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Dust-up leads to Clemency director’s firing (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer fired the outgoing executive director of the Board of Executive Clemency after three newly confirmed appointees showed up late for work Monday.

Their tardiness caused a two-hour delay of clemency hearings as victims and families of prisoners stood by disgruntled, and waited for a quorum to form.

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Republican budget talks moving again (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer and legislative leaders resumed talks on the budget Thursday, three days after the governor told them to stop sending her bills until they get the state’s spending plan completed.

The meeting seemed to reaffirm the two sides’ commitment to negotiate the state budget within the Republican Party. The meeting came as some GOP lawmakers considered the possibility of joining with Democrats to pass a veto-proof budget.

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Republicans mulling Dem alliance after veto threat

After weeks of budget talks with no agreement in sight, Gov. Jan Brewer gave legislative leaders an ultimatum, telling them she would veto bills until work on the state’s spending plan is complete.

But rather than force a quicker budget resolution, it could result in more heartburn between the two sides. In fact, there were indications some Republicans might be taking a look at abandoning negotiations with the governor in favor of working with Democrats to ensure a veto-proof super majority behind a budget.

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House passes narrowed-down contraception bill (access required)

State representatives today passed a scaled-back bill that would allow religious-based employers to deny contraception coverage to their workers.

The amended bill, HB2625, passed the Arizona House by a vote of 36-21, and will need to go back to the Senate for final approval there. If approved there, it will be delivered to Gov. Jan Brewer for either a signature or a veto.

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GOP leaders heeding Brewer’s veto warning

After Gov. Jan Brewer yesterday told GOP legislative leaders that she will veto any bills that land on her desk before a budget is completed, the warning is being heeded in the Senate. “I am not sending any bills to her today,” said Senate President Steve Pierce. “She asked not to. So we’re going to try and help her out and work with her.”

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