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Brewer, Obama have tense moment at airport

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says she meant no disrespect when she pointed a finger at President Barack Obama during an intense discussion on an airport tarmac. But the Republican governor says the Democratic president showed disrespect for her by abruptly ending their conversation.

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No relief for hospitals in Brewer’s budget (access required)

With an uptick in state revenues, Gov. Jan Brewer is proposing to alleviate some of the pain the state’s Medicaid providers have been experiencing.

The governor wants to give a 3 percent rate increase to state health care providers, including physicians, behavioral health professionals and nursing facilities.

But one group that is among the worst hit by years of incessant budget cutting would be left out — hospitals.

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Brewer budget plans for slow growth, cautious spending (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer is treading carefully and offering a multiyear budget that plans that includes hundreds of millions in one-time expenditures, but gives the state a financial cushion for the coming fiscal cliff in 2014.

The Governor’s Office today unveiled budget plan for fiscal year 2013 and the remainder of 2012 that is projected to leave the state in the black by about $329 million when the Proposition 100 sales tax increase expires and federal health care mandates are expected to take a major toll on the state budget in fiscal year 2014.

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Governor, lawmakers will need to reconcile budget estimates (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer today laid out her spending plan, but before she can hammer out a deal with lawmakers, the two sides will have to reconcile their revenue projections for the next few years.

Right now, their only clear agreement is that, barring another economic downturn and events beyond the state’s control, revenues will climb steadily, albeit slowly.

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Brewer wants changes to tax code, state personnel and K-12 funding (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer filled in the blanks from her State of the State address with an ambitious policy agenda heavy on restructuring the state’s tax system, changing the way public schools are funded, revamping the personnel system for state employees and throwing down the gauntlet over federal environmental and land management policies.

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Brewer State of State: A focus on history, but emphasizes conservative agenda (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer’s State of the State address was light on details and big on broad outlines as she focused more on Arizona’s centennial celebration and the accomplishments of her administration, but she made it clear that 2012 will be a year of furthering a conservative agenda across a broad spectrum of state government.

Brewer vowed an expansion of school choice, the continued cutting of taxes and regulations, an overhaul of the state’s personnel system and continued defiance of federal policies on border security, health care and land management.

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