teachers College Summit on Strategic School Staffing Structures, educators, politicians and researchers weigh in on strategies to help alleviate staffing shortages in Arizona schools.

The annual Strategic School Staffing Summit, run by Arizona State University's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College earlier this month, highlighted a collection of potential solutions to teacher staffing issues across the state. In this 2022 file photo, students work with a teacher at Encanto Elementary School in Phoenix. (File photo by Sophie Oppfelt/Cronkite News)

State officials call for federal funds to protect election systems, workers

WASHINGTON - The federal government provides funds to make sure bridges and dams don't collapse - it should do the same for the nation's elections, a bipartisan group of Arizona officials said this week, calling elections an "egregious unfunded mandate."


New July 30 primary date will mean new deadlines for voters, candidates

PHOENIX - State lawmakers pushed through a bipartisan, last-minute plan to give election officials more time to cope with expected mandatory recounts this year by pushing the primary up to July 30 - but it also gives voters and candidates less time in the process.


Behind the cart: Food vendor’s take on tamale bill discussion

PHOENIX – The tamale bill is back and a local food vendor shares his thoughts on the newly reintroduced bill.


Arizona Heart Association lobbies for bill mandating cardiac arrest emergency plans in schools

PHOENIX – Supporters from the American Heart Association lobbied at the Arizona Capitol in support of requiring emergency cardiac response plans in schools. Pyper Midkiff, a child who experienced cardiac arrest at age 12, spoke about her experience.

Jennifer Stingley, middle, is a member of the American Heart Association’s southern Arizona board of directors. Stingley practices CPR at the Arizona Heart Association’s annual lobby day at the Arizona Capitol on Feb. 7, 2024. (Photo by Sam Ballesteros/Cronkite News)

Bill to ban satanic displays advances, after heated debate on religion

PHOENIX - A Senate committee gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill that would ban satanic displays on public grounds, following an often-testy debate over whether Satanism is a religion to be respected or a "desecration of public property."


GOP bill would strike ‘gender’ from state law, limit sex to male, female

PHOENIX - GOP senators want to rewrite state law to define sex as only male and female and not a "subjective sense of self," a move they said will protect women and girls from "unwanted intrusions" by transgender women. Opponents call it another "LGBTQ+ Erasure Act."


Border bill includes funds for local communities, along with Ukraine, Israel

WASHINGTON - The bipartisan immigration reform bill unveiled in the Senate late Sunday includes $1.4 billion to help border communities grappling with the migrant surge, in addition to funding for Ukraine and Israel. But it faces an uphill battle to approval in Congress.


Lessons from abroad: the environmental and social costs to lithium mining in Argentina

One of North America's lithium mining powerhouse companies has lobbied for a record $1 billion Department of Energy low-interest loan — despite having never owned or operated any kind of mine in the U.S.


Tribes face an uphill battle to defend their sacred land against lithium mining

OROVADA, Nev. — Myron Smart remembers stories told by his father and other tribal elders about the connection between Thacker Pass in Nevada, where a new lithium mine is under construction, and a tragic moment for the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone.


Sinema’s lackluster fundraising quarter raises eyebrows over campaign hopes

WASHINGTON - Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema raised a fraction of what her leading challengers brought in in the last quarter of 2023, raising new questions about her chances in what could be a bruising, three-way race.