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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

AZ Governor Declares State of Emergency Over Extreme Heat

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Wednesday, August 16, 2023   

Last week, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs declared an emergency in response to the intense heat wave being felt around the state.

The governor had received criticism from some in Arizona who said she was not doing enough to address the issue, as parts of Arizona recently set a record of 30 consecutive days of 110 degrees or greater.

This season in Maricopa County alone, there have been 59 confirmed heat-associated deaths, with many more still under investigation.

Rep. Analise Ortiz, D-Phoenix, said the extreme heat has "led to a drain on public resources."

"The declaration of emergency will allow government entities to be reimbursed for the expenses they made during this time," Ortiz explained.

According to Hobbs' declaration, Coconino, Maricopa and Pinal counties are eligible to apply for $200,000 in reimbursement. Ortiz noted the governor also has created two new cooling centers in the Government Mall in downtown Phoenix via an executive order she also signed last week.

Other local and state leaders have been pushing for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to add extreme heat to the list of declared emergencies. By doing so, it would free up federal dollars to help combat and mitigate the negative impacts of extreme heat in Arizona. With Hobbs' recent Declaration of Emergency, government agencies can submit receipts for heat-related costs and be reimbursed.

Ortiz pointed out Gov. Hobbs' recently enacted executive order also puts in motion other directives.

"She's directed state agencies to build a comprehensive plan to address heat emergencies in the future," Ortiz added.

The order also calls for "proposing policy changes and legislation proposals to build future heat resiliency," and allocates approximately $13 million in Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funds to go toward preventing power outages and improving Arizona's current electric grid.


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