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days of session: 61

Regular sessions shall be adjourned sine die no later than Saturday of the week in which the one hundredth day from the beginning of each regular session falls. The President and Speaker of the House may by declaration authorize the extension of the session for a period of not to exceed seven additional days. Thereafter, the session can be extended only by the Senate and House by a majority vote of the members present in each body. 

in focus

On Thursday the United States Senate voted to overturn President Trump’s national emergency declaration. The measure passed 59-41 with Arizona’s Senators McSally and Sinema splitting on the vote. Since McSally’s appointment to the Senate, the two have agreed on 54% of their votes prior to this measure. Out of 41 votes, now 42, in the 116th Congress they have agreed on 22 votes.

For two members from different parties to agree on a majority of votes is unusual. Although, Arizona has been spoiled by unity from its Senators. Jon Kyle and John McCain followed by McCain and Jeff Flake showed inter-party cooperation for over two decades. Arizonan’s can expect to see more division in McSally and Sinema’s votes as high profile and partisan issues move through Congress.

Sinema refrained from fully explaining her position on the President’s declaration up until she voted. Highlighting the potential impact on military readiness and overreach by the Executive branch, Sinema voted in support of the measure.

McSally voted against the resolution. The Department of Defense reassured McSally that the funds used to construct the border wall will not draw from key Arizona defense projects and contracts that rely on federal funding.

The measure will have a short lifespan as the President took to Twitter to foreshadow his next step: "VETO!".

Kate Gallego handily wins mayor’s race, council seats headed for runoffs

Arizona Mirror

Kate Gallego will be Phoenix’s next mayor and the second woman elected to the city’s top post, having defeated opponent Daniel Valenzuela by a large margin.

At a gathering Tuesday night in downtown Phoenix, Gallego gave a victory speech while her team and supporters stood behind her.

“We’ve listened to Phoenix voters talk about their aspirations, their dreams for Phoenix, and we worked to solve problems together,” Gallego said. Her two-year-old son Michael walked to the podium where she spoke and held a campaign sign to his mom as she said, “We’ve stood up for everyone from our retirees to our youngest and cutest residents.”

Valenzuela congratulated Gallego on Twitter and thanked all who supported his campaign.

In her speech, Gallego also thanked Valenzuela.

“I will be a stronger mayor because of this campaign,” she said.

[...] Read more HERE.

ERA measure debated in Senate, fails to advance

Arizona Capitol Times

Republican state senators today rejected an effort by the chamber’s Democrats to vote to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Stymied by the traditional legislative process – GOP Sen. Eddie Farnsworth of Mesa blocked a resolution to ratify the ERA from a hearing in his Senate Judiciary Committee – Democrats motioned Wednesday afternoon to suspend Senate rules and bring the resolution to an immediate vote on the Senate floor.

But the motion, made by Senate Minority Leader David Bradley, D-Tucson, failed on a 13-16 party line vote.

[...] Had the Arizona Senate supported the resolution, it still would’ve needed approval in the House of Representatives. But moving the resolution along would’ve put Arizona one step closer to being the crucial 38th state to ratify the ERA. Thirty-seven states have ratified the amendment to date and it would take one more to amend the U.S. Constitution, though lawmakers debated whether it’s too late to ratify.

[...] Read more HERE.

Dems pick Milwaukee to host 2020 national convention

The Hill

Democrats are picking Milwaukee as the host city for the Democratic National Convention in 2020, four years after presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's loss in Wisconsin contributed to the election of President Trump.

Clinton was the first Democrat since Walter Mondale to lose Wisconsin to a Republican, and she has taken criticism for not visiting or paying attention to the state.

The decision to put the convention in Milwaukee signals the party's commitment to retaking Wisconsin in 2020. Democrats got a head start in the state in 2018 when they defeated longtime GOP Gov. Scott Walker.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced Milwaukee had beaten out Houston and Miami to host the convention, which is slated for July 13 through July 16, 2020, and will be held at the Fiserv Forum. The arena was opened last year and is home to the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.

The DNC noted that this is the first time the party will hold a national convention in the Midwest outside of Chicago since 1916. The party's convention in 2016 was in Philadelphia.

The Republican National Convention is slated to be held next year in Charlotte, N.C..

[...] Read more HERE.

veridus clients in the news

Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association Names Ann-Marie Alameddin New President & CEO

Greg Vigdor Retires after Six Years of ‘Major and Positive Change’

PHOENIX—The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA), the organization giving Arizona hospitals a voice to collectively build better healthcare and health for Arizonans, has named Ann-Marie Alameddin as its President and CEO, effective April 2, 2019. Ms. Alameddin, AzHHA’s Vice President of Strategy and General Counsel since 2015, succeeds Greg Vigdor, who is retiring after six years.

The AzHHA Board of Directors selected Ms. Alameddin after a search for the most qualified candidate. “This role is so unique in the world of healthcare,” explains AzHHA Board Chair and President and CEO of Havasu Regional Medical Center Mike Patterson. “A lot will be expected at all levels of expertise, and Ann-Marie’s background, patient-centered orientation and deep expertise with the needs of Arizona hospitals fits our expectations for the advancement and expansion of AzHHA’s mission to a T.”

[...] AzHHA will continue to advocate positive industry changes, just as it did in the nationally historic ruling for Medicaid Restoration and Expansion, and what it is doing to help combat the opioid epidemic.

[...] Ms. Alameddin succeeds Greg Vigdor, who the Board selected as AzHHA President and CEO in 2013. Mr. Vigdor came to Arizona after 20 years at the Washington Health Foundation, and is well-known for helping pass Medicaid Restoration in Arizona and, along with Ms. Alameddin, defending it in subsequent years.

“My charge was to create major and positive change at AzHHA and for the patients of Arizona, and much has been accomplished,” says Mr. Vigdor. “It is now time to turn it over to a new leader who can carry AzHHA’s values and plans into the future, and Ann-Marie is the right choice for that.”

Read more HERE.

Tucson Electric Power encourages residents to plant trees to save energy


TUCSON – Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is encouraging residents to plant shade trees.

There are many benefits of planting trees and it is a way to conserve energy.

Tucson Electric Power has a program called Trees for You that has been around since 1992. Since then, they have helped plant 121,000 trees in the Tucson-Metro area.

TEP says the best time to plant trees is in spring or late fall.

Planting shade trees help keep your home cooler, so your air conditioning does not have to work as hard and that reduces energy costs. There are also many benefits to the environment.

[...] TEP says trees that are desert-adapted like Palo Verdes or Mesquite varieties are the best option.

TEP says to make sure to plant the tree 15 feet away from your house.

Also, look for a tree that loses its leaves in the fall, so in the cooler months, that heat comes in to help warm your home to reduce the heating cost, but then you have shade in the summer when the leaves are back.

[...] TEP will be giving away several hundred trees to TEP customers at the SAHBA Home and Garden Show.

To get one, you must be a TEP customer and you just have to visit TEP’s booth. It runs April 12-14 at the Tucson Convention Center (TCC).

Read more HERE.

Harvest Health sets cannabis industry standard with $850 million acquisition of multistate operator Verano 

Marijuana Business Daily

Arizona-based Harvest Health & Recreation reached a binding agreement to acquire Verano Holdings of Chicago for $850 million, a deal that’s considered to be the largest acquisition inked in the U.S. cannabis industry to date.

The deal surpasses the previous record for a U.S. acquisition in the cannabis industry – MedMen’s $682 million all-stock purchase of PharmaCann in October.

Both acquisitions are a sign that M&A activity will remain brisk in the cannabis industry, with more blockbuster deals down the road.

Upon closing, the all-stock deal with Verano will give Harvest one of the largest footprints among multistate cannabis operators with 123 dispensaries in 16 states.

“The acquisition is the next step in Harvest becoming the largest cannabis company in the world,” Harvest CEO Steve White said during an investor conference call.

[...] Read more HERE.

'They're finally listening to tribes': Bill focused on missing, murdered indigenous women moves to Senate 

Arizona Republic

Debbie Nez Manuel’s mother went missing when she was 3 years old.

“We eventually found her and were able to bury her,” Manuel said. “There is no way I can regain any of those years with my mother.”

Manuel’s mother Frances Tsinajinnie was 35 and when she went missing in 1973. She went from their home in Klagetoh, Arizona, to Gallup, New Mexico, a border town near the Navajo Nation to search for Manuel’s father.

Her father eventually came home, but Manuel’s mother did not. Manuel doesn't have a clear timeline for how long her mother was missing. It may have been four days, but she doesn't have documents to specify. She was found that same year.

Manuel shared her story in support of HB2570, a bill to establish a task force on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Arizona. It was a way to heal and impress the severity of the problem.

The Arizona House of Representatives passed the bill, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Jermaine, unanimously with a vote of 60-0. It is now moving to the Arizona Senate.

[...] Now the bill is headed to the Arizona Senate, where it will face committee hearings and a vote of the full chamber.

[...] Read more HERE.

2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Teen Recipients Announced  

More Than 2,700 Teens Nationwide Receive National Recognition from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers in 2019; 16 High School Students Receive Awards' Highest Honor and $10,000 Scholarship

NEW YORK, March 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers today announced the national award recipients of the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation's longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12. This honor opens doors for students by providing access to scholarship programs and workshops and the ability to have work published and displayed in regional and National Exhibitions. Top students are invited to attend the week-long national celebration in New York City, which includes a ceremony at Carnegie Hall on June 6. To learn more, and to find a complete list of the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards national recipients, visit:

Read more HERE.

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