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Lawmakers, Brewer looking past rocky 2011 (access required)

The road from the end of the last legislative session to the beginning of the new one was full of potholes for Gov. Jan Brewer and the Legislature.

Both sides say there’s nothing unusual about the two branches butting heads, and say they’ve moved past the disagreements of 2011. But there was no shortage of feuds between Brewer and the Legislature.

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Panel: Toss one-year wait for lawmakers to become Capitol lobbyists

A state House committee Tuesday narrowly endorsed scrapping a state law the prevents legislators from serving as paid lobbyists at the Capitol for a year after leaving office.

Its author, Rep. Jack W. Harper, R-Surprise, said the moratorium is intended to keep lawmakers from influencing legislation but fails to recognize that staff members are even better positioned to become lobbyists. He said it’s unfair to deny former lawmakers the same opportunities allowed for staff members.

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Q&A with Gov. Jan Brewer (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer has never had a legislative session like this.

After three years of fiscal crises and emergency budget fixes, Brewer went into the 2012 legislative session with a projected surplus. The biggest budget problem Brewer faces now is what to do with as much as $1.5 billion in extra revenue.

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Q&A with Senate Minority Leader David Schapira (access required)

A year ago, first-term Sen. David Schapira surprisingly cinched the position of Democratic leader.

Now in his second year as minority leader, Schapira is considering another challenge — running for Congress. In this interview, Schapira reiterated he won’t resign from the Legislature should he join that race and assured his constituents he can ably multitask.

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