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At long last, Allen’s E.R. malpractice bill signed

A four-year battle for Sen. Carolyn Allen came to end with a stroke of the governor's pen. Gov. Jan Brewer on July 13 signed S1018, which raises the burden of proof for medical malpractice lawsuits against emergency room physicians. Allen, a Scottsdale Republican, had tried unsuccessfully for years to get the measure passed, only to see it fail to reach the governor's desk.

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Part-time Arizona lawmakers working into the summer

Arizona's part-time legislators are on the job in midsummer after their inability to work out an on-time solution to the state's budget trouble led them to crack a barrier they hoped to avoid. The annual regular session starts in January and has adjourned in May or June in recent years. This year, it ran 71/2 hours into July 1 before lawmakers approved a new budget and finished action on other bills.

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GOP closes caucus after Harper, Allen exchange words (access required)

Senate Republicans closed their caucus from the public July 13 after two members got into a relatively heated discussion over how to deal with the governor and her proposal for a one-cent sales tax increase. After the two-hour closed-door meeting, senators said they talked about organizational matters, one of several subjects that they are permitted to go into executive session to discuss.

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Dem leader says bipartisan budget talks will be ‘painful’ (access required)

The overwhelming display of bipartisanship that kicked off the special legislative session when it convened July 6 may be a precursor of how lawmakers will work to patch the $2.5 billion hole in the budget, but to what extent Republicans and Democrats work together likely won't be known until later this month.

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Brewer signs first batch of non-budget bills (access required)

Members of the military were largely the beneficiaries of the first batch of non-budget bills signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer. Brewer on July 9 signed 19 of the nearly 200 bills that were transmitted to her when the Legislature adjourned sine die on July 1.

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