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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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Budget on life support again as sales tax fails

***UPDATED AT 8:45 P.M.*** After about seven months of trying, Republican leaders arrived at the Capitol on Aug. 12 with hopes that they had finally corralled enough votes in the Senate, including the support of a Democrat, to pass a budget for fiscal year 2010. But all that evaporated when a senator whose support Republicans were counting on was absent from the floor.

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Two reasons Sen. Harper flipped on budget (access required)

Two recent developments persuaded a conservative Republican senator to switch his stance from opposition to support for a budget package that has stalled in his chamber for weeks. One was an e-mail from the Americans for Tax Reforms, a national anti-tax group that administers the No New Taxes Pledge.

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