The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a yuge setback to the Trump agenda this week, blocking the administration’s efforts to end a program that protects an estimated 25,000 Arizonans and 700,000 individuals nationally from deportation.
Established by a President Obama executive order in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has ensured temporary legal protection for “Dreamers” – individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children and lack citizenship. Disbanding the program has been a centerpiece of President Trump’s immigration policy. The High Court decision – at least temporarily – puts those plans on ice.
The ruling is particularly impactful in Arizona, home to the nation’s 7th largest number of DACA recipients. Notably, the Court did not say the Trump administration can’t unwind the DACA program; only that it needs to be done correctly. As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion: “we do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies . . . only whether the Administration complied with the procedural requirements in the law that insist on ‘a reasoned explanation for its action.’”
In other words, President Trump can still terminate DACA in the future (almost certainly not until 2021 at the earliest). He just has to do it the right way.
Voters will decide whether he gets the chance.
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Arizona Bankers Association Elects New Chairman, Two New Members to Distinguished Board of Directors, and Appoints Two New Executive Committee Members
PHOENIX – (June 17, 2020) – The Arizona Bankers Association (AzBA) is pleased to announce Mr. Brian Schwallie, Head of Commercial Deposit and Payment Solutions of U.S. Bank, has been named Chairman of the Board of Directors. Also named to the AzBA Board were Mr. Ralph Tapscott, CEO & President of Horizon Community Bank, and Ms. Dina Ryan, Director-SW Region, State & Local Government Relations of Citigroup.
AzBA elected two new executive committee members. Mr. Scott Vanderpool, Local Market Executive of Bank of America, was elected to the secretary position, and Ms. Jennifer Anderson, Executive Vice President of Wells Fargo Bank, was elected to the treasurer position on the Executive Committee.
The Arizona Bankers Association also recognizes the service of the Immediate Past Chairman, Jack Barry, Chairman & CEO, Arizona Region of Enterprise Bank & Trust.
Arizona Public Media
At the end of the week, Arizona hospitals were at 83% of their regular capacity and 80% of their ICU capacity.
In March, Gov. Doug Ducey ordered hospitals to be ready to increase their capacity by 25% in case there was a surge in COVID-19 cases. At the beginning of June, Banner Health Systems announced it was nearing capacity for its ICU beds statewide.
[…] In May, the CDC released its guidelines for lifting stay-at-home orders. The document is not a requirement. One of the criteria, listed by the CDC, to go into “phase one” reopening as Arizona has done, is to have hospitals at no more than 80% of capacity for five days. Arizona’s hospitals have hovered near that number for more than a week.
Hospitals in the state have not reached their capacity, nor have they activated surge capacity as ordered by the governor. But operating above 80% capacity for ICU beds and near that number for regular beds does put a strain on the system.
“Arizona hospitals are increasingly constrained in terms of resources and the increase in COVID-positive patients both in the ICU and in-patient. We have seen numbers for in patients at 1,200 COVID-positive patients statewide, whereas a good part of May it was in the … 600-patient range,” said Ann-Marie Alameddin, president and CEO of the Arizona Hospital Association.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, ICU usage eclipsed the 80% mark on Sunday, June 14, and regular beds have been above 80% usage statewide since June 9.
The CDC also defines a rebound in cases, as when the three-day average of cases shows an increase for five days. Arizona’s cases are rising, which means more hospitalizations.
[…] The coronavirus pandemic does not show any signs of letting up in Arizona. Hospital officials are worried about staff burnout, something that is much less about guidelines and more about management.
Cigna Foundation Announces Availability Of $5 Million In Grants To Address Children’s Mental Health, Childhood Hunger
BLOOMFIELD, Conn., June 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Cigna Foundation is inviting nonprofits working to create greater access to mental health services to apply for funding through its Healthier Kids For Our FutureSM grant program. The program will provide up to a total of $5 million in grants to community organizations over the next year.
Healthier Kids For Our FutureSM is a five-year, $25 million global initiative to improve the health and well-being of children that launched in 2019. Phase I focused on reducing childhood hunger and improving nutrition, awarding more than $4.5 million in grants to-date.
In Phase II, the program will add an additional focus area, addressing the mental health and well-being of children. Nonprofits working to improve childhood hunger can still apply as well.
Many families across the country are facing increased stress and anxiety right now. Prior to COVID-19, up to 20 percent of children and adolescents worldwide experienced mental illness1, and the pandemic is shedding light on a worsening mental health crisis – as both children and adults are struggling with anxiety, loneliness, and isolation.2 Cigna’s 2018 Loneliness Index also found that Generation Z (ages 18-22) are the loneliest generation and claim to be in the worst health.3
[…] To determine grant eligibility, start here.
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In other news …
Gov. Doug Ducey will allow local governments to impose and enforce mask policies to curb the spread of COVID-19, he said Wednesday — an abrupt reversal after weeks spent assuring Arizonans the state was doing enough to control the pandemic.
The Republican governor also shared plans to have the Arizona National Guard assist with contact tracing for confirmed COVID-19 cases, as well as new safety rules for private businesses.
[…] The governor had long insisted the state was on the right track with its phased reopening, attributing upticks in case numbers to expanded testing availability.
On Wednesday, he acknowledged a troubling shift in the state’s COVID-19 landscape, saying he was “adjusting” policy because “what we’re seeing today concerns us.”
Tuesday set a record for COVID-19 cases with 2,392 reported, and with 85% of inpatient beds and 83% of intensive care beds in use for COVID-19 and other patients.
Positive results as a percentage of total tests performed also have been climbing, indicating higher numbers aren’t solely a consequence of widespread testing.
[…] Ducey stopped short of announcing a statewide mask mandate, despite increasing pressure from medical professionals. But his decision to give local governments the authority to design and enforce face-covering policies was a major departure nonetheless.
[…] Cities will, however, have to give violators a chance to comply before penalizing them, according to a new executive order. […]
Retail sales increased 18% in May, the U.S. Census Bureau reported on Tuesday, as states reopen their economies.
Economists predicted that sales would rise by 7.4%.
[…] Sales for brick-and-mortar stores were up 16.8%, while sales at non-store retailers skyrocketed nearly 31% last month.
The biggest gains were in clothing and clothing accessories stores, which had a 188% increase in sales.
Another big winner was the furniture and home furnishing sector, which experienced a nearly 90% increase in sales.
Restaurants and bars, mostly shuttered in March, saw a 29.1% increase in sales.
Grocery stores improved little, having seen a 1.3% increase in sales last month.