The $9.6 Billion budget passed by the state legislature includes a $1.5 million one-year allocation for the Arizona Commission on the Arts to use for grants and programs for nonprofit arts and culture organizations statewide. The current year budget did not have any arts funding and resulted in the loss of a significant number of grants for organizations across Arizona. The 15 members of the Arizona Commission on the Arts will meet in June to decide how to distribute the money. Catherine “Rusty” Foley, executive director of Arizona Citizens for the Arts, and Jaime Dempsey, deputy director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, will talk about the funding and how it might be spent.
Researchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University found a brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in 96 percent of deceased NFL players they examined. The disease comes from repeated trauma to the head and can lead to dementia, memory loss and depression. Dr. Steven Erickson of the Banner Concussion Center in Phoenix will discuss the issue.
The education community is mourning the loss of long-time education lobbyist Sam Polito. Polito, a Tucson native, was known for having a big impact on education through his lobbying efforts and for bringing together politicians of all stripes for dinners to talk about anything but politics. Former Secretary of State Ken Bennett was at many of those dinners, and will talk about Polito’s impact at the capitol and on education.
A bill is being considered in the state legislature that would eliminate the transaction tax on residential rental properties, both homes and apartments. Opponents of the bill say it would be a loss of $87 million annually to towns and cities. Representative Darin Mitchell, the sponsor of the bill, will discuss the measure along with Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny, who opposes the legislation.
For the first time, a sitting House majority leader was defeated in a primary election. Virginia’s Eric Cantor lost to Tea Party activist Dave Brat. Patrick Kenney, the Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University and a Professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies, will discuss what the loss means for the GOP and the Tea Party.
Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits started to help people during the recession, ended recently, impacting 12,100 Arizona families. The Grand Canyon Institute, a private non-profit corporation that provides non-partisan research, has analyzed the economic impact of the loss of extended federal unemployment benefits. David Wells, research director for the institute, will talk about the impact.
A group of Arizona State University professors and students traveled to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany recently, where the students presented white papers on international climate change negotiations. Daniel Bodansky, an ASU professor of Law, Ethics and Sustainability, and law student Ashley Votruba, will talk about the trip, climate change negotiations and the paper presented by Votruba. She focused on the impact of bottom-up approaches to protecting wetlands internationally and preventing the rapid depletion of plant life and loss of top soil in desert and arid regions.
Governor Jan Brewer’s plan to expand Medicaid is being met with resistance from Republican lawmakers. Failure to do anything could result in the loss of some current federal funding for Medicaid in the state. The Arizona Republic reporter Mary K. Reinhart will provide the details.
New Environmental Protection Agency regulations on haze have some Arizona leaders saying that the regulations could lead to higher energy costs and a loss of jobs. State lawmakers want to allow states to set air standard regulations. Sandy Bahr of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club and Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne will discuss the issue of haze regulation.
Facing the loss of $94 million they use to pay utility bills, some Arizona school districts were concerned that they would have to cut teachers and programs. But now, a provision in the new state budget provides financial relief. We take a look at how it helps.
Former Arizona Republican Congressman J.D. Hayworth has not spoken publicly since his loss to Democrat Harry Mitchell in November. Hear from Hayworth, who talks about his life in a Goldwater Lecture Series.