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Urging patience (access required)

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Budget windfall generates optimism and warnings to avoid past mistakes

Top lawmakers and economists urge patience now that the state finds itself with a bounty of unforeseen cash to toy with at the Capitol in 2014.

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Brewer boasts better-than-expected budget surplus (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Gov. Jan Brewer touted a year-ending budget surplus that’s about $200 million more than was expected, which the governor attributed to the improving economy and her “sound fiscal leadership.”

In a press statement on Monday, Brewer said the state had an estimated cash balance of about $895 million at the end of fiscal year 2013. The budget approved by lawmakers and Brewer in June estimated a surplus of about $694 million.

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Lawmakers take a tumultuous path to a state spending plan (access required)

BudgetLand1web

This year's state budget took a tumultuous path, pitting Republicans against each other, trying the patience of Democrats, leaving outside observers in the dark and breaking nearly every possible protocol before ending up on the desk of Gov. Jan Brewer. This was clearly nothing anybody learned in a high school civics class.

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