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Brewer places moratorium on bills until budget done

Talks on the budget may be on the verge of breaking down, as Gov. Jan Brewer today told Republican legislative leaders that she will not sign any more bills until the budget is done.

Republican lawmakers and Brewer have been at loggerheads over a budget deal all session. The governor called for increased spending in education and some social programs, but Republicans have said she wants to spend too much money.

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Ethics Committee: Expel Patterson (access required)

After two hours of back-and-forth discussion, the House Ethics Committee today voted to recommend Rep. Daniel Patterson’s expulsion from the House of Representatives, and one committee member said to expect a full House vote on the recommendation later this afternoon.

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Patterson demands ethics hearing to cross-examine accusers (access required)

Rep. Daniel Patterson today demanded that the House Ethics Committee give him an opportunity to testify before its members, cross-examine his accusers and address each incident of impropriety anonymously claimed against him.

Patterson said the ethics charges against him result from a group of lobbyists and lawmakers who sought a reason to have him kicked out of office, and one civil rights activist even said the Tucson lawmaker is being treated unfairly because he is white.

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Miranda pleads guilty to wire fraud

A former member of the Arizona Legislature accused of defrauding a nonprofit he once ran has pleaded guilty in federal court to wire fraud and attempted tax evasion charges.

Former Democratic Rep. Richard Miranda of Tolleson admitted Wednesday to selling a building that belonged to the nonprofit Centro Adelante Campesino without authorization from the group's board for $250,000 and keeping $144,000 in profits for his personal use.

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