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State unveiling system for online petition gathering (access required)

Arizona is preparing to launch a new signature-gathering system that will fundamentally change the way political candidates go about qualifying for the 2012 ballot.

Beginning Feb. 1, voters will be able go online to sign nominating petitions for candidates who want to run for statewide office and the Legislature.

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Ron Paul to headline state GOP meeting

At least one presidential candidate will be on hand for the Arizona Republican Party’s straw poll.

Libertarian-leaning, GOP orthodoxy-bashing U.S. Rep. Ron Paul will be a guest speaker at the state party’s meeting on Jan. 28, where he’ll look for a straw poll win in anticipation of Arizona’s presidential preference primary in late February.

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Lawmakers, Brewer looking past rocky 2011 (access required)

The road from the end of the last legislative session to the beginning of the new one was full of potholes for Gov. Jan Brewer and the Legislature.

Both sides say there’s nothing unusual about the two branches butting heads, and say they’ve moved past the disagreements of 2011. But there was no shortage of feuds between Brewer and the Legislature.

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Brewer budget plans for slow growth, cautious spending (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer is treading carefully and offering a multiyear budget that plans that includes hundreds of millions in one-time expenditures, but gives the state a financial cushion for the coming fiscal cliff in 2014.

The Governor’s Office today unveiled budget plan for fiscal year 2013 and the remainder of 2012 that is projected to leave the state in the black by about $329 million when the Proposition 100 sales tax increase expires and federal health care mandates are expected to take a major toll on the state budget in fiscal year 2014.

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