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Special session kicks off, but most work slated for Thursday (access required)

Lawmakers officially kicked off the fourth special session of the year - the second devoted to the fiscal 2010 budget - with an uneventful gathering at the state Capitol on Nov. 17. The work on taking a small bite out of the state's $2 billion budget deficit will take place on Nov. 19, when House and Senate budget committees are expected to meet.

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Draft bills show special session cuts of $300M (access required)

Draft versions of the bills lawmakers are expected to consider this week in a special legislative session show about $300 million in spending cuts to education and social services, as well as the restoration of funding for high-tech economic development.

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Lawmakers getting hammered in court; resources strained (access required)

Arizona's 49th Legislature has been tasked with keeping the state financially afloat during the most troubling economic times in state history. But the choices lawmakers made this year in an effort to balance the budget have led to six lawsuits challenging the state's use of fund sweeps to fill in deficits.

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Defending against an ‘active shooter’

If an active shooter is in your vicinity, protect your own life first. That is the chief message from an Arizona State Capitol Police press release issued Nov. 12, in the wake of the shooting rampage that left 13 dead and 31 wounded at Fort Hood Army base in Texas The tip-sheet explained what to do when law enforcement arrives and how to recognize behavior that could be a precursor to workplace violence.

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Lobbyist, lawmaker to resume Clean Elections clash (access required)

The Citizens Clean Elections Commission has renewed a $6,500-per-month contract with lobbyist Mike Williams, setting up another battle over the fate of the public campaign-funding system. Todd Lang, director of the Clean Elections Commission, said hiring a lobbyist was necessary to protect a system he credits with increasing political participation of the public and encouraging people to run for office.

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Goddard can draw on experience from 2 gubernatorial campaigns (access required)

No matter which Republican he faces in the 2010 general election, Attorney General Terry Goddard will have something they don't - two previous gubernatorial campaigns to learn from. Goddard's second run in 1994, when he lost the Democratic primary to grocery magnate Eddie Basha, may not provide too many lessons, since the attorney general appears to have no challengers for his party's nomination.

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