Arizona Universities to Follow Federal Order for Workers to be Vaccinated

Workers at the University of Arizona must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

That’s the news from university President Robert Robbins in response to President Joe Biden’s order that any public or private organization that benefits from federal tax dollars must install a vaccination mandate.

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Former President Trump Urges Action to Strengthen Arizona Elections

Former President Donald Trump on Friday raised concerns over absentee ballots in Arizona’s 2020 election and urged action to strengthen the integrity of the process.

Pointing to new accusations from Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, Trump questioned the number of absentee ballots returned in Pima County.

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Civil Forfeiture Lawsuit Against Arizona Moving Forward

Arizona State Trooper SUV

A federal appeals court has ruled a Washington state couple’s lawsuit against the state of Arizona over what they say was an unconstitutional seizure of their property can continue.

Terry and Ria Platt loaned their vehicle in 2016 to their son to use on vacation when Arizona state troopers stopped him on Interstate 40 in Navajo County for having tinted windows. A K-9 search discovered a small amount of marijuana in the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta, and police also found $31,000 in cash.

Police seized the car and money, although neither the Platts nor their son was ever charged with a crime.

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Second Suspect Identified in Arizona Amtrak Train Shooting

Thursday, The Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the second suspect in Monday’s shootout on an Amtrak train that was stopped in Tucson. 

Dr. Gregory Hess said Darrion Taylor, 26, was the suspect shot and killed by law enforcement after opening fire on the train. 

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Ducey, GOP Governors Lay Out Plan for Biden to Strengthen the Southern Border

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and eight other GOP governors on Wednesday toured the U.S. Southern border and presented a 10-point plan for President Joe Biden to strengthen the border.

The conference of GOP governors follows Biden ignoring a letter from the group, which requested a meeting to discuss solutions to the ongoing crisis.

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GOP Governors Ignored by Biden Offer Solutions to Border Crisis Anyway

After a group of 26 Republican governors, spearheaded by Gov. Doug Ducey (R), sent a letter to the Biden Administration requesting to meet and discuss the ongoing crisis at the border, the group is pushing forward with solutions.

That letter, sent in late September, was ignored by the White House. 

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GOP Governors Gather in Texas to Address Border Crisis

Nine Republican governors are joining Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona in Mission, Texas, Wednesday to discuss the ongoing border crisis and President Joe Biden’s immigration policies.

Ducey and Abbott will be joined by Govs. Brian Kemp of Georgia, Brad Little of Idaho, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Greg Gianforte of Montana, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Mark Gordon of Wyoming.

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Treasury Department Prevents Ducey from Awarding Grants to Schools That Do Not Have a Mask Mandate

The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday blocked Arizona Governor Doug Ducey from utilizing federal COVID-19 aide toward grants for school systems in the state that do not have mask mandates.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo penned a letter to Ducey, informing the Republican governor that the grants were “not a permissible use” of the relief aide.

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Arizona Establishes New Cyber Command Center to Prevent Attacks

Doug Ducey

Governor Doug Ducey on Monday established the state’s new Cyber Command Center at a ceremony at the Department of Public Safety’s Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC) in Phoenix.

The new cyber center will serve as Arizona’s main headquarters for managing statewide cybersecurity operations for officials at each level of government.

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FBI: No Word on Suspects in Tucson Train Shooting That Left DEA Agent Dead

Amtrak 168 leading the Silver Meteor through Folkston, GA in November of 2008.

A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent and one suspect were killed after a shootout on an Amtrak train in Tucson Monday. 

According to Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus, the Counter Narcotics Alliance, which is comprised of local and federal agents, boarded the train for a routine spot-check for contraband like illegal weapons and narcotics when the train stopped in the city. 

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Arizonans Favor Relocation of Afghan Refugees, but Not Necessarily to Arizona

Arizona voters predominantly are welcoming of their new neighbors who fled a Taliban takeover of their home country but are split on making them their new neighbors, polling shows.

OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based polling and marketing firm, released polling Thursday that shows 94% of those surveyed agreed with helping Afghan refugees leave their country. However, 34% said that they should not be settled in the U.S.

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White House Ignores Governors’ Request for Meeting with Biden on Border Crisis

After Gov. Doug Ducey (R), along with 25 other governors, sent a letter to the Biden Administration urgently requesting a meeting with President Joe Biden regarding the border crisis, the White House appears to be ignoring the governors’ plea. 

“As chief executives of our states, we request a meeting with you at The White House to bring an end to the national security crisis created by eight months of unenforced borders,” that letter said. “The months-long surge in illegal crossings has instigated an international humanitarian crisis, spurred a spike in international criminal activity, and opened the floodgates to human traffickers and drug smugglers endangering public health and safety in our states. A crisis that began at our southern border now extends beyond to every state and requires immediate action before the situation worsens.”

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Maricopa County Audit Supporter Threatens Arizona GOP Lawmaker

A Republican member of the Arizona Legislature says her family’s safety is her first priority after getting a threatening email over her scrutiny of Maricopa County’s 2020 election. 

State Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, posted a screenshot of an email from an account named Matt Boster that started out by calling her a racial slur.

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Arizona Police Recruiting in Washington After Gov. Inslee’s Vaccine Mandate Takes Effect

After Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) implemented a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for state employees, including the Washington State Patrol, Arizona’s Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) is taking advantage of what could be an opportunity to hire new staff. 

AZDPS is spending ten days in the pacific northwestern state recruiting new employees to Arizona, which has outlawed mask mandates and does not have a vaccine mandate for state employees. 

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Biden Plan Empowers Arizona Schools to Flout State Law Banning Mask Mandates

President Joe Biden’s latest plan to combat the spread of COVID-19 will take the teeth out of an Arizona law that prohibits mask and vaccination mandates. 

The president’s plan, which orders any private company that employs 100 or more people to vaccinate their employees by mid-January or face fines, includes new tax dollars to reimburse any school district that faces a monetary punishment for implementing a mask mandate. 

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First Afghan Refugees Resettled in ‘Top Destination’ Phoenix

The first of hundreds of Afghan refugees have been settled in the Phoenix area, which is being described as a “top destination” for those displaced after the U.S. withdrawal and Taliban takeover of the country. 

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey thanked the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES), along with Cindy McCain, the widow of former Arizona Senator John McCain, for assisting in the refugee resettlement process. 

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Trump-Aligned Restaurant Owner Enters Arizona Governor’s Race

Jorge Rivas For Governor

A pro-Trump restaurant owner who spoke at the forty-fifth president’s Phoenix rally in February of 2020 is running for governor.

Jorge Rivas, owner of Sammy’s Mexican Grill near Tucson, will have an official launch party on September 4, according to his Facebook page.

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Program Offering Low-Income Families up to $7k for K-12 School Choice over COVID Measures Begins

Governor Doug Ducey’s program offering up to $7,000 in grants for low-income K-12 parents wanting to relocate their students due to their current school’s COVID-19 protocols began Friday. Eligible families have a total household income at or below 350 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, and show proof that their current school has COVID constraints, including: mask mandates, quarantines, vaccine mandates, or discrimination based on vaccination status. The grant funds may be used for a variety of education-related expenses beyond tuition like transportation, online tutoring, and even child care.

Ducey announced the $7,000 booster on Tuesday. The governor’s office cited Yale University research that found COVID-based school closures disproportionately harm low-income students. More affluent students reportedly didn’t exhibit any significant impairments.

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Arizona Universities Mandate Masks, Setting Up Showdown with Governor’s Office

In direct defiance of legislation banning vaccine passports and mask mandates, three major Arizona universities will require masks for students, setting up a showdown between the schools and the state government.

“All three Arizona universities said Wednesday they are going to require face masks on campus in certain situations, regardless of new state legislation apparently designed to preclude them from doing that,” Tuscon.com reported. “And more than half the Republican state legislators are asking Gov. Doug Ducey to withhold funds from schools who they say are violating a different ban on mask mandates and take the errant districts to court.”

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Embattled Arizona State Senator Tony Navarrete Resigns

Arizona State Senator Tony Navarrete (D-Phoenix) resigned from his position Tuesday, after he was arrested and charged with seven felony counts related to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Since his arrest, the vast majority of elected officials throughout the state, including his Democratic colleagues, have called on him to resign.

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Teacher Sues Phoenix School District over Mask Mandates

Less than a week after Phoenix Union High School District (PXU) issued a mask mandate in defiance of state law, a high school biology teacher has sued the school district. 

“Douglas Hester, who teaches Biology 1 and 2 at Metro Tech High School, filed a motion for a restraining order on Monday against its superintendent and its governing board, according to the Maricopa County Superior Court,” Fox News reported.

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Arizona Top Doctor to Step Down to Take New High-Profile Role

Gov. Doug Ducey announced on Wednesday that Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Director, is leaving her position on August 27 to become chief medical officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. 

“When Cara Christ became a doctor, she did it to help others and save lives. That’s exactly what she’s done,” Ducey said in a news release. “She dedicated countless hours to protecting millions of Arizonans from the COVID-19 pandemic — and she’s done it with grace, stability and confidence.”

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Arizona Gov. Ducey Urges Continuation of Title 42 Border Restrictions

Gov. Ducey Title 42

Gov. Doug Ducey has called on Arizona’s congressional delegation to urge the Biden administration to maintain Title 42 restrictions, which allow federal officials to prohibit entry into the U.S. for those posing a potential health risk.

“I am writing to you today to share details of the impact this dangerous and misguided idea would have on Arizona and to request your assistance on behalf of the people of Arizona in urging the Biden administration to maintain these critical protections,” Ducey wrote last week in a letter to Arizona’s 11 members of Congress.

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Governor Doug Ducey Rescinds Remaining COVID-Related Executive Orders

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is rescinding a batch of over 20 executive orders that were issued throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

The orders from the governor cover a host of pandemic related topics: preventing cities, towns, and counties from issuing harsh restrictions for businesses, barring universities from requiring coronavirus vaccines or masks, and prohibiting vaccine passports. 

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Trump Pledges to Never Give Ducey His Endorsement

Former President Donald Trump released a statement blasting Arizona Governor Doug Ducey for his lack of support in examining concerns of election security for the November 2020 election. 

Additionally, Trump pledged to never give Ducey his endorsement, should Ducey elect to run for another office. The two-term Governor is prevented from running for re-election due to the state’s term limit rules. 

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Arizona Governor Issues Executive Order Preventing COVID Vaccine Mandates on College Campuses

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced on Tuesday an executive order that will prevent the state’s public colleges and universities from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for its students.

The executive order comes in response to Arizona State University informing its students that they “expect” students to return to campus in the fall fully vaccinated. Further, individuals who choose not to receive the coronavirus vaccine would be subjected to a mask requirement and weekly testing.

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Trump Criticizes Ducey for Veto of Critical Race Theory and Election Security Bills

Former President Donald Trump slammed Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on Wednesday for vetoing bills that would have outlawed Critical Race Theory (CRT) training for state employees and another that would prevent mailing ballots to individuals who did not request them. 

“Incredible to see that RINO Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona just vetoed a bill that would have outlawed Critical Race Theory training for State employees, and another that would have banned the mailing of ballots to citizens who never requested them,” Trump said in his statement. 

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Arizona Adopts Election Reform Bill That Stops Some Voters from Automatically Receiving Absentee Ballots

Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed an election reform bill Tuesday that could stop thousands of voters from automatically receiving an absentee ballot ahead of an upcoming election.

SB 1485 would remove voters who have not participated in Arizona’s last four elections from its permanent early voting list, which allows them to automatically receive absentee ballots ahead of elections. Partisan primaries are included as separate elections, meaning that a voter could be removed if they fail to vote back-to-back election cycles, but they must also first fail to respond to mail notices alerting them.

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Arizona House Passes Bill Banning Abortions Based on Genetic Abnormality

Susan B. Anthony List State Policy Director Sue Liebel

The Arizona House passed a bill Thursday that bans abortions based on diagnosis of genetic abnormality, such as Down syndrome.

S.B. 1457 states that the rights of “an unborn child at every stage of development” must be acknowledged and prohibits abortions based on the sex, race, or genetic abnormality of the child. The bill makes exceptions for medical emergencies.

“A person who knowingly” performs such an abortion “is guilty of a class 3 felony,” according to the legislation.

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Growing Chorus of Lawmakers Join Effort to Prevent Packing Supreme Court

An organization dedicated to preserving the independence of the U.S. Supreme Court reports it has won several large victories in the past week.

Keep Nine said in a statement that Republican Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona has endorsed its work, making him the first governor to do so.

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Martha McSally Will be Appointed to John McCain’s Seat

by Henry Rodgers   Arizona Republican Rep. Martha McSally will be appointed to John McCain’s former Senate seat after Republican Sen. Jon Kyl announced he is resigning from the U.S. Senate at the end of December. Gov. Doug Ducey, announced in a Tuesday statement that McSally will be taking the seat.…

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