Good morning, Arizona. Here’s what you need to know today.
In case you somehow missed it, it was hot yesterday. Triple-digits hot. The temperature at Sky Harbor International Airport officially hit 100 degrees for the first time this year at about 4:30 p.m.
The Weather Service predicts today and tomorrow will be just as hot, and Friday’s high could approach a record. But relief is coming. High temperatures will drop into to the upper 70s or low 80s early next week, the Weather Service said.
A BIG DAY FOR THE BUDGET
The fate of a $1 billion bonding plan for Arizona’s public universities — a central demand of Gov. Doug Ducey — remained uncertain ahead of key votes today at the Legislature.
Days of behind-the-scenes deal-making had gathered more GOP support, including after a small income-tax cut was added to the proposed budget that lawmakers are expected to also vote on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Legislature’s budget committees held marathon hearings Wednesday on the 10-bill state-budget package, a $9.8 billion spending plan covering everything from schools to health care to tax cuts.
The bills passed with Republicans in support and Democrats opposed.
A provision tucked into budget proposal takes advantage of a law President Donald Trump signed last month that could end funding to Planned Parenthood in Arizona.
TRUMP’S OBAMACARE REPEAL VOTE TODAY
WASHINGTON — House Republicans will take another crack at repealing Obamacare on Thursday in a high-stakes vote on legislation that would dramatically revamp the health care system and will serve as a major test for the GOP Congress and the Trump administration.
The Republican bill, hotly contested and highly controversial, was the subject of 11th-hour negotiations and last-minute sweeteners, as GOP leaders scrambled for enough votes to push it through the House and send it to the Senate.
WORSE THAN MADAME TUSSAUDS’?
With a natural wonder, stunning red-rock formations and an array of climates from deserts to pine forests, can Arizona possibly be home to one of the most disappointing travel destinations on Earth?
Yeah, if it’s the Four Corners Monument.
The Active Times, a website devoted to health, fitness and travel, calls it the second most disappointing travel destination. Really? To be disappointed, you must have a certain level of expectation that goes unmet. Does anyone besides a cartographer have high hopes for a geographical oddity?
We’ve got a few other suggestions…
IT’S NOT YOUR IMAGINATION
It seems Tucson is a favorite target of thunderstorms, floods and other extreme weather events.
That’s not the punchline of some joke originating out of Tempe attempting to gin up a state university rivalry. It’s the conclusion of a University of Arizona study about the economic impacts of extreme weather.
Tucson sees the highest frequency of storms and suffers from the damage those events cause more so than other Southwestern cities such as Austin, Las Vegas, Phoenix and San Diego.
It’s the result of Tucson’s location, elevation and the monsoon.
TODAY IN HISTORY
- In 1776, Rhode Island declared its freedom from England, two months before the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
- In 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago, a labor demonstration for an 8-hour work day turned into a deadly riot when a bomb exploded.
- In 1904, the United States took over construction of the Panama Canal from the French.
- In 1932, mobster Al Capone, convicted of income-tax evasion, entered the federal penitentiary in Atlanta. (Capone was later transferred to Alcatraz Island.)
- In 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first naval clash fought entirely with carrier aircraft, began in the Pacific during World War II. (The outcome was considered a tactical victory for Imperial Japan, but ultimately a strategic one for the Allies.)
- In 1961, the first group of “Freedom Riders” left Washington, D.C., to challenge racial segregation on interstate buses and in bus terminals.
- In 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire during an anti-war protest at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others.
- In 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat signed an accord on Palestinian autonomy that granted self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
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