The Republic's political team on April 18, 2017, talks about the latest political news affecting Arizona, including 2018 candidates, Sen. Jeff Flake's town hall and how a bill to require child-welfare officials to get warrants fell apart.
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The Republic's political team on April 11, 2017, talks about "zombie" health care reform in Congress, and the expansion of the school voucher program headed by Gov. Doug Ducey.
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The Republic's political team on April 4, 2017, talks about the state of the filibuster and the latest on Secretary of State Michele Reagan's "Show Me the Money" campaign.
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The Republic's political team on March 28, 2017, talks about funding for teacher raises in the state budget, what comes next after the non-vote on the 'Obamacare' repeal bill in Congress and proposed restrictions on citizen initiatives in Arizona.
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The Republic's political team on March 21, 2017, talks about the possible impact on the president's blueprint for a budget, and the lack of female representation in Arizona's legislative leadership.
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The Republic's political team on March 14, 2017, talks about how much of Arizona's delegation has been quiet about the "Obamacare" replacement, but even Republicans don't seem to like it.
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The Republic's political team on March 8, 2017, talks about the latest political news affecting Arizona, including a failed tax-cut bill, a congressman's tweets and how a former state senator isn't working at the White House after all.
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The Republic's political team on March 1, 2017, talks about the latest political news affecting Arizona, including the state of Senate Bill 1142 and the rowdy crowds at U.S. Rep. Martha McSally's Town Hall.
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The Republic's political team on Feb. 21, 2017, talks about recent political news, including Trump's Arizona announcement about Intel, McCain and Obamacare, and House Bill 2404 targeting voter initiatives.
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The Republic's political team on Feb. 6, 2017, talks about the latest political news affecting Arizona, including how much debt is too much for the state and which lawmaker wants to be shot.
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The Gaggle: DCS warrants and Flake gets scorched
The Gaggle: Health care in Congress and school voucher expansion
The Gaggle: Is the filibuster busted and will Michele Reagan show us the money?
The Gaggle: Teacher raises, ACA repeal and ballot initiatives
The Gaggle: Federal budget and few women in the Legislature
The Gaggle: Obamacare replacement, George W. in town and TANF benefits
The Gaggle: Tax that did not get cut, tweets from Gosar and a non-job
The Gaggle: SB 1142 is dead and town halls get rowdy
The Gaggle: Bigfooted, McCain and HB 2404
The Gaggle: How much debt is too much?
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Arizona lawmakers on Thursday approved the state's first ban on texting while driving, limiting it to beginning drivers for the first six months they have a driver's license.
The vote came after Sen. Karen Fann, R-Prescott, pledged to hesitant lawmakers that this was not the start of a path to a universal texting ban.
Senate Bill 1080 passed the House of Representatives with one vote to spare, cutting across partisan lines on a 32-24 vote. It now goes to Gov. Doug Ducey for his consideration. If he signs it, it would not take effect until July 1, 2018.
The bill forbids drivers under age 18 who have a Class G license from using any wireless device while they hold a learner's permit and extends it to the first six months of their license.
The opposition was split: Some lawmakers objected because the temporary texting ban didn't go far enough. Others feared it would expand to include all drivers.
"This is the proverbial nose under the camel's tent," said Rep. Anthony Kern, R-Glendale, as he voted "no."
But Rep. Richard Andrade, D-Glendale, said he prefers a universal ban.
A railroad engineer, he noted the Federal Railway Authority banned mobile devices after an engineer who was distracted by text messages ran his train into the back of another train, killing 25.
“If this saves lives, it is worth it," Andrade said. It should help develop good habits among young people who are just learning how to navigate the streets, he said.
Fann said that was the intent of her legislation: to help develop good habits in beginning drivers.
She said she is sympathetic to arguments that it's the parents' job to enforce those habits, but "kids don't always listen to their parents."
“My goal has been to get this across for the kids," Fann said after she had circulated on the House floor to convince wavering lawmakers to vote "yes." "That’s been my goal for five years. This is not my way of getting the camel’s nose under the tent.”
She said she would not push further legislation along those lines. But, she added, she can't speak for others, and she noted two other senators introduced texting-ban legislation earlier this year, although neither bills advanced.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @maryjpitzl.
How much do you know about distracted driving? Take this quiz and find out. Wochit
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