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Lawmakers adjourn sine die; questions loom (access required)

The Arizona Legislature ended its special legislative session at 1:42 p.m. Aug. 25, although it may be a short-lived break from the Capitol. "Well, I'll see you next week," Rep. Warde Nichols, a Gilbert Republican, said as he prepared to leave the House of Representatives.

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Five-way talks unproductive so far (access required)

Republican and Democratic leaders met with Gov. Jan Brewer on Aug. 21, the first such meeting during the special session that the governor called in order for the Legislature to pass a budget packet that includes her proposal for a sales tax referral.

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State spending tracks higher than last year (access required)

So far, Arizona has spent more money this fiscal year than it did during the same period last year. Between July 1 and Aug. 17, the state spent $164 million more than it did during the same period in 2008, according to figures provided by the state Treasure’s Office.

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New target date for budget: Aug. 20 (access required)

Arizona lawmakers are planning to send a set of budget bills to the Governor's Office on Aug. 20, after a short floor session today that ended without any action. But that budget plan will not include the proposal for a sales tax referral, something that Gov. Jan Brewer has insisted on for months.

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Pierce pulls double duty (access required)

On a rack in Steve Pierce’s office sits a cap that declares, “Operation Chaos.” Pierce, a freshman senator from Prescott, wore it while the Legislature passed a set of budget bills in June.

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Senate revives sales tax referral (access required)

The Arizona Senate has revived a measure that contains a provision for a sales tax increase, even though some lawmakers have called it a "dead horse." Senate President Bob Burns indicated lawmakers would continue to work to pass the ballot referral.

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Pierce elected as permanent whip

A freshman lawmaker from Prescott has been elected as permanent majority whip in the Senate. "It's an honor to be able to able to help," said Sen. Steve Pierce. Pierce's election to the post did not come as a surprise.

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