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Daily Archives: November 13, 2009 , 6:31 pm

Draft bills show special session cuts of $300M (access required)

Draft versions of the bills lawmakers are expected to consider this week in a special legislative session show about $300 million in spending cuts to education and social services, as well as the restoration of funding for high-tech economic development.

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Lawmakers getting hammered in court; resources strained (access required)

Arizona's 49th Legislature has been tasked with keeping the state financially afloat during the most troubling economic times in state history. But the choices lawmakers made this year in an effort to balance the budget have led to six lawsuits challenging the state's use of fund sweeps to fill in deficits.

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Capitol Quotes 11/13 (access required)

"The Legislature is no longer in a position of cutting - the economy's taking care of that. The money's not there." - Senate President Bob Burns, a Republican from Peoria, speaking Nov. 12 about how the state needs to approach future budget deficits.

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Defending against an ‘active shooter’

If an active shooter is in your vicinity, protect your own life first. That is the chief message from an Arizona State Capitol Police press release issued Nov. 12, in the wake of the shooting rampage that left 13 dead and 31 wounded at Fort Hood Army base in Texas The tip-sheet explained what to do when law enforcement arrives and how to recognize behavior that could be a precursor to workplace violence.

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Lobbyist, lawmaker to resume Clean Elections clash (access required)

The Citizens Clean Elections Commission has renewed a $6,500-per-month contract with lobbyist Mike Williams, setting up another battle over the fate of the public campaign-funding system. Todd Lang, director of the Clean Elections Commission, said hiring a lobbyist was necessary to protect a system he credits with increasing political participation of the public and encouraging people to run for office.

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GOP pushing for 1-day special session (access required)

Barring any surprises, Gov. Jan Brewer is expected to call the Legislature into special session in the next few days. But her 1-cent sales tax hike won't be on the table - at least not this time. Still up in the air is the possibility of doing a second special session, possibly in December, for another round of cuts and potentially approving revenue generating options.

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The Pulse: Oh, Christmas tree (access required)

Pretty soon folks at the state Capitol will be taking the Holiday Tree out of storage. Well, at least that's the politically correct term former Gov. Janet Napolitano gave the artificial evergreen that sits every year in the lobby of the Executive Tower at 1700 W. Washington.

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The short-lived Papago Saguaro National Monument (access required)

Shortly after statehood in 1912, the Phoenix and Maricopa County Board of Trade began an effort to have what is now Papago Park declared either a national park or a national monument. Originally, the committee recommended the creation of a "National Cactus Park" just like Yellowstone National Park, the Yosemite National Park and the Mount Rainer National Park."

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UpClose with Alessandra Soler Meetze (access required)

On the wall of Alessandra Soler Meetze's office hangs an illustrated guide to the Bill of Rights in colorful cartoon drawings. One of the drawings shows a police officer morphing through a television in a living room as a family reacts in horror. Beneath it are the words, "No unreasonable search or seizure."

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