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Deficit figure still a moving target (access required)

Lawmakers and budget officials have been estimating the deficit of the upcoming fiscal year at about $3 billion, even though the economy has continued a treacherous slide and state revenues have eroded at an alarming pace.

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Quelland removed from office, fined $45K (access required)

The Citizens Clean Elections Commission voted this morning to remove Rep. Doug Quelland from the Legislature for violating campaign spending rules. The Phoenix Republican was also fined $45,000. The commission voted 4-1 to kick Quelland out of office for spending more than he was allowed to under Clean Elections rules. The commission determined Quelland had hired a political consultant but did not report the expenditures on his campaign finance reports.

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Brewer signs FY09 budget bills (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer on May 14 signed two bills to adjust the fiscal 2009 budget with a combination of federal stimulus money, delayed payments to K-12 schools and universities, and excess funds saved in recent years by school districts.

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Guns in cars bill clears House (access required)

Just two days before the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Phoenix, the state House of Representatives gave its approval to a measure that would allow gun owners to keep weapons in their cars, even if it is against a private property owner's wishes.

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Obama redefines success in face of economic challenges (access required)

President Barack Obama used his commencement speech at Arizona State University May 13 to highlight the role universities play in preparing students for success. He commended ASU for its efforts to open its doors to low-income applicants and echoed a speech he made before a joint session of Congress early in his presidency that called for every U.S. student to attend college.

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Legislature fixes $650M deficit in fiscal 2009 (access required)

The Senate and the House approved a plan on May 13 that suspends a payment of $300 million to school districts until the next fiscal year and instead allows them to tap into their excess cash balances to cover ongoing expenses. The plan is part of a two-bill package aimed at solving a $650-million budget deficit in fiscal 2009.

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