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Senate OKs overhaul of state personnel system (access required)

The GOP-controlled Senate today approved Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposal to overhaul the rules that govern state workers. The measure seeks to remove workers from the state’s merit system, giving supervisors more flexibility in firing them. The measure split the Senate along party lines.

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GOP lawmakers approve $8.6B spending plan (updated) (access required)

Republican leaders quickly consolidated support behind an $8.6 billion budget plan and gave it final approval today, less than a week after finally reaching a deal with Gov. Jan Brewer.

The spending plan is a product of a session-long negotiation between Brewer and legislative leaders, and the give-and-take between the two sides is palpable throughout the budget document.

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Bills caught in the logjam (access required)

Here’s a list of some of the most controversial, substantive or prominent measures that are awaiting a vote, struggling to get support or are simply caught in the moratorium and are ready to be sent to the governor’s desk.

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Bills stacking up after Brewer threatens mass vetoes (access required)

The 2012 session appears to be in its final days, but some of the biggest pieces of legislation this year — including Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposal to make it easier to fire state employees — remain stuck at the state Capitol.

The glut of measures yet to be passed — or in some cases held by legislative leaders — is at least partially a result of an embargo on sending bills to the governor after she threatened to veto all bills until a budget deal is reached.

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Budget doc reveals money stashed for ‘rainy days’ ahead

Lawmakers and the governor plan to set aside $450 million to offset anticipated deficits in the state budget in two years.

That’s money that won’t be available for critical needs now, but depositing it in the state’s “rainy day” fund reaffirms a fiscally conservative outlook that has dominated the Capitol following the fiscal crisis that led to several years of incessant budget slashing.

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GOP compromise budget gives $450M to rainy day fund, $7M to tourism (access required)

As Republican lawmakers begin to receive briefings on the budget deal that GOP leaders and the Governor’s Office agreed to in principle April 25, details are beginning to emerge.

The major sticking point between the two sides has been revenue projections — not just for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1, but also for the following two years. Though Gov. Jan Brewer had been unwilling to adopt the Legislature’s more cautious revenue estimates, it appears she had a change of mind.

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