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Legislature on verge of missing session adjournment goal

A year ago, the Arizona Legislature was just days away from adjournment of its annual legislative session, having already approved a state budget that included painful cuts to state services. But while lawmakers missed their self-imposed 2011 adjournment target of 100 days by just five hours, there's little chance the Legislature will come near as close this year.

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Amazon tax deal in limbo

A group of Arizona retailers called on Gov. Jan Brewer this week to support legislation that would tax their online competitors, but the lawmaker trying to help broker the deal says the future of the “Amazon bill” is still unclear. The so-called brick-and-mortar retailers want online companies that have a physical presence in the state to be taxed at the same level they are.

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Toll road bill sent to governor

State lawmakers sent Gov. Jan Brewer a bill that ensures money for toll roads is collected. Arizona does not have toll roads, but it may in the future as some state lawmakers have suggested. Three years ago, lawmakers approved a bill authorizing public-private partnerships to help build state infrastructure. Toll roads are one of the possible projects.

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Key lawmakers scaling back tax cut measure to avoid veto (access required)

An ambitious economic development bill meant to be a follow-up to the 2011 Arizona Competitiveness Package will jettison some of its more contentious provisions due to the Ninth Floor’s concerns that it will cost too much money.

But lawmakers and business groups pushing the bill say they’re optimistic that an agreement will be reached with Gov. Jan Brewer to cut state taxes on capital gains — the core component of the bill — even if they’re unable to achieve the outright elimination many GOP legislators sought earlier in the session.

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Unions planning big rally at state Capitol (access required)

Unions from across Arizona are planning to bring hundreds of workers to the state Capitol on Thursday, two days after the Senate advanced a second bill that targets public unions.

They also want to send a clear message that they’re opposing Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposal to overhaul the state personnel system and make it easier to hire and fire workers.

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