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Money without merit (access required)

Bonuses given to state workers who didn’t surrender protections

Raises for rank-and-file state employees came with a choice last year: Become an at-will employee in exchange for a 5-percent pay bump, or keep those protections and receive the same salaries they’d had since 2007.

The amount of money the deal directed toward political appointees and top staff, who are among the highest paid state employees, wasn't widely discussed.

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Ducey proposes $176 million in new spending, largely on K-12 education (access required)

Gov. Doug Ducey filled in the details of many of the proposals he unveiled in his State of the State address with an executive budget plan that includes $176 million in new spending for fiscal year 2018, with the lion’s share going to K-12 education.