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Budget bill fails in Senate; Verschoor AWOL (access required)

The Senate has hit a major snag and has failed to pass the main budget measure that is part of a package that partially fixes a $2-billion deficit, and it has adjourned until Nov. 23. The bill went down by a vote of 14-13. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Gray voted "no" so he could bring the vote up for reconsideration later. All the Democrats voted "no" on the bill. So did Sen. Ron Gould, a Lake Havasu Republican.

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State borrows $700M; first external loan since Great Depression (access required)

The State Loan Commission has approved a $700 million line of credit from Bank of America, marking the first external borrowing the state has done since the Great Depression. State Treasurer Dean Martin said his office will finalize the agreement with Bank of America next week and will begin issuing treasurer's warrants by the end of November.

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House panel approves budget-fix bills (access required)

A House panel followed the Senate's lead, quickly approving a series of budget bills aimed at chipping away at the state's massive deficit. The bills include $300 million in cuts to social programs and state aid for education.

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Foreclosure law on track for repeal – again (access required)

It's back to square one for the Arizona Bankers Association. A tenuous deal to alter Arizona laws that govern home foreclosures was struck down by lawmakers on Nov. 18 after objections were raised by the homebuilding industry. The agreement had been struck by the Bankers Association and the Arizona Association of Realtors.

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Brewer out of town for special session (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer is on the road, just as lawmakers are convening for their fourth special session. Brewer left town this morning (Nov. 18) for a scheduled trip to Austin, Texas, where she will attend the 2009 conference of the Republican Governors Association. Spokeswoman Kim Sabow said the governor plans to attend both days of the conference, but will return to Arizona on Nov. 19.

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Senate Appropriations panel approves bills (access required)

The budget fix to eliminate a portion of the state's $2 billion deficit is moving through Senate committees while the House is on hold until Nov. 19. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved four bills after a relatively short deliberation on Nov. 18. Some of the bills received bipartisan support.

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Special session kicks off, but most work slated for Thursday (access required)

Lawmakers officially kicked off the fourth special session of the year - the second devoted to the fiscal 2010 budget - with an uneventful gathering at the state Capitol on Nov. 17. The work on taking a small bite out of the state's $2 billion budget deficit will take place on Nov. 19, when House and Senate budget committees are expected to meet.

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