Latest from Tori Gantz
Supporters: Debt collection act an important protection, but not a cure-all
WASHINGTON - Prop 209's backers say voter approval of the Predatory Debt Collection Protection Act will go a long way toward keeping people from being "forced out on the street" for medical debt. But they say consumers will still need to be on their guard.
Arizona resumed executions in 2022, outgoing Brnovich seeks one more
WASHINGTON - After an eight-year hiatus, Arizona executed three death-row inmates in 2022, the most it has carried out in a decade. And Attorney General Mark Brnovich has set the wheels in motion for a fourth execution, which could come after he leaves office next month.
Arizona lawmakers vote to impose contract on rail workers, fend off strike
WASHINGTON - Most members of Arizona's congressional delegation joined the rest of the House Wednesday to give overwhelming bipartisan approval to a bill that would head off a national rail strike by imposing contract terms on rail workers' unions.
Arizona students come to lobby as courts, Congress, fight over Oak Flat
WASHINGTON - A group of Arizona high school students and alumni was in Washington this week to lobby for a bill that would block development of a copper mine at Oak Flat, land that is sacred to the San Carlos Apache.
Fact-check: Democratic Maricopa County attorney candidate says Arizona has world’s eighth-highest incarceration
The Prison Policy Initiative reported, based on data from 2020 and 2021, that Arizona would have the eighth highest incarceration rate in the world if it were evaluated as an independent nation. The state incarcerates 868 people per 100,000 residents. Other measures also rank Arizona high for incarceration rates. Other agencies measure incarceration rates across different times and with different methodologies. Therefore, finding any one definitive number is difficult.
Arizonans among those celebrating national memorial to Native veterans
WASHINGTON - A group of 51 Native American veterans from Arizona were in Washington for Veterans Day, part of a contingent of 1,500 Indigenous vets from across the country who were on hand for the formal dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial.
Supreme Court orders Kelli Ward to turn over phone records to Jan. 6 panel
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court said Monday that Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward has to comply with a subpoena and turn over her phone records to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6th insurrection.
Fact-check: Charlie Kirk is wrong, Maricopa County did not reduce polling places in 2022 elections
"Maricopa County intentionally reduced the polling places to create issues like this. Stay in line. Vote in person," Kirk, founder and president of the conservative group Turning Point USA tweeted on Election Day, Nov. 8.
The debate on debates: They grab headlines but some ask if they still matter
WASHINGTON - Debates, or lack of them, were the focus of a substantial amount of, well, debate in Arizona's elections this fall. But do they really matter anymore in helping voters make up their minds on a candidate? That all depends on who you ask.
Supreme Court presses state on its rejection of Arizona death-row appeal
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court justices challenged Arizona's claim Tuesday that a death row inmate should not get a chance to appeal his sentence, based on what one justice called a "Kafkaesque" ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court.
License to vote: Prop 309 would toughen ID rules for mail, in-person voting
WASHINGTON - Backers of Proposition 309, which would stiffen ID requirements for mail and in-person voting, say it will help restore voter confidence in election integrity; critics call it a solution to a problem that doesn't exist and say it will just make it harder for some people to vote.
Supreme Court delays order that Ward give phone records to Jan. 6 panel
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court has granted a brief reprieve to Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward on a subpoena to turn over her phone records to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Protesters push Biden on pledge to pardon pot possession convictions
WASHINGTON - Students from across the country rallied outside the White House Monday to demand that President Joe Biden deliver on a campaign promise to release prisoners convicted of marijuana possession.
Prop 209 would limit medical debt collection; critics say it’s too broad
WASHINGTON - Backers of Proposition 209 say the ballot measure will protect Arizona residents from crushing medical debt when they're struggling keep a home and a job so they can pay their debts, but critics say the proposal is too broad and will reward the wrong people.
Arizona leaders join others at White House for forum on federal funds
WASHINGTON - Arizona local, tribal and labor leaders were at the White House Friday to hear administration officials highlight the billions in recent federal funding that is coming to states for everything from roads to water to broadband.
Petition to block voucher law falls short; application deadline extended
WASHINGTON - The secretary of state’s office is still counting, but it had seen enough by Friday to say that a petition drive to block expansion of the state's school voucher program fell short of the required signatures.
Opponents of expanded vouchers concede petition may have fallen short
WASHINGTON - The apparently successful petition drive that blocked an expansion of Arizona's Empowerment Scholarship Accounts may not have been so successful after all, with opponents of the law conceding they "definitely got the numbers wrong."
Do look up: Arizona scientists have hand in first ‘planetary defense’ test
WASHINGTON - When NASA smashes a spacecraft into an asteroid Monday evening to test whether it's possible to deflect a future killer asteroid, several Arizona scientists will be watching as part of the project.
Opponents file petitions to halt voucher expansion; now the fight begins
WASHINGTON - Opponents of the state's expanded Empowerment Scholarship Accounts filed more than 140,000 petition signatures Friday to temporarily halt the program that would have allowed any student in the state to use public dollars for private education.
Tribal officials: Court ruling poses ‘real threat’ to sovereignty, safety
WASHINGTON - Indigenous leaders called on Congress Tuesday to reverse a Supreme Court ruling that expands states' ability to prosecute crimes on tribal land, a ruling they said threatens their sovereignty and their ability to protect their citizens.
Police-recording ban likely blocked, as Kavanagh fails to mount defense
WASHINGTON - The sponsor of a law that would have made it a crime to videotape police conceded Friday that it will not take effect, after he failed to meet a deadline to challenge a court's injunction of the law.
Union membership in Arizona inches up, still trails most of the nation
WASHINGTON - After bottoming out at 4% in 2017, labor union membership in Arizona has been slowly rising, reaching 5.4% in 2021, but it is still well behind levels of previous years and only about half of the national average.
Both sides find something wanting in Biden’s student-debt relief plan
WASHINGTON - There are nearly 900,000 Arizonans who could benefit from a White House plan for student debt relief - and almost as many opinions about whether it's good or not, with conservatives saying it goes too far and progressives saying it does not go far enough.
Court: Conviction in writing, not open court, violated defendant’s rights
WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court ruled Monday that a drug-smuggling defendant’s rights were violated when a district court handed down his conviction in writing and not in open court, denying him an opportunity to appear.