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Bipartisan budget talks resume without Brewer

Negotiations on repairing a $2.5 billion hole in the state's budget continued, but Gov. Jan Brewer remains excluded from the talks as Republican and Democrat lawmakers attempt to forge an agreement. Legislative leaders of both parties met for the second time in as many weeks July 16 to discuss the scope of the state's budgetary woes. And, as was the case in the first meeting a week earlier, Brewer was not involved.

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Fund sweep illegal; ag groups vindicated

A consortium of agricultural interests claimed victory July 9 after a judge ruled the Arizona Legislature acted illegally last year when it swept $160,000 from accounts that held voluntary, private contributions. The lawsuit targeted former Gov. Janet Napolitano, State Treasurer ...

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Dem leader says bipartisan budget talks will be ‘painful’ (access required)

The overwhelming display of bipartisanship that kicked off the special legislative session when it convened July 6 may be a precursor of how lawmakers will work to patch the $2.5 billion hole in the budget, but to what extent Republicans and Democrats work together likely won't be known until later this month.

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Delay in tax referral may cause election complications (access required)

If lawmakers are going to put Gov. Jan Brewer's temporary tax hike proposal on the November ballot, they may want to do it soon. Maricopa County must order the paper for its ballots by July 16 in order to comply with the 26-day early-voting period mandated by Arizona law, according to Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne. The orders can be placed past the deadline, she said, but each additional day likely will mean one fewer day of early voting.

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