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‘Arnold v. Sarn’: Helping or hurting? (access required)

The lawsuit that led to the creation of the modern behavioral health care system in Maricopa County has created what many experts say is an artificial set of standards that ignores the real needs of patients. But confusion and disagreement over ways to improve the system have delayed the kind of meaningful reform that almost everyone in the health care community recognizes as necessary.

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Mental health care: 30 years of broken promises (access required)

Magellan Health Services has adopted a slogan since taking over Maricopa County's behavioral health care system two years ago: "Getting Better All the Time." The reforms promised by the Maryland-based company in the months before taking control of the system were put on hold while the company tried to rebound from the loss of medical records, a critical audit by the court and a series of well-publicized murders committed by untreated patients.

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Records show errors on county property-tax bills

Thousands of property owners in the Phoenix-area may have paid more or less than what they owe in Maricopa County property taxes. The city of Phoenix is going over records of the city's 500,000 parcels "and we would be surprised not to find errors," said Mark Cernetic, deputy budget director.

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Brewer, Cardon proclaim a new day at Commerce Department (access required)

For much of its existence, the Arizona Department of Commerce has served as a political punching bag for those who believe the agency's work is inefficient, its mission vague and its credibility questionable. Don Cardon doesn't deny that some of those things have been true in the past, but a transformation is underway.

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The cost of AZ’s budget crisis: 1,450 full-time state workers (access required)

Arizona's budget calamity cost at least 1,450 state workers their jobs last fiscal year, but the shedding of public employees is minor compared to losses endured by the private sector in Arizona. An analysis conducted by the Arizona Capitol Times shows the state trimmed roughly 4 percent of its full-time staff from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2009. The state now employs 33,236 full-time workers.

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GOP lawmaker starts ‘food fight’ with blind vendors

As a freshman lawmaker in 2007, Rep. Sam Crump's first order of business was to find a good place to eat at the Capitol. He had hoped for something along the line of a Paradise Bakery, a favorite of his. The Anthem Republican instead found cafeteria service run by legally blind operators under the state's Business Enterprise Program (BEP).

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Former Senate president Greene to chair equalization board

Gov. Jan Brewer named former Senate President John Greene as chairman of the State Board of Equalization. Greene served in the Senate with Brewer while she was majority whip, and later served as director of the Arizona Department of Insurance under former Gov. Fife Symington. He replaces retiring Chairman Harold Scott.

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