The population in Arizona and Pinal County is growing, making the state a much larger force than it was in earlier times. Meanwhile, some areas are shrinking, at least in the number of students in school. That is creating a challenge for those responsible for operating schools in those areas…

The Arizona Court of Appeals has rejected an argument from Pinal County Assessor Douglas Wolf regarding classification of ranch land. The unanimous ruling was the correct one, saying that the land should not be reclassified as vacant, which would mean more property taxes for the owner.

Americans generally take a dim view of the pay and perks received by their elected officials, but those people should be compensated to the point that public service is not an excessive burden. There is much to be said for having regular folks, and not just the wealthy, in statehouses and Co…

Americans know well about the gridlock in Congress, and many of them are tired of it. There is no better example than with the immigration issue. It has been a major campaign theme of President Trump for years, and Democrats have no intention of giving him a legislative victory. Meanwhile, t…

Casa Grande City Council members were obviously reluctant as they asked questions about a change they no doubt knew they had to make. The discussion at a study session Monday evening was about a staff recommendation to suspend the decades-old curbside recycling program. For many years reside…

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors last week reviewed a plan to borrow money and construct some new buildings. Meanwhile, the board reviewed a budget that calls for a 4-cent decrease in the property tax rate. Both developments can be seen as a sign of growth in the county and managing Pin…

The Arizona Legislature finally finished work on its budget late on Memorial Day and adjourned a session that was longer than some. Criticism usually follows adjournment, but the legislators actually did a pretty good job of allocating the revenue that comes from a good economy. In doing tha…

Pinal County communities, along with those all over the nation, on Monday will be honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. At Mountain View Cemetery, the Casa Grande Memorial Day event will be put on, beginning at 9 a.m., by J. Warren Funeral Services and variou…

The Arizona Legislature is dealing with its typical end-of-session battle — passing a budget. The session started at the beginning of the calendar year and has extended longer than it does sometimes. The big challenge now is to get the budget done, as the beginning of the fiscal year is litt…

Arizona’s primary elections are likely to be a few weeks earlier because of a bill passed by the Legislature and sent to Gov. Doug Ducey. On balance that seems like a good change, although it means more weeks of political signs and robocalls.

Arizona’s public safety retirement program has had challenges for years. Local governments have had to strain their budgets to keep up with rising pension costs and in some cases avoid hiring first responders because of it.

The city of Casa Grande opened its long-awaited Community Recreation Center on Monday, and it is an amenity that was worth the wait. The center was built largely with bonds approved by voters 13 years ago. It was put on hold during the Great Recession as a budget squeeze would have made oper…

Concern has been expressed for years about the potential of robots taking more jobs away. Some of that recently has focused on self-driving vehicles, as many Americans get a paycheck as drivers. However, a trend seems to be developing, and it might be beneficial with the amount of traffic se…

Casa Grande has had a homeless problem for years, something that the city government and various organizations have attempted to deal with. The new CGHELPS Resource Center in Peart Park represents a major, coordinated effort that should be beneficial.

The Arizona Legislature is working toward passage of a budget, which normally is the culmination of the session. Last year a major increase in teacher pay was a priority, and this year Gov. Doug Ducey is pushing compensation for corrections officers. That is important, especially because the…

Central Arizona College has a budget for the year beginning July 1 that calls for a slight tax decrease. Meanwhile, the college is expecting a little more funding from its local property tax: $1 million. That is the result of growth in total property values, and the college seems to be budge…

Arizona’s population has been growing rapidly again, and much of that change is occurring in Pinal County. According to recent U.S. Census estimates, Maricopa County led the statistics with 81,000 new residents from 2017 to 2018. Pinal County was a strong second at 15,000, while other counti…

As the annual session of the Legislature drags on, Sen. David Farnsworth decided his colleagues could benefit from a showing of the classic Jimmy Stewart film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” A handful of them, along with staff, attended. Perhaps the legislators taking in the 1939 movie were …

After years of talk, Arizona will have a ban on using hand-held phones while driving. Gov. Doug Ducey has pledged to sign a good bill passed by the Legislature. Although it will not go into effect until the beginning of 2021, having a good law will be worth the wait.

After years of anticipation, Robert Mueller’s report is out. It says that President Trump and his associates did not collude with Russians, which has been apparent for a long time. Political arguments will rage through the 2020 election, but the president’s critics are sounding more hollow now.

Decades ago, Casa Grande had little traffic, and getting across town took only a few minutes. Now the city is bigger, and the number of cars on the streets has grown exponentially. This is compounded by shoppers who come in from outside and thousands of people who flock to the community in t…

President Trump has signed legislation for the multistate Drought Contingency Plan to deal with future shortage on the Colorado River, although a legal challenge is pending. The fact that Arizonans — and residents in other states — worked out the plan is commendable. But because of longstand…

Chemistry does wonderful things for modern civilization, but in recent decades many harmful effects have been found as well. Some of that harm has come in practices of the U.S. military, partially because of the dangerous and challenging nature of the job it does.

An attempt in the Legislature to amend the state’s minimum wage law is dead. Perhaps that is for the better, but it will affect some people negatively. It also points out once again problems that can arise when laws are enacted by a vote of the people without bipartisan input from the Legislature.

Major illegal immigration has been a divisive issue that has remained unresolved by Congress for years, but that has increased during the presidency of Donald Trump. He early on made the border one of his major campaign points, and Democrats in Congress have no interest in agreeing to anythi…

State Rep. John Fillmore, who earlier represented much of Pinal County and now is in a district including northern Pinal plus non-Pinal areas, is again pushing legislation that would consolidate school districts. This is a concept that long has seemed like a source of efficiency but has been…

Casa Grande lost one of its outstanding citizens on March 27 with the death of David Hernandez. The longtime educator made a major impact in his field and also through public service in other ways.

Serving in the Arizona Legislature is not the most desirable job in the world, yet the state is fortunate to have had many qualified public servants. At the same time, a surprising number of ethics problems have arisen among the legislators over the years. The resignation last week of embatt…

Much discussion has been heard about a need for charter school reform in Arizona. After problems and abuses have been pointed out over a period of years, there was a bipartisan effort to pass a useful bill in the Legislature. But now that has unraveled, and it is unclear why, except for perh…

Drawing political boundaries, especially for legislative and congressional seats, always is controversial because so much is at stake. This is normally done every 10 years after a new census is complete, but sometimes court action causes it to be redone. Traditionally the districts have been…

Political parties always worry about election law and procedure, which is natural because the parties live and die by that. Much of the rhetoric can be ignored, and any changes in the law should be considered carefully.

The Arizona Senate has passed a charter school reform bill that does not have enough substance to gain support from Democrats. The bill now goes to the House, where Democrats will try to amend it and perhaps be able to make it better.

Prisoners have a right to confidential communication with their attorneys. However, when the inmate has been accused of trying to perpetrate terror against the institution where he’s incarcerated while abusing that communication, there is a problem. Now a solution has been reached that shoul…

The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., has been on a visit to Eloy and Casa Grande. It stopped first in Eloy and has been set up in Casa Grande’s Dave White Regional Park for 24-hour viewing since Thursday. With a closing cere…

There is a big push to increase use of solar energy, because it makes so much sense. In Arizona, which this week has experienced its first warm weather of the year, the power of the sun is all too obvious. That it can produce electricity without polluting the air is great.

Emails have been in the national news in a major way in recent years, and now Arizona has its own intrigue. The new Democratic secretary of state, Katie Hobbs, says her predecessor and staff deleted many emails before leaving office at the end of last year. That followed Michele Reagan’s def…

The Legislature is in session, and that means many bills on many topics. Sometimes those include gambling bills. Senate Bill 1163 is one of those, although it is unusual in its approach. The proposal by Sen. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, would allow sports betting operated by Indian tr…

An Arizona House committee has advanced a bill that would prevent Phoenix from putting a sales tax on groceries. While the city currently does not have that and the bill would affect only any city over 625,000 in population, the idea is a dangerous one.

Rep. T.J. Shope — and Gov. Doug Ducey — had the best of intentions in wanting to repeal the immunity from arrest that Arizona legislators enjoy. However Shope, the Coolidge Republican who represents much of Pinal County, found that some of his colleagues did not agree. Shope’s resolution to …

Various water interests and the Arizona Legislature rallied to reach consensus on a drought contingency plan needed for the Colorado River. Although a deadline of Jan. 31 essentially was met, the federal government requires a number of other steps, including signatures from various parties, …

Some Americans support President Trump while others dislike him strongly. That has gone on for more than two years. More information has come out recently about how the latter group extended into the top echelons of law enforcement and actions that were taken two years ago. And that is very …

The annual celebration that has brought countless people to Casa Grande in recent decades begins this weekend. Cowboy Days & O’Odham Tash is now a collection of activities that take place over two weekends and also the week in between.

Congress and President Trump at this writing appear to have an agreement that will prevent a government shutdown again this week. Most Americans certainly want that, and they should be able to expect their leaders to work together.

Arizonans were engaged in some serious give and take before the Legislature passed a drought contingency plan by the Jan. 31 deadline set by the federal government. Now the federal bureaucracy says Arizona and California still have work to do on completing the agreement for use of Colorado R…

The Promenade at Casa Grande seems to be on the upswing after losing some stores in recent years. An important part of and gateway to Casa Grande in its decade-plus of existence, the Promenade has been hurt by some tough obstacles such as the Great Recession, health of retailing in general a…

The seizure a week ago of the largest haul of fentanyl ever — 254 pounds — should make every American stop, think and shudder. That amount of deadline synthetic opioid, 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine, could kill more than 115 million people, a third of the U.S. population, authoritie…

The clock is ticking and Arizona lawmakers are working to meet a deadline Thursday night for their part of a multistate agreement on how to deal with the shortage of Colorado River water. The House Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee late on Tuesday approved a package of bills that…

A partial shutdown of the federal government, the longest in history, has ended, at least for now. Serious negotiations in Congress could settle the Dreamer issue and the whole immigration situation, but absent that, the president will need to do what he can without Congress.

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