State Capitol News

John Samora, John Samora/ The Arizona Republic

The Department of Public Safety says one person has been arrested after a demonstration in the Arizona House visitor's gallery got out of hand.

Capt. Damon Cecil says House security asked the protester to leave but he refused and continued to be disruptive. Cecil says he was arrested for trespassing.

Rep. Eddie Farnsworth says the man dropped to the floor of the visitor's gallery in an apparent attempt to make it harder to remove him. He says officers handcuffed the man and carried him out.

David Kadlubowski/The Arizona Republic

A special Arizona House Elections Committee hearing is set to examine problems that led to long lines at last week's presidential primary election.

The panel has asked Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell to testify Monday about the hours-long lines at polling places in the state's largest county.

Purcell cut the number of voting locations from 200 for 2012's presidential primary to 60 at last Tuesday's election. She has taken the blame for miscalculating voter interest.

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

The Republican-controlled Arizona House has scheduled votes on three bills already passed by the Senate that target abortion or abortion providers.

Senate Bill 1324 bars doctors from prescribing a common abortion drug after seven weeks of pregnancy and requires it to be taken only in FDA-approved doses. Most abortions using RU-486 are now done at much lower doses. Courts blocked a similar 2012 law.

Gov. Doug Ducey has signed legislation cutting state shared revenue from municipalities and counties that pass regulations like plastic bag bans that conflict with state law.

The Republican governor's action on Thursday came despite a plea for him to veto the bill from the organization representing all 91 Arizona cities and towns.

The letter the Arizona Cities and Towns sent to Ducey Thursday says Senate Bill 1487 minimizes the important role of local elected officials and calls it heavy-handed and intrusive.

A bill overhauling the state's campaign finance laws that has passed a House panel would also allow politicians to divert campaign contributions to other politicians.

Democratic Rep. Ken Clark says the measure would amount to a fundamental change in state politics that allows politicians to buy votes from colleagues using campaign contributions. Clark calls it the "king maker provision."

Bill sponsor Sen. Adam Driggs added the provision onto a sweeping bill he said is designed to simplify and re-organize the state's campaign finance code.

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