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Key absence could quash Bundgaard ethics hearing (access required)

A full-blown investigation of Sen. Scott Bundgaard’s infamous freeway fight seemed certain to take place when an ethics complaint was filed against him last month.

But one member of the ethics panel won’t be around when the committee meets today to decide whether to proceed with an inquiry. And that missing vote could neutralize efforts to investigate Bundgaard.

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Mental health providers irate over new rate cuts (access required)

Mental health providers in Maricopa County are trying to figure out how to cope with a new round of rate cuts that are ultimately being passed down to them from the cash-strapped state, which is asking them to continue providing the same level of service for less money.

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Commerce quandary: Sharp differences over picking winners and losers with state money (access required)

The man who was hand-picked by Gov. Jan Brewer to oversee a new agency charged with re-igniting Arizona’s struggling economy is set to collect a whopper of a paycheck. But Don Cardon’s idea of how to guide the Arizona Commerce Authority may run contrary to the governor’s own philosophical leanings about how the quasi-public group should go about luring new business to the state.

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Cost-benefit study of prisons late, but state going ahead with 5,000 more private beds  (access required)

The Department of Corrections has long been out of compliance with a law requiring the director to complete a cost-benefit analysis comparing private and state-run prisons every two years. 

DOC Director Charles Ryan, who took over the job in January 2009, said he started working on his analysis a few months ago. 

But House Minority Leader Chad Campbell insists that’s not good enough. 

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