Arizona May Study Hemp as a New Major Crop

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Adrian Cable
Arizona lawmakers may form a committee to study hemp as a new major crop in the state.

Hemp growing long has been illegal under federal law due to its relation to marijuana plants, even though you can't get high from hemp. As Congress eases up on hemp restrictions, and could perhaps legalize hemp farming, some lawmakers want to see if Arizona could benefit.

"Pinal, Cochise, Greenlee, Graham, and Coconino counties could keep agriculture alive with hemp," Democratic Senator Lynne Pancrazi told a Senate committee. "It takes one-third less water than cotton."

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Arizona Lawmakers Again Looking to Crack Down on Panhandling

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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© BrokenSphere / Wikimedia Commons
Arizona lawmakers are again attempting to clamp down on panhandling.

The state's anti-panhandling law passed in 2013 was struck down in the courts, while former Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a toned-down version of the law last year. Republican Senator John Kavanagh, the sponsor of both of the previous anti-panhandling bill, is back with another bill to outlaw "aggresive" panhandling.

Kavanagh explained to a Senate committee last month that the bill is aimed at people "who go past, 'Hey mister, can I have a dime.'"

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Arizona House Approves Cheaper Speeding Tickets

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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inkiboo
The Arizona House of Representatives yesterday passed a proposal to significantly cut the price of some speeding tickets.

On a 40-20 vote, the House voted to pass House Bill 2662, which would expand one of Arizona's lesser known laws -- a ban on the "waste of finite resources."

Currently, the law allows police to write up a ticket that costs about $15 for speeders going 10 mph or less over the speed limit, but that law only applies to 55 mph zone. These days, 55 mph are exceedingly rare in Arizona, so this bill would expand the law to apply to all highways and many streets.

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Proposed Tax Break for Religious Groups Protested at Arizona Capitol

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Matthew Hendley
Despite the rain, demonstrators took to the state capitol today to protest a proposed tax break for certain religious groups.

The bill, pushed by the notorious Center for Arizona Policy, was vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer after it was passed by lawmakers last year. The House of Representatives already passed the bill this year, perhaps counting on a more favorable reception from the new governor.

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Arizona's Broken-Taillight Loophole May Be Closed by Lawmakers

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Arizona lawmakers are looking to close a loophole that prevents police from pulling over drivers with a busted taillight.

This loophole was realized a few years ago, when a Tucson man beat a DUI charge after the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that the state law is ambiguous when it comes to how many working taillights a driver needs.

The Arizona House of Representatives voted 57-2 yesterday to close that loophole.

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Arizona Lawmakers Shoot Down Ban on Photo Radar

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Dave Paku
An outright ban on photo-radar cameras in Arizona was shot down this week by lawmakers.

Senate Bill 1167, the latest of several attempts by some lawmakers to severely restrict or eliminate the photo-radar systems, failed on a preliminary vote in the Senate, with 13 in favor of the ban, and 15 opposed.

"Red light cameras are dangerous, [and] they increase accidents in intersections," pleaded Republican Senator Kelli Ward, the sponsor of the ban. "Speed cameras are unconstitutional, as are red light cameras."

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Arizona Bill Would Require a Warrant for Police to Search Phone Safeguarded by Fingerprint

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Kelvinsong
Arizona lawmakers may prevent police from forcing someone to unlock their phone with a fingerprint without a warrant.

A recent court case in Virginia brought up the possibility that there are situations in which police could force someone to unlock their phone with a fingerprint, like with Apple's TouchID, but would not be able to force someone to give up a passcode to the phone.

The Arizona Senate yesterday voted unanimously to require a search warrant in order for police to compel someone to unlock any electronic device with a biometric identifier, such as a fingerprint.

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Arizona Senate Passes Bill to Delay Releasing Identities of Police Involved in Shootings

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Chris Yarzab
The Arizona Senate yesterday passed a bill that would significantly delay the release of the identities of officers involved in deadly shootings.

Senate Bill 1445 would keep the officer's identity under wraps for 90 days following any incident "that involves the use of deadly physical force," and results in the death or serious injury of a civilian or police officer.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Senator Steve Smith, has said of the bill, "This is by no means meant to withhold information from the media."

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Arizona Lawmakers Back to Abortion Politics in 2015

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Matthew Hendley
Despite Arizona having some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, abortion is still on the minds of lawmakers.

The Arizona Senate on Thursday passed a bill, Senate Bill 1318, to prevent health insurance coverage of abortion if the coverage was purchased through the Affordable Care Act.

Jodi Liggett, the public policy director of Planned Parenthood Arizona, says in a statement, "Instead of focusing on balancing the budget, fixing our ailing child safety system, or preventing unintended pregnancies and thus reducing the need for abortion, extremist legislators are again continuing a campaign to limit women's access to health care."

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Effort Under Way by Arizona Lawmakers to Ban Common Core

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Jorge Royan
An effort is under way by Arizona lawmakers to ban the state's implementation of the controversial Common Core curriculum in schools.

Arizona's House Education Committee voted Wednesday to approve such a ban, and, of course, such a ban was the cornerstone of the campaign run by newly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas.

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