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Poll on H1N1 suggests that public health officials battling perception problem

A recent poll suggesting that many Arizonans don't plan to get vaccinated against the H1N1 flu strain reflects a misconception that could leave many people at risk, a state health official said Oct. 30. "Most people don't understand that the virus is very dangerous," said Dr. Karen Lewis, medical director of the Arizona Department of Health Services Immunization Program.

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Wishful thinking interrupted by budget reality (access required)

JLBC has singled out three budget provisions that wouldn't live up to their billing: a plan to save $50 million due to reduced fraud in the health care system; deals to privatize nine of the 10 state prisons; and a plan to raise $735 million by selling dozens of state buildings, then leasing them back. But there's more.

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Lottery renewal needed before state can borrow (access required)

The odds of winning the Arizona Lottery's big jackpot are about one in 175 million. The odds that lawmakers will sell off future lottery revenues for a quick cash infusion are exponentially better. As lawmakers ponder how to fix a fiscal 2011 budget deficit that is expected to top $2 billion, many are viewing lottery securitization as a last resort whose time has come.

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GOP-passed election laws targeted by Democrats (access required)

Two electoral changes implemented by Republicans this year have attracted opposition and litigation from Democrats who argued the laws violate the state Constitution to advance partisan agendas. In July, Gov. Jan Brewer signed S1123 into law. The legislation, proposed by Tucson Sen. Jonathan Paton, banned local governments from including partisan affiliations for candidates on the ballot.

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