Isabela Gamez/UA Don Bolles fellow

Isabela Gamez/UA Don Bolles fellow

Isabela Gamez was a writer for the Arizona Mirror while serving as the University of Arizona School of Journalism’s Don Bolles Fellow. She studied at the University of Arizona majoring in journalism with a Spanish minor. She previously interned at the Digital Futures Bilingual Broadcast Studio and Arizona Public Media. She is active in the reporting of social justice issues.

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Bill would ban photo radar, red light cameras in Arizona

By: - April 13, 2023

Legislation barring photo radar and red-light cameras in Arizona is closer to becoming law, despite concerns that it could increase traffic accidents and deaths. Proponents said cities aren’t currently following the laws regulating photo enforcement, which is proof that the system is broken and needs to be scrapped. Rep. Austin Smith, a Republican from Surprise, […]

GOP bill would add all low-risk sex offenders to Arizona’s online registry

By: - April 3, 2023

All low-risk sex offenders would be required to be listed on the sex offender registry under a Republican proposal that critics say is retroactive and would take away the discretion of law enforcement to review risk assessments.  Currently, the sex offender registry website must include any offender whose risk assessment has been determined to be […]

Bill would require students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance 

By: - March 27, 2023

A bill that critics say violates students’ constitutional rights by forcing them to recite the Pledge of Allegiance has continued to make its way toward becoming law.  The bill from Rep. Barbara Parker, R-Mesa, requires that school districts and charter schools set aside a specific time each day for K-12 students to recite the pledge […]

House passes bill aimed at speeding up search for missing foster kids 

By: - March 8, 2023

State legislators are taking action after teen girls Sitlalli Avelar and Kamryn Meyers, who reportedly ran away from a group home, were found dead in a Mesa water basin in late January. The state House of Representatives passed House Bill 2651, with a vote of 31-28 along party lines on March 1. The bill would […]

New proposal seeks to extend transition services for inmates

By: - March 6, 2023

Arizona prisoners hoping to access a transition program that has sharply reduced recidivism would have longer to do so under a new proposal working its way through the state legislature.  Currently, state law offers a transition program for eligible inmates, but only for 90 days. A GOP-backed proposal, House Bill 2615 would allow for a […]

App aimed at helping schools deal with student mental health, threats

By: - March 2, 2023

Arizona state legislators want to give school districts more options in dealing with student mental health issues, and threats to student safety.  Introduced by Rep. Travis Grantham, a Republican from Gilbert, House Bill 2635 would allow school governing boards to purchase threat assessment apps to help them deal with these issues.  Members of the Arizona […]

Arizona foster care review boards rely on volunteers to place children in safe homes

By: - February 27, 2023

The Foster Care Review Board, a volunteer program established in 1978 under the Arizona Supreme Court, is looking for volunteers.  Volunteers are responsible for analyzing the cases of foster children involved in a dependency action or in an out-of-home placement and discussing them in one board meeting per month through Zoom until permanency is achieved.  […]

Critics say Arizona book ban bill could marginalize trans kids

By: - February 20, 2023

Republican lawmakers say there’s no place for sexual books in schools, but critics of a law proposed in the Arizona Senate argue that the bill could lead to the marginalization of transgender and gender fluid students.  “This bill would heavily impact sexual education in our schools even if that’s not the intent of the sponsor. […]

Amid staffing shortages, Republicans mull mandating police response times

By: - February 9, 2023

Arizona police departments have been struggling for years to hire enough officers, but one Republican legislator says that’s no reason the state shouldn’t require that they respond to calls sooner — and punish them if they don’t hit the state mandate. Rep. Matt Gress, a Republican from Phoenix, is pushing a bill that would require […]

After missing a federal grant, Arizona lawmakers look to fully fund I-10 widening project

By: - January 31, 2023

After the Federal Highway Administration passed over Arizona’s bid for a $360 million grant to widen Interstate 10 between Chandler and Casa Grande, Republican state lawmakers are proposing the state not wait for federal funds and instead pay for the project solely with state tax dollars. Lawmakers had eyed the federal MEGA grant as providing […]

Bills would exempt period products, diapers from taxes

By: and - January 31, 2023

As many as 15 states have already eliminated the sales taxes from period products and diapers, and Arizona could be next.  Two identical bills have been introduced this year that would remove the sales tax added to feminine hygiene products, infant diapers and incontinence products.  The effort to give women and parents across the state […]

Senate resolution aims to decrease crime, but it could mean fuller jails

By: - January 27, 2023

One state lawmaker wants Arizona police departments to focus on increased policing and deterrence programs to combat what he said is an out-of-control surge in violent crime, but critics say that his recommendations will only lead to increased incarceration for low-level crimes.  Sen. John Kavanagh, a Republican from Fountain Hills and a retired police officer, […]