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Sine die: 5 of 6 bills pass  (access required)

A disagreement between the Senate and the House over the timing of a bill aimed at lowering business taxes and creating jobs derailed one of the six measures the Legislature crafted during the special session.

Everything seemed to be going smoothly at first. The Senate passed all six budget bills Feb. 2 with support from both Republicans and Democrats.

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Passing the buck: Local governments’ worst budget fears  (access required)

Local government is usually the last place the Legislature looks to find extra money, but the state budget deficit has forced lawmakers to take desperate steps. This year and last, cities and counties have been forced to pay bills that historically have been the state's responsibility. During the past year, lawmakers have taken money that was intended to pay for local services, limited cities' ability to collect fees, and hoisted new burdens onto the shoulders of city officials who are trying to overcome the same economic conditions that ravaged two consecutive state budgets.

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Tax cut bill zips through House, heads to Senate

The House of Representatives has approved a bill to stimulate economic development by cutting taxes and creating new incentives for businesses, despite complaints from critics that the measure was rushed through before it could be understood completely.

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