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Last weekend, the Arizona state legislature passed a $9.1 billion budget, which includes significant cuts to some state services including higher education. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius recently spoke with Flagstaff Republican Representative Bob Thorpe, chairman of the Government and Higher Education Committee, about the cuts.

The Republic

A budget deal struck between state lawmakers and the governor includes more than $100 million in cuts to higher education. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, Northern Arizona University’s president Rita Cheng released a statement outlining the domino effect the cuts could have to the local economy.

CBS 5 News

Four firearms-related bills have received initial approval this week from the Arizona state legislature. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, one of those bills would legalize some weapons and accessories currently outlawed.

Photo by Kylee Gauna

A state senate bill that would have allowed lawmakers expanded ability to meet in private, outside the public eye, did not receive a committee hearing. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it’s uncertain whether the bill’s sponsors will try again.

AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca

On Thursday, a state house bill that would simplify the process for Native Americans seeking delayed birth certificates passed a key legislative committee. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, if ultimately passed by the legislature, the bill is expected to ease many hardships encountered by tribal members.

A bill introduced in the State Legislature would establish a concussion awareness day in Arizona. As Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports, it’s an issue that’s gained national attention in recent years.

Michael Chow/The Republic

The first bill likely to arrive on Governor Doug Ducey’s desk would create a statewide high school civics test. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, state lawmakers are fast-tracking legislation that could be ready for the governor’s signature this week.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

During his visit to Arizona this week President Obama announced the lowering of federal mortgage insurance rates. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the move is designed to boost the housing market by helping first-time home buyers.

NPR/David McNew - Getty Images

Next year, an Arizona lawmaker plans to introduce legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, if passed, the law would mark the first such legalization in the U.S. by elected officials, rather than through a ballot initiative.

AP

A federal appeals court today upheld the conviction of former Republican Congressman for Arizona’s first district, Rick Renzi, on charges of extortion, fraud, conspiracy and racketeering. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.

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