/ Modified jan 13, 2018 10:16 a.m.

Decisions on DACA; Gun Regulations; the Opioid Crisis

DACA debate puts Arizona families in limbo, and the opioid crisis becomes a top priority at Arizona's Capitol.

This week Congress took steps to address the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Rep. Martha McSally, along with three other House Republicans, introduced a bill that addresses the issue. It came a day after a federal judge said DACA must continue while it makes its way through a legal challenge.

About 30,000 people in Arizona have DACA status. Reporter Nancy Montoya asked two families what the program's potential end could mean for them and their children. In both cases, at least one parent is in the country illegally.

On the seventh anniversary of the Jan. 8 mass shooting in Tucson, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly attended a dedication at the site of a future memorial at El Presidio Park.

The couple recently rebranded their political action committee, from Americans for Responsible Solutions to, simply, Giffords. Kelly told Arizona 360 the name change hasn't shifted the group's approach to curbing gun violence by advocating for more legislation.

To get a better idea of how current laws are enforced, we asked a gun store owner to explain the process for making a sale. Ed Chavez was with Tucson Police for 20 years before opening R & A Tactical several years ago. He tells us the steps he takes when someone comes in to buy a gun.

The Well Armed Woman is a national organization geared toward female gun owners in what it describes as a "male-driven industry." Women sometimes are waitlisted for months to attend the group's safety courses in Pima County. We attended a class to hear firsthand why they choose to arm themselves.

When politicians and pundits discuss how to prevent a mass shooting, some have linked the issue to a mental health crisis in the country. We asked one of the leading experts on the issue, Jeffrey Swanson from Duke University, why research shows it's the wrong approach.

Arizona's opioid crisis topped Gov. Doug Ducey's agenda when he delivered his State of the State address this week. He announced plans to call a special session so lawmakers can pass legislation dealing with the issue. The governor told Arizona 360 host Lorraine Rivera he expects they can find a solution within 100 days.

Ducey's State of the State address also reiterated his commitment to boost spending on K-12 education. A preliminary budget includes nearly $400 million in new funding for K-12 education for things like teacher raises and building improvements.

The governor also said plans to restore over the next five years recession-era cuts to the formula for school funding. Amphitheater Public Schools CFO Scott Little and Arizona College Prep Academy Principal Charlene Mendoza joined Rivera in studio to talk about how more funding will affect their schools, and challenges that remain.

Arizona 360
Arizona 360 airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on PBS 6 PLUS. See more from Arizona 360.
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