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Budget cuts test state personnel policies

Forced to dramatically cut payrolls, some states are finding low-cost ways to boost employee morale, even as they struggle to maintain basic human resource functions such as training, recruiting, hiring and regular performance reviews.

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Gorman to serve on NCSL executive committee

Sen. Pamela Gorman has been selected to serve on the governing body of the National Conference of State Legislatures, which lobbies the federal government on behalf of the states. Gorman, who recently resigned her leadership position in the Senate majority caucus, will serve as chairwoman of the 2009-2010 NCSL standing committees.

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Lawmakers adjourn sine die; questions loom (access required)

The Arizona Legislature ended its special legislative session at 1:42 p.m. Aug. 25, although it may be a short-lived break from the Capitol. "Well, I'll see you next week," Rep. Warde Nichols, a Gilbert Republican, said as he prepared to leave the House of Representatives.

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AZ Land Department will be self-funded (access required)

The one budget bill that garnered a signature from Gov. Jan Brewer would fundamentally change the way the state Land Department is funded. Brewer on Aug. 21 signed H2014, which creates a self-funding mechanism for the Land Department and addresses issues at the Parks Department, the Department of Agriculture and other agencies.

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Five-way talks unproductive so far (access required)

Republican and Democratic leaders met with Gov. Jan Brewer on Aug. 21, the first such meeting during the special session that the governor called in order for the Legislature to pass a budget packet that includes her proposal for a sales tax referral.

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Are struggling community banks prepared for a new threat? (access required)

Most community banks in Arizona are losing money, lending is down, and a veteran banker concedes that every day is a challenge. It was a little too challenging for two Arizona banks, which were closed by state and federal regulators Aug. 14. A third bank is operating under federal orders to improve what were found to be “unsafe and unsound banking practices.”

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