Tag Archives: Senate

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Senate rejects texting while driving ban

The Arizona Senate has rejected an effort to create a statewide ban on texting while driving by amending an existing House bill.

Democratic Rep. Steve Farley of Tucson said deaths and injuries caused by drivers who were distracted by texting make a compelling argument for the ban. He gave several examples of horrific accidents cause by distracted drivers.

Senate President Andy Biggs argued against the amendment. The Republican said state law already makes reckless driving illegal and a texting ban isn’t required.

The amendment failed on a 16-12 party-line vote Tuesday with two Senators absent.

The underlying bill received initial Senate approval on a voice-vote. It bans marketers from sending unsolicited text messages.

Text-message driving bans have repeatedly failed in the Legislature in recent years.

Small Businesses getting help in down economy

Senate strikes fiscal cliff deal

The Senate has passed legislation to block the impact of across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts that make up the fiscal cliff.

The vote was an overwhelming 89-8 and came well after midnight on New Year’s Day.

A House vote is expected before Wednesday.

The White House-backed legislation would prevent middle-class taxes from rising, and raise rates on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples.

It also blocks spending cuts for two months, extends unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless, prevents a 27 percent cut in fees for doctors who treat Medicare patients and prevents a spike in milk prices.

A last-minute addition would also prevent a $900 pay raise for members of Congress from taking effect in March.