Plus two other Arizona stories.
Supporters of the ‘Invest in Ed’ ballot initiative plan to gather at the Arizona State Capitol on Monday to reveal the next steps in their efforts to bring more funding to public education.
Arizona Education Association President Joe Thomas, who announced the Invest in Education Act initiative at the capitol last month, will lead the rally. The teacher’s union is expected to release the signature petitions at the event. Supporters will need to collect more than 270,000 signatures for the initiative to quality to be on this year’s ballot.
Phoenix sets the stage for next Democratic Debate
Democratic leaders announced Phoenix as the location for the next Democratic debate. Candidates will take to the stage and make their case for president on March 15, two days before Arizona’s Presidential Primary Preference Election.
Tom Perez, president of the Democratic National Party, said in a statement that the DNC sees Arizona as a battleground state, and hopes the debate will bring increased voter turnout.
“We’re putting the Republicans on defense in the Grand Canyon State,” Perez said. “This debate will showcase our Democratic presidential candidates, highlight Trump’s record of broken promises and make it clear that Democrats are fighting to give Arizonans a better future.”
Quarantined coronavirus cruise ship docks in Japan
The Diamond Princess Cruise Ship stuck on a nautical quarantine after 175 confirmed cases of coronavirus was found on board has finally docked near Yokohama, Japan. The passengers, including a couple from Scottsdale, are expected to be released after the quarantine lifts on Feb. 19.
“I really think they are trying very hard,” Scottsdale-based oncologist Sommer Gunia told Fox 10. “This is such a unique and strange situation. They actually sent a letter two nights ago — It all starts to blend together — they are giving our money back for the cruise. They are giving us a new free cruise. They are wiping out all of our shipboard accounts. They are even going so far as paying for our airfare, so I think they are being overly generous, even though it wasn’t their fault.”
At least one of the 15 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. has been in Arizona. Globally, there have been nearly 53,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus since it was discovered on Dec. 31 in Wuhan, China.