Latest from Alexis Waiss
‘Other’ no more: Census change could add MENA, Latino categories, more
WASHINGTON - The Census Bureau may change how it asks about race and ethnicity, a shift that could end what one advocate called the "painful irony" of Native Americans, Latinos and those of Middle Eastern or North African descent having to identify as white or "other."
Campaign, vote, repeat: Candidates started lining up for 2024 in 2022
WASHINGTON - With 18 months until Election Day 2024, close to 50 congressional hopefuls have already filed statements of interest with the state, as the need for candidates to raise funds and raise their profiles has turned campaigning into an almost nonstop pursuit.
Border towns see ‘disaster’ without federal help as end to Title 42 looms
WASHINGTON - Arizona border communities face a "humanitarian disaster" in two weeks if the federal government does not step in to help with the crush of migrants expected when Title 42 ends, local officials told a Senate panel Wednesday.
Arizona increase in drunken driving deaths among highest in nation in 2021
WASHINGTON - A surge in drunken driving deaths on Arizona highways from 2020 to 2021 was among the highest in the nation both in terms of percentage increase - 43% - and raw numbers, with the additional 126 drunken driving deaths taking the state's total to 421 in 2021.
State challenges Biden – again – on COVID-19 vaccine mandate for contractors
WASHINGTON - Legislative leaders said they will appeal a federal court ruling that said President Joe Biden had the authority to require COVID-19 vaccinations for workers on federal contracts in Arizona.
Arizona providers confident abortions will continue despite court challenges
WASHINGTON - Arizona health care providers are confident they will be able to continue providing safe abortions, even as courts tangle over an order that could halt distribution of a key abortion medication.
Tribal leaders, lawmakers want new 1.1 million acre monument in Arizona
WASHINGTON - Tribal leaders joined state lawmakers Tuesday to call on President Joe Biden to set aside more than 1.1 million acres around the Grand Canyon as a new national monument.
Question for victims, court, is not if Aaron Gunches will die, but when
WASHINGTON - Aaron Gunches was supposed to die Thursday night. But instead the convicted murderer will spend at least two more months on Arizona's death row while courts decide if the state can be forced to carry out an execution it says it is not ready for.
State begins to shed thousands from Medicaid, push them to other care
WASHINGTON - Arizona started purging people from the pandemic-inflated Medicaid rolls this month, a process that could end up pushing more than 600,000 people off the plan, health officials and advocates said.
Arizona’s $58 billion in manufacturing investments among most in nation
WASHINGTON - Arizona has attracted more than $58 billion in private investments for manufacturing since 2021, among the most in the country. The White House says it shows the president's economic plan is working, but analysts say there's likely more at work there.
Arizona will fail clean-air standards if other states aren’t ‘good neighbors’
WASHINGTON - Arizona is doing all it can to improve air quality but will not meet federal standards as long as pollution from other jurisdictions can drift across its borders, the director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality testified Wednesday.
Trademarking their turf: Jack Daniel’s, Arizona dog-toy maker spar in court
WASHINGTON - An Arizona dog-toy manufacturer told the Supreme Court Wednesday that its "Bad Spaniels" squeaky toy is a "playful parody" of Jack Daniel's that does not infringe on the distiller's trademarks - arguments the distiller rejects.
Attorneys say Resolution Copper Mine would ‘destroy’ worship at Oak Flat
WASHINGTON - Attorneys for Apache Stronghold told a federal appeals court Tuesday that the proposed Resolution Copper Mine would lead to the "complete physical destruction" of sacred lands at Oak Flat, a clear violation of religious liberty laws.
Justices grapple over Navajo water rights, government’s duty to tribe
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court justices pressed government attorneys Monday on their argument that the treaties that put the Navajo on reservation lands implied an intent - but not a duty - for the government to provide water to the tribe.
Supreme Court hears Navajo water rights case with potentially big impact
WASHINGTON - When the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in Arizona v. Navajo Nation, it will be considering fairly technical legal questions, but the answers could have a large impact on water allocation in the Colorado River basin.
Hobbs: State not ready to execute Gunches by April 6; court urged to step in
WASHINGTON - With just three weeks until convicted murderer Aaron Gunches is scheduled to be put to death, a court battle continues to rage over whether the state will be ready to execute him by lethal injection on April 6.
Hobbs says state will not proceed for now with court-ordered execution
WASHINGTON - Gov. Katie Hobbs said Friday that the state will not proceed with the execution of convicted murderer Aaron Gunches, one day after the Arizona Supreme Court said it had no choice but to order his death.
Tohono O’odham leader says lack of infrastructure, capital hinders development
WASHINGTON - Economic development on the remote Tohono O'odham Nation is hobbled by everything from a lack of basic infrastructure to poor access to capital, a tribal leader told lawmakers at a House hearing Wednesday on development challenges in Indian Country,
Pinal, Yuma officials tell House migration surge is overwhelming them
WASHINGTON - Arizona officials told a House panel that local law enforcement and health care workers are ill-equipped to handle the recent surge of immigration at the southern border, the latest in a string of GOP hearings attacking the White House over the border.
Both sides pan administration plan to tighten rules for asylum seekers
WASHINGTON - The White House unveiled a plan Thursday to deny asylum to migrants who try to cross the southwest border illegally or who do not first seek asylum in countries they cross on their way to the U.S. as they flee their home countries.
Supreme Court chides Arizona – again – for death-penalty sentencing rules
WASHINGTON - A divided Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that an Arizona death row inmate was wrongly denied the right to tell jurors he would never get out on parole if he was sentenced to life instead of death.
Federal grant could extend broadband to 127,000 Arizona homes, businesses
WASHINGTON - The Treasury released $99.4 million in broadband funding to Arizona Tuesday, money that officials said could bring broadband internet service to an estimated 127,807 households and businesses around the state.
Documentary film works to preserve the legacy of Arizonan Stewart Udall
WASHINGTON - John de Graaf says any list of Arizona political icons should include Barry Goldwater, John McCain - and Stewart Udall. But he worries that Udall, a crusading Interior secretary, is being forgotten, a slight he hopes to reverse with a new documentary on the man.
States’ challenge to fed border policy pulled from Supreme Court calendar
WASHINGTON - Arizona was already edging away from a legal challenge by states trying to keep the Title 42 border policy in place when the Supreme Court on Thursday took the case off its calendar.
Republicans, Democrats offer differing visions during respective Arizona border visits
DOUGLAS – House Speaker Kevin McCarthy toured the border Thursday with a delegation of Republican freshmen and demanded border security from the Biden administration for an area where McCarthy said Mexican "cartels are the biggest employer." Democrats brushed the tour off as just another photo op along the border.
Arizona advocates win national recognition for work on Proposition 308
WASHINGTON - An Arizona nonprofit was honored here Tuesday for its push to win in-state tuition for undocumented students, a change that organizers said has moved the state from an "epicenter of hate toward immigrants into an epicenter of hope."
Arizona lawmakers agree to disagree on Biden’s border, fentanyl plans
WASHINGTON - Arizona lawmakers agreed with President Joe Biden’s State of the Union call to secure the border and fight fentanyl trafficking, but they disagreed on how to get there - one of many areas where they split on party lines over the sometimes raucous address.
Arizona freshman Ciscomani tapped for Spanish rebuttal to Biden
WASHINGTON - House Republicans tapped freshman Rep. Juan Ciscomani, R-Tucson, to deliver the Spanish rebuttal to President Joe Biden's State of the Union address Tuesday, a move that some analysts say could boost his status as a rising GOP star.
Guesting game: State of the Union guests make political, personal points
WASHINGTON - First lady Jill Biden will host two Arizonans for the State of the Union Tuesday and state lawmakers have invited guests ranging from college student to a college chancellor, tribal leaders to business leaders, in a tradition that can have both personal and political goals.
Court says law limiting signs near Super Bowl events violates free speech
WASHINGTON - A Phoenix ordinance that let the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee accept or reject signs around the "NFL Experience" zone downtown is an unconstitutional infringement of free speech rights, a Maricopa Superior Court judge ruled Thursday.
Cochise sheriff comes to ‘share the reality’ of border in House testimony
WASHINGTON - Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels told a sharply divided House committee Wednesday that drug trafficking and illegal immigration is getting worse and that it's affecting the safety of residents in his border county.
Arizona, other states propose Colorado River cuts; California pushes back
WASHINGTON - Federal officials said they will consider a plan by Arizona and five other Colorado River basin states on how to further cut water consumption, even though the biggest user in the basin - California - has not signed off on it.
Record numbers sign up for Obamacare health coverage in Arizona, U.S.
WASHINGTON - A record number of Arizonans signed up for health insurance this year under the Affordable Care Act, as enrollment in the program continues to rebound from the Trump administration's efforts to suppress coverage.
Jury convicts Arizona Oath Keeper of seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 attack
WASHINGTON - An Arizona man charged with seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6 insurrection thought he was supporting peaceful protesters, his attorney argued Wednesday, but prosecutors said Edward Vallejo was played an essential role in the Oath Keepers' attack on the Capitol.
Arizona led nation for rise in homeless youth last year, HUD report says
WASHINGTON - Arizona saw the largest increase in the number of homeless youth in the nation last year, at a time when other large states were seeing those numbers decline, according to a recent federal report.
Biden honors Bowers, others, on second anniversary of Jan. 6 insurrection
WASHINGTON - Former Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers was honored with 11 others by President Joe Biden for their "contributions to democracy" during and after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, in a White House ceremony on the second anniversary of that attack.