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Senate Republicans last to jump on lawmaker blog train

Senate Republicans launched their own Web site on May 5, following the lead of the three other caucuses of the Arizona Legislature.

House Republicans, House Democrats and Senate Democrats have all started new Web sites this year. Lawmakers have been blogging for months.

Senate Republicans said they would use their Web site, http://azsenaterepublicans.com, to “enhance transparency and communicate with the public on important legislative issues.”

The Senate majority caucus has been criticized for holding budget talks behind closed doors.

In his first blog posted on the site, Sen. Chuck Gray, a Republican from Mesa, wrote that he intends to provide “clear-cut and accurate information” on the legislative budget process.

Another entry by the Senate Republicans warned against a tax increase in the middle of a severe economic downturn, saying it would impose a “greater burden on families and businesses at a time when they can least sustain them.”

The same blog post cautioned that while lawmakers are taking full advantage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the stimulus package does not address the state’s long-term structural budget deficit.

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