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Senate budget: A bargaining chip? (access required)

Despite all the raw emotions it stirred and all the opposition it encountered, the Senate’s budget-slashing and gimmicks-busting proposal isn’t going to be state’s final spending plan.

Its most contentious aspects, more likely than not, will be softened and its most ragged edges smoothed out before it wins support in the House of Representatives and with Gov. Jan Brewer.

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Senate Republicans finally pass budget

In a move that potentially sets the stage for a showdown with Gov. Jan Brewer, the Senate late Wednesday passed a budget proposal that cuts more than what the governor called for in January and rejects many of her accounting maneuvers to erase the fiscal deficit.

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Critics say partisan fights take new shape in ‘independent’ redistricting

Placing the “I” word in front of Redistricting Commission doesn’t mean it’s really independent.

Now that the commission is fully constituted, they'll soon begin redrawing the state's legislative and congressional lines. At stake is the state's political landscape for the next ten years. And while most everyone agrees on the gravity of task, disagreements abound on just how "independent" the panel can be.

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Time out for Antenori’s ‘not-a-TIF’ bill (access required)

Sen. Frank Antenori is going to bat for a proposal that could help cities retain spring training baseball and spur economic development, but to get it through the Legislature he must overcome the skepticism of a powerful committee chairman, the ghosts of a much-maligned project in Tucson and the state’s historic hostility toward tax increment financing.

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IRC budget based on experience and guesswork (access required)

The last statement James Huntwork made as a member of the first Independent Redistricting Commission in his last meeting in June 2009 was that the next IRC would need “a lot of money.”

How much money the newly seated IRC will need is a mystery.

But the thinking of those involved with the first one is that the legal disputes, which consumed so much money last time, will be fewer this time.

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Brewer pondering AHCCCS freeze (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer is considering freezing Medicaid enrollment as early as April 1 for childless adults as part of a phase-out preparation for kicking 250,000 people off of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.

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