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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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Wishful thinking interrupted by budget reality (access required)

JLBC has singled out three budget provisions that wouldn't live up to their billing: a plan to save $50 million due to reduced fraud in the health care system; deals to privatize nine of the 10 state prisons; and a plan to raise $735 million by selling dozens of state buildings, then leasing them back. But there's more.

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Some agencies avoid submitting reduction reports (access required)

When drafting reports to show the impact of 15 percent cuts to their budgets, some state agencies described how their services would be gutted. Some simply explained why such cuts aren't feasible. And others, such as the Governor's Office, which ordered the reports, don't seem to know where to even make the cuts.

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DES would drop to ’04 funding levels if faced with 15% cut (access required)

A 15 percent cut at the Department of Economic Security would take a heavy toll on the vulnerable populations Gov. Jan Brewer has spoken so often of protecting. According to a report by the Department of Economic Security, a 15 percent reduction in the agency's budget would drop it down to 2004 funding levels.

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