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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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Group sings, prays for lawmakers in legislative chambers (access required)

The Center for Arizona Policy isn’t just lobbying lawmakers, it’s also praying for them. About 50 people associated with the socially conservative lobbying organization gathered Monday before sunrise for its annual Prayer Walk, a tour of the Capitol where they ask for wisdom, health and righteousness to be bestowed upon lawmakers, the governor and judiciary during the 2012 Legislature.

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3 Sinema replacement candidates selected (access required)

Democrats from Phoenix picked two former lawmakers and one other as candidates to replace former Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who resigned her Legislative District 15 seat Jan. 3 to run for Congress.

A panel from Sinema’s district selected former Rep. David Lujan, who actually served with Sinema while she was in the House, former Rep. Ken Clark, a realtor, and Arizona Democratic Party Secretary Sharon Thomas, as potential replacements.

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Tobin criticizes media, Dems in Chamber speech (access required)

The 2011 session may be over, but some Republicans are still holding a grudge over the criticism to which they say they were subjected. House Speaker Andy Tobin chastised the media and Democrats in the Legislature, arguing that Republicans made the tough decisions to cut the budget and pass the Arizona Competitiveness Package amid “abuse” from the press and the minority party.

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Bundgaard resigns from Legislature (access required)

In a stunning turn of events, Sen. Scott Bundgaard resigned his legislative seat just moments before he was scheduled to take the witness stand in the ethics investigation against him involving a freeway fight with his ex-girlfriend.

The lawyer defending the Peoria Republican told a committee weighing the case against Bundgaard today that the hearing was "no longer necessary."

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