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Building, buying & selling: Contractors, sellers, regulators and unions vie (hope) for positives in 2011 (access required)

From homebuilders to Realtors, representatives of the recession-ravaged construction and real estate industries are doggedly pursuing dual legislative goals.

They’re determined to block legislation that they say would further sink their struggling businesses while supporting measures that might give them a financial boost. Several bills are under consideration that would make it easier to sell homes.

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Women in Public Policy

Which veteran lawmaker is tone-deaf? Which one would pass out campaign yo-yos if she could? One even says she eats dessert first if it is available “just in case something happens” that would prevent her from enjoying it later. The 50th Legislature, which started in January, features 31 women lawmakers, which is an increase of three over the 49th Legislature’s total of 28. While this group grapples with the most daunting budget situation ever in Arizona, we wanted to find out how much hope they have in the legislative process and what they think their co-workers might say about them. We gave each woman lawmaker the chance to answer a four-question survey, with the caveat that each answer could only be two sentences.

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Another day in ‘Paradise’: Surprise card room owner says Department of Gaming approves his club (access required)

With slot machines, blackjack tables, alcohol and six poker-style card tables, the set-up at Paradise Cove Social Club in Surprise definitely gives off a casino vibe. The set-up was enough to make at least one state official question exactly what type of operation the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control was considering licensing.

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