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Brewer, lawmakers end budget stall, reopen talks

The Governor’s Office and legislative leaders have reopened lines of communications involving the state budget, signaling a thaw over how to craft the state’s spending plan in the next few years. Gov. Jan Brewer, Senate President Steve Pierce and House Speaker Andy Tobin met Thursday. After the meeting, Pierce said staffers from both sides could start working together as soon as this weekend.

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Line in the sand (access required)

Republican governor and GOP Legislature are digging in for long budget fight

It may have been the opening shot to an all-out war.

While Arizonans were celebrating President’s Day on Feb. 20, legislative leaders unveiled a budget that ditched her major spending initiatives.

The Governor’s Office responded in kind, describing the legislative budget as “shortsighted” and “reckless.”

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Brewer orders halt to budget negotiations (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer threw a counterpunch at GOP lawmakers following the Monday release of their budget plan, ordering a halt to meetings between the two sides’ budget staffs until the legislative budget plan is changed to address some of her key concerns.

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No relief for hospitals in Brewer’s budget (access required)

With an uptick in state revenues, Gov. Jan Brewer is proposing to alleviate some of the pain the state’s Medicaid providers have been experiencing.

The governor wants to give a 3 percent rate increase to state health care providers, including physicians, behavioral health professionals and nursing facilities.

But one group that is among the worst hit by years of incessant budget cutting would be left out — hospitals.

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