ARIZONANS AWAIT DECISION BY GOVERNOR ON CONTROVERSIAL BILL - Many Arizonans and now people across the country are waiting to see if Gov. Jan Brewer signs or vetoes SB 1062. Supporters of the bill claim it would expand religious protections in state law. Critics claim the bill would allow businesses to discriminate and refuse service to LGBT people and others. According to state law, Gov. Brewer has until the end of the day on Saturday to sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without her signature. Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign recently examined 137 U.S. cities, grading each area's laws and policies for LGBT individuals based on 47 criteria is six categories. Tucson scored 83 out of 100 points, while Phoenix scored 70. See the map from Governing. You can read more about SB 1062 from azcentral.com and and read text of SB 1062.
PIMA COUNTY LAUNCHES MAPPING TOOL TO HELP WITH HEALTHCARE ENROLLMENT - The Pima County Heath Department recently added a new mapping tool to its website to help residents locate Affordable Care Act (ACA) resources near their homes. Pima County Health Department Director, Dr. Francisco Garcia, says the primary goal of the interactive website is to take people to "the right place," meaning either to a federal site or state site where they can enroll for health insurance through the Marketplace. There also is a phone number for those who would rather speak to a person directly, (520) 243-7770 option #3. This Saturday, Pima County is hosting an event where health professionals will be providing free health insurance enrollment assistance. "Cover Pima County!" will be in 14 locations throughout the County at different times of the day. Read more from Arizona Public Media.
UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA FILLS NEW VICE PRESIDENT POSITION - A senior administrator from Texas has been hired as the new UA Vice President for Strategic Planning and Analysis. Barbara White Bryson will be responsible for setting and meeting progress goals of the school's new strategic plan. The plan, approved a few months ago, aims to create a bigger, better institution with more job-creating potential over the next decade. Bryson will start her job next month, earning $260,000 a year. As Associate Vice President for Facilities, Engineering & Planning at Rice University, Bryson led project management, facilities, engineering and central plant operations, and oversaw major construction programs. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
NOMINATIONS UNDERWAY FOR BICYCLE-RELATED AWARDS - The Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee (T-PCBAC) is seeking nominations for its fifth annual Bicycling Advocate of the Year, Bicycle Commuter of the Year, and Bicycle Friendly Business of the Year awards. Nominations are due by March 5th and should include a couple of paragraphs in support of the nominees, along with contact information. Nominations should be submitted via email to T-PCBAC Chair Ian Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEED HELP STARTING OR EXPANDING A BUSINESS IN TUCSON? CALL THE SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE LINE - The City of Tucson's Small Business Assistance Line, (520) 837-4100, is available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Help is available in both English and Spanish. Staff from the City Manager's Office of Economic Initiatives answer the calls. The Small Business Assistance Line is one of a number of City initiatives, along with 21 new business incentives, streamlined permit processes and more, to make the City of Tucson more business-friendly.