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Melvin says he has Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Sen. Al Melvin, a Tucson Republican, disclosed Nov. 9 that he has been undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Melvin said the disease is not interfering with his work and he expects a full recovery. Melvin, in fact, has been holding hearings on energy and water during the past several weeks. He said he was lucky it was detected early.

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UpClose with John Halikowski (access required)

The Arizona Department of Transportation is facing what it calls a "perfect storm." Tax revenue is declining as people license fewer vehicles and travel less. Meanwhile, the state is dipping into transportation money to help cope with the budget deficit. The department, as a result, is taking drastic measures to address a $100 million shortfall in its budget, including closing rest areas and possibly some offices of the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).

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No moratorium, Senate to hear bills early in session (access required)

The Senate is going to hear bills when session starts, Senate President Bob Burns said Oct. 29. This is a departure from the strategy the Senate leadership adopted during the most recent regular session, when a moratorium on hearing non-budget bills was used so lawmakers could direct all their energy to solving the state's record-breaking budget deficit.

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UpClose with Thayer Verschoor (access required)

Sen. Thayer Verschoor, a Republican from Gilbert, returned to the Senate after a tough primary last year. One of the most conservative members of the Legislature, he fought hard for the repeal of the state equalization property tax. That battle was lost this year after Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill carrying the repeal language.

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Lawmakers inch toward special session (access required)

Lawmakers are inching closer to a special session as Senate leadership proposes that the Legislature convene to fix the budget woes of state agencies affected by the governor's veto. House leadership was polling members to see if they support the idea, Senate President Bob Burns told the Arizona Capitol Times on October 22.

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Education funding battle heats up (access required)

Lawmakers and representatives from the education community clashed over funding for Arizona's public education during a forum Oct. 20 at a downtown restaurant. Rep. Rich Crandall, a Mesa Republican, said he was taking the position as a "realist" and warned that cuts to education are inevitable next year given the size of the state's budget deficit.

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