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Budget doc reveals money stashed for ‘rainy days’ ahead

Lawmakers and the governor plan to set aside $450 million to offset anticipated deficits in the state budget in two years.

That’s money that won’t be available for critical needs now, but depositing it in the state’s “rainy day” fund reaffirms a fiscally conservative outlook that has dominated the Capitol following the fiscal crisis that led to several years of incessant budget slashing.

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House passes narrowed-down contraception bill (access required)

State representatives today passed a scaled-back bill that would allow religious-based employers to deny contraception coverage to their workers.

The amended bill, HB2625, passed the Arizona House by a vote of 36-21, and will need to go back to the Senate for final approval there. If approved there, it will be delivered to Gov. Jan Brewer for either a signature or a veto.

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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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