Tag Archives: Arizona

In ‘Abandonment of Public Education,’ Louisiana to Allow Tax Dollars to Pay for Private Schools

“We must build and maintain a public education system that serves all children,” said one Democratic lawmaker.

By Julia Conley. Published 5-18-2024 by Common Dreams

Then-Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry testifies during a hearing in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, March 30, 2023. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call)

After an aggressive push by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry, the Louisiana Senate advanced a bill this week that would allow public funds to be used for private school tuition—sending what one Democrat called an “abandonment” of the state’s public schools to the state House, where it is expected to pass.

The state Senate approved the Louisiana Giving All True Opportunity to Rise (LA GATOR) Scholarship Program in a vote of 25-15 on Thursday, with just four Republicans joining the Democratic Party in opposing the bill.

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Arizona Supreme Court Upholds 1864 Abortion Ban—But Voters Will Get ‘Ultimate Say’ in November

“Arizona is what happens when abortion policy is, as Donald Trump claims he wishes, left up to the states,” said one columnist.

By Julia Conley. Published 4-9-2024 by Common Dreams.

Pro-choice rally at the Supreme Court, 2019. Photo: jordanuhl7/Wikimedia Commons/CC

Reproductive justice campaigners in Arizona on Tuesday vowed to make sure voters “have the ultimate say” on abortion rights after the state Supreme Court upheld an 1864 ban that includes no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

“This is a horrifying ruling that puts the lives and futures of countless Arizonans at risk,” said Leah Greenberg, co-founder of progressive advocacy group Indivisible. “It’s devastating and cruel—and we’re fighting back.”

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Legislative inaction and dissatisfaction with one-party control lead to more issues going directly to voters in ballot initiatives, with 60% of them in six states

By Thom Reilly, Arizona State University. Published 3-21-2024 by The Conversation

Photo: Stewart Butterfield/flickr/CC

Recent polls show Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with their system of representative democracy, in which they choose candidates to represent their interests once in office.

When available, voters have bypassed their elected representatives and enacted laws by using direct democracy tools such as ballot initiatives and veto referendums. Ballot initiatives allow citizens or legislatures to propose policies for voter approval, while veto referendums permit challenges to legislative action.

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What does a state’s secretary of state do? Most run elections, a once-routine job facing increasing scrutiny

By John J. Martin, University of Virginia. Published 2-29-2024 by The Conversation

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger with Governor Brian Kemp. Photo: Brad Raffensperger/Facebook

They may be the most important government officials you can’t name. Their decisions have the potential to alter election results. Scholars have referred to them as the “guardians of the democratic process.”

Who are these unknown, but essential, officials?

State secretaries of state.

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FTC and State AGs Sue to Block Kroger-Albertsons ‘Mega Merger’

“By suing to block the Kroger-Albertsons merger, the FTC is keeping grocery bills down and workers in their jobs,” said one anti-monopoly campaigner.

By Jake Johnson. Published 2-26-2024 by Common Dreams

The Federal Trade Commission Building, Washington, DC. Photo: Adam Fagen/flickr/CC

The Federal Trade Commission and a bipartisan group of state attorneys general joined forces Monday on a lawsuit aimed at blocking the supermarket giant Kroger from buying up the Albertsons grocery chain, warning the merger would hamper competition, further drive up food prices, and harm workers.

If completed, the $24.6 billion deal would mark the largest supermarket merger in U.S. history at a time when grocery chains are facing growing scrutiny for driving up prices to pad their bottom lines. A Kroger-Albertsons grocery behemoth would control more than 5,000 stores and 4,000 retail pharmacies across the country, according to the FTC.

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Federal Dicamba Ruling Called ‘Vital Victory for Farmers and the Environment’

“The court today resoundingly reaffirmed what we have always maintained: The EPA’s and Monsanto’s claims of dicamba’s safety were irresponsible and unlawful,” said one plaintiff.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-6-2024 by Common Dreams

CUPPED LEAVES — Soybeans showing the cupped leaves which are a symptom of dicamba injury. File photo. (U of A System Division of Agriculture)/flickr/CC

In what one plaintiff called “a sweeping victory for family farmers and dozens of endangered plants and animals,” a federal court in Arizona on Tuesday rescinded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2020 approval of the highly volatile herbicide dicamba for use on certain genetically engineered crops.

In a 47-page ruling, U.S. District Judge David C. Bury found that the EPA failed to comply with public notice and comment requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), legislation passed in 1947 to protect agricultural workers, consumers, and the environment.

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Arizona GOP Bill Would Let Legislators Overrule Voters in Presidential Elections

“This is a full sound-the-alarm moment for American democracy,” said one critic.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-30-2024 by Common Dreams

Arizona state Sen. Anthony Kern (R-27), an ally of GOP former President Donald Trump, is spearheading a resolution that says “the Legislature, and no other official, shall appoint presidential electors.” (Photo: Anthony Kern)

Just months away from a potential rematch between Democratic U.S. President Joe Biden and Republican former President Donald Trump, democracy defenders are sounding the alarm about an Arizona bill recently introduced by a GOP state legislator.

State Sen. Anthony Kern (R-27) is spearheading Senate Concurrent Resolution 1014, which says that “the Legislature, and no other official, shall appoint presidential electors.” If it passes both chambers, the measure could appear on the November ballot.

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Florida Abortion Rights Defenders Surpass Target for Ballot Measure

Supporters of the Florida measure—similar to other initiatives across the country—say they are “confident that voters will approve our amendment.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-5-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: CBS News

As of Friday, Florida residents and groups fighting for a state constitutional amendment to limit government interference with abortion care have collected enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot this November.

The proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution states that “no law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider.”

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Like Tobacco and Big Oil, Secret Docs Show Chemical Companies Knew PFAS Dangers

“These documents reveal clear evidence that the chemical industry knew about the dangers of PFAS and failed to let the public, regulators, and even their own employees know the risks.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-1-2023 by Common Dreams

Activists protest PFAS outside the Massachusetts State House in Boston on June 16, 2022. (Photo: Seaside Sustainability Inc./Twitter)

An analysis of previously secret documents published Wednesday sheds new light on how chemical corporations aped Big Tobacco by conspiring to conceal the extreme toxicity of a class of synthetic compounds contaminating the Earth’s air, water, soil, plants, and animals—including most of the world’s people.

Commonly called “forever chemicals” because they do not biodegrade and accumulate in the human body, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—which include PFOS, PFOA, and GenX—have myriad uses, from nonstick cookware to waterproof clothing to firefighting foamAccording to the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, PFAS is linked to cancers of the kidneys and testicles, low infant weight, suppressed immune function, and other adverse health effects. It is found in the blood of 99% of Americans and a similar percentage of people around the world.

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‘Enormous Policy Failure’: States Throw Hundreds of Thousands—Including Many Children—Off Medicaid

“We knew this was coming,” wrote one policy expert. “But we still treat these burdens like they’re unavoidable natural disasters.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 5-27-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Ted Eytan/CC

With a green light from the federal government, states across the U.S. have thrown hundreds of thousands of low-income people off Medicaid in recent weeks—and many have lost coverage because they failed to navigate bureaucratic mazes, not because they were no longer eligible.

More than a dozen states, including Florida and other Republican-led states that have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, have begun removing people from Medicaid as part of the “unwinding” of a pandemic-era federal policy that temporarily barred governments from kicking people off the program.

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