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2012 state of state QA

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Q&A with Gov. Jan Brewer (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer has never had a legislative session like this.

After three years of fiscal crises and emergency budget fixes, Brewer went into the 2012 legislative session with a projected surplus. The biggest budget problem Brewer faces now is what to do with as much as $1.5 billion in extra revenue.

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Q&A with Senate Minority Leader David Schapira (access required)

A year ago, first-term Sen. David Schapira surprisingly cinched the position of Democratic leader.

Now in his second year as minority leader, Schapira is considering another challenge — running for Congress. In this interview, Schapira reiterated he won’t resign from the Legislature should he join that race and assured his constituents he can ably multitask.

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Q&A with House Speaker Andy Tobin (access required)

The timing for Andy Tobin’s ascension to speaker of the House was pretty favorable. The state is beginning to see an uptick in revenues due to a recovering economy, so the battle over the budget is likely to be less adversarial this session than it was in previous years.

But Tobin cautions against anyone getting the impression that the state has money to burn. As long as the state has debt to pay off, he said he doesn’t think that the unexpected revenue should be seen as a surplus.

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Q&A with House Minority Leader Chad Campbell (access required)

It hasn’t been a banner past couple years for the Democrats. Faced with a Republican supermajority, their power at the Legislature has been limited.

Assessing this year’s session, House Minority Leader Chad Campbell has a similarly dim outlook. Democrats are still outnumbered two-to-one, and a looming election may mean lawmakers focus on more ideological issues. But there are some promising signs: new leadership in the House and Senate, plus some unexpected money for the state.

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