State Capitol News

The Arizona Republic

Republican members of the Arizona House mostly appear supportive of a proposed settlement to a long-running school funding lawsuit, but some are asking tough questions.

Many members briefed Tuesday by GOP leaders and attorneys who represented the state say they'll be happy to see schools get increased funding and to get the five-year-old lawsuit behind them. Others say they need to see the actual language in legislation before they agree to vote yes.

The percentage of adult Arizonans who smoke continues to drop.

The Arizona Department of Health Services says the percentage of smokers as of 2014 was at an all-time low of 15.3 percent. That's down a percentage point from the rate in 2013.

Tobacco prevention and cessation programs head Courtney Ward says the decrease continues a trend. She says factors behind that trend include an ongoing anti-tobacco media campaign and a 2007 tobacco tax increase approved by voters.

The Arizona Republic

The State of Arizona has joined a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the federal Clean Power Plan. It’s among two dozen states fighting the new regulations that limit greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s power plants. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 


A tentative deal that settles a lawsuit brought by schools over the Arizona Legislature's failure to give annual inflation boosts will add about $3.5 billion in new funding over the next 10 years.

The proposed settlement includes a new cash payment of $175 million to schools this budget year on top of $74 million in inflation funding the Legislature appropriated this year. Together that adds about $330 per student to the current $4,300 schools receive.

Tempe Councilwoman Lauren Kuby is suing the state over a law that prevents towns and cities from banning plastic bags. The Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest filed the suit on Kuby’s behalf, and says legislators violated the Arizona Constitution by passing the law. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


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