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Fiscal crisis past, Legislature still to be frugal in 2013

Fiscal crisis past, Legislature still to be frugal in 2013

With a fiscal crisis that forced billions of dollars in state government cuts mainly over, the Arizona Legislature enters its 2013 session Monday with a budget surplus but little appetite among majority Republicans to loosen the purse strings. The state has socked away about $450 million in a rainy day fund and has more than $1 billion in total surplus going into the budget year that begins July 1.

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Property tax measure faces no opposition

A years-long quest to drastically lower property taxes on business equipment is finally on the ballot, without even a hint of organized opposition. Proposition 116 would amend the Arizona Constitution to raise the limit on the amount of business personal property that is exempt from property taxes. The ballot measure would raise the exemption from $68,000 to the equivalent of the average annual earnings of 50 workers, which comes out to about $2.4 million.

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Sales-tax supporters cheer court ruling (access required)

Supporters of the Quality Education and Jobs Initiative celebrated on the steps of the Maricopa County Superior Courthouse today, moments after Judge Robert Oberbillig overturned the Secretary of States’ decision that more than 290,000 of the group’s petition signatures were invalid due to a paperwork error.

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Arizona panned for family leave protections, along with most other states

WASHINGTON – Arizona got a grade of D for its legal protections for employees who need to take family or medical leave, in a recent national report ranking states on their health leave laws. But the state was in good company: The report by the National Partnership for Women and Families gave grades of D or F to 34 states for their leave policies for both public- and private-sector workers.

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