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Budget gimmicks explained: 5 ways states hide deficits

Last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a budget that he said was filled with gimmicks — or as he put it, “legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings.” Editorial boards have praised Brown for exercising responsible fiscal judgment. Meanwhile, Brian Joseph of the Orange County Register has written that Brown’s own budget plan uses gimmicks, too.

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Pearce, Tobin enter AHCCCS funding fight

Lawmakers made a difficult decision when they cut more than $200 million from the state’s health care system for the poor, but doing so wasn’t unconstitutional, Senate President Russell Pearce and House Speaker Andy Tobin argued yesterday in a brief opposing a lawsuit that aims to block the cuts.

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Tobin/Brewer tiff expected to heal (access required)

In his first real test in his new role, House Speaker Andy Tobin found himself battling Gov. Jan Brewer.

Six weeks after being chosen by his caucus, Tobin and Brewer squared off over an extension of unemployment insurance: Brewer wanted to extend the benefits by 20 weeks and make some limited reforms, while Tobin publicly challenged her to expand the special session to include corporate tax cuts and incentives aimed at stimulating job creation.

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Special session failure highlights struggle within GOP (access required)

Like taxes, budget and immigration, the special session that failed to extend unemployment aid to those who have been out of work the longest became another arena in the war to define the soul of the Republican Party.

The program’s most vocal critics and most ardent supporters are, not surprisingly, members of the GOP.

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