KNAU's Morning Rundown: Friday, April 16
Use-Of-Force Incident Legislation Heads To Ducey’s Desk
The Arizona Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would mandate law enforcement agencies to report and collect data on use-of-force incidents in the state. Republican State Rep. Walt Blackman proposed the legislation, which would require an annual report from city, town and tribal police forces, departments of public safety, and sheriff’s offices among other bodies of law enforcement. The bill passed unanimously on Wednesday with bipartisan support. The legislation will now head to Gov. Doug Ducey's desk to be signed into law.
It comes after the fatal police shooting of Carlos Ingram-Lopez and in-custody death of Damien Alvarado drew outcry from Tucson community members and a review of Tucson police. A report from the Arizona Republic late last year estimated one person died in police custody every three weeks in the state.
Flagstaff’s Mass Vaccination Site On Tap For Monday
Appointments will open today at 11 a.m. to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a soon-to-launch mass vaccination site in Flagstaff. The site is a collaboration of the state and the county, along with Northern Arizona University and Northern Arizona Healthcare. Health officials say the site will have capacity to administer up to 4,000 vaccine doses per day. The site, which will launch Monday, April 19 at the University Union Fieldhouse, will administer the Pfizer vaccine to individuals 16 and older. Coconino County continues to lead the state exhibiting the highest percentage of vaccinated residents, followed closely by Santa Cruz and Greenlee counties.
Individuals Experiencing Homelessness Eligible For Stimulus Check, IRS Says
People experiencing homelessness can still receive stimulus checks from the federal government as authorized by the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan, an officer for the Internal Revenue Service reiterated Thursday.
Individuals experiencing homelessness and other low-income groups can file a tax return to receive the stimulus check. The IRS says a permanent address is not required to file the tax return, and that individuals should file the tax return to receive an Economic Impact Payment — even if they do not make enough income to pay taxes. A free tax return form can be found at the IRS website. More than 10,000 people in Arizona were experiencing homelessness as of 2019, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Sports Betting Compact Revealed Between Tribe And State
Gov. Doug Ducey signed a state law Thursday allowing sports betting in facilities operated by tribes and professional sports teams. Ducey also signed an updated gaming compact the state reached with local tribes; the agreement allows tribes substantial exclusivity after paying regulatory fees, with several exceptions. The new agreement also allows tribes to coordinate betting events and locations off the reservation. The new state-and-tribal policy is in effect until 2048. Navajo Nation President Nez and Vice President Lizer were among those to sign the compact Thursday in Phoenix; Nez called the deal “win-win” for the state and tribes. Ducey’s office estimates the gaming industry supports about 38,000 jobs statewide.
NAU President Visits As Term Nears
Northern Arizona University’s newly designated president says he’ll visit campus this week in preparation of his term in June. Dr. José Luis Cruz says he plans to meet with faculty next week, and told students and staff he’d be holding office hours next Tuesday and Wednesday for additional discussions. Representatives from the University Union of Northern Arizona penned an open letter to Cruz earlier this year, citing widespread job cuts in 2020; the union asked Cruz to “restore faculty-shared governance” during his upcoming term.