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Lawmakers’ first duty: Show up and vote (access required)

Here’s the simple mathematics of representative government: Arizona taxpayers pay for lawmakers to show up and vote on every bill in the Legislature. Now here’s the flaw in that equation: Lawmakers get paid whether they show up or not. Unfortunately, many Arizona residents were underrepresented at the Capitol during last year’s regular legislative session.

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SRP fighting to keep records private (access required)

The nation's third-largest public power utility and one of the state's largest water suppliers avoided a ruling earlier this year that would have determined whether it was subject to Arizona public records law. But now the Salt River Project is again bracing against claims that its quasi-governmental status requires it to maintain and provide access to documents.

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GOP pushing for 1-day special session (access required)

Barring any surprises, Gov. Jan Brewer is expected to call the Legislature into special session in the next few days. But her 1-cent sales tax hike won't be on the table - at least not this time. Still up in the air is the possibility of doing a second special session, possibly in December, for another round of cuts and potentially approving revenue generating options.

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Special session No. 4 will target schools, DES funding (access required)

Republican legislative leaders have reached a deal with Gov. Jan Brewer to erase a portion of the estimated $2 billion budget deficit in a special session later this month, including about $300 million in spending cuts. The plan, if carried out, would eliminate a fraction of the overall deficit, and a $1.4 billion shortfall would remain.

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Budget fix pitched to GOP lawmakers (access required)

The budget fix being shopped to Republican lawmakers would erase a little more than a quarter of the estimated $2 billion deficit and include about $300 million in permanent spending cuts. House Majority Whip Andy Tobin said the deal Republican leaders have reached with Republican Gov. Jan Brewer would include $140 million in cuts to K-12 education and $140 million in cuts to ADES.

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Gambling pitched as Arizona’s budget salvation (access required)

The struggling Arizona racing industry is hoping it can sell lawmakers on a proposal to help racetracks stay open and give the state hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue. But the idea faces resistance on several fronts, as it would expand gambling by allowing "racinos" and by lifting limits on tribal casinos.

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Lawmakers inch toward special session (access required)

Lawmakers are inching closer to a special session as Senate leadership proposes that the Legislature convene to fix the budget woes of state agencies affected by the governor's veto. House leadership was polling members to see if they support the idea, Senate President Bob Burns told the Arizona Capitol Times on October 22.

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