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Group files ballot measure for 1-cent sales tax hike (access required)

A coalition aiming to bolster K-12, higher education, state infrastructure and children’s health care funding filed a ballot measure today for a new 1-cent sales tax hike that would go into effect as soon as Proposition 100 expires in 2013.

The initiative, filed by the group Quality Education and Jobs, would direct about 80 percent of the money it raises to education, with the overwhelming majority going to K-12 schools. The tax would raise about $1 billion a year.

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Critics say ACA tax credits to businesses should be fully disclosed (access required)

Since the Arizona Commerce Authority officially launched on July 1, it has awarded $17.2 million in incentives to companies moving to or expanding in Arizona. But detailed information is available for less than half of that money.

That’s because $9.3 million has been awarded in the form of tax credits, which are defined in Arizona statute as confidential taxpayer information.

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Patterson charged with 4 counts of domestic violence

A Tucson legislator is facing four counts of misdemeanor domestic violence stemming from a Feb. 24 physical altercation with an ex-girlfriend, even though his attorney says the Arizona Constitution prevents the lawmaker from being charged.

However, a Phoenix attorney says Rep. Daniel Patterson has no such protections under the Constitution.

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Senate Appropriations approves $1 in funding for IRC (access required)

With the cash-strapped Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission on the verge of going broke and the threat of yet more legal action looming, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted Tuesday to give the remapping panel just a single dollar in funding for the rest of the fiscal year.

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Senate OKs recall elections overhaul (access required)

The Senate today approved legislation that could make it more difficult for voters to remove lawmakers from office. The measure stems from the defeat of then-Sen. Russell Pearce, the architect of SB1070 and major anti-illegal immigration laws in Arizona, following a successful recall effort last year.

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Brewer, lawmakers end budget stall, reopen talks

The Governor’s Office and legislative leaders have reopened lines of communications involving the state budget, signaling a thaw over how to craft the state’s spending plan in the next few years. Gov. Jan Brewer, Senate President Steve Pierce and House Speaker Andy Tobin met Thursday. After the meeting, Pierce said staffers from both sides could start working together as soon as this weekend.

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