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Biggs confident in Senate budget, others not so sure (access required)

Biggs confident in Senate budget, others not so sure <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

The Senate is poised to pass a $9.13 billion fiscal 2015 budget on Thursday, and the House may follow suit next week when it begins its own debate on a plan expected to mirror the one proposed by Senate President Andy Biggs. Yet a question remains, one that Sen. Steve Pierce asked in the Senate’s GOP caucus meeting on Wednesday afternoon: “Do we really expect this to be signed by the governor?”

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Senate panel advances spending bills, including $6.86 million for child welfare (access required)

Senate panel advances spending bills, including $6.86 million for child welfare <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

The bulk of the funding, $6.86 million, would be used to hire caseworkers and other child welfare aids in an effort to resolve the backlog of 6,554 cases that went uninvestigated by Child Protective Service, a gross oversight that caused Gov. Jan Brewer to abolish the agency at the outset of the 2014 Legislative Session in favor of a new department that reports directly to the Ninth Floor.

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