State Capitol News

The Arizona Board of Regents has approved budget plans for the upcoming fiscal year for Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University.

The three universities were cut approximately $100 million in the fiscal year 2016 state budget and funding will be reduced another $6.1 million for health insurance costs.

Previously approved tuition plans for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and student enrollment growth won't offset state funding cuts.

LA Times

A poll conducted last month reveals that more than half of all Arizonans support the legalization of recreational marijuana. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the study comes as multiple measures are in the works to put the question to voters in 2016.

David KadlubowskI/The Arizona Republic

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey plans to roll out a new proposal to boost funding for the state's K-12 school system by using cash from the state's land trust.

Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said the governor will reveal details of his plan at a news conference at a Phoenix high school Thursday. It will involve a "substantial" amount of new funding.

Ducey met with schools chief Diane Douglas and key school superintendents Wednesday, and his staff met with other education leaders.

Scarpinato declined to provide additional details in advance of the governor's announcement.

Courtesy

For four straight months, Arizona has taken in higher-than-expected revenue. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, some lawmakers want to reinstate a chunk of the nearly $100 million cut from higher education in the 2016 state budget.

College tuition in Arizona could increase by no more than the cost of living every year and corporations could see tax hikes under a proposed voter initiative.

A group called Save Arizona's Students and Public Universities filed the initiative late last week. It has until July 2016 to collect more than 150,000 valid signatures to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

Arizona's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 6 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from March.

The national unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.4 percent in April.

The state Department of Administration says Arizona's economy gained 2,200 non-farm jobs last month.

Across Arizona's economy, seven of the 11 sectors added jobs and four reported losses in April.

Analysts say Professional and Business Services added 3,300 jobs with Government adding 1,900 jobs and Construction 1,300 jobs last month.

David KadlubowskI/The Arizona Republic

Gov. Doug Ducey is calling economic development, business, education and political leaders from across the state to Glendale for a summit.

Thursday's event at the University of Phoenix Stadium will include a series of political and education speakers and Ducey will lay out his vision for the state.

Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato says the idea is to bring leaders together and try to craft a vision for the entire state's economic and education development.

Mark Henle/The Republic

A recent report shows Arizona leading the nation in cuts to higher education since the Great Recession. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the study comes just months after the state trimmed nearly $100 million from its three public universities.

Tom Tingle/Arizona Republic

The board overseeing Arizona's three public universities has voted to grant in-state tuition to young immigrants who were granted deferred deportation status by the Obama administration.

The Arizona Board of Regents has called a special meeting to discuss a court ruling that says young immigrants granted deferred deportation status by the Obama administration should get in-state tuition.

Thursday morning's meeting comes after a judge ruled that young immigrants granted deferred deportation status are eligible for in-state college tuition.

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