President Trump signs McCain sponsored bill to expand the Amber Alert program to Indian Country
The McCain bill, cosponsored by ND Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D), is a bi-partisan effort to address gaps in the Amber Alert program that oftentimes leaves Indian Country, especially rural areas, in the dark. The bill provides additional resources to Tribes to improve public safety by hastening child abduction alerts with the goal of saving lives.
This effort was in response to the abduction and murder of 11 year old Ashlynne Mike of the Navajo Nation who was abducted near Fruitland, NM. An alert was issued several hours after her reported abduction. Her body was later found near the Shiprock pinnacle.
Governor Doug Ducey signs abortion questionnaire bill into law
Gov. Ducey signed into law a bill that requires doctors and clinics to ask a list of questions to women seeking an abortion. The questions include whether the abortion being sought is elective, or due to a list of medical conditions; whether the pregnancy is due to rape or incest, and whether the woman is being coerced into the abortion, or is a victim of sex trafficking.
Although a doctor or clinic are required to ask the questions, a woman is not required to provide any answers.
Arizona teachers begin vote to strike
Arizona teachers began voting on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 whether to strike despite a proposal made by Gov. Ducey to raise teacher salaries by 20% over three years. The Governor’s proposal plans to fund the raises with a combination of spending cuts, lottery revenues, and positive revenue projections.
Education advocates, however, still demand details on the funding sources, and are seeking to ensure sufficient funds to provide raises to support staff such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers. Many support staff still work for minimum wage, and teachers do not want to widen the current pay gap.
Chris Balzano contributed to this report