In his State of the State address, Gov. Ducey called on the Legislature to “give all Arizona voters the opportunity to say ‘yes’ to the rule of law and ‘no’ to sanctuary cities.”
On Wednesday, Rep. TJ Shope (R-Coolidge) took the first step in honoring the Governor’s directive – filing a ballot referral to enshrine in the state Constitution a ban on sanctuary cities. Specifically, the resolution – HCR 2026 – will ask Arizona voters to decide whether local jurisdictions should be barred from limiting their cooperation with federal immigration authorities. Yes, sanctuary cities technically are already illegal in Arizona (see: SB 1070); but a constitutional amendment, if passed, would ensure the law is voter-protected and make it extremely difficult for future legislatures to change or repeal.
Not coincidentally, the issue also happens to be smart politics for Arizona Republicans. Nationally, polling has shown that nearly two-thirds or more of voters believe local and federal authorities should cooperate whenever possible. Even in deep blue Tucson, voters overwhelmingly rejected a measure last November that would have made the Old Pueblo Arizona’s first sanctuary city.
In other words, Rep.Shope’s resolution not only has a good chance of winning in November – it also figures to put Democratic candidates in a political box: Support the referendum and risk alienating their liberal base; oppose it and tempt the ire of the broader Arizona electorate.
Here’s looking at you, Mark Kelly.
Veridus Clients in the news
New programs part of strategy to attract new students and serve growing industry and student demand
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Universal Technical Institute, Inc. (NYSE: UTI) has announced the expansion of its successful Welding Technology program to two additional campuses. The program in Houston, Texas will open in April, with classes at the Long Beach, Calif. campus to begin in August. In addition, the company plans to offer Welding Technology at a minimum of one additional campus in 2021, for a total of at least six Welding Technology programs.
[…] Existing welding programs at the company’s Avondale, Ariz., Dallas, Texas, and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. campuses are performing well and are operating at or near full capacity. On average, once a welding program is fully ramped, it should increase UTI’s current overall new student starts by approximately 1.5% per program.
Welders are increasingly sought after in industries ranging from automotive fabrication and motorsports to aerospace, energy and manufacturing, and are particularly in demand for major infrastructure projects including bridges, highways, office buildings, schools, pipelines, power plants, refineries and even spacecraft. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be more than 488,000 job openings for welders by the year 2028. […]
Arizona Public Media
Horses, lemonade and waila dancing: These are just some of the ingredients for a fun day at the Tohono O’odham Nation Rodeo and Fair.
The whirl of pink and yellow fair rides greeted visitors as they arrived to the 82nd edition of the event that went from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2. The fair regularly draws people from every corner of the almost 3-million-acre nation, plus several tourists and former residents from around Arizona. Delbert Domingo said even though he lives in Mesa now, he still likes to take the more than two-hour drive down to Sells for the fair to see longtime friends and soak in some of his favorite activities.
[…] The lively melody of waila music, which resembles the traditional O’odham fiddler music, saturated the majority of the Eugene P. Tashquinth Sr. Livestock Complex during the rodeo, causing several participants to dance through the pathways.
Besides these spontaneous performances, there were organized dance contests for people of all ages. Other events included a girl’s toka tournament.
Toka is a Tohono O’odham game that resembles field hockey, and only girls and women can play it.
Vanessa Harvey said she comes to the fair almost every year, and it’s her daughter’s passion for toka that brings them back. It’s a family tradition. […]
Robson Communities was named the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Best 55+ Builder of the Year during the 2020 NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, NV. The annual awards program honors excellence in the mature housing market.
“It is an absolute honor to be recognized by the National Association of Home Builders for the dedication we have to developing and building quality homes in exceptional active adult communities,” said Edward J. Robson, Chairman of Robson Communities. “Through exemplary quality, service and attention to detail, our team takes pride in creating excellence at each Robson Resort Community”. […]
The Crime Report
A leading justice advocacy group has praised President Donald Trump for highlighting criminal justice reform in his State of the Union address Tuesday.
“President Trump made a smart strategic choice here,” Holly Harris, executive director and president of the Justice Action Network, said in a press statement.
“Criminal justice reform is one of the most popular, uniting issues I’ve seen in my career in politics, and the message of working with both parties in Congress on the First Step Act appeals to voters across the political spectrum.”
Noting that Trump also mentioned the issue in an ad that ran during the Super Bowl, Harris said “ It’s also a mark of how far we’ve come that a president who ran on a tough-on-crime message is highlighting his work on justice reform and clemency as he kicks off his election year campaign.”
But she added: “We hope that President Trump’s message that he is fully committed to the First Step Act will be heard by the staff at the Department of Justice who have been working to delay the act’s implementation, and in some cases trying to put people who have been released back in federal prison.” […]
National Campaign Celebrates What Play Can Do for You; Showcases the Power of Play in Building Community, Forging Inclusivity, and Inspiring Creativity for 164 Million Americans
WASHINGTON, DC – February 4, 2020 – With new national survey data finding that six in 10 Americans believe video games bring joy through play, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today announced the launch of the Game Generation – a national campaign highlighting the power of play and the positive impact of video games on players’ lives, their families, and across society. This initiative will feature the benefits experienced by video game play in homes, classrooms, the workplace, and beyond.
ESA’s latest data reveals that 73% of Americans play video games to relieve stress, in stark contrast to trends showing that consumers are reevaluating their relationship with technology in an increasingly ‘always-on’ world.
[…] Game Generation will show firsthand how games instill teamwork and the importance of relying on others. It will show how as an art form, only video games let people truly walk in someone else’s shoes through the diversity of characters or how video games are even emerging as a powerful platform to engage players on important issues such as climate change.
[…] Game Generation will also provide parents information and resources to help ensure healthy video game play for their families. The video game industry provides tools, such as the parental controls offered across video game platforms as well as the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings, that provide players and parents with clear information about the video games they choose to play.
[…] For additional details on the Game Generation campaign, including a portfolio of resources, visit gamegeneration.org.
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In other news …
Arizona Daily Star
PHOENIX — A proposal endorsed by a House panel would allow Arizonans who violate traffic laws to decide if they’re willing to work off at least part of the fine.
House Bill 2055, approved 6-4 Wednesday by the House Judiciary Committee, would allow ticket holders to ask to perform community service at $10 an hour for up to half of the fine. It also would permit judges to allow the entire fine to be waived for additional hours of work.
Motorists could still choose the option of having their citations wiped out by attending and paying for defensive driving classes.
But the bill faces an uncertain future, and a possible legal challenge, because of the way it is worded.
The measure was written by Rep. Leo Biasiucci, R-Lake Havasu City, after a Phoenix municipal judge refused to allow him to work off a citation for illegally parking in an alley.
[…] The bigger hurdle could be legal.
In reducing the amount of the fine, the legislation would also reduce — or potentially eliminate — the various surcharges that now are placed on penalties.
These include a 10 percent surcharge to fund the Citizens Clean Elections Act, a system that allows candidates for statewide and legislative office to get public campaign funding if they agree not to take money from special interests.
[…] The measure now needs constitutional review before going to the full House.
White Mountain Independent
ARIZONA — A total of nine candidates are now headed towards the primary elections for the congressional seat now held by Democrat Tom O’Halleran.
O’Halleran represents Arizona’s First Congressional District (CD1) a vast region — one of the largest districts in the U.S. It encompasses much of the eastern two-thirds of the state from north to south, including most of the Arizona Strip, Flagstaff, Globe, Navajo and Apache counties and south to a line just north of Tucson and Wilcox.
O’Halleran won the seat in the 2016 election, running as a moderate Democrat, defeating Republican Paul Babeu. He was re-elected by a solid margin in 2018, defeating Republican Wendy Rogers.
[…] The primary election will be held on August 4.
O’Halleran faces a couple of challengers from his own party in the primary, Barbara McGuire of Kearny and Eva Putzova of Flagstaff.
Flagstaff’s Eva Putzova, a Slovakian immigrant who came to Arizona 20 years ago, appears to be a dynamic candidate. According to her website she spent 14 years in administrative positions at Northern Arizona University, including as Director of Strategic Planning. Putzova received the 2015 Arizona Woman of Vision Award.
[…] McGuire was a former colleague of O’Halleran’s in the state legislature. She served two terms as a representative and two terms as a senator from District 8, an area southeast of Phoenix that includes San Tan Valley, parts of Casa Grande and Eloy and north to Globe.
[…] Republican Primary Candidates
Republican candidates Nolan Reidhead, John W. Moore, Tiffany Shedd and Chris Taylor all claim conservative credentials and support many of the same issues as President Trump.
Tucson attorney Nolan Reidhead has local connections, having spent some of his growing-up years in Heber and Snowflake.
[…] John W. Moore
John W. Moore has been the mayor of Williams for 12 years, where he says he has helped to lead the community to prosperity as a tourism gateway to the Grand Canyon. According to his campaign website, Moore also helped secure a reliable water source for Williams. Moore has served both as a chair and a board member for the Northern Arizona Council on Governments (NACOG), an agency that serves four counties coordinating federal funding for numerous needs, including seniors, the needy, public transit and other federal funding sources.
[…] Tiffany Shedd
Eloy farmer and natural resources attorney Tiffany Shedd is returning for her third try at the CD 1 seat, after a failed bid in 2018.
[…] Chris Taylor
A 33-year-old Afghan war veteran, Chris Taylor founded a addiction recovery nonprofit to help veterans and others, and is a firefighter, according to his website. He lives with his family in Safford. […]