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UpClose with Ken Cheuvront (access required)

While others prefer to be diplomatic, Sen. Ken Cheuvront speaks his mind without sugarcoating it. When Janet Napolitano resigned her post as governor early this year to become President Obama's secretary of Homeland Security, the Phoenix lawmaker was quite blunt in his criticism of her decision. "Janet always does what's good for Janet," he said.

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ADOT to close dozens of offices, rest areas

The state’s transportation department said it plans to shut down a dozen Motor Vehicle Division offices, temporarily close rest areas and defer hundreds of millions of dollars in construction as it faces a “perfect storm” of budget woes. The department ...

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Lawmakers react to injunction on abortion laws (access required)

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge has granted a preliminary injunction against new state laws that place restrictions on abortion. Although the decision has been embraced by state Democrats, the Republican co-sponsor of both bills said it's another case of courts infringing on the territory of the Legislature.

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Senate panel discusses climate change (access required)

Critics of federal cap-and-trade legislation told a panel of Arizona lawmakers Sept. 28 that its effects insofar as reducing global carbon emission at the end of this century will be negligible - similar to turning off one 100-watt incandescent bulb in a football stadium. Some participants and onlookers, though, said the panel was a sham.

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Diminished debate: Limits on floor discussion put Senate in quandary (access required)

In the Arizona Legislature, debate usually refers to the Committee of the Whole, a crucial part of lawmaking that facilitates adjustments to legislation. More importantly for some, it is the last chance to thoroughly examine proposed legislation and to sway people's opinion for or against it. In most cases, emotions are checked and the tone is primarily civil. But in the last two years, senators have adopted temporary rules to limit debate during the Committee of the Whole so debate is now but a shadow of its dictionary meaning. In short, the limitation on debate happened when lawmakers discussed subjects that directly impacted the state during a crucial part of the budget process.

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Gray, Barto file motion to intervene in federal abortion suit (access required)

Two lawmakers, along with several conservative groups, filed a motion Sept. 22 to intervene as defendants in a federal lawsuit that was filed to challenge a new state law to restrict abortions. Sen. Linda Gray, a Republican from Glendale and Rep. Nancy Barto, a Republican from Phoenix, argued that they have a right to intervene because the lawsuit could invalidate their votes.

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