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Bare-bones Revenue Department would eliminate audits (access required)

An unintended consequence of a veto last month means the state agency tasked with collecting taxes is on the verge of laying off more than half of its staff, barring a budget fix to allow access to all of the money lawmakers gave it earlier this year. Anthony Forschino, the agency's assistant director, said the layoffs would still allow the Department of Revenue to function, but in a bare-bones manner.

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Arizona raided water funds that held money deposited by Nevada (access required)

The Legislature is getting sued, again, over fund sweeps initiated earlier this year to close the state budget gap. A commission charged with delivering water from the Colorado River to several Arizona counties and Native American tribes has filed a lawsuit with the Arizona Supreme Court to challenge the Legislature's decision to sweep millions of dollars held by the Arizona Water Banking Authority.

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Interior secretary, congresswoman help dedicate Arizona’s first commercial-scale wind farm

HEBER - It was appropriately windy Oct. 12 for the dedication of the first commercial-scale wind farm in Arizona. And speakers ranging from U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, to executives from Salt River Project said the message the facility sends is as important as the power it will generate.

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Brewer: multiple special sessions possible (access required)

The off-season for lawmakers might be even shorter than they thought. Since Gov. Jan Brewer partially vetoed the Legislature’s budget in early September, she has been adamant about the need to bring lawmakers back to the Capitol for a special session to restore funding for a handful of state agencies, including the Arizona Corporation Commission and Department of Revenue.

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Employer sanctions coming up short (access required)

Arizona's employer sanctions law has been in effect for 21 months, yet no businesses have been shut down over hiring practices. In fact, there hasn't yet been a single business forced to defend itself in court. But now, one lawmaker wants to change all that by giving county attorneys more enforcement powers.

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Brewer hopes showing impact of cuts will spur revenue increase (access required)

At Brewer’s request, all state agency heads were required to submit reports detailing the effects 15-20 percent spending reductions would have on their departments. Those reports, which were due Oct. 9, are intended partly to demonstrate to the Legislature that sizeable cuts would have dramatic consequences, according to Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman.

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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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