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Draft bills show special session cuts of $300M (access required)

Draft versions of the bills lawmakers are expected to consider this week in a special legislative session show about $300 million in spending cuts to education and social services, as well as the restoration of funding for high-tech economic development.

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Lawmakers getting hammered in court; resources strained (access required)

Arizona's 49th Legislature has been tasked with keeping the state financially afloat during the most troubling economic times in state history. But the choices lawmakers made this year in an effort to balance the budget have led to six lawsuits challenging the state's use of fund sweeps to fill in deficits.

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GOP pushing for 1-day special session (access required)

Barring any surprises, Gov. Jan Brewer is expected to call the Legislature into special session in the next few days. But her 1-cent sales tax hike won't be on the table - at least not this time. Still up in the air is the possibility of doing a second special session, possibly in December, for another round of cuts and potentially approving revenue generating options.

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Klein billed as right person for wrong time (access required)

When Eileen Klein moved into her new office as Gov. Jan Brewer's chief of staff, the first decoration she put up was a Kachina. In Hopi lore, upon realizing her village was under attack, she grabbed her father's bow and arrows and rushed to the defense of her people, defeating the enemy at the village's edge. It's symbolic, in a way, of Klein's new role.

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Special session No. 4 will target schools, DES funding (access required)

Republican legislative leaders have reached a deal with Gov. Jan Brewer to erase a portion of the estimated $2 billion budget deficit in a special session later this month, including about $300 million in spending cuts. The plan, if carried out, would eliminate a fraction of the overall deficit, and a $1.4 billion shortfall would remain.

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Registrar of Contractors among agencies looking for budget fix (access required)

When the Legislature meets in a special session later this month, one of the agencies whose budget problems they will attempt to fix is the Registrar of Contractors. Tyler Palmer, legislative liaison for the Registrar of Contractors, said the agency lost about $390,000 in funding for operating costs when Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a budget bill in September.

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